The Matchless C-30, sometimes referred to as the DC-30 or D/C-30, is one of Matchless’s first amp designs, and it’s still one of their best. The amp has a big, warm sound that’s great for jazz, blues, and hard rock. Shredders will want to look elsewhere for the most part, but everyone else will get a lot out of the C-30.
The 30 watts of this Class A amp are generated by four EL-84 power tubes. In the preamp section, two 12AX7’s supply channel 1, while an EF86 handles channel 2. Channel 1 features a parallel-triode circuit with interactive treble and bass, while channel 2 has a high-gain pentode circuit and a six-position tone switch. The amp features individual channel effects loops, a cut control for high treble frequencies, a power setting switch (15 or 30 watts), selectable output impedance, and a phase inverter switch. A master volume control is also available, and it comes with a bypass feature that lets you control every aspect of your sound.
The solid Baltic birch cabinet is quite nice to look at, but there is one downside to the C-30 combo: it weighs almost 80 pounds, making it impractical as a travel amp.
The Matchless Avalon 30 uses a new type of hybrid construction that Matchless has developed over several years. This new technique is a mixture of circuit tracing, turret style construction, and point to point wiring. Of course, the Avalon still uses only the best components, just like the ones Matchless uses in its other, more expensive amps.
The Avalon 30 produces 30 watts of amazingly dynamic sounds. You can run it in half power (15 watt) mode if you like as well. The preamp is powered by three 12AX7 tubes and the reverb by five 12AX7s. The rectifier tube is a 5AR4, while the main section is powered by four EL84s. The speaker has a switchable impedance of 4, 8, or 16 Ohms. You’ll find a number of different features on this amp, including hi/lo inputs, master volume, bass, treble, effects loops, and two speaker outputs. The combo uses a Celestion G12H30 speaker.
The Avalon 30 head retails for $1999, and if desired you can add a clear Plexiglass front for an extra $180. The same option is also available on the combo, which often retails for closer to $2500. The head weighs 40 pounds, while the combo is 62. That’s still light enough to carry to gigs if you don’t mind a little heavy lifting.
Need a great boutique amp that’s going to pump out all the tone you could ever need... If you know anything about amps, you know that the Matchless line of boutique amps really deliver a mixture of modern high fidelity mixed with an old school sensibility and taste. The Matchless Chieftain Boutique Amp is another in their line of powerful amps that provide top quality sound. This amp is a Class A 1x12 combo amplifier, and it is completely hand built by the professionals at Matchless.
The Chieftain is one of the Matchless Celestion Signature Series. It is a 30 watt amp that features point to point wiring and all tubes. It is powered by four 12AX7’s and two EL34’s. The back of the amp provides inputs for either 4 ohm, 8 ohm, or 16 ohm operation. On the front, you can control the bass, middle, treble, brilliance, reverb, and volume, plus there’s a master control. The presence on the Matchless Chieftain is actually similar to that you’d find on a top of the line British amp. Below the controls is a Matchless logo that is backlit.
This is one of the top Matchless amps on the market today, and it’s sure to provide the sound and the power you need for any gig. While it’s not cheap—a used one may cost upwards of $2,000 or more—it is certainly worth the money. (more...)
Matchless Amplifiers has created a number of great amps, including the Independence, the Clubman, the Nighthawk, and the Spitfire. The Cobra is another favorite. Building on this amp, Matchless created the King Cobra, a 30 watt single channel powerhouse with both tremolo and reverb. The Matchless King Cobra features controls for master tone, tremolo sound and depth, reverb, volume, cut, and master volume.
While it is based on the Cobra amp and includes many of the same features, the King Cobra uses two EL34 tubes instead of the four EL84 tubes the Cobra amp uses. It also features a EF86, four 12AX7s, and a 5AR4/GZ34. You’ll find a speaker phase selector and a high/low power switch on the amp as well. The King Cobra delivers some great distorted tones, but it is also capable of producing amazing clean sounds as well. The tremolo and reverb are top notch, and the amp overall is very high quality, exactly what one would expect from Matchless. Of course, you will pay for quality. Even used, expect to pay as much as $3,000 for a Matchless King Cobra amp. (more...)
The Matchless Phoenix 35 is somewhat similar to the DC-30 amp in that it features two contrasting preamps that give players some amazingly dynamic tonal options. The preamp section uses two 12AX7s and an EF86. The first channel uses a parallel-triode circuit. The second works off the EF86 tube and a six position tone switch. This allows for the high treble control to work with the master volume and the push/pull bypass feature to give a lot of tonal flexibility. You'd be hard pressed to find a boutique amp that gives you quite as much dynamic control as the Matchless Phoenix 35.
In addition to these features, the Phoenix includes an effects loop, a speaker phase-reverse switch, an output impedance selector with 4, 8, and 16 ohms options, and two AC receptacles. It makes use of two dissimilar Celestion speakers, a Greenback 25 and a G12H30. The overall weight of the Matchless Phoenix 35 boutique amp is around 50 pounds, and the amp is small enough that it’s pretty easy to transport. Of course, this is a Matchless product, and you know that means it’s not going to be cheap. This quality amp will cost you right about $3,000 if you purchase it new. (more...)
The Matchless Nighthawk is a 15 watt amp that really provides way more sound and tone than you’d expect from this low-powered boutique amp. The Nighthawk features two EL84 tubes and an EF86 channel. It uses a 1x12 Matchless celestion speaker to really provide some great sounds. The amp has one channel and two inputs. While the Nighthawk may lack many features that more modern amps have, this can be seen as one of its strengths—it really focuses on what’s important. The amp has a volume, tone, master, and reverb controls, and you can put the reverb control on your footswitch if you like. (more...)