What's the deal with Top Hat?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Sonic Reducer, Feb 6, 2006.


  1. Sonic Reducer

    Sonic Reducer Member

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    Did Brian G really leave? I read an old post a few minutes ago about him leaving.
     
  2. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Nah...Brian and his wife moved to North Carolina. He's fully in business and making great amps. I think its all on his website. I bought a head cab from him a couple of months ago.
     
  3. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Top Hat is alive and well, with Brian still at the helm (or bench). He just moved the company from CA to NC last year, as GAT said. Very much in business now, and making terrific amps. =K
     
  4. Plan9FOS

    Plan9FOS Member

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    Speaking of Top Hat, I tried an Emplexador 50 at GGuitars in CT last Sunday ... what a great amp. I mean, you really could get a whole basket of different Marshall tones from over the past years. Excellent plexi breakup ... all the way up through overdriven modern Marshall sounds. Really, one of the best Marshall style amps I have played.

    The sound clips I heard absolutley do NOT do this justice. It growls or rips with the best of them.

    Why don't more of these sell?

    I am a dual channel man myself ... wonder if that is part of it .... :confused:
     
  5. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    I heard one at an older NYCtone fest. Great Great amp. Just ripped. Of course the volume needed to be up. Still it sounded great. It might have been crzy8's? I am not sure.
     
  6. RhytmEarl

    RhytmEarl Member

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    I haven't owned a Top Hat myself but my partner in crime in my old band had quite a few of them, the Emplexador included. There wasn't a single one of them I didn't like - and the Plex I loved.

    I honestly wonder if they were 40% more expensive they'd be sudenly all the high end boutique rage. I'm serious. SO many people listen with their wallets.

    Peaveys are great amps. Not all things to all people but I honestly think they get **** on cuz people see them as 'cheap', not inexpensive.
     
  7. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I've owned just about all of the amps in the TH lineup, at one point or another. Still have two Club Deluxe 1x12s and a Super Deluxe 2x12. IMO these are some of the best British voiced clean-to-crunch amps ever made! I just got Fulltone '69 Fuzz.......wow, it sounds heavenly with these three amps!!!

    Brian does a great job, and at a fairly competitive price point in the booteek amp world. The very favorable review of the Super Deluxe in a recent issue of Guitar Player Mag made me very happy. Brian's products deserve more attention, IMO.
     
  8. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    NO CHANCE... You're only referring to a miniscule section of the market. Perhaps you're referring to about 50 people on this forum who buy based on price and amp-of-the-month and then sell them? I don't know anyone out of working guitarists that ***** on PV or buys amps only because they cost more than another amp. I'm a member of this forum and have been since the beginning but I'm very different in that I have to hear an amp , and play it to decide if it's for me . Who cares what the brand is. I owned a modded 5150 last year that was killer, but I have modded Marshalls that are better for me , and also I love Engls.. On some of my best amps I've spent about 300.00 .. Others 900.00 ... Depends what I had at the time! Also owned the PV Rockmaster preamp and preferred my ADA MP1's and Engls, marshalls jmp1 etc . BUT I used a PV Classic 50 for 8 years of gigs with never once changing a tube or it breaking. I did swap the speakers for EVM 12ls' for most of those years as I blew the originals. I owned a Tophat Club Royale II when J&S sold them brand new for 950.00 or so .. J&S of course went out of business, but they sold stuff cheaper than ANYONE else.. I also tried the Club Deluxe II when they accidentally shipped me that one! Either amp was really really nice . Not for me , for my main type of amp ,but they were both well worth their price and really nice.. No way in the world to me they're worth 1700.00 though or whatever people pay now!!! That's to me... If you boost the price, great you get 50 buyers, and the rest of us say no chance. For an amp company to stay in business they need a damn lot of buyers and a profit margin.. Peavey has done JUST GREAT with their marketing decisions!!! So has Fender and so has Marshall... The other companies are always going to have a hard time competing. Whether or not they get rich is one thing, but if they don't actually 'lose' money is something else I think . They'll never get the VOLUME discounts that are necessary to thrive unless they get very very lucky AND have amazing marketing.. I'll all for all the small/boutiquy companies and I own many amps of those varities , i.e. Whitney, Morin, Egnater mod, Demeter , or slightly bigger like Engl, THD, ORange, etc but not for boosting prices to attract only a small market! Carry on! ERIC
     
