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Matchless Spitfire vs. Bad Cat Cub IIR

Which do you prefer?

  • I'd get the Matchless Spitfire

  • I'd get the Bad Cat Cub IIR

  • I'd get something else I'm about to tell you about

  • I'm John Mayer; obviously a Dumble is the way to go you sucker fool.


Results are only viewable after voting.

shark_bite

Member
Messages
5,189
I need to know stuff. Played one of each, liked them, want to know more. Actually, come to think of it, I'm putting up a poll. I want quantitative data too. For a point of reference, the music I'd be playing would be a lot of U2/Police type 80s-influenced pop music to more current early/mid-90s stuff to more effect-heavy texture/atmosphere studio and live work backing singer songwriters. It's also possible I'll be getting a Beatles project going as well, for which one of these would be the no-brainer go-to amp if I bought it. If I can swing it for blues or gospel or soul/R&B/funk, fantastic, but I think my DR and my Bassman are better suited for those gigs.

Specific questions:
-What guitars sound best with each amp?
-What are the shortcomings to be expected of either?
-Obviously the Bad Cat is more flexible tonally and with the reverb, but it is worth the extra few hundred bucks?
-Do either/both of these amps have issues with clean headroom at band volume?
-What would you expect the Bad Cat to go for used? What would you offer for a clean Sampson-era Spitfire (the one I have my eye on - I don't know if I'd be willing to pay what the seller is asking)?
 

therhodeo

Member
Messages
10,066
I voted for the Cub because I've been wanting one for quite a while. Its on my short list of lottery winner purchases.
 

Matt-o-caster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
258
I think most guitars sound great through either of these amps, but I chose the Bad Cat because I own one. I thought about getting a Spitfire, but I liked the tonal options with the Bad Cat. The rotary-knob side of the EQ has more of a vintage voicing (to my ear), i.e., it's got a bit more mid presence. The bass/treble EQ side has more of a modern, flat-mids sound. Like a Vox, the bass/treble are interactive and you get can some really cool tones by messing around with them. I could honestly do without the reverb. In fact, were I to order a Cub II new, I would get it without the reverb because I never use it (the 'verb on the Cub IIR does sounds great though). I traded my 1974 Marshall JMP 50-watt for a Bad Cat that just happened to have reverb and the right price tag. I think $1700 would be in the ballpark for a used Cub II (in EX+ cond).

Oh, and FWIW, I wouldn't spend any extra $$ on a "Sampson-era" Matchless. I've never been able to tell the difference between those and the new ones.
 

shark_bite

Member
Messages
5,189
Oh, and FWIW, I wouldn't spend any extra $$ on a "Sampson-era" Matchless. I've never been able to tell the difference between those and the new ones.
Hey man, didn't realize you were local. I'm not necessarily LOOKING for a Sampson-era Spitfire, it just happens that the Spitfire consigned at Willie's is from that era. Unfortunately, that could be making it more expensive, which is silly in my opinion. I know it means nothing so why on earth would I want to pay extra for it? No idea.

You'll have to let me know if you're out playing somewhere soon. I'd love to hear the Cub in action... that's one of my huge fears with buying an amp like that - they almost always sound great in the store, but who knows what to expect in a live situation? Not this guy. Not always, at least.
 
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GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,931
A better comparison would be a Lightning Reverb. I own one, love it.
 

shark_bite

Member
Messages
5,189
True, but I don't want to spend that much money unless it's on the Bad Cat. The main reason being 2x10(?) vs 1x12. I need the lightest amp I can get that will deliver the tone I'm looking for. If there's a 1x12 Lightning out there that'd certainly be cool, but there aren't any used ones freely available to me. If I get one of the amps at Willie's right now I can put a few hundred bucks of store credit into it, which would be super sweet.
 
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Moods

Member
Messages
993
Spitfire if you run pedals for drive tones. I prefer it to both the Cub or the Lightning this way. I have both a 2004 and Sampson era Spitfire right here and the newer sounds better, has the EXACT same parts except the fuse holder and large cab. If you run both through the same cab the newer one sounds and feels just as good or better IMO. Phil has all the old vendors and the lead dress on the newer amp is cleaner. Both are killer amps

You can go wrong with either the Cub, Spitfire or Lightning.

Good luck!

<M
 

GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,931
I may sell my Matchless Lightning Reverb 1x12. I never use it, too many amps! PM me if interested.
 




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