18watt GDS clone or Tophat Club Royale solid state rectified

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by sweetpea, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. sweetpea

    sweetpea Supporting Member

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    I am looking at purchasing eithier one of these amps and was wondering what the sonic differences were between them? I was hoping to get both in a 2x12 combo format. For comparison purposes, lets say they both have a pair of G12H30's.

    Is headroom similiar in both amps? Are the cleans similiar with the classic EL-84 glassy tone? And do they sound similiar or different when breaking up? Does one circuit do better with OD/Dist pedals vs. the other? I play strats exclusively.

    Thanks so much.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  2. sweetpea

    sweetpea Supporting Member

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  3. ungarn

    ungarn Member

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    My two cents...buy a GDS and take a beating if you ever want to unload it...a 2x12 combo is damn heavy to lug around also, better off getting a head and and a cabinet...then you can always swap out heads and/or bump to a 4x12...
     
  4. ahab

    ahab Member

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    I have never played a GDS, so I can't speak to your thread as a comparison. But, I have owned a Club Royale 2x12 combo for several years and I can tell that it is simply amazing. I have played gigs all over Chicago with it, and I have recorded with it as well. Mine does have the SS rec. I have also played a few gigs and rehearsed with a Marshall 18 watt combo, and while it was a fine sounding amp, it wasn't even in the same league as my Tophat...heck, it wasn't even the same sport.
     
  5. Snottyboy

    Snottyboy Member

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    No experience with the Top Hat, but I have a GDS 18 watt head that I run through a Bluesbreaker 2x12 with g12h's, and I really like it. Quiet, takes pedals well, just seems to be a high quality piece. Contact Graydon himself and inquire. I emailed him once, and he emailed me right back and was extremely helpful and a straight shooter. I think he's 'GDS Racing' on this board.
     
  6. Cottage

    Cottage Member

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    I'll second Ahab's comment. I've been gigging regularly with my TopHat CR 2X12 for the past year in all sorts of venues and its been great. Never need an overdrive pedal with it. Only had to mic it once and it sounded fine in that situation as well. My combo weighs 55 lbs.
     
  7. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I had a year 2000 ss rectified CR 2x12 for a few years, and I played a GDS at a Tonefest on one occasion. I think the two are somewhat different, particularly in their voicing.
     
  8. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Silver Supporting Member

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    GDS is a fine product. Graydon Stuckey(sp) was a maverick in the 18 watt community. He made these things popular way before Marshall reissued theres. I have a clone, not a gds in a 2 x12 cab , TMB, and it just freaking rocks. I cant comment on the top hat but from what I have seen ( portly cadet), they are top notch build. My 18 is ez81 rectumfried.
     
  9. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Right.....I bet the latest incarnation of CR is more similar to the GDS (which I thought was an extremely fine amp, BTW).
     
  10. sweetpea

    sweetpea Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the comments guys. I really appreciate the input. Well I just pulled the trigger on a Club Royale and have my fingers crossed.
    Top Hat Pic 3

    It has dark burgandy tolex which I really am not too excited about. It does look very classy. I was hoping for more of a old school Marshall look in Black, Red or White. But hey, as long as it sounds good.
    It looks like new and I can't wait to give it a whirl.




     
  11. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    That is classy looking. I hope it works out for you.
     
  12. sweetpea

    sweetpea Supporting Member

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    Thanks so much Gkoelling!
     
  13. nitrox1

    nitrox1 Member

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    I hope it's everything you're looking for. Bet you'll really like it. I have a Reinhardt 18 on order and am really psyched for it to arrive.

    Main reason Im posting on this thread even though it's OT is your signature.
    It so true and made me feel very good to read that one simple statement.
    I've never felt more love for, or more love from, anyone than my 5 yo daughter. Good stuff buddy.

    Now back to amp talk. :)

    John
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  14. sweetpea

    sweetpea Supporting Member

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    Yes nitrox1, they are the greatest little things on the planet. Every day is a blessing even with the ups and downs. A great wife fully rounds it out!

    Take care and thanks.
     
  15. recordmusic

    recordmusic Member

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    The SS rect. have plenty of clean headroom. If you want less clean headroom, toggle the hard/soft switch underneath the amp(by the tubes) to soft.

    Also, most of your eq control is in the treble knob. Learn this knob first. Start with all knobs at Noon, and then try the treble at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 o'clock. You will notice dramatic differences between the mids and treble. Once you settle in on this setting, then tweak mids, bass, cut, volume and master.

    Do not try to control highs with the treble knob. Use the Cut for that.
     
  16. sweetpea

    sweetpea Supporting Member

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    Thanks Recordmusic! Interesting eq. I will take your advice. I always have used the treble to control highs.
     

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