  9. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I hear ya man, I've got an Emplexador and it flat out rocks. I got some live recordings of it recently and hope to post some clips soon...great great amp!!! I've also got a Club Deluxe 1x12 and a Super Deluxe 2x12, I've played and owned a number of different amps but the THs just work for me and what I want to hear. Great quality build too and excellent customer support....
     
  10. ronw

    ronw Member

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    Hey Eric, I don't know of anyone today spending $1700 for a Club Royale or Club Deluxe. Both of those are tremendous amps and well worth their asking price...a price that significantly less than $1700. That said, if one is to step up into the flagship series of Tophat amps, then the price is more that $1700. I recently purchased a King Royale head/cab combo that priced out quite a bit more than the aforementioned price. However, it's worth every penny to me. I've not heard a better amp for what I do.

    FWIW: I've owned a Club Royale 2x12 and paid about $1000; and a 2002 Super Deluxe and paid about $950!
     
  11. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    I have a JCM800 and a soldano avenger both are which are great at what they do. I was very interested in the VHT Deliverance because it seems to be so uniquely voiced. I've made my mind up to go ahead take my time and save up for a really nice amp. I don't really need another signle chanel rock amp as I have two of the best. The Top Hat is definetly in consideration along with the Fuchs Supreme Overdrive 50. The CAE is a great amp but probably a litle behind the other two in my mind at the moment. The CAE is the best all around clean and distorted amp IMHO; however, I just like the way the Fuchs sounds a litle bit beter. I'm going to take my time and get this one right. Over the past few months there have been two Emplexadores for sale used at about 1500 bucks. Something like that I would be all over. Aren't they kinda of like a beefed up JCM800?
     
  12. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    That's great! THANKS for the info honestly. I've been SHOCKED at some asking prices for amps on this forum recently and my post was as a result of that.. IN fact today I read a post where 4 people have just posted HOW GREAT THIS Guy's price was on a particular Non-Tophat amp , and it's the same amp the guy just bought a month ago for 1150.00 on the forum , and then asked 1200-1300.00 and now has it posted for 1400.00 and 4 people posted how the price is so great. IT drives me crazy.. Meanwhile, some places sell things brand new , cheaper than people are selling things for used. I will say about my TOphat CluB Royale 2 I got brand new for about 950.00, it was an excellent amp for that money. If someone wanted an Indie-Rock type amp it was tres-cool . For bluesy stuff it was excellent .. .For the versatility I needed at the time it wasn't for me, but that is not to say I didn't like it at all. I had turned down a friend's Vox ac30RI at that point for 1200.00 because I couldn't come up with the extra 250.00 , bought the Tophat , and then really would've preferred the AC30 as that was the real tone I was seeking at that point. OThers would choose the Tophat in a heartbeat, as it wasn't worse or better than the AC30ri , just different. 50% Marshall (older-style) and 50 % VOX, whereas the AC30 ri was 100% VOX.... The Club Deluxe2 I tried was about 50% VOx and50% Fender to me, or maybe more Vox.. It was cool too... Thanks for clearing up my prices post

    ERIC
     
  13. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Keep in mind that Brian Gerhardt of TopHat seems to be constantly improving the design and quality of his amps, so as prices creep up on the new ones (as prices on just about everything tend to do) there are often also improvements to the new versions of his different amp models. Stuff like deeper cabs, tube recs on previously SS amps, EQ refinements, boost/cut switches, speaker changes/upgrades, etc.

    Keith_t4e, the Emplexador is a versatile Marshall-style amp based on a late-60s Plexi but with voicing switches to get JTM45 and metal-panel sounds, and a Vintage/Modern mode which kicks in an extra gain stage. In Modern mode it is similar to late Superlead/early JCM800 gain levels.....not super high gain but very tasty, great sounding amp built to last....
     

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