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Non ADA Gear => Rack Gear => Topic started by: WickedBlade on January 10, 2014, 09:42:39 AM

Title: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: WickedBlade on January 10, 2014, 09:42:39 AM
Hey guys,

I've been itching for a Matrix poweramp for a long time, but since they are not-so-cheap and hard to get (you gotta special order them here) I'm quite reluctant to take this leap of faith. Any opinion or hands-on experience would be awesome.

So, according to Matrix Amps (, their GT line is specially designed to emulate the 'tube feel', in a compact, lightweight, and robust package. Kind of like the mosfets of old.

My concern is that in this day and age, most people who use these poweramps have been using them with some kind of modeller (Axe-FX in particular), whereas I would use one with my trusty MP-1. I'm currently using a Mesa 50/50 power amp (old model) but the weight is a major drawback, so I'm looking for modern alternatives. I do want to keep the tube feel, of course.
So I'm worried that the Matrix stuff would be too modeller oriented (and maybe to hifi?) and not so good with traditional preamps. Also, I noticed that their amps don't have any presence control, and I find that this is an essential part of tweaking my tone, so this gets me worried of not being able to cut through the mix. I'm aware that the MP-1 has its own Presence control, but that can't be used for tweaking depending on the gig place's acoustics.

So, has anyone ever tried one? What did you think?

PS: I considered the Rocktron Velocity for a time but there's no unanimity on their value. Also, I would prefer something new, so no MosValve or ADA stuff for me. But suggestions are welcome.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: El Chiguete on January 11, 2014, 11:08:59 AM
Interesting thread... I'll like to hear hands on comments too.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: guitarbed on January 12, 2014, 06:04:57 AM
I have a Matrix GT1500 fxbd. I play it with my Soldano X88R (but VHT BB for live).
I'm looking to lighten a system to go Repeat. The sound is good but it is not as good than a tube amp (i compared with Mesa 20/20 and VHT BB). I expect this week to a MP2 to lighten more. I will tell you if it works well.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: rnolan on February 03, 2014, 06:41:18 PM
You might give the Carvin amps a try.  I bought a TS100 all tube 2RU includes presence knob. Very nice (new) amp and I like it allot but, like all valve power amps, it's not lite so I gave it it's own 2 RU rack.  I know of someone who uses a 1 RU Carvin ( which apparently works well with tube preamps.  Small (1 RU) very lite, clean and transparent but no presence knob.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: WickedBlade on February 04, 2014, 04:24:08 AM
I'm not sure who you're adressing exactly, rnolan (since I already have a tube poweramp and guitarbed says he wants to lighten his rig), but thank you for mentioning poweramp alternatives anyway  :)

Just for the record, I've already heard good things about Carvin, but their products are hard to come by where I live (France).

Anyway, I guess that Matrix stuff isn't the tube alternative I was hoping for, so I'll have to keep the heavy poweramp for now, unless someone comes by and suggests a nice, light-though-powerful poweramp, that is.

EDIT: I hadn't realized that the 1U Carvin poweramp was not tube-based, my bad. Sadly, they are still hard to come by for me... But thanks for mentioning them.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: WickedBlade on February 28, 2014, 05:23:48 AM
Kind of replying to myself here, but that's life.

So I'm still not decided yet, but I stumbled upon a new offering that might be worth considering, if anyone has experience with it, please share.

So, here is Koch's take on a SS poweramp that has 'tube' character : the Koch ATR-4502 ( It weights 5.5kg and has a 2x45W rating, all of this in a 1U unit.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: El Chiguete on February 28, 2014, 05:54:31 AM
This is very interesting, how much do they go for?
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: WickedBlade on February 28, 2014, 11:36:30 AM
I can't say for America, but here in Europe I can get one for 650€, which is not far from the price of Matrix poweramps.
Even though they're less powerful, I like the fact that they have a switch for presence and depth, this would cover the needs I expressed earlier, I think.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: rnolan on March 02, 2014, 01:24:38 AM
Hey WickedBlade, here's some Carvin dealers in France ( seems to be lots of them, apart from the presence buttons on the ATR-4502, the Carvin DCM200L is much better value considering they sell here for ~$500 AUD (~300 euros) so around half the price and 100 w per channel (not sure what the eq expand switch does on it) and only 1.8kg.  Personally I prefer transparent power amps with MP1/2 which don't add any character/colour.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: chester_the_jester on March 13, 2014, 01:06:50 PM
I own a Matrix GT1000fx single rack space that I run with my Kemper.  Built like a tank, loud and really clean.  If you want the scoop, scroll down to my last line.

