Who likes the Top Hat Emplexador and why?

IPlayHamers

Member
Messages
1,223
I have seen a few of these heads for sale lately and they seem to be really good values on the used market. What do some of you think about it? Like it? Hate it? Let me know.

Paul
 
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728
I have 2 50 watters and 1 100 watt Emplexador in my studio.
I love them (obviously) and IMO they are the best sounding
Marshall type amps ever built. Huge, open and very natural
sounding with the ability to go from vintage plexi to hotrodded
brown sound with a musical quality that can't be beat. They can
get nice sounds at lower volumes but they really shine when
the master is at 1 O'Clock. The build quality is as good as it gets
and Brian Gerhard (the builder and designer) is as helpful as
it gets. I rate him 5 out of 5 stars for customer service. He's
one of the best designer/builders that has graced this planet.

I'd buy them at any price. They have become indispensable tools
for me. Remember, there are a lot of players who like to buy
and try many amps,and this is a good thing for the boutique
builders. It helps keep them in business. I like to do the same
on occasion but in terms of my job as a producer/A&R, there are
certain tools which I use to get the end results that I'm looking
for and when I'm looking for a great Marshallesque tone I rely
on the TopHats especially since I sold my 2 1968 Plexi's a few
years ago.
 

59burst

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,432
I have a 50 watt Emplexador that, for me, ended the search for a Marshall style "rock" amp. It sounds incredible all the way from clean to fairly high gain, and has a lot of flexibility. The flexibility is not from channel switching or anything - it is all from the knobs/switches and your guitar's volume knob.

It seems to be comfortable with either humbuckers or single coils, and takes effects pedals (at least those I've used) without a problem.

Build quality of the Emplexi (and all other Top Hats I've owned) is among the best.

Sounds great, built like a tank, reasonable price on the used market, what's not to like! :dude

I think they are a bit of a sleeper in the amp market.
 

Stranglehold

Member
Messages
59
I haven't played the emplexador but, I played an Ambassador 35 Head & it was awesome. It had the most gorgeous clean I've ever heard. I didn't get to spend that much time with it but, it really got me interested in Tophats.
 

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
They are FANTASTIC values on the used market. I've owned two so far (both purchased new), and they both have been great. Balanced, powerfull, fantastic....I could go on and on, but I'm hungry and need to eat something first.... :)


david
 

Stranglehold

Member
Messages
59
Dehughes,

What Tophats did you have? I was thinking of trying to find a good used tophat 112 combo when I sell a Budda superdrive 30. I must have a thing for class A because I've got a Trace Elliot C30 combo that is class A & really like it but, it's still far from boutique. I do really like a Voxy sound. I've had a vox valvetronix for a couple of years but, it doesn't really satisfy me. I played an Orange rocker 30 the other day & thought it sounded pretty good but, I didn't really get to crank it.

George
 

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
Originally posted by dehughes
They are FANTASTIC values on the used market. I've owned two so far (both purchased new), and they both have been great. Balanced, powerfull, fantastic....I could go on and on, but I'm hungry and need to eat something first.... :)


david
Check out www.tophatamps.com/forum/ for LOTS of great info and LOTS of opinions....don't know which would be more helpful... :)

I've had 7 or 8 TopHats, and still own three. I don't even bother with other amps.... I've owned two Emplexi....fantastic amps...still have the newest one, and an old Club Royale 1x12 and an early model Ambassador 35 2x12. If you're looking for a 1x12, you'd do well to check out the new, deep-cab 1x12 Club Royale. People are leaving their wives for that amp....



david
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,946
Originally posted by IPlayHamers
I have seen a few of these heads for sale lately and they seem to be really good values on the used market. What do some of you think about it? Like it? Hate it? Let me know.

Paul
I've had one for about 3 months and really really like it. Great Marshall tones with that TopHat sweetness, much better for me than the '78 2150 100w combo I sold to get it. It's a deceptively simple amp, with a basic EQ, two "gain stage" modes and a couple of toggles you can get everything from fat JTM45-ish tones to Plexi to metal panel to modded JCM800. I actually had two (one old, one new) and recently sold the newer one to a guy who emailed me and said that the Emplex in Modern mode made his modded JCM800 "sound like a toy".

This is a very versatile amp for Marshall tones, good MV, extremely well made, and backed by some of the best customer support in the business. I personally think these amps are undervalued on the used market, I have three TopHats now (Emplex, Club Deluxe and Super Deluxe) that I like better than anything else I've owned or tried and don't feel the need to look around anymore!
 

59burst

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,432
I posted earlier about my Emplexi, which I love, but I've also had a Club Deluxe and Club Royale. I mistakenly sold both - the tones, build, and quality were stellar on both, but without reverb, they didn't work for my application. Still, the tones were so memorable, I can't stop thinking about them.

I think if they had built a portable amp with reverb (the Ambassador was a big 2x12 combo), they would have sold a ton.

I don't think you can go wrong with Top Hat amps.
 

Kiwi

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,082
The Emplexador is or should be the benchmark for new-build Marshall-y amps. Superb values on the used market, or even new. Why? Play one.

Kiwi
 
Messages
576
I own an Emplex and a King Royale....

I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

The Emplex (as mentioned) is the "BEST OF ALL WORLDS" Marshall-y type amp!!!

OOOOOHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
 

Kevin

Member
Messages
36
Another Emplexador player and lover of TopHats. The Emplexador is the only amp, so far, that I will never sell.
 
Messages
728
I'd just like to add, that besides the 3 Emplexadors, I also
use 2 King Royales (one of the best amps ever IMO) a Club
Royale and Club Deluxe. Brian at Tophat is IMO the best
designer/buider of Marshall to Vox like amps. All those amps I mentioned above get those classic tones + a lot more in terms
of tone and flexability. Out of the 13 amps currently in my studio,
7 are TopHats.
 

sinasl1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,910
+1 for the Emplex- I have a 50 watt that sounds deadly! i've used it on the road and in the studio for years.... A producer friend of mine actually rents it from me for major album projects for $500 a week! That's endorsement enough I think..
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,946
What are you guys using for tubes in your Emplex, specifically for preamp tubes? I put some of those new GT Mullard copies in mine and they are OK but I think it could sound better....thanks!
 
Messages
728
Brian designs his amps to sound their best with your basic
over the counter common tubes. NOS tubes, I have found,
are not the way to go with TopHats.
 

dehughes

Member
Messages
1,156
Originally posted by CliffC
Brian designs his amps to sound their best with your basic
over the counter common tubes. NOS tubes, I have found,
are not the way to go with TopHats.
I'm doing well with the GT Mullards, EI, and EH preamp tubes, but will be trying some Svetlana EL84s and some KT-66s soon...

Current production tubes sound just fine in the Emplex, as they do in all TopHat amps...


david
 






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