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Why is the market soft for Top Hats?

cestjoel

Member
Messages
78
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
 

samuelson

Member
Messages
688
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.
 

fusionbear

exquirentibus veritatem
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,986
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
I don't know why either. They are some of the best made and best sounding amps on the market IMO...:bonk
 

Blunder

Member
Messages
1,225
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.
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,215
Because they're no longer the TGP Official Amp Of The Month?

Used Top Hats are killer deals.
 

Crash-VR

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,162
Carr's are some of my favorites hat you can get for cheap these days.
 

wordsonyou

Member
Messages
1,121
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?
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
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.
 

HHB

Member
Messages
6,641
Ive used a tophat for nearly all my gigs over the last five years. Only amp I will ever buy again
 

will richardson

The Tennessee to California Connection
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
467
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:

meterman

Member
Messages
7,961
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...
 

meterman

Member
Messages
7,961
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).
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....
 

mbargav

Member
Messages
6,372
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.
 

tech21nyc

Member
Messages
1,760
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.
 

stratotastic

Senior Member
Messages
7,239
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.)
 

mbargav

Member
Messages
6,372
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.)
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.
 






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