Weight of your Top Hat amplifier and your opinions!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by LoopyBullet, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. LoopyBullet

    LoopyBullet Supporting Member

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    To any and all people with a Top Hat amplifier: What model do you have, and how much does it weigh? Also, how do you like it?

    Some background - I'm curious about all of TGP members' Top Hat amps, but specifically...I'm looking at getting a Top Hat Club Royale. The Vox AC15 Handwired is DAMN heavy, so that's a no go. I was thinking about Morgan amplifiers, but bit turned off by how Morgan has treated some of its customers (I've been down the "boutique" road before with builders having bad communication and am not looking to revisit any great builders with less than adequate business practices). Am I barking up the wrong tree by looking at Top Hat?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    I've owned a number of Top Hats.. The older 1/12 club deluxe and club Royale amps were very light.. The 2/12 combos, no....those Vox AC15's are ridiculously heavy!
     
  3. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    I have a 2001 Emplexador 50w head (aka "Block" logo era). Not sure how much it weighs. It's got some weight to it but, nothing over bearing. Truly fantastic amp, IMO. It's the best non-Marshall "Marshall" amp I've ever heard or played. Fantastic customer service too. I can't recommend Top Hat enough.
     
  4. Stev0Griffin

    Stev0Griffin Trendsetter

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    I had a 2002 (I think) Club Royale 112 combo for a few years. It wasn't terribly heavy; noticeably lighter than my current AC15CC1.

    Man, I miss that Top Hat. What a great amp that was.
     
  5. racecarracecar

    racecarracecar Member

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    My CR is a lot lighter than my ac15. A lot.
     
  6. BMX

    BMX Member

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    I had a 1x12 Club Deluxe - it was very light. I had a 2x12 Ambassador--it was very heavy. Both awesome amps.
     
  7. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Member

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    My first Top Hat was a 2004 Club Deluxe 112 combo. I wouldn't say it was super heavy but I wouldn't have called it light weight either. I have pretty much abandoned tube combos for that reason. My Top Vanderbilt head weighs 28 lbs and my Emplexador head weighs 38 lbs. I would just call Brian at Top Hat and ask. The Vandy is basically a tweaked Club Deluxe in a head format. Factor in the 10 lb speaker and the extra wood it's probably around 40+ lbs for the Club Royale.

    I usually use my heads with a THD 212 that weighs about 47 lbs but my gigging cab has casters. I always felt the 20 watt format in a single 12 configuration wasn't loud enough in a band situation. YMMV
     
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  8. JC99

    JC99 Member

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    I have a 2011 Super 33 1x12 combo. It's a very nice amp, great tones, great build quality, loud, sort of a Vox/Marshall hybrid. It's probably an average weight for an amp in its class. Having said that, in my opinion, it is heavy. My bathroom scale, which admittedly is probably not accurate, reads 47.7 pounds. I'd say it's at least that -- around 50 lbs. sounds about right. It's not back breaking, but it's not something you'd call light--it's a portly box. It uses birch ply, and it's a deeper open back combo than most. I think Brian went to those deeper cabs around 2010. The design makes it sound a lot bigger than a typical 1X12. If you're looking for lighter combos, you'd probably need one with a pine cab, like Carr, Swart, etc. Or you could shave off some weight with a neo speaker, I suppose.

    I will say that I don't know if the Club Royale uses the same cab, and I don't know how much it weighs. Checking in with TopHat would probably be your best bet. As far as service, my impression is that Brian is a straight shooter, who's very passionate about his amps. He'll take care of you. I also think he prefers phone communication. Lots of choices these days, but Brian's amps are great -- simple, old school, good quality.
     
  9. dave-o

    dave-o Member

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    Had a 2x12 King royale, about the best amp I've owned but was north of 70lbs.

    Had a club royale 2x12 , was 40+ not too bad, another great sounding amp.

    Any top hat will deliver in spades, amazing amps!
     
  10. tonefreak

    tonefreak Member

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    [​IMG]

    Not mine exactly, but I had the same model. About the same weight as a Marshall 50W.
     
