Up for sale, a Matchless Lightning boutique tube amp in excellent condition and in perfect working order. The Lightning channels a JMI-era Vox AC15 sound to great effect with an EL84 power tube pair and tube rectified circuit. Much more scooped in the midrange frequencies than Matchless' Spitfire and Nighthawk, the Lightning carves out a distinctive niche in a mix with a clarity and voicing that slices through a dense ensemble.
Much more powerful than a typical 15 watt design, the Lightning can easily keep up with a band. The tone stack is lifted directly from a Vox Top Boost channel with a few favorable tweaks. The Bass control increases the midrange when turned up and really thickens the sound, very beneficial with thinner sounding pickups, and conversely excels for fatter pickups that need the Bass rolled off for more clarity. The Treble control has a dual function, first adding more top end and brightness, while also subsequently decreasing the midrange.
The sonic foundation of the Lightning is a flawless clean sound, and as the Volume increases, the amp pushes into clean and dynamic front end breakup. Turning the volume control all the up delivers rich distortion that retains prized clarity and presence.
The amp is loaded with the original Matchless-branded ceramic magnet Celestion 12" speaker, and the tube compliment includes all matching JJ valves. The smooth gray covering on the cabinet shows a few requisite scuffs and minor edge wear, retaining black Vox-style corners, a premium leather handle, and lucite Matchless badge on the amp's face.