Why is the market soft for Top Hats?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by cestjoel, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. cestjoel

    cestjoel Member

    Messages:
    78
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    Location:
    Pomona, CA
    They're well made amps and sound amazing! Like some one said, "it's A real PRO amp"

    Was just curious as to why their resale value is not as good as other great amps.

    Joel
     
  2. samuelson

    samuelson Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    The market is soft for everything really. I have a Dr. Z Maz 38, a Jaguar Jr. and a Victoria Victoriette that all resale for so low that it's not worth selling. Al three are great amps but I've got too many amps right now. But it's a buyers market these days. So I have amps in most every room in the house.
     
  3. fusionbear

    fusionbear exquirentibus veritatem Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,658
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Deep in the OC
    I don't know why either. They are some of the best made and best sounding amps on the market IMO...:bonk
     
  4. Blunder

    Blunder Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,150
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Location:
    upper left side
    Doesn't bother me since I'm not selling mine.:D Got my first one in '99 (VibraTrem) and have never even considered selling it. I tend to play my Emplex more than anything these days, but I was rocking out with the Vibratrem today for the first time in awhile. Man, I love that little firebreather.

    Top Hats are some of the best sounding and well built amps I have played. Ive never had a problem with the 3 I own or the others I have had. They probably just get lost in the shuffle around here with so many options for amps these days. I guess the good thing is you can get a sweet deal on one if you are looking to buy.
     
  5. CharAznable

    CharAznable Member

    Messages:
    14,602
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Location:
    Leesburg, VA
    Because they're no longer the TGP Official Amp Of The Month?

    Used Top Hats are killer deals.
     
  6. Crash-VR

    Crash-VR Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,058
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Carr's are some of my favorites hat you can get for cheap these days.
     
  7. wordsonyou

    wordsonyou Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    All true, but top hats have always been a great deal on the used market, and even better these days. I always regretted selling the rarest of top hat animals - the 4 6v6 Embassy...mmmmm...plus the King Royale and Club Deluxe were what basically sucked me in to the whole world of boutique amps...

    but yeah it is ridiculous now - there is a KR on ebay (local deal only it says) at 750 USD!!! Crazy!!!

    With the economy improving and with Chinese labor practices improving, I am guessing we are at an all time low (I am told the whole offshore market is about to get a whack more expensive which will drive up the prices on home grown gear I bet). Next Xmas I expect we will be at Millennial prices - who knows?
     
  8. alivegy

    alivegy Member

    Messages:
    1,068
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    SoCal
    pardon me while i take a stroll around the emporium. The emplexador is just the perfect tone machine. I have two marshalls already and I'm still highly tempted to buy one.
     
  9. HHB

    HHB Member

    Messages:
    6,643
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    East Flat Rock NC
    Ive used a tophat for nearly all my gigs over the last five years. Only amp I will ever buy again
     
  10. will richardson

    will richardson The Tennessee to California Connection Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Top Hat amps have always had very low price on the used market. They are clean on the inside and then some. I have a Purple King Royale with salt and pepper grill cloth. It's my only newer amp (2000 or 2001, would have to look at my sales receipt). It is not the cat's meeoow. Having said that, it is a solid tube amp. My retired Aerpsapace Amp Guy Jim, did a repair last year - it had a burned out cap. He used a slightly different cap that was still within acceptability. The compression increased dramatically and it sounded very vintagey. The Ambassador line is a Fendery line. Although I purchased the King Royale, I think the Ambassador forty watter sounded like a great blackface but with more fat and warmth.

    In closing, Top Hats are great to buy used but not so great to sell if you purchased one new. They hit the market at a bad time, and just never got their dues. I think their Name and Logo is cool, but many don't ( I believe).
    Converesely, Divided by 13 hit just right. Sorry guys, but I think they are the most toneless wonders I have heard in ions in the boutique priced range.

    Keep on pickin'

    will richardson
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  11. meterman

    meterman Member

    Messages:
    7,389
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    ATL
    I've been playing Tophats since 2004, some of the best amps out there IMHO. I think part of the reason the resale is low is that there aren't alot of dealers and virtually no promotion, which makes it hard to compete with more high profile companies. I agree though the market sucks all the way around, and used Tophats are just an unbelievable bargain considering the tone, build quality and customer service you get is better than many amps costing 2x+ as much.

    Brian Gerhard told me once that the best way for him to compete with his old amps on the used market, is to keep making his new amps better and better. Great philosophy if you ask me...
     
  12. meterman

    meterman Member

    Messages:
    7,389
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Location:
    ATL
    actually Tophat has been in the amp business since at least 1996, that's the earliest one I've seen.

    I agree that the newer cosmetics didn't appeal to everyone and it seems they have toned them down a bit, or at least have that option.

    And you're right about the Ambassador 35, it's a BF preamp w/ a cathode biased 4x6V6 power section. I just recently picked up a 2000 model and it is really sweet, gorgeous cleans but breaks up and grinds with the best of them....
     
  13. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,909
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Broward
    Best kept secret on TGP. Love mine.
     
  14. mbargav

    mbargav Member

    Messages:
    6,375
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Love my Super-Deluxe, and it's going nowhere.

    To answer the OP: seems like Tophat has been around long enough that the used market isn't buoyed up by initial hype. You can get a SD from Fatsound for around $1900 and change (around what I remember paying for mine), and probably sell it for $1300 or so. A resale price of ~70% of original price seems pretty fair to me.
     
  15. Shinequwa

    Shinequwa Member

    Messages:
    536
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Because nobody like Robben Ford or Slash plays one....
     
  16. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    They are great sounding and extremely well built amps. I own two. Brian comes from more of an "old school" approach where the amp is a tone generator. I find his amps are very flexible but he doesn't offer things like channel switching and he doesn't like effects loops much. You can dial them in for a multitude of sounds but one sound at a time. So if you are in that "channel switching/presets/ EFX loop" camp you might find they are not the amp for you.
     
  17. dangeroso

    dangeroso Member

    Messages:
    4,392
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    :agree

    The market is soft on a lot of great amps that are not talked up much by the forum greats.
     
  18. DGTCrazy

    DGTCrazy Moderator de Emporio Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,519
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Location:
    Petaluma, CA
    Hey Scott,

    I see these in the Emporium often, but I've never heard, nor played one. What makes them so special, and where are they in the Tone Spectrum?
     
  19. stratotastic

    stratotastic Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,636
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Stranded in Philly
    Probably because, except for like a couple hundred guys on TGP, no one's ever heard of 'em? :dunno

    (...kinda like most of the gear that's talked about around here.)
     
  20. mbargav

    mbargav Member

    Messages:
    6,375
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Tophat and Matchless are actually the only two boutique brands I'd ever heard of well before joining TGP. Tophat has been around for quite some time now.
     

Share This Page