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Custom Hiwatt 100...Wow!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Navigator, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Navigator

    Navigator Supporting Member

    Messages:
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    So my band rehearsed today at AM Studios in NYC (same building as boutique amp heaven Ultrasound). Well, I used the Custom Hiwatt 100 head with matching 4x12. What a great sounding amp! Not sure just how to describe it. I'd start by saying really full and bold sounding mids, warm and rich. I was playing my EMG/Warmoth strat, a flexible if not vintage axe, through an MI Audio Tube Zone. The combination was lovely. Just enough overdrive to crunch and I used the EMG SPC (mid-boost) for lead gain. I just loved the tone this afternoon. My guitar partner mentioned that it was my best tone he'd heard. Anyway, my question for those familiar with this amp and others: Is there a 1x12 combo or smaller head that will deliver this tone or similar? Our band is still constrained to combos or smaller head/cab rigs due to loading up a few cars for NYC and surrounding gigs (most of us don't have cars!), so I'd be looking for the Hiwatt tone in a smaller package. I have to cop a lot of tones, so I use a variety of pedals through a largely clean amp. (With the Custom 100 I had the volume up to about 10 o'clock with the master about there too; clean but not too much so.) Anyway, thanks for listening. I'll be curious to hear any ideas here.
     
  2. e-z

    e-z Member

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    SoCal
    They used to make a 50 watt 1x12 model called the SA112. They don't come up for sale that often but check the Bay regularly and you'll probably find one. Check out the new Hiwatt amp, they make a 50 watt 1x12 combo that I think has EL34s in the power section.
     
  3. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    Sep 19, 2006
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    HI-TONE Beach
    Nothing sounds as good as a 4x12 cab. Especially an old HIWATT head into an old HIWATT cab with Fane speakers. HIWATT combos aren't bad, you just lose some of the huge-ness of the sound. There were 100 watt 1x12, 2x12s and 50 watt 1x12 and 2x12 combos made, but finding a good one may take a while as not that many were made to begin with.

    when considering something new, I would check out REEVES the quality is better than the new HIWATTs. Reeves also has a great 2x12 cab that sounds very very good.

    Clayton
     
  4. stekks

    stekks Member

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    The Netherlands
    They make a 20W head now, check musictoyz.com. Saw some vids on Youtube and sounded pretty nice and Hiwattish.. I own a vintage DR504, and it sure rocks!
     
  5. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I've played a bunch of Hiwatts...currently own a HJ Custom 50. Nothing sounds quite like a Hiwatt 100 through a Hiwatt 4x12. You get close with a 2x12, and in the neighborhood with a 1x12 combo (my lead guitarist uses one), but nothing sounds like a Hiwatt half stack...even smaller Hiwatts.

    :BEER
     
  6. SQUAREHEAD

    SQUAREHEAD Supporting Member

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    Toronto, Canada
    Get an old Howatt Bulldog (SA112) ...
    Great little combos with all the same punch
    of the head!

    Keith
     
  7. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    san francisco
    I have a Custom 100 Hylight era, which I use with a Marshall 4x12 with G12-30Hs.
     
  8. Navigator

    Navigator Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info and suggestions guys. There are a few options for me to consider it seems. Besides combos, I'm thinking about the feasibility of a Custom Hiwatt 50 head, if I can find a resonable deal. I have some 1x12 closed back cabs that I can try it with (Mesa Theile, Bogner). Might be a more robust sound than a combo. What speakers are standard in a Hiwatt cab (vintage)?
     
  9. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Canada's Capital
    Hiwatts are amazing - among my fave amps ever!
    My rec is to buy a Biacrown era (late-seventies/early-eighties) Hiwatt 50 watt head. Still pretty good value used. All of the Hiwatt vibe, bit more gain, great master (works well for low volume playing).
    Fanes were stock in the original, but new Fanes aren't the same (though their 100w Alnicos are killer, if unique). Things like the Eminence Tonker gets you in the ballpark...
     
  10. e-z

    e-z Member

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    As rwe333 said Fanes were stock in the old cabs. Old Fanes are somewhat scarce but you might be able to find some if you are patient.Swanson makes a 2x12 Hiwatt style cab that is well regarded. The 50 Watt head is very loud (I have one) but sounds incredible. If you buy an old one make sure it has the original Partridge transformers. The Briarcrown era heads go for less money and still sound good. Check out the Plexi Palace BBS. There is a Hiwatt page/forum where you can find the answer to almost any Hiwatt question.
     
  11. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

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    Way to go.

    I've got a lowly 50 Watter in need of repair.
    You can read about it here. I do have a nice
    big 4 x 12 cab that I scored. It is a JCM800 bass cab loaded
    with 4xS12-150s Celestion Sidewinders.
    Man does this cab sound awesome!

    I really can't wait to get this DR504 working again and plug
    it in.

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=171488&referrerid=4659
     
  12. Navigator

    Navigator Supporting Member

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    This sounds like something to shoot for. I'll check out the plexi palace for more info, but is there a model name to look for with the 50 watt you're suggesting? And what's the general price range? I found this on ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Hiwatt-Guitar-a...ryZ38082QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Thanks again for all this info. I'll check out the Dr. Z as well.
     
  13. g.griffith

    g.griffith Member

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    California
    +1 on the Reeves 2x12

    I have a Reeves Custom 50 2x12, and it is one of my two all time favorite amps. Great sound on those combos, and with the 18 ply monster of a cabinet, they have great punch and retain thick tone and low end. One of the best amps for pedals, in my opinion. Not so great for the ol' back though, hehe...
     
  14. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    HI-TONE Beach

    Avoid this piece of junk. It is only a HIWATT in name. The audio brothers combo is OK, but the speaker is not a fane that is why it has been on ebay for over 2 months. ATleast it gets cheaper each time. You really want one made by Hylight electronics or Biacrown. The best thing you could do is visit the HIWATT forum at vintageamps.com.

    I have a nice Biacrown DR504 head I am getting ready to list on ebay, PM
    me if you are interested, I will be taking a bunch of pics inside and out this weekend.

    Clayton
     
  15. Navigator

    Navigator Supporting Member

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  16. dookie

    dookie Member

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    I've got a 1975 DR504 with the matching 4x12 cab... I wouldn't give this amp up for the world...

    I DO, however, need to get some other ones:) ...
     
  17. Manx

    Manx Member

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    I've been using Hiwatts since 1974(below: 1974 at the Bitburg NCO club)[​IMG]
    and I for one can tell you that the early-mid 90's Audio Bros. built Hiwatts are as good if not better than anything made in the 70's. (below: 1999 at the Hammersmith Odeon) [​IMG]
     
  18. Manx

    Manx Member

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    here's a more recent one: 2004 at Fitzgerald's, Chicago [​IMG]
    that's a Audio Bros 50 watt head, the one above is a Audio Bros 50w Bulldog with a genuine Fane, and the one on top is obviously an early 100W on a pair of custom built 2x12s loaded with JBL's(ouch). Bear in mind, in the 70s the quality awareness we have today didn't exist back then. That's why guys like the Audio Bros and others can take the original design, replicate it EXACTLY, right down to the Partridge trannys and nail it right on the head.
     

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