Tell me about Matchless amps…..

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pureoldsound, May 4, 2005.


  1. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

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    I went to their website and listen to clips on the HC30 (EL84). Does channel 2 have more gain (or is it the gain channel) than channel 1? I noticed that the volume level was not that high on channel 2 and it got this nice gain tone vs. channel 1.

    How about the clubman? EL34 35Ws how does it compares with the HC30, both aspects w/ regards as clean tones and gain?
     
  2. Nelly

    Nelly Member

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    Have you tried any of the Bad Cat amps? Designed by the same guy who did the original Matchless designs.

    A band I work for has been using a Black Cat head in the studio for the last few weeks, Hugh Padgham and Steve Power are producing. We've been getting some fantastic sounds, you have a bit more tone control than a Matchless, so well worth checking out.

    Not spent too much time on the clean channel, but sounds good.We'll need to try it in a rehearsal to check out the balance between the two, but it looks like the band might be ditching their previous rigs when they tour the album.

    http://www.badcatamps.com/
     
  3. MikeyG

    MikeyG Supporting Member

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    I love the Matchless *C30, and equivalent Bad Cat, tones. I currently own a Trem Cat, which I like even better than the Matchless JJ30 I had at one time. It's truly magical, biggest sound I've ever achieved with a 1x12. The most harmonic complexity I've ever had in a clean tone.

    Of the 2 channels in a *C30, one is very close to an AC30 circuit, and the other is Matchless's own. I can't remember which one has the EF86, but that one should have a bit more gain.

    On the Trem Cat, you can actually blend the 2 channels EQ options together, which is not an option on the Matchless. Very cool feature. I think the Trem Cat has a better master, better reverb, more flexible EQ, and a little more gain, than the JJ30.

    I'm in the honeymoon phase with mine, so, take that into consideration :)
     
  4. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

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    Yes I've tried Bad Cat, actually the hot cat (very cool amp)....I liked it better than the Shiva when I was comparing them...Better cleans and a bit darker than the Shiva. I haven't tried the reverb one but I hear only good things about it...
     
  5. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    I own both. Answers to your questions:

    - The HC30 essentially has two channels. You can use an A/B/Y pedal and footswitch between them. The clean side is based on an AC30 circuit and is set up for jangle and chime and transparency.

    The gain side has an EF86 in the front end and is set up for gain; it's a much thicker, mid-rangier sound. The gain channel is kind of so-what till you turn it up loud ... THEN you "get it." You can run the amp at either full or half power. Each channel has a separate effects loop.

    - The Clubman is a very tough 35w, it might as well be 50w rated. Its clean tone is remarkable, there's a scoop in the mids that doesn't come out till you turn it way up. Then the EL34 mids come out.

    Both amps have master volumes. Both amps are better served by your ignoring the MV and turning it up. They have a signature Matchless voicing, a steely top end that never gets harsh.

    Both amps have a remarkable swirly 3-D quality that has to be heard to be believed. Both can be brutally loud and tough, with a quick attack that can be softened with different rectifier tubes.

    You need to run them into the Matchless 2x12 speakers or cabs (rated at 4 ohms, BTW) to get the full swirly effect (DC-30 is the 2x12 combo version of the C-30 series). The C-30 series is widely regarded as one of those benchmark amps, a modern classic.

    If you get serious about a Matchless, be aware that "new" and "old" Matchless are regarded here as identical. Sellers often try to squeeze a few hundred more bucks out of newbies by claiming the older-dated ones are better somehow.

    The Bad Cat amps have some design similarities but are made by a different company. Run a search here for more discussion on the topic.

