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Thread: Matchless vs Two Rock

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by March View Post
    I'm going to chime in with a different view...

    I own a Fuchs ODS 50, have owned a Matchless H30R ( head verson of he C30) with matching cab and have plenty of experience with the Two Rock in combo format. I also know the Indy very well too. I also have a Matcless Avalon combo (essentially the 12AX7 channel of the C30, with more gain). The Matchless and Two Rock's are very different sounding amps.

    Comparing the H30 to the Indy, the H30 Has a stronger midrange. When I bought mine, I tried the H30, Indy and Avalon in a band situation, the H30 won that day, although it was a toss up between that and the Avalon. The Indy sounded great, but was too close to the other guitarist in the bands amp tonally to be distinct enough.

    The initial attack and bloom of a Matchless is unique, as is the note seperation. Hit an open d chord with drive, let it ring the pick every note from the top e in sequence, again letting them ring... No amp can touch that sort do seperation.

    My issues with the Jet, particularly the combo, is that like any great amp, it needs volume to get the valves and speaker working, but because of the size of the cab it sounds very one directional. The cab does not allow the tone of the amp to breath, especially when overdriven. Two Rocks Jets are great for particular styles, particularly funk and blues. Fuchs and Two Rock are amps born of similar approaches and achieve similar sounds, but by different routes. Matt Schofield once said to me that he felt that, although the Two Rock may have its routes in the old amps of Fender, the way you dial in that sound is totally different. Fuchs, with the ODS goes about it via the Dumble route, the amp seems to be designed to get close to the Dumble sounds of messers Carlton and Ford. The Fuchs, like the Two Rock is a very smooth amp.

    In short, it depends what you want and how you intend to apply it musically. The H30 is more versatile IMHO than the Two Rock, however the Two Rock achieves specific tones that few amps can. Recently I went to World Guitars with the view of trying and possibly buying Neville Martin's old jet combo that was for sale there (the one he was raving about a few months ago in Guitarist). I left with a Matchless Avalon combo...

    Also for consideration... World Guitars have recently started selling RD Amps, a UK built amp that is a take on a Dumble. I've played it, I rate it above the Jet.

    http://worldguitars.co.uk/dualist/
    Interesting that you point out the different midrange voicing between the H30 and Indy. That is one attraction if it offers a different take on the Indy - still very much Matchless response, but very different tonal pallate

    How did you rate the H30's higher gain response? The Indy can sound brittle unless trebble and cut are tamed significantly ..

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woundtight View Post
    You said you are looking for a head, what kind of cabinet are you intending to use with the new head? What are you using with the Matchless?

    My main amp is a Bad Cat Hot Cat or Lynx. Let's assume they are very similar to what the Matchless can do. I've owned a Matchless H-C , played the Indy, gonna buy an Excalibur eventually. I am very familiar with the line and this style of cathode biased amp, great stuff. However, I would NOT recommend getting an C30R, I would go get something different...

    Recently, I thought I needed a Dumble clone of some sort. I bought a Quinnamp SDQ1, 100W head, promptly traded for a Fuchs ODS30 and then traded again for a Two-Rock Studio Pro 50 head. I did all this in about three weeks time! What I find is that the D style amps have a low end that just is not tight enough for me, there is too much break up...very frustrating. Fender cleans and D-Style cleans are...different. It just did not work for me. Other things like the complexity of the amp(s)- push this, pull that, footswitches, parallel & serial loops, was too much. The T-R is simple compared to the others, its a single channel amp, but still has some versatility. I was going to get rid of the T-R Studio Pro 50, but one day I was screwing around and plugged it into a closed back Marshall Jubilee 2x12 with greenbacks and WOW!! Conventional wisdom is to use 1265s or EVs or Classic Leads, some kind of high power speaker(s), but I was amazed at how great the T-R sounded with the cab with greenbacks.
    Specifically what I like about the T-R now, is that I can get a great clean, crunch and lead tone that sounds great in every position on the neck, rhythm or lead. I always have some little gripe about most of my amps, where this one is ice picky, that one lacks tight percussive bottom, another one has some weird upper midrange thing going on... Forget the push/pulls and the crunch or overdrive sounds, I have it set up as a clean platform. I have tried 5 different OD pedals in front of this thing and I cannot get a bad sound. My preference, however is the OCD or BB+. IF you are looking for a nice complement to the Matchless and you want a great clean platform and maybe use pedals, then I think you would really like the Two-Rock and the Studio Pro 50 in particular. I would get the 50W minimum so you have some pretty good headroom. Plus it will pair well with the Independence, it has similar output.
    Thanks for the alternative view Woundtight - very useful

    Speakerwise, I go through a Marshall Anniversary 412 (the original blue tolex version now well worn in after 20 years) & 1936 212. Higher output speakers than the Jubilee you have fallen in love with, but I have Mesa heads which have worked well through these. Like you, the curse of complex amps is something I am less happy with, and am looking for simpler but flexible solutions. I've put my MKV head up for sale, but will keep my LSC which is more to my current taste

    Point taken on TR headroom and pedal options for OD colour

    BTW - what is it about the Excalibur that attracts you? I saw some NAMM clips which were interesting (although poor quality), but have you seen or heard anything better?

  3. #13
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    Chester, those are great speaker cabs, G12T-75 speakers in each one? A T-R would sound pretty good with either one. Either a Studio Pro 50, 100 or a Classic Reverb. A Matchless Excalibur would sound pretty good, too.

    I was in SoCal last year and I went to Matchless to meet with Phil Jamison and find an amp that suits me. I told him what I was looking for, what I like, what I don't care for, etc. He suggested the Excalibur 30 with 4 EL 84s. I was surprised because I thought we were headed down a path of the Excalibur 35 with EL-34s. I played the Excalibur through the Avalon 2X12 with a G12H and a Greenback. It sounded great. I like the Excalibur because it has the killer Matchless tone in a simple one channel layout. Plenty of gain available and a bypass on the master. I remember playing for a while in the half power 15W, the amp was pretty freaking loud. The amp is hand wired and assembled, but it is on a circuit board, which reduces the cost a bit. This is a great combination of simplicity, tone, quality and value.

  4. #14
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    Yep, 75s throughout. As usual, there is a tradeoff between clarity / punch and a "brittle" response with the Indy wound up beyond 3pm on CH2 or 3, but I rarely go there with the guitar volume maxed out, which controls it nicely

    The Excalibur sounds interesting, and I look forward to a tone report when you get one!

  5. #15
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    All I use is the onboard reverb and a touch of OD through a BB+ at the front end if required. I find that I lose definition if pedal gain is set to high. Nothing through the loop on any of my heads

    What model is that on the bottom?

  6. #16
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    As the OP on this resurected thread, I thought I would update you on the tone quest story

    Amongst various Marshalls, a Cornford and a Matamp, I have owned various Mesa's as a core part of my stable for over 25 years, which were great for what I wanted to do at the time. Over the past few years, I found myself constantly re-dialing to chase a different tone in my head that remained elusive .. until I got the Matchless Indy. That tone, particularly in CH2/3 got close to defining what I was looking for, and I found myself playing my Mesa's less and less

    Fast FWD to 2014, and I sold my Roadster to fund a Bad Cat Black Cat (2014 model). Outstanding response and sensitivity, which really got me hooked on that elusive threshold of clip zone I had been exploring. Sadly, my Lone Star Classic and MKV heads were getting even less playtime

    I met Tommy Castro when he played Glasgow, and we talked at length about his Redplate, which sounded outstanding live. But then what wouldn't in his hands! Which got me thinking ... so I sold the LSC to fund a Redplate Aurora 34. Incredible amp with usable tone shaping options that just make total sense, irrespective of what guitar is going through it. Truely inspiring

    The MKV held out the longest until I was seduced by a Two Rock Coral, which completed the stable in January. Listening to Matt Schofield live through his TR Sig rig was a real trigger, and got me totally gassed up for a Coral. I couldn't get that sound out of my head, so it was meant to be. I'm still in the learning phase with this thing, but so far I am impressed with the core TR tone and 2CH flexibility - simple and inspiring

    For the first time in years, I am happy with every amp I now own. Each offers up it's own DNA and endless tonal possibilities, but more importantly, seems to have cured my constant GAS addiction. Now ... time to go play

  7. #17
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    I'd love an Independence

  8. #18
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    My TR phase lasted a couple years & included the Amethyst, Studio Pro 35, Jet & Custom Reverb Signature v.2 50W. I kept the Custom Reverb.

    The TR's were good amps, but my taste and playing changed enough in 2yrs to want something different that sat in the band mix/din better to my ears. I grew tired of the TR's softer sound.

    I tried my first Matchless (C30) over three years ago and haven't looked back. I kick myself sometimes for not discovering them sooner. In addition to the C30, I now have the Indy, Clubman, Lightning & Mini SC. I use them all for different things.

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