Frequently Asked Questions

How do I date my amplifier?

There is a usually a date stamped on your transformer which will usually be in this format: 4-8-94 or 4-94. This will likely correspond to the year in which your amplifier was built. For this example, the amplifier was built in 1994. For extension cabinets, the serial number corresponds to the date. The following additional information should help you determine the approximate date in which your amplifier was built.

C-30 Series:
If the serial number of your amplifier starts with an M, then your amplifier was built between 1990 and 1998. If the serial number of your amplifier starts with an A, then your amplifier was built in 2000 or later.
For a more specific date, please refer to the date stamped on the transformer. Most likely, this date will correspond very closely to the date the amp was built.

Chieftain, Clubman:
If the serial number of your amplifier starts with a C, then your amplifier was built in 1991 – 1998. If the serial number of your amplifier starts with a J, your amplifier was built in 2000 or later.

Lightning, Spitfire, Hurricane, Tornado:
If the serial number of your amplifier starts with an F, then your amplifier was built in 1991 – 1998. If the serial number of your amplifier starts with a G, your amplifier was built in 2000 or later.

Can you repair my Matchless amplifier?

Yes, we can repair all Matchless amplifiers. We offer both repairs and tune-ups. Please email for more information.

Where can I obtain replacement parts?

We sell commonly requested replacement parts through our web store. If you don’t see the part you are looking for, please send an email to:

Can I purchase a replacement cabinet to convert my combo into a head or vice versa or to replace an older cabinet?

Yes, you can purchase them in our web store including additional accessories such as the logo and the light-box. However, we do require proof of ownership of an existing combo such as a photograph and/or serial number.

How do I replace the logo lightbulbs?

There are four lamps used to illuminate the logo.

If the logo appears unevenly lit one of these lamps is probably out. The lamps are located in a reflector assembly known as a light box.

The light box is positioned just above the speaker(s) and is removed by removing the securing screws and disconnecting the two wires that supply power from the chassis.

The wires are connected with quick disconnect spades. Use a long screwdriver for easy access to the screws. If the amplifier is configured as a head, the chassis must be removed first.

*Do not attempt to go through the logo.*

How do I replace the control panel lightbulbs?

There are five lamps used to illuminate the front panel of the amplifier.

When one of these lamps requires replacement, the entire chassis must be removed from the cabinet.

To do this, first remove the power cord from the amplifier.

Then remove the back panel by loosening the hold-down screws.

Remove the two wires that provide power to the logo. These are pull-off connectors.

If the amplifier is a combo, disconnect the speaker plug located next to the fuse holder.

Carefully remove the four screws on the top of the cabinet while supporting the weight of the chassis with one hand. Slide the chassis out to replace the bulbs.

To re-install the chassis, simply reverse the process.

How do I replace the tubes?

Most importantly, never attempt to replace tubes while the amplifier is on or the amplifier is hot.

To replace tubes, remove the back panel of the amplifier.

Preamplifier tubes usually have a twist-lock shield that must be removed before the tube can be removed from the chassis.

Output tubes and rectifier tubes employ a base clamp.

The base clamp is loosened by un-tightening the screw on the side of the clamp.

When replacing output tubes, always check the amplifier out before replacing the back panel.

Make sure that the amplifier functions normally and that none of the tubes appear to be overheating. This is usually indicated by an abnormally bright tube or a reddish glow from the plate area.

If all looks well, replace the shields, caps, or re-tighten the clamps.

Replace the rear panel and test the amplifier again.

Does my amp need to be re-biased when replacing tubes?

Matchless amplifiers are self-biasing so no adjustments are necessary when replacing tubes. You will need to install a matched pair of output tubes for an even balance on the Output Transformer. If your model takes four output tubes then a matched quad with the two center tubes most evenly matched and then the two outer tubes to be evenly matched.

What tubes do you recommend as replacements?

Matchless amps employ JJ (formerly Tesla JnJ) tubes as stock tubes and you can purchase replacements here. However, we recommend you purchase the best tubes you can afford and we encourage experimentation with different brands. We recommend the following brands for the replacement of EF86/6267 tubes: Electro-Harmonix (stock), NOS Mullard, Siemans, Telefunken, Dario Mini-Watt. We recommend the following for 5AR4/GZ34 tubes: Chinese Sino, NOS Mullard, Phillips and GE. Please refer to the tube chart in your amplifier to identify the tube type.

Where are Matchless amps made?

All of our amplifiers are hand made from start to finish in our factory in Los Angeles.