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Matchless vs Bad Cat Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 1 week ago
  #1
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Matchless vs Bad Cat

Hi all,

Looking for an amp for my home studio that’s versatile for some of my own tunes.

What are people’s geveral feelings between the two as they seem very well regarded tone wise and build is super solid.

Is there really much diff between new and old Sampson era matchless amps?

Happy with either a small head or combo.

Am paying 79 LP goldtop with those searing mini humbuckers, 73 Tele deluxe and custom shop strat.

Cheers
Wiggy
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
Hi all,

Looking for an amp for my home studio that’s versatile for some of my own tunes.

What are people’s geveral feelings between the two as they seem very well regarded tone wise and build is super solid.

Is there really much diff between new and old Sampson era matchless amps?

Happy with either a small head or combo.

Am paying 79 LP goldtop with those searing mini humbuckers, 73 Tele deluxe and custom shop strat.

Cheers
Wiggy
Have a dc30 (?) Simpson era and a Phoenix which is a later amp , same pre-amp but el34 PAmp. Very similar, the differences are due to the different power sections. Similar build. I would not get hung up on the Simpson era build.
Have 3 BadCats. They seem a little different then the Matchless's. Apparently the early BCats were identical to the Matchless inside (components marked Matchless) but later ones have components with different labels. To me Matchless amps sound a little harder but "bigger", The BadCats are more aggressive and have a little more gain. Similar but not exactly the same

Both sound great in the cleaner range, not a fan of the distorted sounds which are too aggressive for me. But many clients love that and they are always right :-)
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Thanks Yuri,

I’m hoping to have a listen to one in the coming eeeks and I’ll oost my findings then.

Wiggy
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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ponzi's Avatar
The matchless amps are more highly regarded, and collectible as far as I know due to a no compromises approach to part and build quality--I have seen the guts and they are truly a work of art inside.

As to BadCat, the story I was told was that Mark Sampson moved on from his business partner(s), so Matchless as a company dissolved. Since he did not have rights to the name, Mark began building amps under the Bad Cat name with presumably the same unusually high quality. Whether newer Bad Cats are still built in association with Mark Sampson, and whether the build quality still equals Matchless, I don't know. If someone knows better, glad to hear it, this is what I recall being told by a matchless dealer. Back in the 90s, I foolishly declined to by a matchless amp, and still regret it, but not going to pay their going rates today.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Head
 

I have a Bad Cat Lil' 15 that is about ten years old. Very solid build and sounds really good on both channels. I'm not in the studio so don't have a serial number. It was in the local guitar shop for about a year before one of the staff bought it for himself. I got it in lieu of cash his band owed me for recording time. I got the better of the deal.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

I’m in New York this week and have thought about trying to find a mini cat to stick in my suitcase!

Heard one close to 15 years ago when they came out and really liked it
Old 6 days ago
  #7
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kennybro's Avatar
I've had a few old Matchless and a few newer Bad Cats. Both great amps that stand head-to-head with one another in tone and build quality.
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Not trying to be a sh*t stirrer, but have you thought about an AC-30? Or even one of the smaller Vox variants if you are looking for something not so loud. Matchless always seemed to me to be trying to be an AC-30 and not quite getting there.

YMMV



audioforce
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Not trying to be a sh*t stirrer, but have you thought about an AC-30? Or even one of the smaller Vox variants if you are looking for something not so loud. Matchless always seemed to me to be trying to be an AC-30 and not quite getting there.

YMMV



audioforce
Matchless makes many models, with different power sections... It definitely sounds very different to any AC30 I have. I presume the notion is from the fact C30 (DC30) were using an el84 power section. So do many other brands.
Old 5 days ago
  #10
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audioforce's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Matchless makes many models, with different power sections... It definitely sounds very different to any AC30 I have. I presume the notion is from the fact C30 (DC30) were using an el84 power section. So do many other brands.
Yeah, I remember from the very first ones. People have always compared them to Vox. Even the style of the cabinet and everything [from the model you mentioned, I think] showed they were going for the AC-30 vibe. But I think they sound a bit different, too. Do you like them? They seem to be high quality workmanship. I just like AC-30s. Never owned a Matchless.

I should add that I do believe I have the best AC-30 in the universe. : )



audioforce
Old 4 days ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Not trying to be a sh*t stirrer, but have you thought about an AC-30? Or even one of the smaller Vox variants if you are looking for something not so loud. Matchless always seemed to me to be trying to be an AC-30 and not quite getting there.

YMMV



audioforce
Ok so. I owned a early 90s Lightning 15. It rocked, sounded great recording, literally everything about it was top shelf. Loved it.
A couple years later I got a deal on a HW AC15. All of a sudden I'm playing that more to the point where I ended up trading the Matchless for a Bogner.
The HW AC15 was so very near what the Lightning was doing for me and I always wanted a Bogner Amp so smh....I wish I could keep em all.

As far as Matchless V Bad Cat?
I think Matchless makes some of the most beautifully built and incredible sounding AC style amps ever. Bad Cat has that in the wheel house with the Black Cat and Cub, but that "boutique high gain thing" is really where they shine imo.
Old 4 days ago
  #12
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Thanks for the continued feedback everyone.. I think I just need to go and play a few and work it out for myself.
Old 4 days ago
  #13
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ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
Thanks for the continued feedback everyone.. I think I just need to go and play a few and work it out for myself.
I was once talking to a music dealer in texas who I was buying a mercury magnetics transformer from. He happened to mention that he settled on a vox amp and was very happy with it. Maybe he upgraded the transformers, I don't recall. In any case I didn't realize that vox amps were so versatile as to go from country to rock and roll, and given he was a music dealer and could have anything he wanted, that is what he settled on--at least for playing on stage. I have this notion vox's are sort of a one trick pony doing a beatles/queen sort of sound, and overheating due to cabinet design shortcomings, but I am thinking these notions are outdated.

Some years ago, I had the opportunity to purchase the matchless amp that was used to play the friends tv show theme song, and tour all over the world. It was like $5,500 and I passed--and maybe mildy regret doing so, but in any case, the rembrandt's guitarist used a matchless...
Old 4 days ago
  #14
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioforce View Post
Yeah, I remember from the very first ones. People have always compared them to Vox. Even the style of the cabinet and everything [from the model you mentioned, I think] showed they were going for the AC-30 vibe. But I think they sound a bit different, too. Do you like them? They seem to be high quality workmanship. I just like AC-30s. Never owned a Matchless.

I should add that I do believe I have the best AC-30 in the universe. : )



audioforce
I like my ac30s. Must say different era ones sound different. Not necessarily better or worst, just different. My favorite one is a 69 (?) I have. I have an '63 but its less "Viby". I also like the current HW ones. But each for their own. I believe Brian May liked the mid 70s ones.
Matchless build is much superior to JMI/VOX. But its a drier, more modern sound. Clients like them alot. I like them on cleans, not so much on drive (except the one with el34 Power section). BadCats are less dry to me, the overdrive is bitier.
Old 3 days ago
  #15
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elambo's Avatar
I opted for the Bad Cat and haven't looked back. It's not only my favorite of those two brands but also an incredible amp amongst the entire product crowd. I have several great amps (Komet, Two Rock, Schroeder) and whenever people play them it's the Bad Cat they tend to stay plugged into.
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