I recently bought a Matchless Phoenix head from another forum brother. I don't need another amp but couldn't pass it up because: 1) I didn't have an el34 amp 2) I love cathode-biased designs 3) I didn't have an amp with an ef86 front end 4) I dig Phil Jamison's work 5) I've never owned a Matchless, but played/borrowed many 6) It fit on my cab 7) It lights up in RED! (OK, #5, 6 and 7 show you how my mind works during a fit of GAS). Anyway, I've spent many hours over the last week playing it at 16 ohms through my vertical Bob Burt 2x12 loaded with vintage blackback Celestion G12M25's. Guitars used were Historic Les Pauls, Anderson Cobra, Fender Strat and a Tele Custom. Here are my thoughts. The amp looks exactly like the control panel of an HC30. However, the controls operate/act a little differently. Channel one's volume has a slow taper, where the volume goes up in small increments as you increase it (cool!). Also, it stays clean until about noon, even with humbuckers. The tone is full, sweet and sensitive to picking nuances. Past noon, the breakup is just great, and neck pickup Strat tones are pure Hendrix heaven. Using a volume pedal, you can go from really clean to great bluesy overdrive with wonderful transition tones between. The tone controls are also a little more interactive than the C30 Matchless I've played, and provide a big range. The full, robust bottom of this channel just feels so good, and produces inspiring tone for chords or single note work. Channel two has the ef86----giving it more gain and midrange. The 6 position switch can make any guitar sound huge. In fact, the fattest settings are overwhelming with a Les Paul, (with my cab) but wonderful for adding serious heft to a Strat or Tele. This channel gets louder quicker, but is just as dynamic. At noon, it has serious classic rock crunch---past that it delivers fat, throat thumping gain. It cleans up VERY well, and with a volume pedal produced superb cleans to huge gain tones with the volume at 2:00. Lastly, there is no flub. The bottom end is tight and muscular, and the lead sounds are much more smooth than ragged, with nice harmonic overtones. The master also seems to work a little better than the C30's I've played. However, I much preferred the master with channel 2. It works well there. Unless the master is turned up (and not really subtracting much volume), it tends to add an upper end sheen that made channel one too spikey for me. Channel 2 with the 6 pos. switch and more mids can handle the added sheen fine. Thankfully, the master is defeatable, as I prefer it out of the path. Once I found "my" sound, the cut control was the only knob I adjusted when switching guitars. The Phoenix sounded equally fine with single coils, P-90's and humbuckers. I tried many pedals with it, and they sounded great (analog delay, tremelo, vibrato, univibe, wah and boost). I've yet to try an overdrive pedal with the amp. The amp has stock tubes, except for a Mullard ef86 and rectifier. It is 35 watts, but like my Constellation seems much louder than it's wattage when turned up. It is a very cool amp that has been inspiring to play. However, my ears need a break.