I think it would be fantastic with any of the ADA pre's.   

I will cycle between an fx return of a tube amp, the matrix and straight into the PA.

My findings with the KPA are that when going into the PA, the sound I previously created using headphones after profiling is bang on.  Into the effects return on a tube amp you get the tube power "bloom" and a lot of extra presence so you need to dial that out. 

The MATRIX has a built in mid hump that you have to EQ out in your settings.   This is not a bad thing BUT its NOT a flat response amp. The AX FX guys love teh Matrix. I don't think it works so great with the KPA for the reasons I noted.


On average, my unit goes for 600-750 used depending on age and condition. Great unit and build quality, there are other more affordable options offering the same quality of sound however.  imho

Good luck!

Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: WickedBlade on March 01, 2015, 04:21:24 AM
Wow, I haven't posted in a long time!
Still lurking around though.

Anyway, I'm still pursuing my quest for a tube-sounding light poweramp. So have you guys noticed? Rocktron is going to release the Mainline poweramp. I found about it on a NAMM 2015 video where they mainly talk about their new preamps (I don't care about those, I have an MP-1!), but in the last minutes they talk about the poweramp:
Rocktron Mainline poweramp @NAMM'15 (

It looks like a step up from the Velocity line. One thing I noticed is the "designed by LA Custom" tag below the Rocktron logo.

As anyone tried it at NAMM? Does anyone have more info? I can found absolutely nothing on the net about it... I think it would be a nice choice for me (if it sounds good), as I am kind of set on having some kind of Presence control. I hear vaying opinions on the Velocity series, but this one might be the ticket...

Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: rnolan on March 01, 2015, 07:04:08 AM
Hey WickedBlade, nice to hear from you  :wave: ,
(Tube sounding light power amp)
MP1/2s work well with any good open transparent power amp. I used ADA B200s for years, perfect (let the preamp make the tone and just amplify), I now have a Carvin TS100 all tube (6L6s), also very clean and transparent (does seem to add a little warmth though (very subjective here)), down side it's very heavy (the brick LOL). Other choices are ADA MT100/200, 1 RU hybrid so tube sound(ish). Or go with ultra lite Carvin DCM200, 1 RU, designed to power studio cross reference monitors, perfect for MP1/2, my 2 cents worth.
BTW, while I have presence knobs on the TS100 I don't have a need for them, if I want presence (6khz boost) I add it to the patch, so my thought here is that if you chain your MP1/2 through effects it's nice to put some tops back at the end ?? Otherwise I don't understand the need to have it in your power amp.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: WickedBlade on March 02, 2015, 12:00:49 PM
Well I use the Presence knob on my Boogie 50/50 to adjust on the fly depending on the location on the gig, which is much better than going through all the patches with the.. erm... perfectible MP-1 interface.
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: rnolan on March 03, 2015, 12:58:09 AM
Hey WB, I understand, I'm a bit spoilt as the MP2 has a room eq knob that does much the same thing (and a bit more  >:D ) so I don't have to change each patch. So with MP1 it makes sense to have a power amp with presence boost although that said, my many years with MP1 and a gazillion gigs it wasn't a problem, I sometimes added a little bass with the mixer channels in very bright rooms/stages IIRC (I've always used a small mixer with my rig).
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: xdiaba on May 28, 2017, 08:29:47 PM
Hi to all. I just bought an Matrix GT1000FX Power amp and its part of my rig with my mp1 and gmajor2. In case you wanna have an idea how it sounds, there's a short video that I've uploaded in youutube:   :)
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: Soloist on May 29, 2017, 12:20:51 AM
Nice clip xdiaba!  :metal:
Title: Re: Matrix Poweramps opinion?
Post by: rnolan on May 29, 2017, 06:51:11 AM
Cool, sounds awesome  :thumb-up: