Thinking about a 2x12: Dr Z Maz Jr or TopHat Club Royale?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by geoangus, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. geoangus

    geoangus Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Connecticut shore
    If I could jump in the DeLorean and go back to Friday 5:00am, I’d be awaiting delivery on nice Club Royale that was posted here. Instead, I went to work and someone else beat me to it. But it’s a new day, and I still have GAS for a used 2x12.

    Having had a few days to think about it, and after listening to more on-line clips, the Maz Jr also looks appealing. Like TopHat, Dr Z has some fiercely loyal followers of his high quality, reasonable priced amplifiers. Could some TGPers out there offer their opinions?

    I’m an at home player, my guitar is an Anderson Hollow Classic, music is 60’s-80’s classic rock, no metal. A vintage amp is out of my price tag, but I’m looking for a boutique amp that offers classic tones. I’m afraid something like an AC-30 or a Twin Reverb would have to be opened up way too much to deliver the goods - twenty watts should more than suffice.

    If I could just drive down the street and demo these, it would be much simpler. Could some TGPers out there offer their opinions regarding these two amps with regards to versatility, plug n’play simplicity, pedal friendliness, etc? And as far as their signature tones, would it be fair to classify the Maz Jr as “Fendery” and CR as “Voxy/Marshally”, or is it more accurate to say that they offer their own unique voices.

    And just to mess with my mind, is there another builder whose amp line I should be looking at?


    thanks,

    geoangus
     
  2. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

    Messages:
    7,884
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    Fayetteville, NC
    The Maz Jr. has elements of Fender, Vox, and Marshall in it. It depends somewhat which speakers you will be using to which is more prominent, but it's a very versatile amp. The Top Hat is a fantastic amp too, but i'm less familiar with it, to do a direct comparison.

    I'm not sure what voice amp you're needing, or the wattage(I'm assuming lower wattage), but I'd also look at(in the wattage range those 2 you'd mentioned), the Reinhardt 18w, the Quidley 22, the Swart AST, to name a few.
     
  3. meterman

    meterman Member

    Messages:
    7,411
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    ATL
    I'm a big TopHat fan and own three of their amps so I'd bias you towards that but...the Zs I've played have been cleaner and stiffer than the TopHats I've owned, which break very smoothly into overdrive and have more inherent sag in the feel. The Zs sounded good but I prefer the 'Hats.....tough to say which you'd like best without playing them, probably hard to go wrong with either....as far as other amps, there are plenty but I think TopHat and Z give you the best value and the best built amp for the price, at least among the various other boutique builders I'm familiar with...
     
  4. silencer eleven

    silencer eleven Member

    Messages:
    2,903
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    i own the maz 18nr. i would say it can do all the sounds you mentioned but it is one of those amps (like all z amps) that has its own voice. when i first got this amp i liked it but wasn't as thrilled with it as i was with the rest of my z's, but then i played it live. sits great in the mix, roll your volume up and it cuts the mix, great master volume, very versitile. takes pedals very well.

    i have liked most all of the top hats i have played. the one thing i have heard is that they don't take pedals very well that discouraged me buying one.

    i would try and play both but if that isn't an option i would go with the maz 18 (nr has a tad more gain than the reverb model).

    Jordan

    if you have any other ?'s just pm me.
     
  5. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

    Messages:
    5,279
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Location:
    5 7 5
    How about something with power scaling like the Reeves Custom 18 or Custom 30? Those will give you great tones at all sorts of volume levels.
     
  6. The Whiz

    The Whiz Member

    Messages:
    5,279
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2004
    Location:
    5 7 5
    Or, if you don't mind a several month long wait-list, the Valvetech Hayseed 15 (I have one) is an excellent choice for vox tones.
     
  7. GregoryL

    GregoryL Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,743
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I own a Dr. Z Maz 18 2 x 10 combo - great amp. Very versatile and great sound.

    However, as an 'at home player' as you indicate, a 2 x 12 might be overkill - that is going to be one loud set-up if you like it cranked. I use mine with the Dr. Z air brake attenuator when playing it at home and you definitely need it.
     
  8. benttop

    benttop Member

    Messages:
    346
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Renton, WA
    Yep - I have a 1x12 combo Maz Jr NR and even with the master on 9 o'clock all I ever hear from the wife is "damn that's loud"

    Great amp though - very versatile.
     
  9. geoangus

    geoangus Member

    Messages:
    2,385
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Location:
    Connecticut shore
    I've heard that one, that's why I rarely play my Mesa MkIII. I'm leaning towards the 2x12 just in case the boys want to ever get together. That, and the fact that I've always had 1x12's and would just like to try something different.

    Thanks for the comments and please keep them coming.
     
  10. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,506
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    I've owned them both. The top volume of the Maz Jr NR 2x12 is louder than the top volume of the CR 2x12 (year 2000, not the newest one). The TH has a fatter/richer/grindier and more compressed tone than the Maz Jr. The Maz Jr is a better platform for pedals, the CR sounded better to me straight in.
     
  11. strangec

    strangec Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,507
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    I've tried both an liked the Club Royale much better. I have/had other Zs which I like, but for the EL84 MV amp, the Top Hat was better to my ears.
     

Share This Page