Matchless Cheiftan...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Isaiah4Autumn, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

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    Is anyone got one or played one? Can you give me a review on it? I was thinking about custom ordering one and would like your input.

    Thanks:banana
     
  2. indravayu

    indravayu Senior Member

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    I love Chieftains!! I have played through two different 2x12 combos (at rehearsal studios in NYC) and they are thick sounding with really sweet classic-rock style mid gain that you can control with your guitar's volume knob. My only compaint is that the bass is a little flabby - I found that I needed to roll off the bass on the amp, or with an EQ pedal (at least with Les Pauls w/humbuckers).
     
  3. NyteOwl

    NyteOwl Member

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    I have owned four different Sampson-era 2x10 Chieftain combos. Fantastic amps that really suited my playing style. Dialed in a clean tone, put a few pedals up front and that was that. Only problem was, they weighed in at 67 pounds, and that was too much for me and my bad back to schlep around.
     
  4. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    As I 've said many times, the Chieftain is my gold standard, since 1996. I use a head with a Boogie 1x12 wide body open back with a Black Shadow sp. The head fits perfectly on top too. I'll use a 2x12 rarely. I'd love to hear a King Cobra (rev/trem/ef86), as I might consider that at the same time. I just wish the Cobra wasn't designed around the ef86, instead of 12ax7's, like the Chieftain. maybe less reliable with the ef86.
     
  5. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

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    thanks for all your help...im currently playing through a 71 twin reverb and wanted a single channel amp w/reverb with a little more beef in the mids...I play exclusively tele's (right now) and had played other matchless amps like the independence...but i do not need that many channels...

    Dumb question...but how does the od sound on this amp? (*disclaimer* i know that there is not an od channel but when your drive the tubes)

    I have 2 dirt pedals currently for the twin and would wonder if they would be obsolete when I finally get this amp...they are ocd and fd2
     
  6. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    I've got a Chieftan head and it sounds spectacular. As compared to my C-30, the Chieftan is less chimey and rounder sounding. Tonewise it sits somewhere between the C-30 and a Germino Club 40. But clearly it's own thing... absolutely try one!
     
  7. indravayu

    indravayu Senior Member

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    On the few occasions that I have played Chieftains (probably about 6 times total), I didn't feel the need to plug in my OD pedal - the amp's natural gain was more than enough - I set it for a full-bodied, sustaining lead tone, then just rolled back the volume on my guitar a bit for a bit cleaner rhythm tone.

    - Chris
     
  8. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    I used to own a Chieftain. Awesome amp, and it will ruin you for much else!

    One thing about the Chieftain is the feel. It's got a really bouncy "luxurious" feel to it because the filtering is pretty light and it's cathode biased (IIRC). Some folks compare them to Marshalls, but there really a LOT different.

    Nice amp!
     
  9. KeyserZoso

    KeyserZoso Member

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    You could probably find a good deal on a used one if you look around.
    I just saw a 95' Chieftain Head and matching 4x12 go for 2000.00 on EvilBAY. Man, that seems cheap. Wish I would've jumped on it. It's a buyer's market, good luck!
     
  10. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

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    yeah...im sure I could find a good deal on one...but most likely not the color tolex that I would love to have...and maybe if they would be willing to ad some trem to it...who knows

    THANKS FOR THE TIPS GUYS...KEEP THEM COMING...
     
  11. buddaman71

    buddaman71 Student of Life Silver Supporting Member

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    I love my Chieftain 212. I don't gig with it much, as it weighs as much as a Volvo and is freakin' loud as a Howitzer. It is a uniquely-voiced amp that is MUCH smoother and rounder (more of a lead amp I think) than a typical Matchless DC-30 type amp with none of the brittleness they sometimes have.

    It is a bit vintage Marshall sounding, but much more articulate in the mids and highs without the wolfy-ness of a Plexi.
    Not a super tight chugga-chugga bottom, but very rock n roll!

    It has this great, Angus-ish woody mid crack on the high notes that just makes me want to beat single note leads into submission all night. I get my Gary Moore-groove on when I gig with it, as it just begs to wail. I typically hit it with a Barber Tone Press and a BB Preamp and that's it.

    The biggest drawback, IMO, is that it doesn't really hit its stride until it's WAY too loud for 99% of the clubs and stages most guitarists play on. The plate voltage is pretty high as well, so it's a little cold-sounding until you crank it and spank it. Great amp though and definitely one of my all time faves.
    :banana
     
  12. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Absolutely amazing amp, IMO. I've actually got 2 Chief heads - which is a higher powered Chieftain (4xEL34s and a SS rectifier). They aren't made anymore. Amazing cleans that are rich, complex, jangly, and bold at the same time. The driven tones are just flat out amazing. Very rich and foward midrange and an amazing complex top end. Drips with greasy harmonics. Good master volumes - but, sound best cranked - as with all Matchless amps. Matchless amps sit in the mix like no other, as well! They also take pedals very well.

