Your top 3 best amps you’ve played/own

In Absentia

Carol-Ann Triptik 2 rocks my world. Nothing quite like it. Heavy, but articulate. I cut an indie album with the gain channel, and I’m tracking a metal album with it. The lead sings, and I can cop liquid high gain like Vai and Satch, or push the mids a bit and get those sweet, round fusion tones. The build quality is second to none. Currently own.

The Mesa Boogie JP2C that my band mate has is incredible. Even by Mark series standards, it’s pretty special.

My VHT Deliverance 60 is also incredible. A LOT more versatile than you’d think for a single channel amp. Yeah, it murders for metal. But the clean is stunning, and you can balance the input gain to allow for a great clean, and a high gain with the twist of the volume knob.


So far these are the ones I've gotten to spend serious time with at low and high volume -

JMP 2203 with a Hiwatt OT EL34 - it just sings
JMP 1959 EL34 - classic oomph and kerrang
Satellite Barracuda KT66 classic JTM45 without the flub

All into Greenbacks or Scumbacks in 1960Bs - can't forget the supporting cast.

Ones I'd love to to spend serious time with at low and high volume but haven't lucked into or traded services / builds for -
Splawn QR
Most 100 watt models with Germino or Friedman on the name plate.

What can I say - I'm a Marshall circuit amp slut.



Staff member
My one-off TopHat Embassy that Brian Gerhard built for me a couple years ago. Bitchin' amp. 4x6V6 back end and two separate front ends. I could live on the "Brown Deluxe On Steroids" side of that amp for the rest of my life. Serial # Custom 001

My TopHat Script Logo King Royale. 4xEL84. Built/signed by Phil Jamison when he worked for Brian G. after the original Matchless shut its doors. Has a transformer set made by Pacific Transformer Company. The OT was wound, back in the scripty days, to exacting original JTM45 specs. It can cop the daylights out of Beano tone - but with additional glassiness thrown in for good measure. Crazy-great MV on the full e.q. channel.

New TopHat Emplexador Junior Classic 1x12. An absolutely brilliant amp. 50w of absolutely killin' earlier Marshall tones in a grab 'n go size amp. Records really well and cuts through a band mix like a knife. Brian G himself calls this his "desert island amp".


I like a honky midrangey sound for rhythm playing, so in order of preference and 'honk' factor:
  • Music Man Sixty-Five head and Marshall 1960AV 412 cabinet
  • Mesa Stiletto Ace 112 combo
  • Hughes and Kettner Tubemeister 18 head and homemade 112 cabinet with Celestion Vintage 30 speaker
All three bark like a cranked up old Marshall half stack.


Silver Supporting Member
1. One of my three Marshall Astoria’s (owned the Custom, and now the Dual & Classic).
2. A 1977 Marshall JMP 2204.
3. A toss up between a 1966 Fender Twin Reverb and a 1965 Fender Vibrolux Reverb.
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