Matamp is a designer, manufacturer and distributor of handmade British boutique guitar amplifiers. We strive to provide full sales and after care service for every product we have ever made.
Many years of research and a constant striving for perfection in tone has led us to create and deliver what we believe to be the amongst the finest guitar amplifiers available.
Matamp founder, Mat Mathias, started the company RadioCraft (Huddersfield) Ltd© around 1945/6. What started as an interest ultimately developed into a fully fledged business building amplifiers for the burgeoning music scene in the early sixties.
Based behind his wife’s retail shop selling accessories to young musicians, Mat’s workshop & manufacturing facility also extended into a fully fledged recording studio complete with disc cutters for young bands to record and cut their own demos.
This resulted in the formation of MAT Records. His customers would come and see him, tell him what they wanted, and he would build it and or record it. Patterns would emerge, and trends soon changed into product lines.
Matamp In The 60s
in the early 60s, long-term friend and hi-fi amplifier designer Tony Emerson collaborated with Mat to produce their first amplifiers, and the name MATAMP (Mat And Tony AMPlifiers) was coined in 1964. As word got around Matamp would soon be working with such musical luminaries as Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac (who Mat joined on their US tour in the late 60s) and recording early demos with the likes of Graham Gouldman who would go on to form 10cc.
After Tony’s departure and development work with Fleetwood Mac, the company moved on to form a partnership with Cliff Cooper who owned a music shop called simply ‘Orange’. Cooper-Mathias Ltd started producing Orange Matamps in the Huddersfield workshop. The branding and the amplifiers were a success story, many leading artists from Paul Kossoff to Jimmy page went Orange, even the BBC joined in. In 1971, Orange Matamp outsold Marshall, and gave Cliff Cooper a taste of volume sales. However, Mat was not prepared to forego quality standards in favour of mass-production. Ultimately the partnership was dissolved and Orange amps moved away from the company that designed the originals.
While Matamp continued making the GT120 multipurpose amplifier and even developed 300w valve slave amps, Mat moved with the times. Through the next decade the company was at the forefront of PA amplification and DJ mixing desks. The Quasar range of amplifiers and Supernova desks have acquired the same legendary status as our guitar amplifiers.
In 1991 Matamp was taken over by Jeff Lewis. Jeff has strived to maintain the heritage of Matamp, to continue to work to the same ethics as Mat and to constantly provide the highest level of service and customer support.
The decision to relaunch the GT120 was made but a new name was needed. After a discussion between Jeff and his partner Liz, the name Green Matamp was suggested in honour of Peter Green. Green Amps were born in 1992.
The launch of Green Matamp inspired Cliff Cooper, who at the time was relaunching Orange with the help of Gibson, to contact Matamp to again produce Orange amplifiers. This partnership lasted from 1994-99.
During the early 2000s Matamp began to look at the development of lower wattage amplifiers more suited to modern venues and sound reinforcement systems. Hayden Minett started working with Dave Green to develop a range of amplifiers to broaden the appeal of Matamp. This resulted in two Guitarist magazine gold awards for the 1224 and the C7 not to mention the ground breaking Minimat, one of the first small format single ended boutique guitar heads.
Jeff has modernised the design and manufacturing processes without sacrificing the quality of the products.
Matamp now sells to and supports its customers across the globe.
Matamp At 60 Book (2006)
If you’re interested in the full history of Matamp (up to 2006) and an insight into how the British amplifier industry started out, Martin Celmins’ book, Matamp at 60, is available at £10.