BLACK Matamp GTO 120
BLACK Matamp GTO Non Master Volume Amplifier
Made in the UK by Dave Green for MAT-USA in 2002.
FEATURES: [left to right on front panel]
INSTRUMENT - Neutrik Input Jack locking for Instrument.
VOICE - Click switch that directs effects to XLR on back of amp.
DRIVE - sweep pot that brings up drive.
FILTER - 6 position click knob that brings in Bass Boost.
BASS - does the bass and adds the fog.
TREBLE - treble control
PRESENCE - brings up the clarity.
VOLUME - starts out loud and becomes louder then distorts after 80% up.
MAINS - Power
STANDBY - Stand by function.
POWER CORD JACK
HIGH POWER LOW POWER SWITCH
BIAS Adjustment and BIAS Test Points
REMOTE XLR [operated by VOICE knob on front]
Neutrik Speaker Jack
4-8-16 OHM Speaker Selection
Nice big vented head sleeve designed by in the USA by Joel Wheeler at MATAMP USA.
Back panel has crack which his how it came from the UK. It was reglued in 2002
with some good glue before going to the customer and has stayed in place since.
This was the first era of the "new" style chassis from the UK shop. It is made from 16 gauge stainless steel, spot welded, and much larger dimensions than anything Mat did for 120watts.
The transformers were moved to the far back of the chassis, 4 EL34's, 4 Filter Caps, 4 preamp.
The same chassis was being used for Ashdowne and HIWATT units being made in the
MATAMP UK Huddersfield shop 2001-2004 era. This was also the first of the split front
panel amps with the chicken head knobs. The "modern" age for MATAMP by Joel Wheeler
and Dave Green. Together they brought Matamp into the Millennium in many ways.
The British Choke !
At first look, you would think it came from a Sharper Image Catalog. Simple, straight forward
with the exception of the XLR and VOICE knob which is rarely used. This amp is engraved in England
with the script text font "Since 1958" which is when MATAMP was started by Mat.
The engraving shop put their name on it, per request by Joel Wheeler as they were the
original Engravers for Mat and were used only on the USA ordered Matamp's .
The UK amp orders were engraved in house, as they continue to do for thier new units.
The new engraver for Matamp [post August 2005] thinks the company started in 1945,1946 and 1948.
[based on the new promo out for Matamp UK].
The Original Engraver and Panel materials ceased at Matamp UK entirely the same time
MATAMP USA quit producton with MATAMP UK for amps in August 2005.
Voltage Selection is on the side of the chassis. Folded chassis with cage nuts sleeve mounting.
The beginning of back to Hardwire, with the intro to Dave Green's Turret Trak [tm] design.
The DC Voltage is run on the Printed circuits, which is done on nice board material.
The turrets are the small vintage style and the design was very clean. This was the intro also
to Joel's 4 bias adjustment and test point section in the amp units. Amps did not have to be removed
from the sleeve for bias set up, and no need to match tubes or replace sets. The neat thing was
techs do not have to poke around mega voltage areas in the process.
This was back in the day when the UK shop still had the balls to mark the boards GT120 !!! That ceased
in all of the production by 2003 as the items being made were being more and more blended with
HIWATT and ASHDOWNE sourced components. Few boards were marked GT120 from 2001-2003.
This was a clean board design and Matamp in th UK should have stuck with it.
AMP BLUE BOOK VALUE:
GOOD WORKING CONDITION: $1250-1650
GOOD WORKING BUT BEAT: $ 900-1250
BLOWN but GOOD CONDITION: $ 600
BLOWN but BEAT: $ 200-600
The amp has brilliant tone for both clean and heavy distortion. BIG SOUND, great warmth and articulation. When the amp is not being played it is quiet with no wierd humms or buzz.
It can spank out warm jazz and acoustic tones and then bulge with MONDO killer authentic
distortion. Not metal and crunchy and MesaDano compressed. Pure organic distortion.
Think Sabbath... the designer in the USA did !
This particular amp was originally owned by an awesome Oregon, USA customer who was
a roadie for the band YOB. He wanted it because Mike Scheidt in YOB purchased the very
first BLACK Amp in the USA and loved his tone as well.
When the amp arrived in the USA the black amp sleeve was torn on the inside and the back
panel had been glued by someone in the UK Shop. [as shown in the photo above] When it
was being set up, MATAMP USA realized that the reason the back was broke was due to the
fact the sleeve was made too narrow. The VOLTAGE jack on the side tore the vinyde being
crammed in the sleeve and that is what broke the panel corner too. Hence they glued it and shipped.
Per customer approval Matamp USA put the amp into a temp GREEN vinyde sleeve and shipped
the amp out. It went on tour with YOB, and many wondered what was up with the BLACK amp.
MATAMP USA replaced the amp sleeve with a the new correct black one. Later on Mike in YOB
acquired the amp permanently into his rig line up. He ran two of these BLACK GTO's from 2001
through 2005. Now he has traded the amp unit in for a new ELECTRIC AMP.
This unit is in great shape, and has been played by a pro musician in a working band on stage
and in the studio. ALL of the functions work great. The filter knob seems stiff, but works
great. With exception of the crack in the back panel the amp is awesome to excellent.
Mike takes care of his gear in good fashion, and has a great tech in Oregon.
The new owner of this amp will enjoy lots of good tone and volume and the last of the simple
amps that were made in the UK. Also, the last of the BLACK logo amps authorized by the USA
to be made in England.
Use this amp as is straight with your guitar and cab, or use it for the ultimate tube amp foundation
for your pedals / fx etc.
If you want to hear the awesome range of tone this very amp provides LISTEN TO YOB !!!! www.yobrock.com www.12threcords.com www.blackamps.com
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