Comparing a Dr. Z Z-28 vs. TopHat Club Deluxe?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Marty McFly, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. Marty McFly

    Marty McFly Member

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    Hey everyone,
    I'm planning to take a road trip to Make 'n Music in Chicago in the next month to look at 6V6 combo amps in the 20-30 watt range, for $1,500 or less.

    Anyone have any insights they can share about how the tone of a TopHat Club Deluxe (1x12 or 2x12) compares to a Dr. Z Z-28 (1x 12 or 2x10)? They seem to be pretty similar in price.

    I'm interested specifically at clean and medium-overdriven tone, not high gain/metal. I play through a deluxe strat and PRS CE-22.

    Thanks!
     
  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    That's what they both excel at.....clean to medium gain grind. The TopHat has a MV so it can be dialed in for overdriven tones at more moderate volume levels. I've owned both amps.....they are both first class. I personally prefer the TopHat because of the additional flexibility of the EQ section and MV.
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    what? riffmeister had the final word on this one?? :eek:
     
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  4. Marty McFly

    Marty McFly Member

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    Riffmeister,
    Thanks for your post - I'm hoping others will pipe in as well. In the meantime, I've continued searching some threads from the past, and find equally intriguing the differing preferences between 2x10's, 1x12, and 2x12 cabinets and combos for these two amps.

    I can't wait to hear the amps in person to see how my thoughts line up with much of what I've read so far.
     
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Make n Music is daaaaaaaaangerous place......be careful!

    :D
     
  6. ahab

    ahab Member

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    Go for the Tophat!!!
    The master volume is as good as it gets and the grind out of this amp is a perfect blend of mid guts and high end sing. I bought a Club Royal 2x12 (El 84 fan here) and it is my only amp! I really want an ambasador 35 but my funds aren't allowing this purchase right now...

    -Ahab
     
  7. Laroosco!

    Laroosco! Member

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    Z28 has a more american sound in the cleans. It get british when cranked.
    Very interactive tone con trols, much more open sounding and better headroom.
    It also takes pedal 100x bettter.

    The Top Hat Club is an awesome plug straight in and play amp, but I found that you can do so much mor with the Z28.
     
  8. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been using a new tube recto'd Club Deluxe 1x12 with my blues/pop/rock band recently (bass/guitar/drums/singer). At the last rehearsal, the battery in my Fulldrive died and I didn't have a replacement. So I set up the amp with more preamp gain (vol at 3-4 oclock, fat switch engaged) and continued, using the guitar's volume control instead of the stomp box to go from clean to scream. This works incredibly well with this amp......I think it has alot to do with the 5Y3 recto and Cele Blue speaker. The recto makes the amp compress more than usual, so clean-to-scream from the guitar's volume knob works just fabulously (and the 'scream' sounds even better than the Fulldrive!), and the efficiency and freq response of the Blue makes the amp plenty loud enough in this application.

    Good stuff, for sure! :dude
     
  9. T-bone

    T-bone Member

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    What Laroosco said!
    Although I still haven't found a dirt pedal I'm 100% on for the Z28. Still sounds the best on it's on.
     
  10. ahab

    ahab Member

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    In the Tophat's defense, I use several pedals with by Club Royal and have had great results: Fulltone Octafuzz, Frantone Hepcat, MXR Phase 90...all work great.
    Honestly, I would put my Club Royal up for 'the pepsi challenge' with any amp on the market!

    I liked some of the Dr.Z amps that I have play, but they respond much more like a fender. They put up a little resistance and sometimes sound a little flat to my ears...I'm thinking of the several Rt. 66 and Maz 38s that I have played. I'm sure that with a attenuator that could be fixed, but I havn't had a chance to dime one without blowing my ears off.

    -Ahab
     
  11. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Member

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    lol...i dime my MAZ 38 alot and it sounds killah! i dont think its as loud as everyone says though...or maybe im deaf....



    huh?




    what??
     
  12. ahab

    ahab Member

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    I gave myself a present, I quit playing in 100 watt Marshall Bands and its amazing how I have started to miss the ringing in my ears!
    -Ahab
     
  13. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    :D


    Yeah, I've owned several Z's........Z28, Maz Jr NR, KT45, 6545. All are GREAT sounding amps!

    Comparing the Z28 to the Maz Jr, I prefered the Z28......more raw and juicy sounding once it's cranked up to volume and with the EF86 front end, it really took OD pedals extremely well. I also agree with Laroosco's statement about the Z28 sounding more "American" than the Club Deluxe......the Z28 is a bit more mid-scooped....the Club Deluxe has a Vox inspired preamp design so it has a bit more of a "British" mid/upper-mid emphasis. And I agree with ahab on the pedals issue......the new tube recto'd TopHat Club Series amps do *very* well with pedals! BUT, see my post above about clean-to-scream from the guitar's volume control....works BEAUTIFULLY with the Club Deluxe (no dirt pedal needed)! And the MV lets me get it all at the right overall volume level for my band.
     
  14. Marty McFly

    Marty McFly Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback so far. I've been reading up on the Dr. Z Airbrakes/attenuators at the same time as this amp research, and I think I'm going to be getting one of these soon, too. Not only for the upcoming amp purchase, but also for my current Traynor, so I can play them more effectively at home. I've got GAS!
     
  15. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Airbrake = Great Attenuator for live work!

    I used it with the KT45, and now with the Germino.
     

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