1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Matchless or Bad Cat?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Bradders, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Bradders

    Bradders Member

    Messages:
    871
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    OK - looking for opinions on this connundrum......

    Do I want a Matchelss or a Bad Cat? Are they the "same" - there appear to be (more than) striking similarities between certain Matchless models and their Bad Cat "equivalents"......front panels, tubes and layouts, descriptions etc.

    If I was looking for an DC_30 why not get a brand new Black Cat......take the cost out of it for the sake of argument.

    Anyone A/B's those puppies ( not necessarily the exact models but similar) and have an opinion to share as that would help me a lot.

    thanks
    Bradders
     
  2. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

    Messages:
    23,512
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2003
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Haven't AB'd, but I like the BadCat. James is a great guy too.
     
  3. Bradders

    Bradders Member

    Messages:
    871
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle
    yeppahhhhhhh - I have a Cub II and love that amp.....jonesin' for a hot cat or black cat....but got to thinking about a Chieftain/clubman/HC/DC etc....heeeeeeeelp ;)
     
  4. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

    Messages:
    3,081
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    It would be hard to go wrong with anything from either BadCat or Matchless. I've got a Matchless DC-30, which came before the BadCat Black Cat. They're basically the same amp, with a few tweaks to the Bad Cat. Sonically, the Matchless is grainier and has a looser bottom end. I like it. Some people may prefer the "smoother" texture of the Black Cat. My advice is to play them both and see which one you like.

    On the other hand, I've also got a Black Cat Hot Cat 15. Matchless doesn't make anything like the Hot Cat, so if you're looking for High Gain in a 15 watt amp, then Bad Cat.

    Bad Cat doesn't make anything like the Matchless Clubman or Chieftan.

    Eitherway, you'll find some incredible amps.

    Oh, I hope you've got a strong back, because these amplifiers are HEAVY!
     
  5. zadiqof

    zadiqof Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    I played a bunch of Bad Cats last week, I've owned a few Matchless amps as well. The Bad Cat amplifiers definitely prevail where distortion and gain comes in to play, whereas the Matchless amps definitely prevail at clean/grainy tones.
     
  6. zadiqof

    zadiqof Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    I totally agree.
     
  7. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

    Messages:
    2,120
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    what has been said above me is very true, to my knowledge. I even got very similar tones through a Hot Cat and a DC-30, A/Bing them (I know! blasphemy!). But you will find a lot of similarities, with a few tweaks. You really need to try both. They are both very very responsive amps, with very musical tones. You won't get the buzzsaw distortion out of any of em! :)
     
  8. bscepter

    bscepter Member

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Is there a real difference between pre- and post-Sampson era Matchless amps? I played a newer DC30 at a store the other day, and it sounded really good.
     
  9. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

    Messages:
    7,143
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003


    anyone that isnt trying to sell you a pre-sampson at an inflated price just because of when it was made will tell you no.
     
  10. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,581
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    +1 to that. Check out the new Nighthawk from Matchless if you want something easier to grab and go than a DC30 or Black Cat. Still pretty heavy!
     
  11. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,793
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    In a white room
    The gear nuts on this page, who usually can't agree on what day it is, agree: There's no difference between old and new Matchless.

    But people trying to sell you their amps try to squeeze a few more bucks out by claiming old Matchless is somehow better.

    Kiwi
     
  12. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,793
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    In a white room
    You might run a search on the topic. Short version: Matchless tends to have a looser bottom and more of an old-school feel, maybe a touch less gain than Bad Cat. Bad Cat has a tighter bottom end, maybe a little more modern sound, tighter gain.

    But they're both incredible amps, and somewhat similar to each other.

    Kiwi
     
  13. Mike M

    Mike M Supporting Member

    Messages:
    431
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    I have to throw out a plug for the Hot Cat. Very versitle
     
  14. tthompso7

    tthompso7 Guest

    Can't go wrong with either. If you want more gain check out the Hot Cat or Star Gain Star....Mark Sampson's new company and amp.

    http://staramplifiers.com
     
  15. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,460
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Tone wise in general, no.
    Buying a Sampson era Matchless, there is one difference.
    It will hold it's value if not climb over time.
    The proof is in the puddin'.
    Amps that are broken-in (componets, and speakers ) have a slightly looser feel.
    The comparison is like an old shoe ( more comfy ) to a new one....but...you will need a re-sole alot sooner on that old shoe than the new one!
     
  16. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

    Messages:
    1,632
    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Location:
    Texarkana, Tx
    I like the Bad Cat Black Cat 30r more than the Matchless DC-30. I prefer the smoother sound and tighter low end of the black cat. I've had quite a few of them and I prefer the models with the toggle switch for the master, rather than the push/pull. I think the did some tweaks to the circuit, because the overdrive sounds better on the newer models.

    With that said, Matchless has Bad Cat beat in the customer service dept. Phil is one of the best in the business. Bad Cat has a lot to learn about customer service. Hopefully, they will get better in the future and I may buy another amp from them.
     
  17. amc

    amc Member

    Messages:
    3,145
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    I have a Matchless Chieftain [2X10 combo] and a Badcat Tremcat[1X12 combo].
    Construction quality seems to be equal
    Both are extremely well built. Both are HEAVY!

    The sounds from these 2 amps are quite different due to the design
    differences between them. Both amps sound and feel great.

    Though there are sonic differences, both amps share that extra
    MOJO that seem to be part of the original Matchless sound.

    Try them all, buy the one that speaks to you

    amc
     
  18. zadiqof

    zadiqof Member

    Messages:
    174
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    To address the Sampson era versus new Matchless amps, there are differences (cosmetically).

    My 93 Clubman is a smaller unit than my 94 Chieftain. Its smaller by a about half a centimeter in width and slightly shorter. The face (imho) looks a bit more pleasing due to the tightness of the design. Plus, its not as heavy. The newer units wooden back plate is also twice as thick. Thats about it, I can almost get them to sound like twins though :), almost.
     
  19. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

    Messages:
    7,143
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003

    haven't dealt with matchless but bad cat has been amazingly helpful in the customer service department.
     
  20. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

    Messages:
    2,120
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    + an amazing 1. Guess it's gotten a lot better since then? Who knows.

    :)
     

Share This Page