Custom Hiwatt 50

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by zzmoore, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

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    UPS dropped this off today. I posted more pics in the Amp Guts Appreciation thread. But if you had to guess, what year do you think this was made? Guess I should have included more pictures from the beginning....
    Thank You

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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  2. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    if it sounds good-does it matter?
     
  3. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    It's hard to read the handwriting, so I see either Oct' 30th '74 or '79. If it's a 4 holer, it' 74, 2 holer '79........

    Great amp btw!
     
  4. Griz

    Griz Member

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    AFAIK, they were making 2-hole DR504's in the mid '70s (I owned a '76 DR103 2-holer).

    I believe I can see a turret board peeking out of one of those shots. That makes '74 more likely, I think, as around 79/80 they went to a very robust PCB construction.

    Where's TweedBucket?
     
  5. wingwalker

    wingwalker Fuzzy Guitars

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    FWIW, I used to have a (I think) 1979 HiWatt Custom 50...it was a 2 hole, no Partradge iron and it was an a PCB...still a great sounding amp but nothing like yours on the inside. I'd say it's more like a 74...also, FWIW...I have a 74 (or 75) Sound City 50+ and the Partradge iron in it looks JUST like the iron in your HiWatt...
     
  6. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    This is a 1979 2-Input, turret board DR504---- very nice score !!!
    Only two input jacks, V2 used as the channel mixer instead of the earlier resistive channel mixer, and the almost 14xxx serial # all point to this being a 1979 rather than a 1974 model----- even though the handwriting on the factory inspection tag could be either '74 or '79.
    Lots more Hiwatt info here:http://mhuss.com/Hiwatt/tech2.html
     
  7. lgehrig4

    lgehrig4 Silver Supporting Member

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    When you pay a premium for vintage gear-yes
     
  8. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    it was inspected October 30, 1979.
     
  9. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

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    callaway 1 -
    Thank You. Is there a definitive time line for the hand wired/PCB transition at Hiwatt? Or was it still an option to have your amp built on a turret board during the PCB era? Hiwatt is kind of a mystery to me.
    Thanks
     
  10. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    The PCBs started showing up in '80 IIRC. They were still very good amps.......

    Nice score. I've got a '78 2 holer and it's a killer amp!
     
  11. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    The switch was made to PCB in Late 1980. However with some arm twisting, the right connections and cash, you could get Dave Reeves to make you a turret board amp. These however are very rare. I kow of only one, but there may be a handful of them.
     
  12. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    BTW, I'd take a Hylight built, hand wired PCB over a new MG built "hand wired" any day.....

    Like everything else Hylight built, the PC boards themselves were built like tanks, and basically just replaced the turret boards. The mechanical components (tube sockets, pots, jacks etc) were still mounted on the chassis.
     
  13. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Nice score! Congrats!
     
  14. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    Mine was made at the Biacrown factory and is serial #'d 15,8xx .
    Has Drake trannies and is signed by Harry Joyce.

    One interesting thing is it has a blue cardboard/paper (?) circuit board
    with the components wired thru the holes in the board.

    So it's sort of a hybrid of PCB and handwired ... ... I guess ???
     
  15. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    +1,000,000,000,000,000 !
     
  16. JimmyZ

    JimmyZ Member

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    Don't want to break your heart, but you've got to check out the Harry Joyce amps website, and go to page about Harry (he died in 2002, but his company still makes the amps).

    http://www.harryjoycerocks.com/

    I don't like how the mostly non-informative biography was written (rambling, like I do I guess), or maybe the spirit in which it was written (almost sounds like a reaction to discussion groups trolls), but gut instinct tells me that the information in it is more that likely correct. I saw Harry Joyce around '00/'01 at a Dallas Guitar show (maybe it was the Arlington one, they're both big deals - the Fort Worth show is still a joke) - no doubt who he was, the only distinguished old English gentleman there, dressed to the nines, and he had the classiest looking walking cane I had ever seen (almost made you think you'd turn around and bump into Batman - "ah, Master Wayne..."). I remember there being several of his Harry Joyce amps, with one imparticular having a plexiglass bottom so you could show off the immaculate insides (just for the show I'm sure), so I know that at some point he was involved with his namesake company.

    Anyway, the upshot is that in this bio, the author claims that Harry had said that he never signed any of the amps he built, and even goes on to describe a scene where where Harry reluctantly points out to a beaming youngster, who just bought a "real deal Hiwatt, signed by Harry Joyce himself", that he did not in fact sign that amp and had nothing to do with it, and advised to the young man that he should immediately take it back to where he bought it, and return it as it was sold under false pretenses, and that if the seller had a problem with that, to take it up with him. He hated to break the kids heart, but apparently nothing made him madder than people who unscupulously used his name to sell fraudulent gear. Also, he had said that he was amazed that, with all of the attention and controversy over "who built the amps right", that no one had even bothered to contact him or to get his input, only to use his name for reference for the benefit of the few who would know, in order to "sell, sell, sell", usually to sell an inferior product.

    So, though it might all be a bunch of hooey ("Poppycock!"), I'm still inclined to believe it's probably accurate, in spite of the emotionally charged nature of this too-short bio. Sorry to "be the heavy", as I too am coming to the realization that my reissue Custom 50 (DR504) may not be as bulletproof as I'd like to have believed.

    But, like a previous poster said, "Hey, if it sounds good...!"

    Peace!
     
  17. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    The statements on the HJ rocks website are complete garbage. PERIOD.

    I have over 3 hours of recorded interview with Harry. He explains why he signed the chassis and that he continued to wire for HIWATT until November 1984 when he finally had to stop as the management of Biacrown was falling too far behind in paying him.

    The people behind the "reissue HIWATTs" are notorious for taking bits and pieces of different amps especially PA heads and making DR504 and DR103 amps. I have seen some of their fakes. It is disgusting. I would have to guess that HJ saw one of those. They are obvious fakes to those with lots of experience with real HIWATTs.
     
  18. JimmyZ

    JimmyZ Member

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    Man, I hate to hear that! I figured that since he was actually involved with that company, that they would maybe, perhaps, still have some current legitimacy. I mean, why would anyone want to say all of that and stir up the crap machine when it's really completely unnecessary to do so, in their case?!

    See, these are the tidbits and conflicting stories I'm trying to clear up. These kinds of contradictory "history" absolutely drive me nuts. A thread here, a thread there, and all who were directly involved are now dead. Adding to this is the shady history of even just the recent Hiwatt company (companies?).

    Anyway, said all that to say, sorry for spreading the disease. But, you learn from these things...
     
  19. Starsailor

    Starsailor Member

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    I don't understand why anyone(in the states at least) would even consider a modern day Hiwatt when a Reeves can be had much cheaper and have a better quality amp.
     
  20. sliberty

    sliberty Member

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    Accroding to Mark Huss' website, your serial number dates to 1979. You can probably find additional useful info on Mark's site as well.

    http://mhuss.com/Hiwatt/index.html
     

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