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Top Hat Victoria Guitar Amplifier Review

September 19, 2009 by  



Top Hat AmpsThe Victoria 50212-T is very similar to the Fender Twin built between 1955 and 1957 (of the low power variety). This meat-and-potatoes amp relies on hand-wired circuitry that drives 45 watts (via 6L6 tubes) through a pair of Mojo Tone V-30 ceramic magnet speakers, as well as a blatant just-say-no attitude toward built-in effects to drive home it’s point. Each channel has it’s own dedicated volume control (bright and normal), as well as controls for presence, bass, and treble. The amp also has two input jacks. The Victoria, unlike the Twins, utilizes a single GZ34 tube, rather than the dual 5U4 rectifier tubes, allowing for more reliable performance.

Thanks to it’s modified rectifier circuitry the Victoria supplies enough power to keep power chords sounding clear while maintaining the creamy bass sounds associated with old-school amps. The 50212-T can produce a staggering range of tonality, despite it’s lack of an obscene amount of control knobs and switches. A Fender Telecaster played through the single-coil neck pickup had a bright pop, while the Fender Strat (using the same pickup) had a fatter, more crystalline tone (using clean settings, with the master volume set between two and three). Kicking the volume up to around 5 had a tendency to produce highly sensitive overdrive that had noticeable variations, depending on which guitar was being used. For example, a Telecaster (using the neck and middle positions) had a tone reminiscent of the Rolling Stones, whereas a Gibson ‘59 Les Paul Junior with a P-90 would churn out a harmonically-rich crunch. When presented with a high-output humbucker, such as a Seymour Duncan JB and turned up to 11, the Victoria generated a zingy, articulate, and thoroughly satisfying lead tone.

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