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The Mark Sampson designed Hightop is everything “Mark Sampson” in a box. Mark is known for his recreations of the classic AC30/Top Boost tones when he worked for the “other” companies. This pedal is about the best you can get if those “chimey” Beatles type tones float your boat. Play the Hightop for 10 minutes and then turn it off and you will wonder who put the blanket over your amp! This is an actual “Top Boost” circuit reduced to transistors so, flat for the EQ is with both bass and treble all the way left. The cut control contours your highs and the interactive combination of all 3 EQ controls allows you to dial in your mids. Ceramic/Alnico gives you the best option for your choice of a speaker type. Alnico speakers have a certain breakup characteristic so if you want to emulate that, select Alnico. The same goes for the Ceramic speaker setting. Bring in the EF86 and dial it to your liking as well.