    Here's a pic of my Chiefs - and a couple others!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

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    Holy Crap!!! Nice...well are the ones you speak of @ 100watts...like I said before I have a 71 twin reverb and I would like something with a little bit more mid range...i had the pleasure of playing the new independence but that is way to many channels for me...i'm a one channel type of guy. I have my heart set on a matchless but since you have alot of experience with the brand (case in point your picture) is there somthing you could recommend me that would be better then the chieftan?

    I have a bigillion questions...maybe worth pming you on it but if you don't mind answering them on here (for everyone else that might have the same questions) I will continue to do so...thanks:banana
     
  14. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Feel free to PM me anytime bro. I can talk Matchless all day (as well as a lot of other amps!). I haven't played an Independence personally - but, have heard nothing but good things. The You Tube clips are great - from a forum member - can't remember his name (my apolagies bro!). Anyway - the Chieftain/Chief is a hard amp to beat for a lot of different tones. I dig all my other Matchless amps just as much - but the Chiefies hold a special spot!!! If you're a control from the volume pot kinda guy - Matchless is your thing - Chieftain included!

    Hope it helps!
     
  15. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've got a Chieftain and the amp it most reminds of is an original JTM45. It has much of the touch sensitive nature, responds well to the volume knob as well as pedals, and won't absolutely kill you with volume (but then, I like my 100w Marshall, too). Definitely a different, more crunchy flavor than the DC30 and it sounds like the kind of thing you're looking for to complement the twin. Try and find a used one, then you won't be out any cash if you decide to move it on later...
     
  16. Isaiah4Autumn

    Isaiah4Autumn Member

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    Okay so alot people i've talked to are telling me they sound like a marshall...which I do not want...what gives?
     
  17. EBGB

    EBGB Member

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    I used to use it at Ultrasound rehearsal studio NYC-- chose it above a lot of other amps there-- for a classic rock/blues cover band, also for a country/pop band

    I think a tele would be a great guitar with it/ I used an ash strat mostly

    I liked playing it at not too crazy a volume-- with Boss Blues Driver pedals

    Very chimey... a little mushy
    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Vox influence

    It's got a great sound, but I find it a bit less versatile than a Fender combo

    The weight must be brutal

    And it's one of my favorite models in Line 6 Amp Farm for Pro Tools
     
  18. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Silver Supporting Member

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    As I stated, there's quite different from "a marshall", but then "a Marshall" covers a LOT of territory.

    One poster said it reminds him of his JTM-45, and I could see that somewhat due to the saggier tube recified setup, and the Chieftan has a "softer" feel than a lot of Marshalls IME.

    The EL34 will give a Marshall'esque style of crunch, but I think saying a Chieftain sounds like a Marshall is a pretty loose statement!

    What is it about a Marshall sound you're trying to avoid?

    The Chieftan has a beautiful and BIG swirly clean, something I don't associate with a Marshall, and the tone controls are VERY effective on a Chieftan, which allows it considerably more flexibility than most any Marshall I've ever played.

    If you've got the scratch, try it out! Or, try a DC/SC30 if you want to go a different direction.

    OR...if you have the scratch, there are a LOT more options to consider for that matter. I love having that problem myself, though I've not had it in a long time!
     
  19. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Scott, looks like your Matchless collection rivals your Bassman collection!

    AWESOME!!!
     
  20. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    That's why I play a Chieftain! After owning/gigging a Black Cat 30 and a Phoenix, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not an EF-86/Tone click guy. That said, I loved the 12AX7 channel on the Phoenix, but the Chiefy gives me a mid control and verb.

    Use BOTH an OCD and FD-II with my Chiefy. I set the amp gain to "almost" start to break up, but it's still cleanish. I use the OCD as a primary dist and have the FD-II set as a clean boost. I even use both pedals together for over the top leads.

    I hear that all the time too, but to my ears my Chieftain sounds more like a tweed (with EL-34's) than a JTM or Plexi Marshall. I'm sure it's because of the way I set it and play it, but I hear Tweed. I typically play an ES-137, Gretsch, or a Tele with it. FWIW, I grew up as a Fender amp guy and I felt right at home with the Matchless. You'll have to decide for yourself whether or not it's Marshally to you.

    Stormin!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008

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