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Author Topic: Boutique Pedal Review: Matchless Hot Box -- Not for the financially challenged  (Read 39166 times)

Offline oasgomez-is-banned

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When it comes to Boutique Pedals, nothing beats the Matchless Hot Box.  Its a Preamp/Overdrive pedal.  Everything about it spells boutique.  The chassis is some kind of hard stainless gauge steel.  All the components are point to point.  Resistors ( not a single carbon film resistor in use) and Caps are top notch, some caps are even customized for Matchless.  There two 12ax7 tubes mounted in phenolic sockets with a built in 220 volts power supply.  Controls are lit internally like all matchless stuff.  It costs around US$400 if you can find one.  It beats that so-called modded TC Electronic SCF on the other thread.  By the way, I like my SCF just as is without any tubes and stiff middle finger.  That finger has serious confidence/ego issues. 

But does it sound US$400?  It depends and it did not WOW me.  I tried and forced myself to like it but it was such a disappointment -- it was only after I changed one of the tubes to a NOS GE 12at7 that the Hot Box really come into being.  I replaced some SOVTEK 12ax7 and boy what an improvement a genuine GE or Brimar made in the overdrive sound.  It now sounds close to my Vox AC30 though not exact.  Suddenly the fuzzy gain of the pedal turned into a smooth and sweet overdrive thru a strat.  It just made my strat fat without any loss of definition.  Upon further research I can still mix and match other tubes and actually dictate the level of drive on the Hot Box.  Furthermore, the circuit is so sensitive to type and construction of the tube that you can change tonalities by changing tubes.  NOS seems to be the best choice for this critter.  This was not so with my Mesa Vtwin which was not at all sensitive to the type of tube, it just sounded fuzzy.  What I like about the Hot Box is that it has now become flexible in terms of sound.  No need for mods or switching ICs, all you have to do is switch tubes and it takes a different property.

However there are cons to it --  it cannot be powered by a 9 volt, the pedal has a large footprint, it ain't true bypass.  But even without true bypass, the clean signal sounds great and rich.

For me, this is the top of the heap when it comes to boutique -- even beating the Klon Centaur.  It however is really dependent on how much extra you are willing to shell out for NOS preamp tubes and thus mileage varies.  So, I have to say it is an acquired taste and  you have to be very specific with regards to its application.  After all, not everyone likes the sound of a vox.  But one thing is for sure, when it comes to construction, workmanship and what it does in totality, no stompbox in anybody's arsenal can match. 



Offline greasykid

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Here we go...

Offline lykenhowl

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Maganda nga yan!!!....yan yung lagi kong ginagamit sa G2 ko pag gusto ko ng hebigat rakenrol na tunog and ang maganda pa sa dito sa G2 eh ok siya for the financially challenged like me. :roll:

Offline Machine_Head

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Yea bro, that was one of my fav settings on my G2 as well. I wonder what the real thing sounds like. :)

Online caloyburger

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what, its not true bypass?!? :?  man at that price it should be...


Offline deadlifted

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^ I don't think issue naman yan. kahit yung Mesa V-twin hindi naman true bypass.

Oasgomez, nakasubok ka na ba nung Damage Control Womanizer and Demonizer? I'm just curious on how it will compare with your Hotbox and V-twin.
proud owner of Max Rufo custom guitars. call (02) 4427908

Offline greasykid

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Zoom G2?  Modeller yon e.  Kayo naman o!   :-D  Hehehehehe

http://talk.philmusic.com/board/index.php/topic,17072.0.html


Chito

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Not for the financially challenged but definitely for the musically challenged.  :-D :-D

Offline plugzzzz

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hehehe basta ako kontento nako sa dirt pedal ko ( trimode ) ahihihihi pwede kahit anung type of music
Kapag merong tanong o ikay naguguluhan igoogle mo

PLUGELECTRONIC'S RECTORIZER

Offline stratman1

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Not for the financially challenged but definitely for the musically challenged.  :-D :-D

  :-D :-D :-P :-D :-D

Offline BAMF

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Not for the financially challenged, but definitely within the reach of the electronically gifted.

Pretty simple circuit. Doesnt even have exotic mystifying parts like an output tranny.

Give or take, with production (and not NOS tubes) it can be assembled within 2k pesos worth of parts.

http://www.schematicheaven.com/effects/matchless_hotbox_overdrive.pdf
« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 02:31:15 AM by BAMF »
Doghouse Recording Studio: http://doghousestudio.webs.com
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Offline R0B1EP061

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.  It beats that so-called modded TC Electronic SCF on the other thread.  By the way, I like my SCF just as is without any tubes and stiff middle finger.  That finger has serious confidence/ego issues. 

How dare you insult our super botique pedal! well, it's all fair; tone is subjective they say. you dont like my brand logo either? well anyways, here's one for you. cheers!

Offline snidd

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so what? i bet you got this pedal to again tell us how filthy f*in rich you are. if you wish to show us how rich you are, get all of us together and give us all money. after this review, what do you want us to do? your reviews are eloquent but incomplete without soundclips. other than that, cheers mf.

Offline Kulas

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ako i'm financially challenged, hahaha!

Offline oasgomez-is-banned

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Deadlifted,

I have not tried Damage Control... though it looked interesting a few months ago, when they showed up with tons of variations, I felt that they were too gimmicky specially with colors and all.  Still, I need to hear one for myself.  By the way, though I am partial to tubes, I do not discount that there are good sounding non-tube overdrives and distortion.

BAMF,

You are right, I thought the circuit was simple until I opened it and saw the workmanship and parts.  As I said before, it has top notch resistors, phenolic sockets, and custom capicitors.  You would actually think it was the PTP preamp section of a matchless amp which I believe a P2,000 selection of local parts will never ever match in tone.  If you have ever seen in the inside of matchless and heard one, they will tell you that one element of their sound is the type of components they use and that is why they go to the extent of having capacitors custom made for them.

Offline BAMF

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But if it's that good, it has all the elements of a good clone target :D. Market-expensive, simple, cheap to produce.

It's easy to see how more of us will be sporting clones of this baby at our gigs hehehe.
Doghouse Recording Studio: http://doghousestudio.webs.com
Cel: 09282843633

Offline greasykid

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Deadlifted,

I have not tried Damage Control... though it looked interesting a few months ago, when they showed up with tons of variations, I felt that they were too gimmicky specially with colors and all.  Still, I need to hear one for myself.  By the way, though I am partial to tubes, I do not discount that there are good sounding non-tube overdrives and distortion.

BAMF,

You are right, I thought the circuit was simple until I opened it and saw the workmanship and parts.  As I said before, it has top notch resistors, phenolic sockets, and custom capicitors.  You would actually think it was the PTP preamp section of a matchless amp which I believe a P2,000 selection of local parts will never ever match in tone.  If you have ever seen in the inside of matchless and heard one, they will tell you that one element of their sound is the type of components they use and that is why they go to the extent of having capacitors custom made for them.

Aren't ceramic sockets better?  Plastic lang yang phenolic kahit hi-temp plastic pa siya. 

Online bunyok23

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vtwin sounds fuzzy coz it uses diodes for clipping.

why dont you try the seymour duncan twin tube classic distortion pedal with philips military 6021 nos tubes. they sound really nice

as for me i got the best deal on a vintage japan ds-1 long dash. $30 only where normally it costs more than $100.

sounds way smoother than keeley or analogman mods.

Offline BAMF

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BAMF,

You are right, I thought the circuit was simple until I opened it and saw the workmanship and parts.  As I said before, it has top notch resistors, phenolic sockets, and custom capicitors.  You would actually think it was the PTP preamp section of a matchless amp which I believe a P2,000 selection of local parts will never ever match in tone.  If you have ever seen in the inside of matchless and heard one, they will tell you that one element of their sound is the type of components they use and that is why they go to the extent of having capacitors custom made for them.

Ah well...I don't have caps custom made for me, but a batch of audiophile grade caps just arrived, ditto with metal film resistors. Phenolics...we have that here.

I guess then it's time for a friendly tone party ! December 18, Purple Haze. I'll be bringing my matchbox clone (among others) armed with National 12AX7's. Let's see how far into tone territory cheaper parts will go.  We will A/B it with yours with all other things equal. :D

Doghouse Recording Studio: http://doghousestudio.webs.com
Cel: 09282843633

Offline plugzzzz

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BAMF,

You are right, I thought the circuit was simple until I opened it and saw the workmanship and parts.  As I said before, it has top notch resistors, phenolic sockets, and custom capicitors.  You would actually think it was the PTP preamp section of a matchless amp which I believe a P2,000 selection of local parts will never ever match in tone.  If you have ever seen in the inside of matchless and heard one, they will tell you that one element of their sound is the type of components they use and that is why they go to the extent of having capacitors custom made for them.


Ah well...I don't have caps custom made for me, but a batch of audiophile grade caps just arrived, ditto with metal film resistors. Phenolics...we have that here.

I guess then it's time for a friendly tone party ! December 18, Purple Haze. I'll be bringing my matchbox clone (among others) armed with National 12AX7's. Let's see how far into tone territory cheaper parts will go.  We will A/B it with yours with all other things equal. :D



oi ayus to pwede panuod hehehe sana nandun OAS pakinggan natin yung pinag mamalaki nyang matchless ahihihihi
Kapag merong tanong o ikay naguguluhan igoogle mo

PLUGELECTRONIC'S RECTORIZER

Offline Kulas

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HOY BAMF! asan na yung tube driver na pinapagawa ko sayo? hehe joke! pero serious, pagawa naman o, hehe. gusto ko gawin mong parang sushi box, yung very responsive sa volume adjustments ng guitar. pero sakin lagyan mo ng tube, kahit sa alexan aluminum casing lang, hehe. at papangalanan natin ng...

the kulasbulator! hehehe... serious ako dito ah, magkano singil mo sakin? PM moko, hehe.

Offline Poundcake

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so what? i bet you got this pedal to again tell us how filthy f*in rich you are. if you wish to show us how rich you are, get all of us together and give us all money. after this review, what do you want us to do? your reviews are eloquent but incomplete without soundclips. other than that, cheers mf.

oy oy easy lang meng.. review lang naman yun e. medyo mahal talaga ang $400 para sa isang pedal for the common Filipino kaya not for the financially challenged talaga. kasi sometimes people tend to become impulsive buyers because of reviews, etc. kaya warning lang yun na you should be sure na gusto mo yun otherwise you'll just throw away $400. enough of the oas-bashing na sana tayo dito, he did point out some good points of the pedal naman so we all learned a bit more :)
"The LORD will save me, and we will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the LORD." Isaiah 38:20

Offline R0B1EP061

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so what? i bet you got this pedal to again tell us how filthy f*in rich you are. if you wish to show us how rich you are, get all of us together and give us all money. after this review, what do you want us to do? your reviews are eloquent but incomplete without soundclips. other than that, cheers mf.

oy oy easy lang meng.. review lang naman yun e. medyo mahal talaga ang $400 para sa isang pedal for the common Filipino kaya not for the financially challenged talaga. kasi sometimes people tend to become impulsive buyers because of reviews, etc. kaya warning lang yun na you should be sure na gusto mo yun otherwise you'll just throw away $400. enough of the oas-bashing na sana tayo dito, he did point out some good points of the pedal naman so we all learned a bit more :)

oh come on pare, who are we kidding here? is it only me or did you guys ever noticed a pattern on how he makes his so-called reviews.

1) how expensive it is and how he still was able to afford it; how you working class folks would never be able to afford it.
2) how special it is because its boutique; made from wherever; made by whomever he knows; specially made custom bull crap
3) how it blow's everyone  gear away; specially those who are only FORTUNATE enough to afford cheap/decent/middle class/ mass produced gear
4) how it sounds sooo good like he is a "tone connoisseur" even though he cant back his claims with sound clips..you know why? because tone/sound/timbre/vibe wat eva the fu<k it is you wanna call it is subjective.SH1T DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THIS GUY CAN PLAY?
5) and certainly not the least, how everything he is reviewing is nothing less than amazing...because its expensive bottom line....and it will make you guys feel like losers.

come on man, some of us here had probably handled/owned/still owns/buying/will buy gear this poseur could never even dream of having or maybe even afford. i did myself, verify it with your mod if you guys want but whats the fuk1n point? expensive, cheap are mixed with the good and bad as far as ive tried. you guys have to open your eyes and ears.

if you can barely spend on something decent AND or maybe something you cant afford; you might be financially challenged FOR NOW. BUT! if you're spending on something you can OR you can't afford eventhough you know there are gear(s) out there that would do the job for you or maybe even better for less; then you are what they call MENTALLY CHALLENGED.

CASE DISMISSED.

Offline lykenhowl

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Robie,































IM YOUR #1 FAN!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-D :lol: :lol: :lol: