Matchless King Cobra

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DrJamie, Jan 10, 2008.


  1. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    My friend just spent the day at Matchless, and in spite of the NAMM madness, was very nicely treated. I think the King Cobra is the final product name for the custom ordered head by a fellow TGPer. Sounds like a Chieftain with trem, and a ef86. Would this still sound Chieftain-esque, with the ef86?
     
  2. michael.e

    michael.e Member

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    The King Cobra is the final name for a model that was ordered by TGP member Shallbe.
    Do an advanced search for "Phalanx" and you will get the full story regarding the amp and it's tonal properties.
    I have not played the King Cobra, but the descriptions that I have heard thus far do not give me any indication that they are similar.
    I have a Chief'y and it sounds like no other Matchless that I have played, though I have heard from a friend that it sounds very similar to the Independence
    Emee
     
  3. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks, I couldn't recall the prior name! My Chieftain is my gold standard, and if I could add trem., with that tone, it would be a great do-all rig. By the same token, trem is not vital to my sound, but would be fun to have.
     
  4. michael.e

    michael.e Member

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    I hear you! After all of the fantastic amps that I have flipped thus far, the Chief'y is without a doubt the Benchmark for me. It is the first amp that I have been really motivated to keep. Hugely versatile for anything from luscious cleans to 1 ton Tweed, to upper mid "crack" Marshall goodness [esp. with a Dynaranger], to thick legato tone.


    [​IMG]

    With my absolute favorite cab.....
    [​IMG]
     
  5. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    Funny! Mine is a '96 purchased new by me, with the old style "Samsonite" handle. I love that handle! Should have been dubbed "Sampson-ite".
     
  6. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    From what I understand - the Cobra/King Cobra is similar to the John Jorgenson model. EF86 tone channel like the C-30 series (don't know if it's the exact same), with reverb and trem. Cobra is 4xEL84s, and the King being 2xEL34s. Nothing like the Chieftain (outstanding amp!). I've heard nothing but good things about the new Cobra/King Cobras too!
     
  7. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I worked with Phil on my idea for a dream amp about a year and a half ago. It was inspired by playing his Jamison amps for about 6 years and the Matchless Phoenix I had.

    I wanted the Big sound of both of the Phoenix channels running together, with reverb and trem. I only needed one channel, but wanted the richness of the ef86. Other needs were no fart of flub on the bottom end, fat chime, sustain and warmth in the lows and low mids.

    Phil NAILED it. I have not played a gig with another amp since I got it in October 2006. It has a unique preamp for the ef86 in it's voicing, and just sounds fabulous. It is what I always wanted to hear out of an el34 amp. Every guitar sounds better through it, and my pedals have never sounded so good. Now called the King Cobra, I think the Cobra is indeed somewhat similar to the old JJ30.

    Here are pics of mine:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    The bottom-end fartiness is the only thing that bothers me about my Chieftain...

    And, I would love to have Trem...

    Do we know what street price will be on the new amp...?
     
  9. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I have been quoted $3300 + list and a little over $2,800 street.
     
  10. michael.e

    michael.e Member

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    Dave, what cab are you running with the Chieftain? I have zero fartiness with my Marshall run clean.
     
  11. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm running the 1x12 combo with the Matchless Celestion.

    There is no way I'm lugging around a 4x12. LOL!

    But I think what I'm referring to is in really the circuit.
     
  12. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    Have you tried using a 12AT7 in the PI position? Really tightened up my Chieftain and my JJ30 ( also Maz 38, Marshall studo15's, My Hiwatt dr505... all came with 12ax7 pi's... changed them all out). I like the Mullard CV4024 in basically all my amps. The amp will clean up better from the guitar volume pot with this tube as well.The frequency response ot this tube also improves the Matchless reverb a good deal.The amp still has a Marshall edge when you drive it but the cleans are much better with the CV4024.I am thinking hard about getting a King Cobra. Gonna' ask if I can get a 6L6/EL34 switch version. PS I guess I should call Phil because I can get the grey/charcoal sparkle covering that was used on the JJ30. also several other colors

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] red and grey snake?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Tan and/or black cobra would be kinda hot
     
    Jim S likes this.
  13. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Ahh heck - since we're talking about Chieftains - I might as well take an opportunity to show my recently added 96 Chief to my collection. Same circuit as the Chieftain but, 4XEL34s and a SS rectifier. AMAZING amp. A great compliment to my Clubman 35, HC-30, and Bad Cat Hot Cat 30R head. Sorry to hijack the thread!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I'll have to check it out!
     
  15. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Shallbe,

    Do you play yours clean then add dirt with pedals?

    I like to play with an amp fairly cranked for a then push it a bit with a boost for the over the top leads. In this context how does the amp sound?

    Is the tone on the Marshall side in that context? Thanks!
     
  16. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    Let me know what you think . I think you'll dig it.
     
  17. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Gat,

    I do play the amp fairly clean. The volume stays at about 9:00, and that is a perfect volume for ballads, funk, blues, r&b, etc. Meaning that played with less pick attack, the amp has this beautiful clean tone with so much big richness and sustain that chords just hang.........I've never had any other amp do this. Hitting the strings harder gives you a good volume jump and some grit for blues or pushed rhythms, when at 9:00. I never use the master, although it works well.

    Here is why I don't use the master. A simple clean boost pedal turns the amp into a classic rock machine. I mean big, fat plexi tones. If you use an overdrive pedal, you can even do 80's rock or metal.

    I never vary from position four on the tone switch, and my settings have never changed, regardles of guitar or environment. The amp has plenty of bottom and big tones to get an Esquire to sound like a grand piano. The reverb is perfect for me at halfway up---you barely notice it--it enhances the sound but does not get in the way.

    For those interested in this amp, a good NOS ef86 (Dario Miniwatt, Mullard or Teles are great) is critical to get the best tones possible. I would also recommend a Mullard rectifier for the best response, and put a pair of good tubes in the trem circuit. It makes a difference in the volume when using the trem, plus makes it more hypnotic and pulsey.

    All in all,the perfect amp for me that does NOT have to get to some loud volume to hit a sweet spot. We typically play clubs, and this is the most volume friendly amp I've ever had, since I hate attenuators.
     
  18. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    For the head right? I believe the combo is like $3741.00 list /$3179.00 out the door at Fat Sound. .
     
  19. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes. Willcutt has a new one, S/N 001 in black. I was going to buy, but I just bought a Carol-Ann from Stu. I should have it next month.
     
  20. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    FWIW, the street price of the head now is right at what I paid in 2006 to have the first one made. Best amp purchase I have ever made.
     

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