Tell me about the Matchless 30/15

72Telecaster

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1,448
Had a Lightning, didn't really bond with it. It sounded amazing straight in w/ some wet effects, but throwing drives at it always seemed to kinda congest it for my taste. I've heard the Spitfire circuit stays a bit cleaner, true? The 3015 is appealing to have the option for 30 watts. Who's running a 3015 or has owned one and what did you like/dislike about it?
 

sickboy79

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12,575
While I've never played a Spitfire myself, I've also heard it's cleaner than the Lightning or Nighthawk. That said, I have read some great reviews of the 30/15. Maybe check out some Spitfire clips. That will probably give you a good tonal reference.
 

ScioBro

Silver Supporting Member
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1,311
Wehh heh heh helll,
Owner of 2015 30/15 here. Previously owned 2 Lightnings, then a Spitfire before moving to the 30/15. (owned a Hotbox III and a Chieftain prev. too)
The Spit has its own, less complex IMO, cranked OD among the 15 watters.
30/15 adds 30 watt thump to attack but seems to have a slightly more polite cranked OD (amp is louder in dB fer sher).

Moved to the 30/15 in order to push a 2x12 better at outdoor gigs.

Whats to dislike? nothing really
- I ordered dual rect sockets for 2x5V4 and wouldn't do that again. 1x5AR4 is good.
- I ordered Trem, which is that power tube bias? type. I don't use the trem and worry about its extra stress on the power tubes...reduced tube life.... So I wouldn't order Trem again and know enough about my playing taste not to even consider tank reverb.
 

HotBluePlates

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8,875
- I ordered Trem, which is that power tube bias? type. I don't use the trem and worry about its extra stress on the power tubes...reduced tube life...
Ease your mind -- that sounds like an old wives' tale.
@HotBluePlates -- can you give a second opinion ? Thanks...
Bottom-line: There is a sound logical argument that output tubes with bias-vary trem will experience higher average dissipation, but I have not found it to impact tube life in actual practice in any amp I've owned.

The theory goes that the trem signal applied to the output tubes swing the bias hotter & cooler by an equal change of bias voltage above & below the normal operating point with no trem applied. However, tubes require more voltage-change to turn them off than to turn on, so we can expect the average current through the tubes with no guitar signal to be somewhat higher than if no trem were applied. This is the argument of those who fear the trem will shorten the tubes' life because it's running the tube hotter than if no trem were applied.

The counter to that argument is that for bias-vary trem to sound "strong" you might need to bias the output tubes cooler than you otherwise might, so that the trem is more easily able to "turn the tube off" and give you the desired volume-reduction. If you do that and get your stronger trem sound, you also likely bring the average current & dissipation of the tube back down to (or below) where it would be if you had no bias-vary trem in the amp.

So it's probably a wash. Personally, I've owned quite a number of blackface & silverface Princetons & Princeton Reverbs. Tube life was never a problem in any of them. I suppose we could also make an argument that actually playing a tube amp is detrimental to tube life in the same way bias-vary trem is detrimental to tube life by increasing the average current & dissipation of the tubes. But that would kind of defeat the purpose of tube amps, no?

So I say if you like what bias-vary trem gives you, enjoy it! And if it bothers you too much, there are some outstanding trem pedals that can do things beyond what almost all onboard trem circuits offer you.
 

72Telecaster

Member
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1,448
Well, thanks for chiming in folks (appreciate the notes @ScioBro ). As is the case with most TGP threads started, I end up getting antsy and pulling the trigger before y'all chime in. From what I found/heard, it's more in the vein of what I'm looking for. I usually run dirt via pedals and have found the cleaner platforms to work the best, and this seems like the 30/15s vibe. I'm also increasingly drawn to fewer knobs, so vol / tone / master is a welcomed sight :)
 
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bulbasaur_85

Member
Messages
2,131
While I've never played a Spitfire myself, I've also heard it's cleaner than the Lightning or Nighthawk. That said, I have read some great reviews of the 30/15. Maybe check out some Spitfire clips. That will probably give you a good tonal reference.
I agree with sickboy.I’ve owned a spitfire twice now and still have a 3015. The spitfire has a good amount of clean headroom and is super punchy. It’s an amazing 15 w amp. The 3015 is a bigger sounding version of it. It’s a bit warmer sounding too, not as steely as the spitfire. You get a lot more low end and fullness with the 3015.
 

bulbasaur_85

Member
Messages
2,131
@peterjh85 does it sound "bigger" in both 15 and 30 watt modes? Is there much difference in feel between the modes?
Yes, it has a bigger and fuller sound compared to the spitfire in both 15 and 30 watt modes. The spitfire will cut through the mix great but you can definitely feel and hear the difference in power between the two amps. Makes a rad stereo rig for sure.
 


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