    Kiwi
     
  6. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

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    Thanks Kiwi for the info. I did a search about it and read couple of post w/ regards as the new and old. But the consensus was that they are the same amp...... One question though is the 1st channel the gain channel or is it the second channel (on the HC30)
     
  7. nolenuttt

    nolenuttt Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got an SC-30 and a JJ-30-My ears were more pleased with the JJ than the Trem-Cat that I owned for a very short time-The Matchless sound is like no other-My guitar buds that have as much an affliction of GAS as I do all have purchased every brand of amp known to man, and greatly contributed to the growth of the otherwise stagnant economy, and we always go back to the Matchless-HC, DC, or SC-They're all amazing-I agree that there is no difference between "Sampson era" and the present-We've compared them side by side, with comparable tubes, and they both rocked-Guess you can tell I'm a big fan-They are also very nice to deal with, and answer all questions promptly and courteously, no matter how dumb the question....I ask a lot of those!!:D :dude
     
  8. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Left hand (as you face it) on the C-30 panel is the "clean" channel. Right hand (as you face it) is the EF86 gain channel with six pre-set tone positions.

    Kiwi
     
  9. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

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    I love my 'new' DC30, but I must say how lousy those clips sound to me on the Matchless site. You need to audition one to really capture what the buzz is all about. Kiwi's description is right on imo.

    They have a new amp called the Nighthawk which really intrigues me, essentially the right side of the C30(ef86) in a 2xEL84 format. I spend a lot of time in half power mode playing through the gain channel, and this amp would give you that setup in a lower weight combo.
     
  10. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    I'll tell you about Matchless amps....

    DC-30 is one of the coolest amps ever built, it's very hard to describe...
     
  11. tedwoods

    tedwoods Member

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    I have a DC 30 and a Star Gainstar and have previously owned a Chieftain and a Bad Cat Hot Cat 30.

    The DC 30 is,simply put,a "classic"!It remains a viable and evergreen choice,even today,several years after its original design.

    The Star is Mark's new take on the clean side of the C 30 and the gain channel of the Bad Cat HC one.It's also been discussed a bit here as well.

    Both amps share some common ground but both head to different directions also.If you liked the Cat you're gonna love the Star!

    Ted
     
  12. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Member

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    You should definitly try an A/B/Y switcher and combine those channels. I get a killer crunch tone like that.
     
  13. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    Looks like the Matchless price list was brought along with them, too. :eek:
     
  14. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    well worth the price of admission in my opinion
     
  15. OOG

    OOG Member

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    so, do you like the Hodgee better?
    no fruit answers now;)
     
  16. tedwoods

    tedwoods Member

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    The Hodgee(mine at least) is a 6V6 Deluxe style amp,the Matchless a Vox flavored amp and the Star a high gainer...Different amps,different purposes.
    I like them all as I do the other ten(yes,I know...)amps I've got.
    For me,amps are tone machines.There is no better or worse,right or wrong,as far as they are well designed.
    If I could have it my way,I would have another ten to boot!
    So,don't be puzzled if I speak positively about a variety of amps.Actually,if I like something I talk about it,if I don't I remain silent.That's just me...
    I also have a huge array of influences and my musical tastes are wide ranging within the general "rock"consensus,so I can't get all the tones I want from just one or two amps and guitars.
    So,I keep a few around!

    The DC 30 was also my first "boutique"amp,so I feel a bit sentimental about it.I wouldn't know how an EF86/EL84 equipped Hodgee would fare against it(scary thought).

    I apologise if I highjacked this a bit.

    Ted
     
  17. Bigtone

    Bigtone Member

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    I had a SC30 a Hotcat a Tremcat,and all fired up at the same time and to me the C30 was the most 3D, No question about it, However the Tremcat is a more Flexable amp and can get swampy or shimery,Its my favorite Badcat, The Blackcat I tried, was nice but Voiced Darker and not quite as 3D as the C30 Matchless, The Hotcat Clean was Very Bland compared to the all the Others, Great High Gain Marshall tones However, One Note about the Blackcat, it is tighter in the bass than the C30 Matchless, If thats a Concern, But the mid
    breakup on the C30 is in its own League, Bigtone
     
  18. daz

    daz Member

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    Actually that's not quite correct about new and old. I've just built a hc-30 clone and looking at old dc-30 schematic, Mark sampson had different resistor values in the ef86 preamp section for older versions to the new. But other than that, yes it's pretty much the same.
     

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