Top Hat Vanderbilt? Anybody

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Wallace, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Wallace

    Wallace Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Searching for silver in the clouds
    have one of these? What kind of gigs (playing style) will this amp accommodate? These aren't talked about much and there is no dealer close by. I played a Club Royale once and dug it. Any info on this would be appreciated!

    Thanks

    w
     
  2. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

    Messages:
    3,136
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Jackson Heights Birthplace of Johnny Thunders
    It has a full powered original Vox circuit on channel one and channel two has full EQ controls treble, mids, bass, master volume and gain adjustments. Both channels have high and lo inputs along with bright fat toggle also cut control shared by both channels, for powertubes it uses 2 6L6 tubes. Also an overbuilt choke and a custom wound O/T is the key to the magic.

    I have a Supreme 16 less power and el 84 tubes a similar but different beast and it goes all over the place with tone. Very Very Versitile.

    Talk to Cliff at Destroy All Guitars he can give you the real skinny on that and other TopHats and help you find the sounds you hear.

    Read my disclaimer I just bought my second TopHat from Cliff

    Best
    Groovey Records

    Listening to Johnny Winter-Second Winter
    one and a half record set on Vinyl Very Rare
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,534
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    Hey Groovey Records, I thought your name on this board was Priapism, no?

    I'd love to play a Vanderbilt someday. I also had a Supreme 16, which is a similar design but in a 2xEL84 format, and it was a real rocker!
     
  4. Free

    Free Member

    Messages:
    1,304
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    I sat in about 5 feet in front of Brian Gehrard and listened to him CRANK that amp with both P90's and Humbuckers into a fat 2x12 ext cab with G12H30's and a "Blue" for over half an hour - can't get a better demo than from the builder himself. All I can say very honestly is that amp is SUBLIME. If you are considering getting one - let me put you over the edge by saying BUY IT.

    Here's a bit of review I found in my archive:

    It may be close to making my or anyone's PLEXI-style Class A/B 40-50 watt quest obsolete, which is interesting. All you need is those 33 Class A watts through a good 2x12 for most any dream tone you want - it's damn versatile and powerful low-mid glory. Smoother dynamic transitioning from clean to overdriven traditional Class A/B designs, yet with all the Marshall oomph, bite, midrange, grind, etc. The Vanderbilt has a punchy and raunchy character that is classic yet unique - like small amp articulation and raunch combined with big amp thump and "ballsyness" interestingly. It's really something for anyone to consider, as it's a special amp.

    Compared to the "Supreme 16" (another Supro model name connotation?), it has more lower midrange and body overall. Yet, the "Supreme 16" seems to have a bit more clarity and articulation in the midrange (not just brightness I'm talking about). It's like the open midrange clarifies the overdrive articulation. The "Vanderbuilt" is more Marshally and the "Supreme 16" is more Voxy - the tubes have a lot to do with this, I'm sure. Both amps have incredible harmonic density and richness.
     
  5. farlowhigh

    farlowhigh Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    the Vanderbilt is an amazing amp and I can't imagine anyone being disappointed by its range of sounds or really anything else about it. It is clearly really really well made and it can definitely get tones in the Fender, Vox and Marshall camps but it has its own thing going--very cool to have the voxy preamp (same set of knobs and switches as the Supreme 16 but with the 6L6 tubes and so a cool and unusual combination)...incredibly versatile amp and it also has a great master volume so the tones can be had at a real variety of volumes. You can also run 2 6v6s in it for around 20 watts and there is no need to rebias...very nice as it basically gives you a whole other set of sounds. As the really positive recent review in GP noted, you can also jumper the two channels and blend the sounds...goes really well with the Top Hat 2x12 with a blue and a G12H...

    great great amp...a Gear Pager did a cool demo of the Vandy and it is probably up on youtube somewhere and in the archives for TGP.

    I say buy it!
     
