Which Tophat?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by nolenuttt, Apr 23, 2005.


  1. nolenuttt

    nolenuttt Gold Supporting Member

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    I owned at one time an older (91/2" deep) Tophat Club Royale, and really wish I still had it-Tmac had it at one time-Anyway, I'm really GAS'ing for a Tophat-I gig, and want enough power and clean headroom-Blues and Classic rock-OCD/AC boost friendly, preferably, but ALL suggestions are appreciated-We also do some tunes where a good amount of distortion is needed-HELP!!:(
     
  2. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Silver Supporting Member

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    I second the super deluxe.....I have one and if you swap out the 12ay7 for a 12ax7 in v1 you dont even need pedals....just crank it and use your guitar volume.....and the maybe one OD pedal for a more syrupy lead tone
     
  3. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    You'd do well with a SD....the CR would be killer, but might not have the headroom you'd desire...play both and see what you think. :)


    david
     
  4. Rockin J

    Rockin J Member

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    A 3rd for the Super Deluxe. Sure like mine. Fantastic with pedals. Ain't bad all by its self either.
     
  5. JeffD

    JeffD Very slow but persistent Supporting Member

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    The 2x12 Super Deluxe will do that.. To get lots of distortion a pedal will be required, however.
     
  6. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    You should play a few of them before deciding. TopHat
    makes several incredible amps. The Super Deluxe is a
    good candidate for what you seem to be looking for but I
    would absolutely suggest that you test drive some of their
    other models, especially the King Royale and the Emplexador 50.
    IMO 2 of the greatest amps ever and the customer support you'll
    get from them is second to none.
     
    amphog likes this.
  7. meterman

    meterman Member

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    I've got 3 of 'em, a Club Deluxe which is great for practice and jams, a Super Deluxe which is my gigging amp, and an Emplexador that I recently got but haven't been in the right situation to use it live....I would say the Super Deluxe if you want a combo, I just got back from a gig with mine and it is a GREAT sounding amp!! Fat and warm or snarling and edgy, it's all in there and works great with pedals especially after I removed the bright cap on the pre-volume pot. The SD is more of a Tweed/Vox/JTM45 sounding amp, whereas the Emplex is straight up Marshall with the TopHat magic in spades, if you're considering a head & cabinet rig you can't go wrong with that one
     
  8. JeffD

    JeffD Very slow but persistent Supporting Member

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    I don't want to derail the thread, but would you please tell me more about the differences with the bright cap removed? I've considered doing this. If I understand correctly, it would make little difference for me since I run the preamp-volume up fairly high anyway. Is that right? Thanks.
     
  9. bigredhaus

    bigredhaus Member

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    I'd be interested to hear more about this also ... I have a King Royale.

    Scott
     
  10. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Jeff, Scott, this was something that Brian G. recently commented on over at the TH forum, he said that the bright cap is there to make the amp sound "correct" on its own at lower volumes but that if you run dirt pedals with it he recommended removing it. I usually run my Super Deluxe with both volumes around 1:00-2:00 for edge of dirt tones and use pedals for other gain sounds. I've had great luck with the TIM/Timmy, PE Germ, Mosferatu, and various fuzzes, but my BJFE Dyna Red which is more of a distortion than an OD was kind of buzzy and fizzy in the top end with the SD as compared to with a Marshall & Emplexador. The Dyna has quite a bit of top end BTW, but is by far my favorite distortion box, awesome pedal from the Mad Professor. I played my first gig last night since lifting the cap and the Dyna sounded amazing!! I couldn't really say how much of a difference removing the cap made vs. running the amp at gig levels, but I think it helped even with the preamp up about 2/3. I may experiment with putting the cap on a toggle so I can really A/B the differences but I'm real satisfied with this amp now and have no more concerns about pedal compatibility. It's an easy mod (BE SAFE! Drain the caps first!!) and well worth trying if you have distortion pedals with lots of high end or that sound a bit fizzy with your TopHat. Now this is really the perfect amp!! :dude
     
  11. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Here's Brian's post from the TH forum regarding high end fizz:

    "I think most of you are talking about the sonic effect that happens with pedals, due to a bypass cap on the volume pot -- basically a fulltime bright switch. It diminshes effect, the higher the knob is set and exagerates when set low. When ramrodding the amp with gain from a pedal -- it really wants to bypass around the resistance of the volume pot, when using a bypass cap there. When only pushed with it's own natural gain, it doesn't do it. But, ramrod it and it does. Different amps with different bypass cap values (or none), will accentuate different parts of the spectrum somewhere in the mid to upper end. This cap can be simply snipped off to remove this effect. Especially, if you tend to use pedals into the amp. I put one on there to make the amp correct by itself, though I'm aware of this issue. In the near future, I'll make the "bright" switchable.
    Brian Gerhard"

    FYI the cap is on the pre-volume pot, not the master volume, and I just drained the caps and then lifted up one leg of the cap so I could easily put it back to stock if I wanted to...
     
  12. mlynn02

    mlynn02 Member

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    meterman speaketh the truth!!

    i was at the gig he played yesterday and the tones he was getting were great. nice playing too!

    made me start gas-ing for a tophat myself...add it to list i guess.
     
  13. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Thanks for the compliment Matt, that was a great party huh! Free beer, cheap pizza, and drunk hot girls dancing around...

    :dude

    It was great meeting you, sorry I got distracted and we didn't have a chance to talk more. Let me know if you want to get a beer some time and talk shop, or if you ever want to check out the TopHats.

    FWIW I only used the Dyna on the first jam, the rest of the time was mostly Timmy, a little Germ and McFuzz standard on the Hendrix tune....
     
  14. JeffD

    JeffD Very slow but persistent Supporting Member

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    Just wanted to thank you for taking the trouble to list this here. Of course your kindness results in another question: how do you drain the caps? Can you refer me to a web site with that info?
    Thanks
     
  15. meterman

    meterman Member

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    No problem Jeff, glad I could help. If you want more info the TopHat forum is full of guys way more knowledgeable than me about all things TopHat!

    Regarding draining the caps, well, I'm not really comfortable explaining it because I just learned how to do it. I'll try, but would also defer to someone more knowledgeable than myself because amps are very dangerous even when unplugged and I'd hate to steer you wrong. I learned most of it here:

    http://studentweb.eku.edu/justin_holton/caps.html

    but also talked to a local tech and had him show me how to do it and which parts I would need.

    Basically you need a 5 watt, 10K ohm resistor soldered to two leads with insulated alligator clips on each end. I wrapped the resistor and connections in electrical tape for good measure, and it's very important that you use the correct insulating covers for the alligator clips. Clip one alligator clip to the chassis FIRST, and then using some insulated needle nose pliers clip the other one to the positive lead of one of the big caps (the positive lead should be marked with a ++++ down the side). I've been told that the caps are in series so clipping to one should drain them all......Wait a few minutes to drain the charge and then check all the caps with a multimeter, they should read 10V or less. I did all this wearing rubber soled shoes and with one hand in my pocket so I didn't accidentally touch the chassis and become the ground connector! I also did something which some say is bogus but I did it anyway - turn the amp on and plug in a guitar, strum a chord and then shut the amp off directly, bypassing the standby switch. Keep strumming the chord as the amp powers down, supposedly this helps to drain the caps, and then of course unplug it!

    Again, I recommend you do your own research and if at all possible get a tech to show you how it's done just to be extra safe....

    Once the caps are drained I just touched a soldering iron to one leg of the cap across the pre-volume pot and lifted one leg leaving the other one in place. That's it!
     
  16. JeffD

    JeffD Very slow but persistent Supporting Member

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    Great info meterman; thanks
     
  17. bigredhaus

    bigredhaus Member

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    Which post was this at the TopHat forum? Thanks.

    Scott
     
  18. meterman

    meterman Member

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  19. Buick8

    Buick8 Member

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  20. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I had a 98 CLub Royale very cool amp, only traded it because I wanted a channel switcher. Regarding any permanent bright cap I think just about any amp I've used with this feature has sounded horrible with gain. Just think about what you're doing, it goes counter to what a lead tone usually is.
     

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