Sampson Signed and Labeled (Matchless) DC 30 2X12 Amplifier 1996 #1 of few

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Mark Sampson has moved around the amplifier world since the early 90's, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.  Sampson Era Matchless amps have become very, very desirable. 

This amp was made just after Mark left Matchless.  It is the first made with his nameplate.  You'll see very few of these because he moved over to Bad Cat not long after he left Matchless. 

The back of the chassis bears the Matchless name, blacked out in small print on the back panel.

A past sale of this very amplifier reveals that the cabinet this amp is housed in is not the original.  To quote that listing, "This is not the original cabinet as the Shipping Company damaged part of it before getting it to me. The original cabinet was faithfully recreated for me by James at BadCat from detailed drawings I made. Original speakers and chassis were transferred to new cab."

It is clear that the circuit is original when deeply inspected, with no solders changed anywhere.

To further quote the listing mentioned above, "It is rumored to be the DC-30 that he always wanted to build but wasn't allowed to at Matchless. I believe that he only built 10 similar amps prior to joining Star amplifiers and Bad Cat amplifiers but this is the first one bearing his name."

The amp is a beast.  The tone is simply amazing.  It can operate at reasonable levels, thanks to the master volume control, which works on both channels when engaged.

With the master control pushed in/disengaged, the amp simply destroys everything with the open, full and glassy tone.  There is simply nothing like this amp out there.

In order to protect the amp and the cabinet, this item will be shipped in three boxes.  One will house the chassis so the transformers do not stress the chassis.  The cabinet will be shipped in the road case.  The speakers will be removed so they do not stress the baffle and cabinet.  Tubes will be labeled and removed.  If you are at all concerned about reassembling the amp, please make other arrangements to pick the amp up.  We can also ship as one unit if the buyer takes sole responsibility for the shipment.  The amp is built like a tank, so you won't have to worry about any of this potential damage when you own it, it is just the shipper we worry about - they really don't care how they treat an amp like this in shipping.

Some Matchless history:

Matchless Amplifiers was founded by Mark Sampson and Rick Perrotta in Los Angeles in 1989, Matchless has gained a reputation for producing high-quality amplifiers with exceptional tone and craftsmanship.

Mark Sampson, a skilled amplifier designer and builder, was responsible for creating the circuit designs and overseeing the production of Matchless amplifiers. His expertise and attention to detail played a significant role in establishing the brand's reputation.

The initial lineup of Matchless amplifiers included models like the HC30, Chieftain, and DC30. These amplifiers were known for their superior build quality, vintage aesthetics, and unique tonal characteristics. Matchless amplifiers quickly gained popularity among professional musicians and recording artists due to their ability to deliver rich, dynamic, and harmonically rich tones.

One notable aspect of Matchless amplifiers is their point-to-point hand-wiring construction method. This technique involves meticulously soldering each component directly to the circuit board, ensuring optimal signal flow and minimizing potential signal loss or interference. The use of high-quality components and the commitment to handcrafted construction techniques have contributed to the renowned tone and reliability of Matchless amplifiers.

Over the years, Matchless has expanded its product line to include various models catering to different playing styles and tonal preferences. They have introduced amplifiers such as the Lightning, Clubman, and Spitfire, among others, each with its own distinct sonic characteristics.

Matchless amplifiers have been favored by numerous notable artists, including Eric Clapton, The Edge (U2), Keith Urban, and John Fogerty, to name just a few. The brand continues to be highly regarded within the guitar community for its commitment to quality, attention to detail, and dedication to capturing the essence of vintage tube amplifier tones.

Matchless reportedly ran into financial issues and Mark Sampson left the company early in 1996, later joining Bad Cat and Star Amplification.

  • Case/Cover?: Hard Flight Case
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 27" x 21" x 10.5"
  • Weight: 83lb
  • Watts: 25w
  • Date: ?
  • Speaker 1 Brand/Model: Sampson Electronics / Celestion
  • Speaker 1 Size: 12"
  • Speaker 1 Code: N/A
  • Speaker 1 Cone: Original
  • Speaker 2 Brand/Model: Sampson Electronics / Celestion
  • Speaker 2 Size: 12"
  • Speaker 2 Code: N/A
  • Speaker 2 Cone: Original / 6402
  • Power Transformer brand and/or codes: N/A
  • Output Transformer brand and/or codes: N/A
  • Choke Transformer brand and/or codes: N/A
  • Reverb Transformer brand and/or codes: N/A
  • Extension Speaker Out? yes
  • FX Loop?: yes
  • Reverb or other effects?: No
  • Rectifier Tube: 5AR4 / GZ34
  • Rectifier Tube Brand: Mesa Boogie
  • Power tubes: 4 x EL84
  • Power Tube Brand: GE
  • Preamp Tubes: 6267 EF86 / ECC83 x 2 / 12AX7
  • Preamp Tube Brand: National / ? / National
  • Filter Caps: Original
  • Pedal?: No
  • Pots, codes: 137 9436
  • Tolex original?: Yes
  • Grill Original?: Yes
  • Knobs: Original
  • Handle: Original
  • Power cord: Yes
  • Notes: 

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