Matrix Amplification Introduces the Vintage British 800

The all-valve preamp is based on a classic British single channel amp from early 1980s.

London, England (May 19, 2014) -- Matrix Amplification have released their long-awaited lightweight valve head, the VB800.

The 'Vintage British 800' combines classic British valve tone with their lightweight amplifier technology in a "lunchbox" sized amp. Size is where the lunchbox similarity ends, as this litte box packs a real punch. Delivering 420 watts into 4 ohms (150W into 16 ohms) it drives anything from a small practice cab in your bedroom up to a 4x12 at full gig volume.

Matrix may be a name you have not heard of, but they are certainly not a new name in the guitar world. Their "GT-FX" series amplifiers are a massive hit with pro-players when used alongside modellers such as the Fractal AxeFX and Kemper, and their artist list is pretty stellar. Their latest creation takes their proven power amplifier technology and adds a classic valve pre-amp to bring you classic tone and volume without the classic hassle.

The all-valve preamp is based on a classic British single channel amp from early 1980's and gives an accurate reproduction of the sound, feel and quality of that amp, which provided an iconic guitar sound for so many players worldwide. The power section is based upon their Class A/B MosFet which when married together give all the tone, feel and power without the weight, size or maintenance issues of heavyweight amps. Hybrid amps did get a bad name for themselves in the 80's and 90's but this one really look set to break that image, after all if the Matrix amp technology is good enough for the likes of Steve Stephens and Chris Broderick they may well be onto something.

There is just a single channel on the amplifier, but you do get high and low gain inputs, so while it delivers great overdriven tones, clean tones are not a problem and there's an effects loop with adjustable send level, so patching in a pedlaboard or delay unit is easy. Being a classic valve input stage, it works beautifully with pedals in the front end too, just like it's heavyweight brothers did back in the '80s.

The unit itself is very portable and could easily fit in your gig-bag, measuring 11.8” x 7.09” x 3.15” and weighing in at an astonishing 4.2lbs / 1.9kg. Matrix also have a range of lightweight speakers too that have been very well received and are stupidly light, put the two together and you have a fully giggable solution that you can carry in one hand with ease.

The VB800 retails at £549 inc VAT ($749 USD).

For more information:
Matrix Amplification

How an Italia Speedster, a sturdy Jazz bass, and a little “sad chorus” can kickstart an international dance party.

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

Luthier Dave Helmer shows you how to cure buzzy strings, bad intonation, gnarly frets, high action, and other common troubles with off-the-shelf axes.

Guitars are the best. We love them. It’s fun to fall in love with a guitar at a store, buy it, and proudly bring it home. But we’ve all been there … where after a month that new guitar is just not playing as good as it was before. As guitar players, we know what feels good and what feels bad when it comes to playability. Maybe you have setup preferences that you like on all your guitars, or maybe you want to experiment with changes to your setup?

Read MoreShow less
x