The heavy duty footswitch with lights. Mat was pure and thorough.
Mat Mathias' Rembrandt Combo Amp Unit.
photos courtesy of Finley Topham, United Kingdom
I was a teenager in Huddersfield I, like a lot of my
contemporaries, was in and out of aspiring pop bands. Mat was like a second
father to me and I spent many Saturdays in his workshop above the sweet and
tobacco shop in King St. ( Too much time sometimes as on several occasions
he had to ask me to go as my constant chatter was slowing down production.)
To cut a long story short one Saturday morning Mat asked me to go
into his small audio showroom/recording studio to see a new amp. That was
the first Rembrandt combo off the line.
I tried it and it was a revelation! Streets ahead of Vox & Marshall. When I
asked the price he told me it was £468:00, a small fortune for me in those
days. I said "I would like that amp, Mat, but I don't think I will ever be
able to afford it!" Mat said O.K. but that was the price and that I might
own a V-14 one day.
So this serial No. 001 combo was sold to the MD of the company that
made the front panels for Mat, as a Christmas present for his son.
Then Mat passed away. My wife and I, at Ruths', request sang and
played at Mats funeral, and later my wife organised a memorial gig, where 12
bands and artists performed to an unexpectedly large audience, it was almost
as if the whole town had turned out.
A couple of years later, after Richard and Peter had decided to
sell the business, I first encountered Jeff Lewis. ( I have to say at this
point that Jeff and I are no longer on speaking terms, but I wish him all
success in his endeavours. Life is too short to hold grudges.) As a result
of this I became involved with the ill-fated Gibson-Orange debacle, as
prod.manager of speaker enclosures and amp cabs.. One day, whilst at the
first Mirfield factory, a guy came in with the V-14. He was the original
owner. He said he had never used the amp and kept it under the bed. His wife
insisted he get rid of it, so he offered it to Jeff. Jeff offered him the
equivalent of a current 400 dollars, which he refused.
At this point Jeff's engineer Dave Cockin suggested he go up to my
office to see if I was interested.
Interested ! Of course I was interested! I did a deal and the amp I had
coveted so long ago became mine, in almost the same condition I had first
Thank You Finley for sharing
your story with Planet of The Amps !
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