Need some Vox chime: Tophat vs. Budda vs. ???

boltino

Member
Messages
716
Hey guys,

I'm mostly a lurker, but thought I'd pick your brains.

I'm in the market for a low wattage EL84 based amp. I'm looking for that Vox chime/furry clean/ringing harmonic chords/etc. Clean headroom isn't really an issue, but I do need portability. (I love my Mark IV, but it's really heavy!). I plan on using it for recording as well as at my church. I use a few pedals, but am mostly looking for an amp that doesn't really need them (maybe just a delay and a boost)

I've been looking at the Tophat Supreme 16 and the Budda Superdrive 18. I know these are fairly different, but both have caught my fancy. I love the setup on the Tophat: very clean signal path, no doohickeys, very touch sensitive. I love being able to combine the channels. I was originally only looking for 1X12 combos, but I'm open to the Tophat's setup (small head/1 X 12 cab). I was also very impressed with the Budda. The clean channel is very chimey and can be overdriven, and the drive channel was very versatile. I found the Budda to be very touch sensitive as well.

So right now I'm torn between the two. I have yet to find them both in a store to be able to really compare the two (I've played them each, but a few months apart) Obviously the Budda is cheaper. I'd love to hear thoughts on these two particular amps for my type of application, as well as any other amps I should check out (keeping in mind that the Tophat is at the very top of my budget).

Thanks in advance for your help! :BEER
 

dk_ace

Member
Messages
2,941
Need Vox chime? Look no further than a Vox. I know it's a novel idea, but those tones are best captured in the amps themselves rather than a take on the idea. I've tried a ton of different amps in the past two years looking for Vox tones, and it is really hard to beat the CC and Heritage amps at any price range.

The only other amp for those type tones that I would recommend is the Cage Corsa. It isn't really a Vox tone, but it is similar with tons of chime and a breakup that is just beautiful. As cool as it is, I'd still take an actual Vox. If you just have to have a boutique amp for some reason and you want Vox tones, get a Hayseed 30.

D
 

boltino

Member
Messages
716
Thanks for the replies. I had planned on checking out the handwired AC15 (forgot to mention that). As far as the CCs go, I have a friend who runs a music store and they've had the majority of the CCs they've sold come back due to varying tech issues. It may have been a bad batch or something. I'm not saying they are bad amps, but I probably won't go with a CC personally.

I absolutely don't need a boutique amp, the tophat and budda were just two I had the pleasure of playing. I'll make sure to check out the AC15. Thanks.
 

meterman

Member
Messages
8,088
Be sure to check out the newest version of the TopHat Club Royale (MkII I believe they're calling it) as it has some upgrades over previous versions and is supposed to be phenomenal, perhaps more "Voxy" than the S16 and available in a combo....I've played and owned alot of amps but when I got my TopHats I quit looking....
 

WayneM

Member
Messages
1,589
I have owned both amps.........my favorite amp I own is the Supreme.

This amp with the 2x12 cab w/blue and 12h has a great bunch of sounds.

This amp will never leave.
 

Jimmydeez

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,826
I just ordered a Bad Cat Lil'15 and I'm hoping it has that chimey clean tone. I'll let you know when I get it.
 

macmax77

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,870
Need Vox chime? Look no further than a Vox.
D

i play a Budda, but i think this might be a very good idea, not that any guitar player would actually think about it, hehehehehehe.

Looks like an Einstein answer

Go with the Vox
 

boltino

Member
Messages
716
i play a Budda, but i think this might be a very good idea, not that any guitar player would actually think about it, hehehehehehe.

Looks like an Einstein answer

Go with the Vox

Well, I'm also a drummer so that makes me dumber than the average guitar player. ;)

Seriously though, I probably should have worded it a bit differently. Obviously if I want the exact Vox sound, I should go with a Vox. I should have said "Voxish" as in Vox inspired (an 18 watter but more on the Vox side than the marshall side). Basically harmonically rich chime. I like what both the Budda and Tophat offer for a "voxish" sound.
 

sickboy79

Member
Messages
14,127
I haven't played the Top Hat but, I do own a Budda Superdrive 30 head - one of my personal favorite amps with a lot of versatility. I would absolutely lean that way - but, I'm sure the Top Hat is absolutely amazing as well. Tough choice.
 

rickkane32

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
111
The Top Hat has the chime in spades. The EF86 side of the S16 is the Vox Ac-15 sound. Lots of grit and gristle. Pair it up with a Blue and you are good to go.

rickkane32
 
H

hemlock

The Goodsell Super 17 does what you describe in spades.

I also like the Top hat Super Deluxe a bunch even though it uses 6L6s. Check it out fo awesome hairy clean tones. The one I had broke up pretty early so even though it was 30-35 watts it wasn't too loud when getting that just pushed tone.
 

riffmeister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
16,792

guitardr

Member
Messages
970
For that EL84 chime and a whole load of features and ...
Mesa Boogie Lone Star Special combo
superb FX loop, tweaking, etc.
 

dk_ace

Member
Messages
2,941
Since you don't want a CC... my choices in order of preference:

1. Vox Heritage
2. Hayseed 30 or 15
3. Cage Corsa (not exactly Vox, but an absolutely beautiful sound in the same camp as the Vox)

The Tophat's just don't really capture the Vox sound IMO, they don't "feel" like a Vox if that makes any sense. I think the Budda is more representative of the Marshall 18 watt amps than a Vox. I don't think there is a wrong choice among the three I suggested, they're all great in there own respects with a little something different to offer.

Here's a link to the info for the Cage:

http://www.audiocage.com/Corsadesign.shtml

D
 

boltino

Member
Messages
716
Thanks for all the suggestions.

voojo - those clips sound really good. Thanks!

riffmeister - thanks for the post, I've stumbled across your clips before. Very nice, more Supreme 16 GAS!

Thanks everyone else for the suggestions, I have some more amps to check out! :RoCkIn
 




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