Mike Matthews Freedom Amp
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Posted: 18 December 2008 01:34 PM

This local dealer has two of them, one is kind of beat up*, but the other looks to be in great shape. What’s the story with these? I haven’t found much on them except that they were made in the early 70’s. They’re obviously solid state. Anybody know much about these? I’m a sucker for small amps, so I might be picking it up if it seems cool.

*By “beat up” I mean there is no back panel and the circuit board is dangling by a couple of wires. haha

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Posted: 18 December 2008 01:52 PM | Link to this reply (#1)

I know I want one- they’re rechargeable amps
how much were they?

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Posted: 18 December 2008 02:18 PM | Link to this reply (#2)

I dont know. The guy is kind of eccentric. He has tons of old stuff stacked behind all these new Kustoms and Peaveys and nothing has price tags. I got distracted talking to him about some enormous rare Ampeg he just got and forgot to ask. They were pretty busy too. I’m going to go back tonight before he closes to ask about a bunch of stuff he has. He’s also got a Boomerang wah I’m interested in and some old Valco amps. I can’t imagine it would be more than $300, but I could be wrong. I’ll report back. He’s literally got a plethera of old amps and it’s all covered up by fucking new Peaveys! haha

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Posted: 18 December 2008 03:23 PM | Link to this reply (#3)

The Mike Matthews Freedon Amp was available in 3 models: standard, bass, and PA.  All were available in 3 power options: AC, AC/DC, or DC operation.  They were also available in red or black tolex.  If he’s got a bass one, I’d be very interested in it.  I have a couple of the guitar ones and the only PA one I’ve ever seen (it has built-in reverb).
They’re all approx. 55W into a heavy-duty CTS spkr (10”, I believe).  Great amps and loud as hell!

Ron Neely II
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Electro-Harmonix info: http://electroharmonix.vintageusaguitars.com

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Posted: 18 December 2008 04:03 PM | Link to this reply (#4)

55 watts?

damn

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Posted: 18 December 2008 04:16 PM | Link to this reply (#5)
julian - 18 December 2008 10:03 PM

55 watts?

damn

I’m talking about the 70’s version, not the newer EHX one in the little wooden cab.

Ron Neely II
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Electro-Harmonix info: http://electroharmonix.vintageusaguitars.com

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Posted: 18 December 2008 04:22 PM | Link to this reply (#6)

but it still worked off a battery right?

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Posted: 18 December 2008 04:25 PM | Link to this reply (#7)

The ones I’m referring too are the 70’s ones. They are both black, but I didn’t notice if they were guitar, bass, or PA. I’ll remember to look. I can’t believe they are 55 watts. They didn’t look like they would be that loud.

Should they have their own power cord? I mean, if it’s rechargable, obviously the power cord is detachable. I would think the cord would be specialized. I better see if they have the right cord.

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Posted: 18 December 2008 06:36 PM | Link to this reply (#8)

Ok here’s what happened… The Freedom Amps don’t seem to specify whether they are guitar, bass, or PA. My guess is guitar. They are black, no reverb, Vol/Tone/Bite controls… IIRC. I assume Bite is gain. I don’t know, because the one that apparently works is not charged and he didn’t have a cord to charge it. But the socket looked like one that you could easily get at Home Depot or Lowes… but I could be wrong. It was heavy for it’s size and definitely has a 10’ speaker. The other that is broken is exactly the same thing, but some parts have been removed. He told me some guy sold it to him for like $50, as long as he could take some components… go figure. He’s been meaning to fix it up and find a cord for the other, but hasn’t gotten around to it. He did say that the last time he played the working one, it was loud as hell, so it’s around 55 watts.

So I didn’t get to play it… bummer. HOWEVER… the dude had an old Crying Tone and I did get to play it. That thing was crazy! I think it’s the 2nd version of the Crying Tones. It had the external footswitch right above the toe. It had the three controls… Mode/Tone/Reverse. It was a pretty wild wah. In typical EHX fashion it had extreme Q control. The only catch seemed to be that it had two non-orignal knobs. He was selling it for $200. I played a Maestro Boomerang too. I liked it but the Crying Tone is hard to pass up. The Boomerang is $150. I’ve wanted a wah, so I might have to get one of these. It’s a bummer about the Freedom Amp though… maybe I can get him to find one of those cords and get it going.

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Posted: 18 December 2008 09:35 PM | Link to this reply (#9)
julian - 18 December 2008 10:22 PM

but it still worked off a battery right?

40, yes I said 40, “D” cells.  And not the rechargeable ones, although I guess you could use those but you couldn’t recharge them in the amp.  Mainly just your big ol’ flashlight batteries.

