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1970 Deluxe Reverb or Matchless Lightning Reverb

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by MXLBRY, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    Howdy! I'm debating between these two amps as my main touring and recording amp. I'm a big rock and roll guy, so I love good cleans and good crunch in an amp when pushed loud. Feeling confident on stage is my main priority, I never want to feel that any volume or tone is lacking from the front. I know the Matchless has serious balls and the DR is simply one of the best amps ever made.

    Both amps are in mint shape and are serviced, ready to go. I'm primarily a 335 humbucker style player as well. Which do you prefer and why?

    • 1970 Fender Deluxe Reverb (all original, serviced, and mint)
    • 2014 Matchless Lightning Reverb (never been used and new)

    Thanks!
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Interesting..Never ran a hollow body through a Voxy kind of amp (Lightning)
    The SFRV may be more of a jack of all trades, but, that is me.
    Have fun..wish you well
     
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  3. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    Easy pick for me as my main stage amp is a Bad Cat Cub 15R, which is in the same general vicinity as the Lightning. Only 15 watts but the big transformers give it a lot of authority -- mine's a head paired with a big deep solid Bad Cat cab with a V30 in it and it sounds tremendous and huge. Bright enough to cut through any mix if you need it. Great amp, flexible, loud for what it is.

    Nothing against the Deluxe but I've never been able to get one to work for me -- always too loud or too quiet, and flabby when you do get it wound up. I suspect this is just me, though, as plenty of other people get great sounds out of the things.
     
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  4. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Very different amps, ime. The Lightning is a hot amp...and loud for its tube compliment. Very lively cleans, too. It is my favorite of the few Matchless amps I have played. the DR is a clean machine in comparison. It will never create the overdrive that is in that Lightning without something pushing the front end of the amp. Imho, you have a tough decision of two distinctly different amps. Ideally??? Get ‘em both.
     
  5. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    Oh man. I love both of those amps. At first it would be tough for me to not just pick the Deluxe and run because they are just, well, a Deluxe.... LOL

    But the Lightning really is a killer amp, similar to my November 18 watter but more mid-scooped. Really functional MV and tone controls. Nice and crunchy... and chimey. Great with HB or SC.

    Have you played your guitar through both of them? Are you leaning any particular direction?
     
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  6. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    I agree the Lightning is the best model Matchless makes. It's like their Deluxe Reverb in a way. Does having the reverb on the Lightning affect the sound in any way, since it has an extra 12AX7?
     
  7. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    I currently have the 1970 Deluxe Reverb to test out and it definitely has the magic. I can only test the Lightning out on Craigslist, so I can't test at home unfortunately. I've literally tried every amp under the sun and always seem to come back to a vintage Deluxe Reverb, but still find myself wanting more balls sometimes. The Matchless has those huge transformers as mentioned above, which I think attracts me as being more confident when playing on stage. The Matchless definitely fills the room very easily, almost like Godzilla walking in or something!
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  8. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Lightening is exciting the Deluxe is just another Deluxe
     
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  9. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    Lots of Fender Deluxe Reverbs out there for sure.
     
  10. John E

    John E Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah I hear ya, Lightning is loud for sure but that MV works really well (well, from memory). I love the cleans. Hmm, ES-335? Tough call, I would have a tough time deciding. I think you'd be covered either way but it sounds like you are digging the idea of the Matchless so I'd say go for it.
     
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  11. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    Yeah, I think either way I'm solid. This Deluxe Reverb I have has a G12M in it, which helps for sure, just still thinking about those Matchless huge transformer tones. The master volume works extremely well on the Lightning, as does the tone control. Very well designed amp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
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  12. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Super easy. If a Deluxe Reverb is the amp you keep comin' back to get a Deluxe Reverb.

    Send it up to David Allen's Amp Spa in northern Kentucky before you take it on the road. Swap to a TP22D PT on the low voltage taps to make your tubes last forever. Or use a TP40D and swap to 6L6s if you like big iron. Use a TO26 OT with the TP40D.

    If you want to max it out try an Alessandro Signature GA-SC64.

    A Deluxe Reverb set up like that will leave the broken corpses of Matchless amps in its wake.
     
  13. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Gibson guitar through a Fender amp - ALL DAY.
     
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  14. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    Definitely a match made in heaven!
     
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  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Comparing the basic BF/SF sound to the Matchless is an easy call, and that is why I used the ‘very different amps’ in my first reply. I can’t see choosing one over the other except by deciding which sound I wanted. One advantage of the DR is that one can have two distinctly different channels there and a much livelier amp with some simple changes that are completely reversible. Then, the DR will give better Fender Reverb ‘cleans’ in the Vib ch and a very different Normal ch.
    but.....if considering modding a pristine 1970 Deluxe Reverb one might want to buy a less expensive non-pristine example.
    Good luck with the decision.
     
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  16. pedro58

    pedro58 Tele-Meister

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    It's really a matter of what you want it to sound like when it's pushed into overdrive. Otherwise, both are capable, reliable, and great-sounding.
     
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  17. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    You will never blow your stock transformers if they're at home in the bottom of your sock drawer.

    It's like the ol' '57 Chevy analogy. Do you really want to drive that thing with drum brakes and the inline six it came with?
     
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  18. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    Will never have to worry about blowing anything with Matchless. They will last through the rapture.
     
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  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    that is one consideration. However, I don’t like buying pristine collectible...and the DR still commands some money....amps that have non-original solder joints on the transformer leads. Mainly because I don’t enjoy trying to sell them. So, for me, if a vintage amp comes around in the market with non-original solder joints, I am not paying anything near top dollar for it. Hence my suggestion of finding a player grade amp......or buy something sort of like a DR from a boutique builder.

    ‘57 Chevy.....to drive? I grew up driving those old cars and love them. However, if I wanted a serious driver ‘57 Chevy, there would have to be a small chunk of gold spent on it.....total remake of the suspension along with the power train or nothing at all would be spent.
     
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  20. MXLBRY

    MXLBRY Tele-Meister

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    I guess that's my worry too, when I tour I don't want to ever have to worry. Vintage Fender BF/SF are an exception though, because they were made so well back then and are over engineered to last in my opinion. That's why it's such a tough decision for me between the Matchless and this Deluxe Reverb.

    Confidence is key when playing and singing, so having an amp I really feel energized by is paramount to me.
     
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