Best OD for my Tophat Deluxe (6V6)?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Degle, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Degle

    Degle Member

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    Hello All.. I've got a 90's Tophat Deluxe with 6V6's, no master volume and tube rectifier. It sounds amazing on it's own, but I have not yet found an OD pedal that sounds good with it. I always turn the amp up until my wife comes downstairs ready to kill me. I play strats, LP's, and various hollows. Anyone have any ideas? I've tried TS-9, OCD, Sparkle Drive, TS-808, and the Blues Driver. I know my choices have been quite similar in that 80's mid hump way. I'd rather not buy 20 more pedals to try out if I don't have to. I'm sure someone has this amp or something similar and has found a good match? If I keep turning up the Tophat, my wife will send me out to the garage. Thanks.
     
  2. ruby7829

    ruby7829 Supporting Member

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    There are loads of options in different price ranges. If money isn't an issue, the best sounding OD in my 6v6 amp was a BJF Dyna Red Distortion. It's called a distortion pedal, but its low gain/OD type tones were unreal. I also have to say that my older 5 knob Menatone Dirty Blonde is amazing as well. Just a beautiful natural amp-like gain. I actually think there's one in the emporium now Not mine, but I highly recommend it.
     
  3. teleking36

    teleking36 Member

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    I gotta recommend Paul Cochrane's Timmy. I think it's a great match for the Club Deluxe. It's very versatile - you can use it as a clean boost, add slight grit, or get yourself some great medium gain dirt. Very flexible pedal that will never leave my pedalboard. It has sounded great with every amp I've played or owned, including a few 6V6 powered amps. Do a search on the emporium. There may be a used one up there. You can order one from Paul directly for $105, but there's a wait time.
     
  4. gang twanger

    gang twanger Member

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    I'll suggest two:
    The M.I. Blues Pro seems to float everyone's boat around here for a great alternative to the TS-thing. Also my Throbak Overdrive Boost is an excellent OD/fuzz/clean boost/treble booster/silicon and germanium hybrid fuzz and OD/attenuator effect with an awesome, very transparent EQ. It is a clone of the Colorsound Overdriver (Jeff Beck's 70's OD) with switchable modifications that really make it a super-versatile, great-sounding pedal. I'm still in the honeymoon stage on this one, and I've had it since November. And it should sound killer with the Top Hat.
    http://www.gundrymedia.typepad.com/
     
  5. Degle

    Degle Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions thus far. Maybe it is time for me to get on the Tim/Timmy wait list. I read so many positive comments on these.
     
  6. gang twanger

    gang twanger Member

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    Just so you know, there's no wait list for the ones I mentioned, FWIW. The Blues Pro is available at quite a few places (as far as I know), and the Throbak you can get if you go directly through the website (I think a few places carry them, but only on special order).
     
  7. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I use a Club Deluxe as my main practice and jam amp, and have tried a bunch of different dirt pedals. You're right that ones with a pronounced mid hump, lots of added compression, or hard clipping distortion pedals don't work as well. I have my theory on this, that it's b/c the amps are zero-negative-feedback designs with fat complex midrange and gain characteristics all their own. The pedals I've found work the best are clear, uncompressed ODs and boosts (I like the TIM/Timmy and sometimes use an Rx Electronics GERM boost) and fuzzes including Sybil, Foxy Fuzz, Tonebenders, etc (THs love the fuzz!). I also like my Dyna Red on lower gain settings, too much gain from the pedal (more hard clipping distortion than OD) and it starts to get buzzy.

    If you know how to safely do so, you might look at your amp's guts and see if there is a treble bleed cap across the lugs of the Volume (gain) pot. It was there in the Club circuits for awhile to let the amp breathe better at low volumes, but I found that by lifting that cap (at Brian G's suggestion on the TH forum) the amp worked better with dirt pedals, smoother and no high end fizz.
     
  8. jpagey

    jpagey Supporting Member

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    I have the exact same TH Deluxe from the late '90's. I haven't gigged with it in 6 years, but I used my 3 knob Barber TP, Barber DD and '97 Fulldrive II with it many times and it sounded fantastic.
     
  9. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Just re-read your post and realized you have an older model. Those amps have lower filtering and earlier breakup than the newer models, and I think the slightly increased filtering in the newer models helps with dirt pedal compatibility.

    I do remember hearing that Brian Gerhard recommends MosFET drive pedals with his amps like the Mosferatu, Zendrive, Blackstone, etc...
     
  10. Degle

    Degle Member

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    Meterman... Does the Zendrive muddy up the bass a little? My favorite characteristic of the club deluxe is the tight bass compared to other 6v6 amps I've tried.
     
  11. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I don't know that I could answer that unfortunately, as I only tried a Zendrive once and it didn't replace my TIM so I never bought one. I did use a Mosferatu for about a year and it was cooler IMHO than the Zendrive in that it could do a good smooth low gain sound with gain at 9:00 and a nice articulate, singing higher gain sound with gain at 3:00. The tone control was not all that useful though, and I think the current models have a Voice knob that gives a lot more control over the EQ particularly in the low mids. It's too bad that the wait on the TIM/Timmy is so long b/c IMHO it really is the perfect OD for TopHat amps. Neutral EQ and no added compression allows the TIM to just push the TopHat harder to give up the goods, without imposing another tonal/gain structure on top.
     

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