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Top Hat Club Royale, 10 year review.

Mr.Hanky

Member
Messages
4,047
Ya know it just dawned on me that I have owned my Club Royale for 10 years now. This amp has had more speakers and different tubes in it over the years then most will ever see. It has also seen more gigs, rehearsals, recordings, play-time and general melee then any other amp I own.
It is my go to amp for playing at home and for small gigs or TV studios, and while not perfect (no amp is IMO) it is an amp that I never thought about selling.

Outside of an input jack that was damaged in shipping and easily fixed, this amp has been a rock. Absolutely zero issues with it and after 10 years and tons of playing and being bounced around in a car, that is impressive.

So kudos to Brian for building an amp that has now stood the test of time!

:AOK
 

Probos

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,200
The 10 year review,....very rare in these parts. Congrats! Definitely feels good to still love something you purchased years ago.

:AOK
 

jimmyj

Member
Messages
5,555
Hey Wow, how'd I miss this thread.
I was reading the thread this AM about Ming Chow's new CR and I hadn't seen this until you posted a link to it.

That's great to hear! I'm having about the same results after 2 1/2 years with my CR. I had a Club Deluxe for a couple years before this amp but after I tried a friend's CR and read that Brian had started using a bigger transformer and an EZ81 rectifier tube I decided I had to get a new Club Royale. It's my keeper. Not only have I gotten used to not having reverb, I've gotten to where it kind of bugs me to have the reverb on when I play someone else's amp.

I think about the first time I heard someone using a CR in a local club was about 8 or 9 years ago. He had a Nocaster and a burgundy 2x12 and no pedals. He was playing roots rock in a club that allowed you to play as loud as you need to make it sound right so he was getting great tone with just the natural sound of that Club Royale working hard.
It is indeed rare to read a 10 year review here. I suspect I might be able to do that in 7 1/2 more years with this amp. :)
 

Ming Chow

Senior Member
Messages
424
It nice reading something like this. Especially right after you receive one.

To another 10 years. :BEER
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,606
My first TH was a year 2000 CR 2x12. I've been hooked on TH ever since. Between then and now, I've owned almost every TH model at one time or another. In 2002, I got a year 1997 Club Deluxe 1x12, vol/tone/cut model, and that one has been with me ever since, very cool sounding and portable 1x12 that I have rehearsed with, gigged with, and recorded with.
 

Alister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,537
I'm right with y'all. My CR is about 4 years old, through just 2 years of gigging, mostly recording and basement 'work.'
I only have one 'issue': I really, really don't like those curled wire tube holders Brian uses.
Anybody else/suggestions?
 

Ming Chow

Senior Member
Messages
424
Mr. Hankey, what tubes are you using? I'm thinking about retubing mine. Don't know if I should go NOS or just everyday stuff?
 

scmavl

Enjoyer
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,568
It's encouraging to hear this. I've heard nothing but good things about TH. If I can ever afford to get a low wattage, grab-n-go combo amp, I think it'll be a Top Hat. Or another Goodsell...
 

HHB

Member
Messages
6,641
hell yeah! I've used mine for 2 years of heavy gigging w/ no end in sight, I dont ever gas for amps
 

jjguitarranch

Member
Messages
230
I've had a TH Ambassador 35 (script logo) for over ten years. It's the one amp I will never sell. Awesome fat clean tones and interesting roots/classic rock tones. Accepts pedals like a champ, even high gain pedals, and I love the reverb. If anyone out there has a script logo CR for sale let me know!
 

Bigsby

Member
Messages
1,258
I've been playing my CR for 12 years since I bought it new. I've always had players coming up, complimenting my tone. There have been a few times where someone's needed to borrow it, and it's always been a treat hearing just how good it sounds in a live mix off the stage from the audience.
 

nolenuttt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,332
Amazing amp-I purchased mine several years ago from Eddie's Guitars-great folks, by the way-gigged dozens of times-always impressed-loves a tube screamer, but most of the time, it's just the amp's goodness....
 

Mr.Hanky

Member
Messages
4,047
13 years and counting now, jeez, the next time I post about this amp it will be "Vintage.
 

Phil M

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,642
I think most people around here can't wait 10 or 13 minutes before posting a review.

For me, the Club Royale is one of those perfectly realized amps. I loved the 2x12. There are 3 or 4 of these amps from recent years that I wish I could store 'em all at my house and bust 'em out depending on the job. Tophat, Reeves, Allen, Splawn.
 

A440

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,722
refreshing to see TGP'ers spending a long time with one amp. :aok
 
Last edited:

DanR

Member
Messages
3,627
I'm still in the 'honeymoon phase' with mine. I've only owned it for 8 years :D. I don't see how one amp can be all things to everyone but for my needs and expectations, my Club Royale is my all time favorite amp. It sounds like what I want to hear from an amp. And mine is the lowly SS rectifier non deep cabinet model. I can't imagine ever wanting to sell it barring a financial calamity. Even if I had the opportunity to upgrade to the latest and greatest model, I think my sentimentality would make me keep my particular amp.
 

Alister

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,537
Still have mine as well, over 7 years now.
Can't imagine I would ever get rid of it, although it's mostly a backup to my Louis Electric.
Two DAMN fine amps. I'm in good shape for the long haul.
I still think Top Hats are the Great Undiscovered Amps, even on TGP, although of course, not to those of us who own them.
 




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