MATCHLESS ED-412 Straght 4×12 Guitar Cabinet

Matchless amps, the forerunner of boutique amps

Matchless is a brand that was launched in 1989 by Mark Sampson and Rick Perrotta as a pioneer of so-called boutique amplifiers among guitar amplifier manufacturers that had existed until then. They are known for carefully selecting parts and design, and above all, beautiful and artistic hand wiring. The number of amps produced is extremely small, and it is a very rare amp that is used only by top guitarists who are very particular about the sound. ITheir amps are a presence that stands out conspicuously on the stage.

Based on the VOX AC-30 amplifier, the DC-30 has become the flagship model of Matchless. The tone brought by the EL-84 Class A operation continues to fascinate professional guitarists with not only its sound quality but also the overwhelming response to picking.

Other Matchless models include the HC-30, which is an amp head based on the DC-30 combo amp, and the rack mount type RM/C-30, which is extremely rare and rarely seen. Then came the Clubman 35, the first to use the EL-34. In addition, the Chieftain achieves a fat and mellow sound by adopting an EL34 for the preamplifier circuit and power section that are different from those of the DC system. There is a Super Chief 120 model that has been further powered up by installing four EL34s. Recently, a rack mount preamplifier called GPR was also produced.

Although Matchless mostly produces many combo amps, they also produce amp head models, and produce special cabinets as extensions for combo amps. The cabinet model also uses the same wood as the combo amp, and there are 12-inch or 10-inch 2/4-shot cabinets.

The Matchless ES412-D cabinet is a cabinet with four 12-inch units designed to match the Super Chief 120. There is also an open-back cabinet called ES412, but the closed-back ES412-D is a rare cabinet with fewer in production. At first glance, it looks like a straight cabinet, but the baffle plate is slightly slanted, and the sound tends to be straight and has a good phase, but it plays a role as a monitor in that the sound is firmly delivered to the player’s ears.


There is a famous Japanese guitarist, Char, who loves the combination of the Super Chief 120 amplifier head and the ES412-D cabinet. Many people probably learned about the existence of the amplifier maker called Matchless from him.

The speaker unit installed in the ES412-D is equipped with four Celetion Matchless Custom 30W that Matchless specially ordered from Celetion in the UK. The maximum output is 120W and the impedance is 8 ohms. One of Matchless’s earliest amps was the DC-30, which was equipped with the Celestion Vintage 30, the most popular speaker unit for guitar amps. After that, Matchless, who was not satisfied with the existing speaker unit, made a custom order to Celetion, and the Custom speaker unit appeared. Since this unit is not sold as a single unit, the speaker unit is now a very rare gem.

As for the sound, it has a brilliant tone that contains a lot of overtones, and the crunch sound that increases the distortion. It gives the impression that the sound flies firmly quite a distance. This area specific sound is unique to Matchless, which sets the tone apart from the rest that you can never get in a cabinet hardened with a thick enclosure in recent years.

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