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Matchless amp dilemma. Weight vs tone/signature tone.

rickt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,053
I had an SC30 for years and it was probably the best sounding amp I every played. But it was heavy. My next favorite amp was the Swart Atomic Space Tone, the original issue. It sounded much different than the SC30, but it let me sound like me.
 

Sigmund

Member
Messages
1,019
I would recommend going to head and cabinet.
Weight and size is an issue when stairs are involved, splitting in head/cab definitely
helps. Easier and safer to move them.

The Lightning is a great sounding amp, and it depends on how much volume, headroom and oomph you need.

Either convert your SC into an HC30 or go down to a Lightning/Spitfire or the newer HC-15, which is a half power version of the C30. They will sound a little bit smaller, even though they are still large sounding 15 watters.

Matchless are incredibly heavy amps in generals, the 70lbs SC30 is heavier than a Twin Reverb Reissue.
Even the HC30 is still 50lbs, 8 lbs heavier than a Deluxe Reverb combo.
The difference between 70 and 50lbs is enormous when stairs are involved.

Either way, I would recommend that you get two identical 1x12 cabinets and keep one at home and another one at the rehearsal space, and then bring both cabinets for larger gigs where the extra power is needed.
 

8nthatK

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,963
The Mesa transAtlantic’s (TA-15) are really light. They’re discontinued but can be found used no problem.
It will be different tones than your Matchless but it does AC30 type tones that might make you happy enough.
 

BlueRiff

Member
Messages
6,102
Tech 21 Flyrig 5 + Power Engine Deuce Deluxe. <28 pounds and very rich, warm tube-like sounds. Works great! Not sure if it will mimic your rig exactly, but will definitely sound professional. Good luck!
 

rmconner80

Cantankerous Luddite
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,921
Don’t give up on the amps.

Call Matchless and order head shells for both amps. The C30 will still be heavy but much less so. The Lightning will be very pleasantly light.

Buy an ESS 1x12 cab.

If you want to go really light, pull the stock speaker and put a Celestion Century Vintage into the cabinet instead.

Buy a rock and roller cart and keep it in your car.
 

Benz2112

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,919
I wonder if one of the commercial amp profile companies would be interested in working something out, I am sure a good 90's Matchless would be something desirable for them. Get a profile of your exact amp, put it in a Kemper, and it would be pretty convincing.
 

Mejis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
797
Another +1 for the head conversion idea; much easier to manage. The other option would be to install the chassis in a road case, or have a cab made with two handles on the sides

Lifting by handles on the sides is way easier than one handle on top IME.
 

Jerrod

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,869
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.
Have you actually tried modelers or just dismissed them out of hand?
 

Mayflower

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,550
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.
I like this.
 

Mayflower

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,550
Have you actually tried modelers or just dismissed them out of hand?
I have a bit. But this is a band that thrives on amps. No in ears with 4 monitor mixes for each member. Rocking old school CKLW to Chicago. My guitar amp/tone is a stage filler as well with the bass/drums and keys. It's a stage conglomerate that we feed off of.
RE modelers: Don't get me wrong, they sound killer from what I have heard live.
 

Oinkus

Member
Messages
4,669
What about a Matchless Mini they have the sound and are tiny and light but not as much volume.
 

warplanegrey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
438
As has been said already:

Convert it to a head but while you’re at it, don’t just have a single handle on top. Mount handles to the side so it’s a 2 hand carry.

Do the same with the cab and change the speaker to a neo-creamback
 

Pelagic

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
382
Can you afford to rebuild the stairs? I predict you will not get younger and they may become an issue during daily life as well.
 

pjrhd28

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,743
Well.......

I have the HC-30R head (that 's the 30 series head with reverb) and the 1 x 12 Matchless cab. To makes things easier, I bought the Nighthawk 1 x 12 combo with reverb.

I'm 62 and in pretty good shape. No stairs.

You can look at the website, but it really doesn't feel like the combo is much lighter than just the head. The combo is better balanced. The combo is heavier than a Deluxe, but not as heavy as a Mesa Lone Star Special combo. The Matchless combo is manageable for me- but no stairs. But it's not light nor easy.

I can carry the combo in one hand with a guitar in the other over flat ground.
But it's not easy.


In terms of tone, the C-30R still has some oomph and boldness (even in the 15 watt setting) that the Nighthawk does not. Not much of a difference at low to normal volume, but as you open the amps up, that difference becomes more pronounced. The combo then, IMHO, is still a compromise. But not a big compromise, and I don't know of any better compromise.

I think Matchless does not make the 15 watters as heads with reverb. So one of the 15 watt heads without reverb and a cabinet might be an acceptable solution. But that Matchless 1 x 12 cab is heavy.

I have no experience with any of the modelers, but count me as doubtful. It's not just the tone, it's the feel.

The Nighthawk is probably the last amp I'll own. It's a great, great amp and there's a lot of really good 2 EL-84 amps out there. But it wears the Matchless logo well and at least now, I can still haul it around.

Hope that helps.
 

celestion101

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,838
Pardon my biased suggestion, but having owned many Matchless amps I get what you're saying. Our Neo Creamback actually does really well and will help preserve the tone you love. It sits between a G12M and a G12H (Matchless uses both of these models) so worth trying. Thanks..RS
 

Jerrod

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,869
I have a bit. But this is a band that thrives on amps. No in ears with 4 monitor mixes for each member. Rocking old school CKLW to Chicago. My guitar amp/tone is a stage filler as well with the bass/drums and keys. It's a stage conglomerate that we feed off of.
RE modelers: Don't get me wrong, they sound killer from what I have heard live.
Well, if you're going to eliminate what's likely the most practical option and you're going to rage against the dying of the light, you're going to have to figure something out. The alnico speakers are likely a good option. I'd split the combo into a head/cab setup, and I would specifically NOT have Matchless build it. Find yourself a lighter cab, put alnicos in there, have someone build a lighter head cab, and make sure both pieces have handles on the side. And get to the gym and yoga studio. That's the other half of the equation.
 

RAG7890

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,069
As some have said, put the Chassis in to a Pine Headshell & get a matching 112 Pine or Poplar Ply Cab (same as Birch but with Poplar, saves weight) with a Neo Speaker.

This will make life way easier for you.............I do understand the dilemma. I picked up my spare Bogner Shiva 112 Combo a few days ago to lend to a mate of mine & that sucker is heavy as. I'd hate to walk up & down a few flights of stairs with it at 60 (my age).

Good luck.

:beer
 

jm9239

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,682
Axe FX III (15 lbs)
Headrush FRFR-108 monitor (19.5 lbs)

Done, and it’ll sound every bit as good as the real thing at a fraction of the weight and with MUCH more capability.
 




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