Matchless Amplifiers

Matchless Amplifiers are based in Los Angeles, California and have been building hand-wired boutique amps since 1989. It was initially founded by Mark Sampson and his partners Rick Perotta, Steve Goodale, and Chris Perotta, who worked on their first prototype, the C-30 prototype amp, on Rick’s kitchen table in LA.

Today, Matchless strives to build the best sounding and most durable tube guitar amplifiers on the market and are known for a signature British chime that you can't get from any other amp. Matchless offers a wide variety of models, led by the 15 watt Lightning and Spitfire. Two of our personal favorites are the DC30 and Chieftain. Midwood Guitar Studio is proud to be one of the top Matchless Amps dealers in the world!

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The History of Matchless Amps

When the Matchless DC-30, a Vox-inspired, highly refined EL-84 combo won the Guitar Player Magazine Amp Shootout in 1992, it set off a chain of events that started the boutique tube amplifier renaissance.

After years of tracking down obscure components, often having them independently commissioned, Matchless was able to produce a sound that was the perfect balance of vintage and modern, power and complexity. The name Matchless, borrowed from a vintage British motorcycle manufacturer, heralded a new era of competition amongst amp builders and designers. The game was on, the materials were “traditional”, and the ultimate refinement of tone was the goal. Style, of course, was integral, too. The Matchless logo lit up with the tubes.

Amps with Range For Every Kind of Guitar Player

These days, Matchless is still leading the pack with innovative tone shaping controls that cater to every kind of guitar and mindset. Whether you prefer an ample array of knobs and channels, a rotary dial that takes you through every hidden dynamic, or plug-in-and-play simplicity, they’ve got something on the bench rearing to go. Here is a breakdown of some their most popular models:

The Flagship 30 Watt, 2 Channel C-30 Series

The C-30 Series is the most popular offered by Matchless, and the famous DC-30 has been the company’s best seller since launching it as their very first product back in 1992. Four EL-84’s through two channels come equipped with unique voicing and tone control, giving you the ability to dial in the exact sound you’re going for. If you’re on a budget, the SC Mini is based on channel 2 of the C-30 series amps and has the same sound and performance quality you’d expect out of any Matchless product.

The Searing, Touch Response of The Spitfire!

If all you really want are volume and tone controls, but demand plenty of variety therein, then the Spitfire is sure to satisfy. It can go from mellow Jazz to hard Rock with a few subtle shifts of the dial. It’s amazing what a Matchless amp can do with two EL-84s and one 12AX7. Reverb can also be added for a more spacious sound. 

The Elegantly Versatile Nighthawk

If you want an amplifier that helps you remember your best settings, then the Nighthawk is the amp for you. It’s rotary knob tone control is designed to help you easily find the perfect EQ match for your unique pickups and instrument. This suave combo makes the most of each and every watt.

Have Lightning Strike Once, Twice, Whenever You Like!

The Lightning is an homage to the tone that first inspired matchless amps. It’s signature scooped tone cuts through any mix beautifully, but it still has enough dynamic range for soloists. If you’re craving English cleans and British crunch, you’ll see why the Lightning is one of Matchless’ top sellers.

The Chieftain Is the Amp that Unites all Pickers

With tons of midrange flexibility and tube reverb, the Chieftain is the sonic Swiss Army knife that pros require on the road. The Chieftain is of the most articulate amps you’ll ever hear. It excels at moving large amounts of air, ensuring no nuance of your playing will be lost in translation.  

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