Matchless EL34 platform: Chieftain / Clubman

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AD, May 20, 2019.

  1. AD

    AD Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    I’m a big fan of Matchless and owned an SC30 for over 10 years. I’m playing mostly rock and funk tunes in a 3 piece band with a Strat and a Tyler s/s/h.

    I want to go to an EL34 platform mostly for Overdrive tones and hoping to get some of the “pushed clean” tones that Matchless does so well.

    I’d like your opinions on which EL34 platform worked best for you and ideally, if you played both amps. Thx.
     
  2. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,869
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    Owned the sc30, Chieftain, and Clubman at the same time. The chieftain is the most relaxed and easist long term amp imho. The clubman has a ton of lows and is brutally bright. I’d take the chieftain all day long over the clubman.
     
    AD and neville5000 like this.
  3. 8nthatK

    8nthatK Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,478
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Indeed it is. A little too steely, for me.

     
  4. flume

    flume Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,302
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Clubman here. The high end is there but I find it can be dialed down by taking a fresh look at all the settings depending on what I’m plugging in. And that includes guitar tone knobs.
     
    AD likes this.
  5. El Rey

    El Rey Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    498
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2018
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Currently have the C30, Clubman, Indy, Lightning. Tried the Cheiftain, and while it's a great amp, I prefer the Independence as middle ground between the C30 & Clubman. The Lightning works great for lower power.
     
    AD likes this.
  6. auralfeast

    auralfeast Member

    Messages:
    693
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    Chieftain is the best amp I've played but heavy as a cruise ship anchor.
     
    macmax77 likes this.
  7. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,814
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Clifton, VA
    LOVE the Chieftain. I have a Brave and SC30 also, have owned two Clubmans. Chieftain is my favorite of the bunch, Brave second. Clubman is more immediate like the SC30, but too steely with a Tele for me. But undeniably a magic amp. Chieftain is less immediate but has a woody, ballsy sound, just suits me better. I love what Matchless does with EL34s. Would like to try an Independence and Phoenix some time, I might sell the SC30 for one of those.
     
    AD likes this.
  8. Stormin

    Stormin Tele's and Plexis Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,037
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh-wood, NC
    I've owned the Chieftain as well as a Phoenix. IMHO, if you wanna bring the rock then the Phoenix beats the Chieftain by a mile. I found the Chieftain to be very underpowered as well as softer and underwhelming. Everyone calls it the Matchless Marshall but IMHO, it never go close. The Phoenix gets the Marshall grind and crunch and gets it in 2 different ways between the 12AX7 and EF86 channels.
     
    EL34 and ProfRhino like this.
  9. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

    Messages:
    4,988
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    btw, does anybody know for sure which of the two, if any, is cathode biased ?
    I recently got curious when I ran into my vintage AC50 (also worth a look, OP !), but to my big surprise found mixed opinions ... :nuts
    thanks,
    Rhino
     
  10. rickt

    rickt Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2018
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I found the Clubman or Clubman Reverb with a matching 4x10 to be one awesome rig. It can be bright, but that is totally controllable using the amp controls.
     
  11. Daverij

    Daverij Member

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Clubman: input 2, master above half way, bass 9-11 o'clock, treble 9-11 o'clock. No excessive brightness anymore!
     
    flume likes this.
  12. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,036
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    Pembroke pines-Santiago-Greenville
    Chieftain but I would definitely talk to Mike at Kca???? Bluestrat? About NOS tubes for it. Mine sounded well, I installed the tubes he suggested and BAM!!! Best sounding 3d amp I have ever played!

    I want another Matchless but TGP people are Tightwads and no one seem to want to buy one for me! LOL :p:D

    Now for real, great great amp the Chieftain!
     
  13. flume

    flume Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,302
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Sidebar: I avoided Matchless for years because I thought the price was prohibitive but I jonesed hard.

    So I tried to beat the system and bought other makers...over and over and over. At least 8 different builders. Probably sank over $10K cumulatively.

    I could have had a wall of Matchless for that if I had been smart about it from the start.

    Live and maybe learn.
     
    Radar likes this.
  14. Oinkus

    Oinkus Member

    Messages:
    3,340
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Location:
    Yorktown VA
    Independence has been on my list of amps to own since it came out. Played through a Chieftan and a Clubman both were spectacular.
     
  15. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,735
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    Pretty certain the Clubman and the Chieftain are both cathode biased designs.
     
    ProfRhino likes this.
  16. Veritas

    Veritas Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,684
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2007
    I played countless concerts with my former Matchless Clubman. I mostly used a Tele and Les Paul and had great results with both. Just a fantastic amp. It’s maybe not the best amp for bedroom use, as the EQ really evens out as the master goes up. That said, the EQ is interactive, so changing the bass effects the treble content, etc. Once I got a handle on how it all worked, the amp was a dream.
     
    Samsun19 likes this.
  17. AD

    AD Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    I picked up a Clubman from a local gear friend and the low input does work well. Even on the Hi setting with my brightest guitar, it sounds great. The fx loop lives up to the Matchless standard for loops - brutal! It worked well for a few minutes and then loss of volume and then no sound. Pedals in the front from now on!

    All in all, a great sounding amp.

     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    ProfRhino likes this.
  18. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

    Messages:
    4,988
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    thanks for confirming, that was my understanding as well.
    still, the AC50, which is AB, 2x EL34, is a direct colleague to the Chieftain & Clubman tonally.
    [​IMG]
    sounds gorgeous, needs to be loud, but sits right between a good AC and a Plexi then.
    not many vintage ('66) ptp amps can still be had below a grand ... :cool:
    I'm a big fan of those interesting, cool hybrids (atypical pre- and power amp combinations) - not actively searching atm, but a nice Chieftain, Clubman or Phoenix could bring me in trouble.
    lol,
    Rhino
     
    RAG7890 likes this.
  19. willhutch

    willhutch Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,840
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Hey OP...I've been rocking a Tyler through a clubman for over a year. It's a fantastic rig. I set it loud and cleanish. It sounds complex and full of energy! I run dirt pedals through the front of the amp and time-based effects thru the loop (which works great). The clubman is a perfect gigging amp!
     
    ProfRhino likes this.
  20. Radar

    Radar Member

    Messages:
    2,119
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2017
    Dang, all I own are the little Lightning and Spitfire models. Can I still play with the big kids?
     
    s360guitarist and ProfRhino like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice