Here we have a Matchless Chieftain head. It looks pretty good right? Well, it’s not. It’s a pretty good copy. We’ll walk you through some of the key features you can look for when you’re looking to buy a Matchless amplifier.
First off, a couple pictures, shamelessly gleaned (hey, we don’t own one of these) from the internet of real Chieftains for comparison.
This one has the same control configurations.
And one in the same color scheme. The first thing you should notice is that the logo on the counterfeit doesn’t light up. This was the first obvious sign that something was wrong. The knobs were also an off-white, while the leather covering is a truly bright white. When you pay the price for a matchless, you should get color matched accoutrements. On the real one, the panel lights up, as well, and there is a line between the knobs on the right side that is simply not there on the counterfeit.
And now the back…
Notice the lack of CE designations? Anything that meets safety standards in the US must be tested and certified by Underwriters labs, ETL electronic Testing Labs or another such body. This one wasn’t. Also, the orientation of the power jack was wrong, and this was the thing that tipped off the purchaser of the amp.
Now, the unfortunate part of this is, the amp, while certainly not a Matchless, was a nice little tube amp, and with a little R&D and branding might have been a nice product.