• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

Matchless amp dilemma. Weight vs tone/signature tone.


Gold Supporting Member
Hey guys and gals,
I have a 93 Matchless SC30 and a 95 or so Lightning I bought both when they were first introduced and have used them extensively for well over 20 some years.
They are my signature tone and have been told that repeatedly for years. (Tele/comp/dist/etc)
I am in a bit of a pinch....I am over 60 and can't hardly carry either amp comfortably down the steps where I live.
I am trying everything...Quilter mini 50/90's Pro Jr/Musicman RD50(1x10). They all have their plusses. And are all much easier to get down the steps. I am noticing and so are others that I am using something different than what I have used all these years.
Even the keyboard player who I highly respect said something last Sat. It just killed me. I knew it..It just didn't sound the same.
Issues: Both amps too heavy anymore and I can not keep them in the vehicle overnight let alone a week by week basis. No way.
I need a stage amp, and I am open to suggestions that will get me the Matchless tone at a lighter weight. I know modelers are great, but I am a hardcore tube guy and the sound guy said he loves mic'ing up my amps.
Any suggestions on which way to look(smaller/lighter with the same type tone with enough headroom), or maybe get a head shell for the Lightning?
Any replies...Thanks so much.
It really has me bummed.


Kemper and either profile your amps or find a good professional profile? Won’t be or feel the same but you might get close.


Can you convert them to head/cab configurations?
My first thought, but I looked up the weight online and it say 83 pounds for the SC30? I suspect even as a head it would be heavy.
But looking up the lightning, it says 35 lbs? Can't get much lighter than that for a tube amp of any size.

I get it, I'll be 64 in a couple weeks, heavy tube amps are, well, heavy. But I tried a Quilter, it didn't cut it, tried some other light stuff, just didn't sound good to me.


Silver Supporting Member
Man, I am so sorry! I would put the Lightning in a head cab, use a re-amp thing like the Badcat Unleash and put the Matchless mismatch 2 12s speakers in a pine 2x12 cab. Call it day and just remember the good years..lol

That's the best advice I have.


Gold Supporting Member
A Matchless amp emulator pedal into a small clean lunchbox tube amp like a Revv D20.

For a Matchless emulator pedal, a Matchless HotBox, perhaps. I'd go with a Verocity MDC. Either way, the pedals will be expensive.


Silver Supporting Member
There are certainly some high quality, light weight, tube heads available. My Reeves Custom 12 PS head weighs a staggering 18 lbs. The hard part of this quest is trying a replace a Matchless with ANYTHING else.


Gold Supporting Member
One of the problems with Matchless is high grade marine ply-that stuff is heavy. And while it's neutral, it doesn't add anything to the sound. I'd consider trying to get a head box made of lightweight pine, and a cab made of the same. My open back pine cab with Jensen Neo weighs about 15 pounds and is good to 100w. Sound great, too.


Gold Supporting Member
Just convert it to a head (“HC-30”) and a 1x12 cab (you could just use your SC-30 cab if you don’t want to fork out for a 1x12 extension cab). The head is still heavy - for a head - but far more manageable than a combo.


Gold Supporting Member
I feel ya man. I’m same age with a bad back. Sucks. I tried a Fractal modeler for a couple years. Big learning curve to work properly, takes away from playing time. Really frustrating. Hope you find something that works for you. Gotta keep playin. Keeps us alive. Good luck.


Keep the amp, move to the first floor! Lol.....probably not that simple. What a bummer. I really hope you can find a way to make it work for you.

Trending Topics