  11. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    My 2x12 custom one-off Embassy (one of the 2 or 3 best sounding amps I have ever heard - let alone owned - in 40+ years of guitar playing):

    [​IMG]

    My scripty King Royale (uncanny amp - nicknamed "The Mystical King" on the old TopHat forum. Built and signed by Phil Jamison when he used to work for Brian Gerhard, when the original Matchless closed):

    [​IMG]


    Script logo circuit 50w Emplexador in the original transition era 1st generation block logo (just re-tubed with Siemens NOS EL34s - an utter screamer; KILLEr greasy, chewy old schoool Marshall tones on the Vintage side):

    [​IMG]

    Brian is currently building me a 2x12 Club Royale. It will look like this, but bigger (fawn tolex, black grill cloth and a silver bar between the valance and grill):

    [​IMG]

    I've been playing TopHats since 1998, and the Club Royale I have in the oven is the 14th or 15th 'Hat I'll have bought (I've lost count; amongst the 'Hats I've had are 7 Club Royales -- just GREAT amps -- I gigged with them for 7 straight years). Brian Gerhard is a brilliant amp builder and designer. Apex. Nobody - and I do mean nobody - I would rather have build an amp for me. He has been in the business more than 20 years - had even worked on various D*mbles for some pretty heavy players going back 20 years (which nobody even knows about the guy) - is a walking encyclopedia of amp circuits and can talk for literally hours about resistor and cap values/sizes, how sound waves travel through various stages of the preamp, the physical paper that early Celestion speakers were made from versus current materials, etc.

    I dig the $hit out of all the 'Hats I have owned. But my one-off Embassy is just a monstrous sounding rig - especially with one of my Lentz Strats going through it.

    Brian has sold enough amps that he basically builds when/what he wants at this point in his career. He is back to being a one-man shop; and on my Embassy, there isn't even a tag board in site. It's all terminal strip and pure point-to-point, built by the man himself.

    Weights of the amps? You get big tone with big iron - which is why the King, Emplex and Embassy sound the way they do. Big iron isn't light - but it's well worth the weight. The 2x12 CR will be the lightest 'Hat I own, once it's complete.

    Just my $0.02.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
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  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Two things you will get from Brian at TopHat: 1. A fabulous amp, and 2. Fabulous customer service.

    My guess is just north of 40 lbs for a Club Royale 1x12 combo.
     
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  13. dwoverdrive

    dwoverdrive Supporting Member

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    The Royale amps are so sweet. Everything TopHat makes is but whatever you get in extra weight is well worth it. I recently griped in a Mark V thread about how guys were avoiding easily superior amps over like an extra 10 lbs of weight. I just don't get that.
    That AC15 is 50lbs. Club Royale is maybe a little less. Dolly's, road cases with casters that the amp sits on during the gig (what we did with an AC30 for years) are perfect for that
     
  14. guitarsenal

    guitarsenal Silver Supporting Member

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    The old Club Deluxe, before they went to the deeper cabinet weighs about the same as a Silverface Princeton.
     
  15. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Agree. Brian's customer service is crazy-great. And if you catch him when he has some free time, you'll get an education in amp circuits of all kinds.
     
  16. s360guitarist

    s360guitarist Silver Supporting Member

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    I asked Brian on the TopHat Facebook page last year and he guessed 47. A member there weighed theirs via bathroom scale and it was 43.
     
  17. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    I happened on this old thread.
    I love this combination of tele/Top Hat. I don't think I could even use a tele full time with another amp.
    I've had this one since I bought it new in '06 and have only plugged into a different amp about 3 times since then.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. deeval

    deeval Supporting Member

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    King Royals I had where very heavy combos but great tone, and Brian is great on customer service.
     
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  19. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    My small script logo club deluxe and Club Royale 1/12's weighed under 30 lbs.. it was when Brian was using the small cabs.. Greenbacks helped keep the weight down as well, as opposed to the heavy G12h30's
     
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  20. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    On the other hand, my King Royale 2/12 was pretty heavy... more manageable with Alnico speakers
     

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