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Matchless Thunderman Bass Amplifier
In the world of boutique bass gear, original Matchless Thunderman amps are the stuff of legend. The 45- and 100-watt models produced in small numbers in the late ’90s have a tone and a removable latching head design influenced by the famous Ampeg B-15 flip-top combos of the ’60s. Engineers and session musicians prize these amps for their rich, velvety studio tone, which requires little tweaking after hitting the console. And while these amps don’t pack the mammoth power of an SVT, gigging players love how they spread the low end evenly throughout the room, creating the effect of a much bigger amp. Unfortunately, originals are as rare as hen’s teeth and often carry a hefty price tag, which makes the reintroduction of the Thunderman all the more enticing.
The new Thunderman is a meticulously hand-assembled head that share some traits with the original 45-watt model. This time around, however, the amp is packaged in a stylish, vinyl-covered head shell, and comes stock with EL34s rather than the original’s 6L6s.
Inside the head shell is a completely point-to-point hand-wired circuit. Two 12AX7 preamp tubes feed into a class-A power section for a total of 45 watts. A 5U4G rectifier tube provides warm, bubbly sag.
The simple controls—response (gain), volume, bass, treble, and brilliance (presence)— may lack the wide-ranging versatility that modern bassists are used to having at their fingertips, but the clean layout makes it a cinch to dial up great tones on the fly. The back panel houses a rotary impedance knob and a series effects loop. There’s also a compression switch—similar to the one on the original Thunderman 45—that engages a solid-state rectifier, tightening low-end response for slaphappy playing styles.
Weight: 55 lbs.
9-12 week wait on custom orders