Tophat Super Deluxe

Boutique amplifiers sidled onto the scene a couple of decades ago largely as copies of rare, expensive vintage amps—particularly tweed Fenders, although models based on tube-powered Voxes were always close contenders. More recently in vogue among boutique makers have been the Marshall classics from the 1960s. Brian Gerhard’s creations at TopHat have always leaned toward British-born valve designs, but a new addition to his Club Series combines all of the above elements for a result that is much more than the sum of its parts. The 6L6-based Super Deluxe delivers a near-equal blend of tweed Fender bark, Vox chime, and Marshall grind, and it could well be one of the most successful embodiments of melting-pot design ethos.