Edited: 18 December 2008 09:38 PM by The EH Man

Ron Neely II
The EH Man, All-Knowing Guru of Electro-Harmonix
Electro-Harmonix info: http://electroharmonix.vintageusaguitars.com

EHX Customer service: http://newsensor.com/CutomerServices.aspx
Questions about power supplies w/ EHX products?: http://www.ehx.com/forums/viewthread/2957/
EHX power supply info and requirements: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ak9R7oW8W8MidHhCOHdKSkFTdGowdklDd2sza2VXMFE&hl=en&authkey=CJXI1aEF

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Posted: 18 December 2008 09:41 PM | Link to this reply (#10)
jgs61 - 19 December 2008 12:36 AM

Ok here’s what happened… The Freedom Amps don’t seem to specify whether they are guitar, bass, or PA. My guess is guitar. They are black, no reverb, Vol/Tone/Bite controls… IIRC.

Sounds like the guitar model.  I think the PA and Bass models would say PA or BASS on them.

jgs61 - 19 December 2008 12:36 AM

But the socket looked like one that you could easily get at Home Depot or Lowes… but I could be wrong.

It’s a bummer about the Freedom Amp though… maybe I can get him to find one of those cords and get it going.

I made my own cord with a standard 2-prong AC cord I cut off a broken appliance and a socket I bought at the hardware store.

Ron Neely II
The EH Man, All-Knowing Guru of Electro-Harmonix
Electro-Harmonix info: http://electroharmonix.vintageusaguitars.com

EHX Customer service: http://newsensor.com/CutomerServices.aspx
Questions about power supplies w/ EHX products?: http://www.ehx.com/forums/viewthread/2957/
EHX power supply info and requirements: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ak9R7oW8W8MidHhCOHdKSkFTdGowdklDd2sza2VXMFE&hl=en&authkey=CJXI1aEF

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Posted: 18 December 2008 09:56 PM | Link to this reply (#11)

Cool. I think I’m going to go back and pick up one of the wahs from him tomorrow. I’ll try to get him to get on the ball with the Freedom Amps. He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to sell them and they’re just hiding in the corner of his store. He hasn’t had his amp tech look at the working one yet, so once he does, he says he’ll decide a price. I doubt it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

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Posted: 18 December 2008 10:08 PM | Link to this reply (#12)

40 D Cells

How much play do you get out of that? 

That’s some crazy overhead for street gigging.

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Posted: 18 December 2008 11:14 PM | Link to this reply (#13)
julian - 19 December 2008 04:08 AM

40 D Cells

How much play do you get out of that? 

That’s some crazy overhead for street gigging.

For sure. That’s not very ‘green.’

Info about the value and pricing of vintage gear? Click here.
http://www.ehx.com/forums/viewthread/1929/

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Posted: 18 December 2008 11:21 PM | Link to this reply (#14)

There needs to be a new Solar Powered Freedom Amp!

and solar powered EHX power supply for pedals!

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Posted: 05 February 2009 09:19 PM | Link to this reply (#15)

Hi everyone! I was lent a Mike Matthews Freedom Amp from one of the members of the group Ame Son in France when I was on tour there in the mid ‘70s. I was playing a modified Deagan Electravibe through a certain number of pedals (Maestro Oberheim Phaser, EHX Big Muff, EHX Black Finger Sustain, EHX Octave Multiplexer, EHX Small Stone, EHX EPB-1 Booster, EHX Crying Tone, Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, ALL linked, and joined soon after by an EHX Electric Mistress and an EHX Memory Man). I was amazed at the power of the amp despite the chain of pedals and started using the Freedom Amp in concert. At the time my venues suddenly grew in size so that I was playing medium size halls as well as quite large clubs and open air concerts. The Freedom Amp snarled and kicked and always delivered. To hear it live in a trio of electric vibes (myself), electric bass (Mike Howlett) and drums(Pierre Moerlen) you can check out this link on You Tube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVQPtksl-Mg on the live number called Wagram Jam. The sounds of the electravibe (there is no electric guitar being played) are vintage EHX, both pedals and amp! On some occasions on tour the local opening bands would do their sound check with Marshall stacks, make way for us to do our final sound check and see me walking on stage with a wooden box in one hand and a folding chair in the other! There were always some smiles going round until I plugged in and let rip.
The battery was not charging correctly so, like idiots, the band decided to profit from three weeks break in playing gigs and get the amp checked at a large music store in Paris….and we never saw the amp again…. I went on to use more pedals, 200W amps and then custom speakers with Altec Lansing power slaves and a dedicated mixing table on stage to handle everything, ending up with 650W RMS stereo including four speaker enclosures. OK, that was great, sure, but I have always regretted the “disappearance” of that great Mike Matthews Freedom Amp. A classic, great sound, lots of punch, lots of warmth. No doubt about it, EHX made sound as well as history.
If you’ve got this far, thanks for taking the time.
PS. I have just come across an old Freedom Amp here in Germany and will be endeavouring to acquire it! Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky.
......and thank-you Mike!

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