ORANGE Matamp Lead 200
Brilliant Mat Mathias designs and craftmanship for ORANGE of London,1969 - 1972 era.
These type of models where used on stage by Jimmy Page. A couple of these and 120watt
and 80watt versions are used in Black Sabbath Videos for both guitar and bass.
Rich in tone and burly resonance when playing this 200 watt unit you understand immediate how the greats got "that" tone. It is rare when you see a band that uses
these units anymore. SLEEP had these type of units in the SLAVE model recovered in GREEN Matamp back in 1995 which Al Cisneros still uses to drive his 4x15 cabinet today in OM. Kyle VanSteinburg in EARTHRIDE uses the LEAD 200 in the studio and sometimes live for guitar. SOOT's bass guitar rig consists the SLAVE 200. TRON, has a Lead version that is used for Guitar and octaved guitar tones. Heavy Indy bands that make the choice of
a big amp a newer car or bike. The Lead 200 is an amp well worth walking for.
Twin 2x12 Vertical Cabinets back in the day where used for Guitar, Bass and PA and DJ.
Mat's smooth phenolic knobs with the tear drop marker the smaller knurled phenolic knobs were
high quality Pro Audio. Mat's precise front panel markings in coordinance with the operation of the pots / knobs ended for Matamp when he passed away.
These units illustrate how detailed and precise Mat Mathias was with his design and assembly.
36 years later, looks quality still, and functions like a quality amp should. Mat understood the
role amplifiers and speaker cabinet play in a musicians life. He also understood how the musicians tech and roadie would have to relate to his gear too.
XLR speaker jacks on this one. Both the speaker jacks and IEC cord have been altered, however look like it could be "British", as the two prong accommodates the Bulgin cord. Some the the units where indeed equiped with the XLR. Alot of the 200 watt Lead versions where not built originally as "Leads". The chicken head knob is not original either.
This presence knob was the presence for the SLAVE UNIT, as they had no knobs on the front. The volume on the SLAVE would cascade with the volume of the input amp. The only adjustment on the SLAVE 200 was the presence on the back of the chassis as shown.
Most of the time, Mat would take a SLAVE 200 Amp and then build his front end EQ panel for the SLAVE unit.
Then load that in the sleeve. This is why the chassis are typically a different serial number than the front panel serial number.
The KT88's in their glory. Mat was great with is layout.The EQ front panel removed from the amp sleeve reveals the front of the chassis and the front chassis shield. The Front panel was fastened to angle iron that is mounted to the amp sleeve.
If the valves are set right, and you follow the basic rules of "tube amps", the KT88's last and last and last. 5 years of high volume and flogging is common life for the KT's in these units. When a guitar player discovers the bite and howl of the KT88, it usually leaves you
thinking about it in lust. Even when going back to the finest EL34 models, you will have a
thoughts about how great "That KT88" sounds.
Horizontal Transformers from Partridge. Notice the pins sticking up on the
chassis next to the tubes. Those are Mat's bias points. The lug nut with the
screw head shaft in the center is the bias adjustment. Heavy duty, simple
design that partially explains why this amp is still running and awesome.
Mat's amps where much more busy for the eye to look at. Part of the space absorption is the horizontal transformer hole in the chassis. Looking inside Mat's amps is like looking in at a candy store's hard candy section.
Mat Mathias made mondo high voltage look like something you want to run your tongue accross. Sweet design and assembly craftmanship .
There is definately a process including talent of engineering and art during assembly.
The chassis lug nuts welded to real metal. August 18th of 1972 Serial No. 367.
The front panel removed shows that it is Serial number 283. This supports the fact that the Slave's where converted into leads. Guitar players by 1970 where coming to
Mat with "loud" in mind as the venues where larger too. Mat's designs kept getting bigger, and bigger and higher output.
Having the panels seperate achieves many things. Service is ideal, shielding from the
voltage of the power unit is maximum too.
These units are a dream to play through. The circuit is quiet like a crypt until you hit the strings. It will twist your cabinet on the ground if you don't use a chunk of carpet to secure it to the floor.
This type of craftmanship began and ended for Matamp with Mat Mathias and his original crew pre 1989. Finding one of these units is not easy. Ironically, alot of the 200watt units
are known to be owned by amp company owners that play guitar and have a collection.
A large amount of the 200watt Slave unit models where and are used by the BBC in their studios. Lots of sound men in the UK and Germany still have these and where a real operator if they had these back in the 70's. They weigh around 90lbs and are not small.
This amp will hang heavy over the cab edge in Russ Meyer leading star talent.
If you have the opportunity to buy one of these units and eat spinach you will be very pleased with the music you will make with these fine amp models. You can lose yourself
in clean tone and swear that "the great" guitar players are lurking in your hand. The distortion out of these amps is as pure as the voltage harnessed in them. This amp unit
definately requires a good technician to service. MATAMP USA's tech John McNeece is
probalby the most literate tech on this model alive and has made all of the used, non-working units from the UK splendid for the last decade. In the event you find one and buy it from the UK, you will want to take it to your tech to turn on for the first time in the USA at 120volt. Not having this amp set up right from the get go, can be a costly and
irreplaceable componet event. Once set up, you will have years of operation before the next tune up. Run this unit with 1-4 speaker cabinets and get MONDO !
photos courtesy of J. Wilkie - USA
1972 ORANGE Matamp Lead 200:
-Well sought after and highly collectable
-Great amplifier for all around music, for all venues BIG and LOUD Venues.
-Loud, clean and Loud Loud and LOUD and great natural overdrive.
-Expect to pay alot for the working models in good shape.
AMP BLUE BOOK VALUE:
EXCELLENT TO MINT: $2100 -4,000 unless owned by Jimmy Page
GOOD WORKING CONDITION: $1600-2100
GOOD WORKING BUT BEAT: $1250-1500
BLOWN but GOOD CONDITION: $ 900
BLOWN but BEAT: $ 400-900
2x12 SPEAKER CABINET BLUE BOOK VALUE:
EXCELLENT TO MINT: $1000 -1,550 unless owned by Jimmy Page
GOOD WORKING CONDITION: $700-900
GOOD WORKING BUT BEAT: $500-700
BLOWN but GOOD CONDITION: $700
BLOWN but BEAT: $300-700
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