Spitfire vs Lightning

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by texasturner, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. texasturner

    texasturner Member

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    I am looking at a used Spitfire (sampson era) and was curious how it compared to the sampson era non reverb lightning. I played on of those lightnings way back and it was very nice sounding. I was just curious from people that have played both on what differences in tone they have heard.
     
  2. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

    Messages:
    1,533
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Hi Tex,
    I not familiar with Matchless amps but there are some clips on Youtube that may be helpful...try checking them out!
     
  3. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mountains
    I own a Spitfire and bought it after a side-by-side comparison with the Lightning. Both sound incredible and cover a lot of the same territory. The Lightning has a bit more gain from the internal tone stack. It has has separate bass and treble controls. The Spitfire has a bit more of a 3D sound and has a single tone control. It is absolutely a tone monster. It also takes pedals well.

    Regarding Sampson-era vs modern, I'm not bought in to the belief that Sampson era amps are better. The modern amps are great, consistent and meticulously built. (I should mention that I also own a Sampson era Chieftan as well as a modern HC30).
     
  4. texasturner

    texasturner Member

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Thanks for the suggestion skeeterbuck but all I could find on youtube was DC-30 and other clips.
     
  5. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

    Messages:
    2,144
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    I currently own a 93 Matchless Clubman, but I had an Lightning for a few years and it was one of the best little amps ever. It will slay a deluxe all day long. The lightning and the spitfire are very loud for there size. I would doubt that there is a louder less than 20 watt amp out there.

    One thing I liked was the cleans of these amps is stellar - they always have an edge of hair on them and for a small amp they have a pretty tight bass.
    Either one is a great choice and amongst the best small watt combos available. Don’t get sucked into the Sampson vs modern issue either as I have had both and they are all good.
     
  6. Flyin' Brian

    Flyin' Brian Member

    Messages:
    29,362
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    K7C 4K8
    Actually they both fought on the same side: (sorry)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. texasturner

    texasturner Member

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    The only reason I am thinking about a sampson era one is that there is a clean one out there and it seems they are going up in value.
     
  8. sliberty

    sliberty Member

    Messages:
    3,623
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    NJ
    Spitfires are cool. Nuff said. if you like them, and the price is right, don't hesitate.
     
  9. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

    Messages:
    2,282
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Location:
    Middle TN
    I have both and actually prefer the Spitfire.
     
  10. teleamp

    teleamp Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,508
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Central Texas
    The Spitfire is my favorite of the two. Both the Lightning and Spitfire are my inspiration to build amps. How often do you see a Sampson era Spitfire for sale? Same with the original Bad Cat Cubs (Lightning clones).
     
  11. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,226
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    Both are good amps. Which one is the favorite seems to vary depending on mood and circumstance. The Lightning can be a little looser if the gain is up especially on the bottom, capable of much higher gain, with more highs and harmonic content overall. Can be bright. The Spitfire is tighter and more harmonically focused, can be dialed in dark or as bright as the Lightning, and has less gain. The Spitfire seems to work better with pedals and records well. The gain on the Spitfire is sensitive to the Tone control setting. More treble, more gain and vice-versa. Hard to beat the small box for a lot of sound in a convenient package.

    hunter




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  12. texasturner

    texasturner Member

    Messages:
    180
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    What year is that spitfire Hunter? The one I am looking at is the exact same color except it has white knobs. It is supposed to be a 1995 model

     
  13. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,226
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    96 transformer dates on the Spitfire.
    94 dates on the Lightning.

    hunter
     
  14. guiltless

    guiltless Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    I am having such a tough time deciding between these two. Though I think I may go with the Lightning simply because I prefer the versatility of treble and bass controls over a tone knob (I know there is a tonal advantage to having only one though)

    I need more input/opinions between the two until I can go hear them myself!!!
     

Share This Page