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Matchless Chieftain help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by StevenS, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. StevenS

    StevenS Supporting Member

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    I just got a Matchless Chieftain a couple of days ago and had a couple of questions for those of you who have used these before. Having never played a Matchless amp before but listening to clips on the website I had a fairly good idea of how it would sound and it really doesn't disappoint.
    Man, what a big, full sound!! Very touch responsive. Cleans up beautifully with a light touch on the pick.
    The question I had was, as the gain is brought up past 3:00 or so it gets really bassy and farty, and with the gain up full it's basically unusable. This occurs with the master on any setting but becomes worse as it is turned up.
    It's bizarre because it sounds so good with the gain before 3:00.

    Is this how they are supposed to be or does it sound like a tube issue.

    Any Matchless owners in the house?:AOK
     
  2. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    Try some different tubes in V1. I run mine around 4-6. After 7 or 8 mine gets useless, but I don't need that much gain. I run my EQ with bass and mid full on and the treb and pres around 5 (noon). I run the master volume on about 3 usually.

    I have no idea what's in my V1, it's what's in there when I got it. I'll probably try a JJ in there when I get some time to mess around. Also have a bunch more tubes I can toss in there.
     
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been gigging one for several years now, and it is pretty typical of them. Don't put the gain all the way up, and try dropping the bass down, and see what that does for you. You should be able to dial-in some very nice tones. Just use your ears, and not your eyes.
     
  4. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

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    The cool thing is that Dave is going to sell me his 1x12 combo...I just know it. :)
     
  5. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Keep dreaming. :cool:
     
  6. StevenS

    StevenS Supporting Member

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    I just got it off e-bay. I got it out of the box, checked it over, hooked it up, and started going through the dials.

    It was ..ooh that sounds good....wow that's nice....reverb sounds good...man that sounds great, ..(turns gain up) !@# ....wait a minute, what was that!!

    It was such a rapid departure of all the great sounds I was getting out of it that I immediately thought something was wrong.

    It doesn't matter that much to me actually. All the other sounds I am getting out of it more than make up for the high gain fartiness. I've got other amps for higher gain stuff.
    It just seemed funny to me that it would act like that. I'll monkey around with some different tubes and see if that helps.

    Thanks guys
     
  7. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    Try dropping a 12AT7 ( I love the Mullard cv4024) in the phase inverter position. About 30% less gain, tighter bass and the guitar will clean up better with the volume pot.
     
  8. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    I recently added a Chief to my collection. The Chief is the higher powered version of the Chieftain - 4xEL34s and a SS rectifier, same preamp/reverb. Matchless amps have very interactive EQ sections. Like Dave said above - try running the bass control below noon. I find this to be the best when cranking up the gain on any Matchless (also have a Clubman 35 and HC-30). Preamp tubes also do a lot in Matchless amps. Try a few different 12AX7 types in V1. NOS are especially good. You could also re-tube the power section. JJs are relatively tight sounding for new production tubes. Congrats on an amazing amp!
     
  9. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    I reiterate.
     
  10. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Chieftain owner here. Don't run the amp like you would any typical off the shelf master volume amp. Keep the master at 1:00 and above and use the volume to taste. Yes that is loud, but these amps were not designed for bedroom/OD volume. I play mine loud. Cranking both volumes yeilds some killer and huge tweed type tones. Kind of like a 300 lb. Tweed Deluxe. If I put my Dynaranger in front of it, I get some KILLER crunch and lead tones that sent my Jubilee packing. Very articulate. I have an idea of what you are after and you need to get the power section cooking in order to find it. Also, as stated, preamp tubes make a difference in this highly sensitive amp.
    I made the same mistake in trying to get OD tones out of my Savage Blitz 50 some time ago.
    Out of all the amps that I have owned, this one is a keeper.

    Hey guys/owners...
    Which preamp tubes do you run in your Chiefy's? I will go look to see what I have in mine when I get a chance.

    I am running an Eternity in front of mine right now. I have the head integrated in to a live rig right now and I am using it as a preamp in to my VHT 2100 Classic. It sounds mighty riteous!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D45UY9PfXlU
    Emee

    Oh, also, at gainier settings, flip that Reverb knob to Zero.
     
  11. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    I'm using two NOS RCA Greyplates in V1 and V2. V3 qnd V4- which are for reverb - I've just got normal new production stuff. V5 is the Phase Inverter and I've got a newer Chinese 12AX7 in there. I rarely use reverb, so I wasn't as concerned about having NOS stuff there.
     
  12. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    The RCA 's are great choices for this amp. Smooths the highs. Nice pick!!!! ( vs ice pick ;).
     
  13. ScioBro

    ScioBro Supporting Member

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    Try a 5751 in v1 (70% of a 12AX7)

    Matchless "ages" their speakers (acetone on the edge? don't know)
    maybe a different/fresh speaker that would keep the lows tighter
     
  14. StevenS

    StevenS Supporting Member

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    It's a head actually.

    I tried it through my Marshall Vintage Modern cab with greenbacks which really didn't help as I find them to be a "mushy" speaker anyway. This is a good attribute with some amps, but definitely not with this one!
    I hooked it up to my 1960A with G12T75's & V30's. It was better with that cab.
     

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