Matchless Phoenix vs AC20 Deluxe

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Cold Engineer, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Cold Engineer

    Cold Engineer Member

    May 17, 2011
    After starting a thread asking to compare the AC20 deluxe, which I own, with a Matchless Clubman, it was suggested that maybe the Phoenix is a good option. I'm more of a rock and blues player and while the AC20 has gorgeous cleans to edge of breakup sounds, I always feel that maybe I could use something with more punch when overdriven. After finding a few rare demos online it seems like the Phoenix would get me where I want to be when overdriven. I'm a bit concerned though about what I'd be giving up with that AC20 clean and edge of breakup. Can anyone tell me how the cleans on the Phoenix compare? Also, just in general how the Phoenix compares to things that are more vox in nature? Also, how does the master volume work on the Phoenix. I've heard mixed reviews on that issue. Thanks!
  2. Mejis

    Mejis Member

    Jan 17, 2015
    I had a Phoenix for a number of years and it's a great rock and blues amp. It's smooth and chewy when overdriven and works well for lead. There is a lot of gain on deck, but it's a vintage voicing; the low end is on the looser side. In my experience the master worked really well and is needed - it's a loud 35 watts.

    With the cleans you do give up some chime and the el84 top end... I just don't think you can get it out of a non-el84 circuit. The clean tones aren't bad by any means, but they're thick and bold, more in the Marshall camp. There is some added sparkle and harmonic content though, especially on the 12ax7 side.

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