Matchless Lightning or Bad Cat Cub IV?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by sax4blues, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. sax4blues

    sax4blues Poster Extraordinaire

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    Last year I sold Vox AC15C1 to fund Dr Z ZWreck Jr. Almost from day one I've been missing the Vox sound. Simple solution would be another AC15C1 but I've been looking further.

    There are Matchless Lightning and Bad Cat Cub IV for about the same price. Bad Cat is much newer design master volume and EF86 channel. Matchless is, well, Matchless.

    With Vox Chime/Jangle the desired sound, what is the experience of TDPRI'ers.
     
  2. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm going to Matchless to try a Lightning and Spitfire tomorrow or Friday. I can tell you my impressions of the Lightning. I tried an old shower curtain lightning with 2 10" speakers and it was great. Broke up early but mid heavy and really pleasing. No ear fatigue. I don't know much about the Bad Cat as I've only had the Hot Cat 30. Best of luck.
     
  3. ShortintheSleeve

    ShortintheSleeve Tele-Meister

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    I currently have a Vox AC15C1. If I were to upgrade, I'd probably look at the AC15 hand-wired first, but I love Matchless amps. Though I've never owned one, I think I'd prefer the Matchless Nighthawk over the Lightning, though either one is a superb amp. I don't have any knowledge on the Bad Cat.
     
  4. LightningPhil

    LightningPhil Tele-Meister

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    Very much like the box sound. If I had to choose, it’d be the lightning - not based on anything other than the name ;)
     
  5. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Never played a Vox.
    Never played a Matchless.
    But, a few years ago I bought a
    Bad Cat Trem Cat from my LGS.
    Never need another amp.
     
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  6. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I was gigging a Cub IV until the world ground to a halt, a head version into a Bad Cat 1x12 cab with a Bad Cat V30 in it. This thing sounds huge for a 15 watt amp, tons of low end, I think because of the big iron & big rigid cabinet. Definitely in the Vox family, though. I tend to hang out of the EF86 side of the preamp, which I would count as an advantage over the Matchless -- switchable EF86/12ax7. Boost sounds good, as does reverb (I have the USA player series, which has a digital verb -- the hardwired version has a spring, I think). I'd love to play the Lightning sometime just to compare but I'm super-happy with this amp.
     
  7. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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  8. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Afflicted

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    I just got back from Matchless. I only played the Lightning 1x12 and Laurel Canyon. First off, video demos of the Lightning and countless reviews do not do it justice. It is amazing and after plating it, had no desire to hear the Spitfire. The Laurel Canyon is similar but has a little more mid and low mid content.

    To my ear, the Lightning is not scooped. It's not overly bright. It sounds good clean, at the edge of break up, and full dirt. I had an original '64 AC30 and I prefer the tones out of the lightning.

    Their shop is very modest in size and staff but, man oh man, very impressive product. When I walked, there were 3 people building amps. One greeted me and the other two were so immersed in their work, they did not look up. Phil has meticulous and conscientious workers. Phil is very nice and informative.

    I hope this helps. BTW, My Victoria will be just like the dad on Duck Dynasty, "he gone."
     
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  9. SparkleFart

    SparkleFart Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I got my Lightning new early 1995 I believe. It's been bullet proof ever since, & has chime galore. No regrets whatsoever.

    M1.jpg

    M2.jpg
     
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