  6. Wallace

    Wallace Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    388
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Searching for silver in the clouds
    Thanks guys!:dude
    Your comments were very helpful (fueling my gass)! The London 65 wasnt my cup as various plexi-ish 20 watters were not quite right either. I havent tried a %13 in person so that jury aint done. The Tophat club Royale was an instant smile for me when I tried it. The VB sports octal tubes and that chunky low-mid thing...maybe so! The Emplexador looks good too but I've got that area well covered. The VB amp seems to be what I'm looking for (covering afew bases at once). Very curious that so few are in circulation? Not many have been made? Hard to tell with a simple search, I guess.

    The VB seems so good on my computer....
    My days of "blind buying" are over :nono. Buying and selling and buying...sheeesh... I gotta work it with my own hands and ears to see if it will dance for me! Looks good on paper.

    So, anyone near the SF bay area have one? Do ya mind a quick demo? Pizza and beverage on me!

    Thanks!
    510 967 5018
    Wallace
     
  7. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

    Messages:
    7,415
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Greater San Jose Metroplex
    Wish I could help you - I had a V33, loved it, it's really an incredible amp. But the S16 made more sense for me with what I'm doing, so I sold the V. If I didn't have the S16 and the EmplexadorII I'd be using the V33, but it fell in between those two amps and thus was kind of redundant for me. Absolutely stellar, big sounding amp with a lot of balls, though - as Cliff put it, it's kind of the history of classic rock in a single amp.
     
  8. tfunster

    tfunster Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,231
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    How are the cleans?? Could someone describe their "character?"
     
  9. Free

    Free Member

    Messages:
    1,304
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Very harmonicly rich midrange prominent cleans, with an INCREDIBLY subtle transistion into overdrive or edge. Similar to a good Plexi's cleans but a tad more harmonicly dense.
     
  10. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,142
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Location:
    Area 51 & Seacoast ME
    Can these newer Top Hat models be ordered with an FX loop???
     
  11. rotren

    rotren Member

    Messages:
    2,777
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Camrose, Alberta, Canada, but originally from Umea
    I tested one of these amps, and I was very impressed. Very big clean sound with punch to it. I really loved playing this amp.
     
  12. Free

    Free Member

    Messages:
    1,304
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Hello there. I know you from your internet lessons (Dolphin Street)- you do great work and I bookmarked you a while ago. Just wanted to mention that.
    -Mike
     
  13. rotren

    rotren Member

    Messages:
    2,777
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Camrose, Alberta, Canada, but originally from Umea
    Thanks Mike, I appreciate hearing that!
    Cheers,
    Robert
     
  14. Free

    Free Member

    Messages:
    1,304
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Brian Gerhard is a bit of a vintage style purist, so I don't know. I know he could do it if you asked him to.
     
  15. Free

    Free Member

    Messages:
    1,304
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    My pleasure - you're a very talented player.
     
  16. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

    Messages:
    3,136
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Jackson Heights Birthplace of Johnny Thunders
    Brian will do it but believes a loop steals tone
     
  17. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,525
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    location, location, location...
    I put up some clips of the V33 on youtube. Go there and search tophat vanderbilt.
     
  18. ahab

    ahab Member

    Messages:
    1,605
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Hey Jujo,
    I heard those clips, nice playing. Do you still have the Vanderbilt? And, if you don't mind my asking, do you gig with it? If so, I was wondering if you would mind sharing how the amp compresses at stage volumes. Do you get solid note definition/articulation, does the amp compress into saturation?
    Thanks and thanks for the clips!
    Ahab
     
  19. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,525
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Location:
    location, location, location...
    I gigged with it but I have only been playing motown/funk live so I was not pushing the amp into OD. It really is a rock amp, but with good clean tones. Problem for me was that I needed those clean tones at higher volume. So I sold the amp.

    I played it with Scumbacks and used pedals for my OD. I'd say that with the Scumbacks the amp wasn't highly articulate- which of course is highly relative. With the Scumbacks the amp had a creamy sound with OD. Like 60's old school rock. This was probably largely due to the speakers. I had a friend gig with my setup once and I thought it was creamy sounding when he used it as well. It was not a fast articulate in your face sound. It was creamy rock- if that makes any sense...
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice