Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Make it loud here.
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Unicorn Warrior
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Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:59 pm

I want a quality vox tone in a small package. On the fence about the AC4HW or possibly a Matchless SC mini.

I have owned HW AC 15 and 30 in the past and they’re glorious amps. Just too big for what I want. The catch is, that I love Vox’s clean tones and worry about headroom on both the Matchless and the AC4HW. From videos it seems that the Matchless has better bass response but is also quite a bit more expensive.

I should note that I’m playing mic’d 75% of the time.

Anyone have any opinions?

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somanytoys
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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by somanytoys » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:02 pm

Never tried either. I think a lot depends on the sound you’re looking for, more than anything else. The 2 watt difference between them isn’t going to matter much.

They both have 12” speakers, that’s a big plus for sound. The Vox uses more tubes and has both normal and top boost channels. The Matchless uses 1 preamp tube and has only 1 channel.

From that alone I would think that the Vox will be more versatile, but I don’t have any experience with Matchless amps.

My AC4C1 sounds good, but it’s a 10” combo, so there are some restrictions to the sound, even with a Weber Silver 10 in it. Jacked out to a 12” cab is a different story, it’s huge, lots of bass, it’s only limited by being 4 watts. With the HW having a 12” speaker, it should sound very good on its own.

If you like/want a Vox sound, that seems like the way to go.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:28 am

somanytoys wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:02 pm
Never tried either. I think a lot depends on the sound you’re looking for, more than anything else. The 2 watt difference between them isn’t going to matter much.

They both have 12” speakers, that’s a big plus for sound. The Vox uses more tubes and has both normal and top boost channels. The Matchless uses 1 preamp tube and has only 1 channel.

From that alone I would think that the Vox will be more versatile, but I don’t have any experience with Matchless amps.

My AC4C1 sounds good, but it’s a 10” combo, so there are some restrictions to the sound, even with a Weber Silver 10 in it. Jacked out to a 12” cab is a different story, it’s huge, lots of bass, it’s only limited by being 4 watts. With the HW having a 12” speaker, it should sound very good on its own.

If you like/want a Vox sound, that seems like the way to go.

Interesting. I didn’t even look into the amount of tubes each has. Quality, size and price point tell me the vox. My biggest question now is if I go AC4, will I be getting something that doesn’t keep up with the drummer for stage volume purposes?


I kind of see myself maybe needing the volume of the 15. Bu not for every occasion. I guess I always have my JC-120 to lug around even though it’s overkill...

Wondering if I could run stereo and use another amp as a monitor? Anyone done this? I’ve never ran stereo before

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by somanytoys » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:39 pm

I would probably lean towards a Vox anyway, but these specs make me think Vox.

I don’t think that the 4 watt is going to keep up with a full on drumset, personally. A small drumset, with a drummer that has finesse, but unless you can mic into a pa, I think you’d get lost with only 4 watts. Someone else might can make a comment if they have more experience there.

I run stereo pretty much only, usually using 2 different chains. All you’d really need is a good splitter with an isolating transformer (Fulltone, Radial Eng., etc.), to send a signal to each amp. The AC4 would make a great monitor, if you couldn’t mic it and needed to use the JC.

The AC15 will cover all of your bases, but it is big and heavy. But then, so is your JC, no?
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:27 pm

somanytoys wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:39 pm
I would probably lean towards a Vox anyway, but these specs make me think Vox.

I don’t think that the 4 watt is going to keep up with a full on drumset, personally. A small drumset, with a drummer that has finesse, but unless you can mic into a pa, I think you’d get lost with only 4 watts. Someone else might can make a comment if they have more experience there.

I run stereo pretty much only, usually using 2 different chains. All you’d really need is a good splitter with an isolating transformer (Fulltone, Radial Eng., etc.), to send a signal to each amp. The AC4 would make a great monitor, if you couldn’t mic it and needed to use the JC.

The AC15 will cover all of your bases, but it is big and heavy. But then, so is your JC, no?
Yeah, the 120 is huge. Part of the reason the small amp is so appealing. I’m afraid there’s no getting around at least getting an ac15 for me

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by marqueemoon » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:56 pm

I always thought those 90’s Top Hat combos were very underrated for Vox-esque toanz.

I usually play live with my Specialist in low power mode (6 or 7 watts or thereabouts) Before I got the Specialist I was using a VHT Special 6 (6 watts). It’s doable under the right conditions. In my case I’m running a pretty efficient speaker and don’t have another guitar player to complete with. Drummer is kind of middle of the road volume-wise.

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by Singlebladepickup » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:34 pm

I had the ac4-12 for a minute and even with a 12" speaker I don't think it would make it with most drummers. I remember wishing it would be louder in my bedroom, and I've never felt that way with my Princeton Reverb

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Mon Oct 14, 2019 12:47 am

somanytoys wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:39 pm
I would probably lean towards a Vox anyway, but these specs make me think Vox.

I don’t think that the 4 watt is going to keep up with a full on drumset, personally. A small drumset, with a drummer that has finesse, but unless you can mic into a pa, I think you’d get lost with only 4 watts. Someone else might can make a comment if they have more experience there.

I run stereo pretty much only, usually using 2 different chains. All you’d really need is a good splitter with an isolating transformer (Fulltone, Radial Eng., etc.), to send a signal to each amp. The AC4 would make a great monitor, if you couldn’t mic it and needed to use the JC.

The AC15 will cover all of your bases, but it is big and heavy. But then, so is your JC, no?
I guess I mean, mic the AC4 because I prefer the vox tone projected to the audience but use the JC as a monitor to be loud enough over the drummer on the stage at least

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by somanytoys » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:33 am

That’s a good alternative.

Another one you may or may not be interested in - a personal monitoring station from Rolls (PM531).

It’s kind of like a direct box setup, but it lets you bring in a mixed signal from the board, and you can control the volume of your mic & instrument signal against that mix for yourself, before it goes into the board. That way you control you in your mix without having to ask the sound guy.

It seems to be a little more geared towards headphone/earbud users, but it should work with a monitor of some kind. The concept is cool, seems like it would be usable in a variety of situations.

I bought one, but I haven’t had the chance to hook it up and try it out yet. It’s like ~$100 new.
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by teletaylor » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:30 pm

somanytoys wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:02 pm
Never tried either. I think a lot depends on the sound you’re looking for, more than anything else. The 2 watt difference between them isn’t going to matter much.

They both have 12” speakers, that’s a big plus for sound. The Vox uses more tubes and has both normal and top boost channels. The Matchless uses 1 preamp tube and has only 1 channel.

From that alone I would think that the Vox will be more versatile, but I don’t have any experience with Matchless amps.

My AC4C1 sounds good, but it’s a 10” combo, so there are some restrictions to the sound, even with a Weber Silver 10 in it. Jacked out to a 12” cab is a different story, it’s huge, lots of bass, it’s only limited by being 4 watts. With the HW having a 12” speaker, it should sound very good on its own.

If you like/want a Vox sound, that seems like the way to go.
I’m fairly certain the Vox AC4 HW has only two tubes, a 12ax7 and an EL84.
The Matchless SC mini has a tube 5ar4, a 12ax7, EF86, and an EL84 and is PC, circuit board.
Thank GOD I'm not religious!

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by somanytoys » Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:47 am

I don’t think so. I have 3 AC4TVs, a combo & 2 stacks, and they’re all single stage, 2 tube total amps.

I also have an AC4C1, and it has 2 preamp tubes and 1 poweramp tube. If you read the specs on the 4HW at Vox, it uses the same 2 preamp/1 poweramp tube configuration.

I personally like to use a 12AT7 at V1 instead of a 12AX7, feeding a lower gain signal into the 12AX7 at V2 to get a gain staging type situation, on both the 4C1 and the 15C1. Other people may like the dual AX combination more, since that’s how it was designed.
-David

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by teletaylor » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:02 am

Yes, sorry, there two 12ax7 preamp tubes in the AC4 HW
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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by somanytoys » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:09 pm

I don’t really know too much about the Matchless, or really the Vox HW, other than what I’ve read in the specs. I would think that the HW is pretty much the top of the line in its category, which must be very nice.

I’d really like to check both amps out one day. Lots of different amps, actually...
-David

It's a boost booster, to boost your boost - it makes your tone much muchier.

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Re: Matchless SC Mini Anyone?

Post by teletaylor » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:31 pm

I’m looking at a Matchless Mini, but I already have a Winfield Typhoon which is amazing. Handwired, EF86, and chime at low volumes, closer to Marshall-sequel grind when pushed.

The Vox AC4 HW and the AC10 are Top Boost driven.
Unfortunately for me, and maybe others, I’m not a fan of the Top Boost circuit as it doesn’t play as well with pedals in my experience, but if you’re plugging straight in, it’s excellent.
Thank GOD I'm not religious!

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