Matchless SC-30 on the way - what should I expect?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by tch2112, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. tch2112

    tch2112 Member

    Jan 6, 2002
    Boulder CO

    I have a Matchless SC-30 coming to me in a trade with a fellow gpager. I have never played one and have always wanted to try/have one based on it's reputation and wanting and EL 84 amp. What should I expect once I plug in?

    I have had a lot of experience with a Maz-Jr by Dr Z. Can anyone compare it to that EL-84 based amp?

    I am starting to get pretty excited to get this baby.


  2. steve10358

    steve10358 Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Loud and chimey. I love mine. With a great pedal, it'll do everything.
  3. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    All I'll say, is if you don't like it, let me know. I'll take it!
  4. davebc

    davebc Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    I have a DC-30, With single coils,
    Expect the BIGGEST SINGINGINGEST TWANG you've ever heard in your life. This is the

    BIG TWANG like you've never heard it!

    Expect to hear that unmistakable percussive Bristish bark in spades.So,

    Expect to move a LOT of air.(expect to hear things falling off shelves for home use)

    Expect to hear that incredible unmistakable Matchless complexity and touch sensitivty.

    Expect to hear more focused tone than a Marshall, but with the same balls! And, speaking of balls.

    Expect to go searching for one, or both of your testicles, after you try carrying it.

    Trust me on this:
    Invest in a nos Mullard rectifyer, a set of nos GE EL84's(Valvos or Mullard are killer,but way more dough), nos Mullard 12ax7's, and ABSOLUTELY a Telefunkin EF86!
    Have fun! These amps are already classics!
  5. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    IMO, you about to recieve one of the best amps ever made. I actually just got done playing mine for the past 1.5 hours. Davebc is right on. I was playing through the "top boost" channel with my vintage LP Jr - chime, complexity, greasy harmonics. I love the way this channel sound cranked. The EF86 channel is an absolute animal! Lots of drive and punch. A huskier/stouter tone than the "top boost" channel. Loud - but a decent master volume. Not the best as whisper volumes - but around 9 oclock - you get the speakers moving a bit and it sounds amazing.

    Play around with the EQ on the "top boost" channel a lot. It's active/interactive - so you can't dial it in like a Marshall or Fender. Boosting the bass control subtracts treble at the same time, lowering the treble control adds bass, etc. It takes some getting used to but, there are TONS of tones available.

    All Matchless amp react really well with tubes. I also highly recommend a NOS EF86. I'm personally partial to Dario Miniwatt, GEC, and Amperex. I've got a GEC in my HC-30 right now, along with NOS Mazda 12AX7s, Mullard GZ34 and JAN Philips EL84s. Amazing.

    Congrats on your new amp. You'll dig it.
  6. davebc

    davebc Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    I LOVE my Les Pauls running the amps selector switch in the 2(or3) position.
    Very Bloomfied, Dickey, Page. It really brings out and enhances the natural singing harmonic beauty of a Lester, No mud.
    It's also fun to crank a Strat through those same lower selector positions.
    I was nailing that really early dirty tin can Clapton tone off the solo album, which I love.
    Lots of sounds in there.
    Or, take the first channel, the clean one, crank the Volume, and use the master so you don't break the windows. Again I was getting those killer old Allman Bros tones. This amp obviously has way more headroom than my Lightning15.
    But, I should also note, that my DC-30 is a combo running the stock aged, or mismatched speakers. Whatever Sampson did, it worked.
    Geez, all this talk makes me feel like dusting it off.
    I've become addicted to Louis Electrics, and they've been getting all of my playing time. I better play that Matchless before I forget how amazing it really is.
  7. JeffD

    JeffD Very slow but persistent Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2002
    California Central Coast between LA and the Bay
    Hi Tom,
    I had a Maz Jr for 5 years, and have owned an SC30 for the last 1.5 yrs. This is all personal opinion, just the way I hear it. There are similarities and differences, as you would expect. Both have chime something like a Vox, but the SC30 is closer to the Vox camp than the Maz. Although the SC30 can be really, really loud, I found I was able to get more grit with the master volume, at a somewhat lower volume, as compared to the Maz. Both have big low end. The SC30 might be even bigger. As said before, huge twang factor. To me, the Maz always had a certain harshness in the treble and upper mids, and nothing I did ever really did away with it. Although the SC30 chimes more, it is also less harsh in that way. Of course playing style matters with this stuff, and you may not find this to be so. Maybe the Maz high end sounds great when you play through one. Both have very articulate, detailed midrange. Overall, I prefer the SC30, but was very happy with the sound of the Maz and kept if for 5 years. So the SC30 had to do what the Maz did, and better, without the few issues I didn't like so much, for me to sell the Maz and keep the SC30. That's my take.
  8. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2004
    On top a mountain of Chocolate Chips
    My friend Jujo has the head version and after hearing and playing through his amp I sold my Guytron GT100 FV and Fender Bassman LTD. I didn't buy the HC30 but I purchased a Clubman. Both amps are really great and I am glad I finally got on the Matchless band wagon. What is so great about them is their responsiveness and clarity the notes just ring out gushing with harmonic content that never seems to end. My next amp will probably be the HC-30.
  9. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2004
    I have flown the Matchless flag since the early 90's.
    All I can say is , the tone, reliabilty, 3D swirling and punchy.
    A hard amp to beat, and I have owned more than a few.
    My fav, the SC30 for weight and the abilty to add an extension cab. HC30...same thing. Maybe a little more flexible.
    Lots of rage in these amps, which fits my personality perfectly...Sorry to say.
    Solid investment to boot.
    Have fun!
  10. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    Had a Maz 18. Sold it and never looked back.

    Had a H/C-30. Sold it and immediately missed it, so I bought another.

    The Maz is a decent amp, but to my ears it lacks the depth and complexity of the C-30. Their tonal spectrum is fairly different, too. If you like EL84 and chime, I'm guessing you'll love the C-30. Check out a Chieftan, too. Another Matchless staple, IMHO.
  11. rastaman

    rastaman Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    So what's the difference between the SC30 and the DC30? Also, I've played a Chieftain and I absolutely loved it. I played it through a Marshall 2061CX cab with the 70th Anny Heritages, great if not the best tone I ever had.

    What are the differences between the Cheiftain and the 30s? Besides EL84s and EL34s?
  12. akivisuals

    akivisuals Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    Expect to play it loud and let 'er breathe. And expect that if you play her to quietly, you'll find you won't like her nearly as much. Opened up, the SC-30 is one of the best sounding amps out there. Unfortunately, my volume requirements didn't allow me to play it at the volumes necessary for optimum tone so I sold mine. It just didn't float my boat at low volume.
  13. Tone Disciple

    Tone Disciple Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2005
    Deep in the Heart of Texas
    The SC30 is a 1x12 combo; the DC30 is a 2x12 combo; the HC30 is the head version. Otherwise, all the same amp.

    Controls are in a different configuration on the Chieftain and the Chieftain is not a two channel amp. Chieftain is a 40 watt amp.

    The C30's are two channel amps, not channel switching, but two distinct sides in one amp. The right side is higher gain with a 5 way tone switch. The left side has tone controls. The c-30's are 30 watts.

    It is all explained here:

    I love all of the Matchless line, but they are very loud when they reach their sweet spot.
  14. Tonefish

    Tonefish Member

    Sep 17, 2006
    Wherever I am

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