Favorite Settings for HiWatt DR504

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by BrewGuitar, Feb 6, 2008.


  1. BrewGuitar

    BrewGuitar Member

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    I just recently scored a 1980 two input DR504. I would love to hear which channel and settings are getting you some great tone. Any other advice for a HiWatt newbie is appreciated.
     
  2. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    Congratulations!

    I can't think of my settings right now, but I almost always use a "Y" splitter to plug into both channels. If I get a chance I will try to write down my settings.
     
  3. stu42

    stu42 Member

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    I've had four 2-input Hiwatts (three DR-103s and one DR-504) in my life but I always used them with attenuators. I liked the Marshall Power Break (never tried the Hot Plate).

    It depends a bit on your particular amp but here's how I used them pretty much all the time. Make sure your amp is in good condition before you try these settings though. IE. Have good tubes, bias set properly, caps and such in proper condition. If everything checks out then this will give you a massive high-gain tone with lots of saturation and sustain.

    Guitar into Brilliant/Bright Input.

    Normal Vol - 6
    Brilliant/Bright Vol - 6
    Bass - 6 (or to taste - not too high)
    Mid - 10
    Treble - 10
    Presence - 10
    Master - 10

    Stand back and enjoy!!!
     
  4. BrewGuitar

    BrewGuitar Member

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    Interesting. So both normal and brite volumes are active when plugging into only the brite input? Keep the suggestions coming, thanks.
     
  5. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    they shouldn't be, the amp must have been modded.
     
  6. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    I had an '82 504 for good while and loved it....

    1. get a Y cable and plug into NORM and BRIGHT to cascade the gain stages together. (PLay with the settings and you'll see how they work together
    2.About 11-11:30-on the norm volume with noon'ish on the BRIGHT channel.
    3. EQ to taste
    4. Volume to where you can get away with is and off you go.......

    The NORM channel has a lot of "body" to it - big and round and full and the BRIGHT channe will add some grit and hair to the mix and enough top end to slice a lemon. The eq works really well so there's lots to play with there.

    Hopefully you are coming out of at least a decent 2*12 - if so - ou'llbe in sonic heaven......:)

    Niiiiiiiice.
    Bradz.
     
  7. stu42

    stu42 Member

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    Sorry...yeah, I forgot that isn't the default configuration.

    I've played through both the stock and modded configurations. With the stock configuration, if you use a Y-cable to play simulatneously through both channels then the gain doesn't really cascade or stack from the Normal channel into the Bright channel. In that case, the gain is running in parallel.

    My amps had been modified (if I understand correctly this is the same modification that Pete Townshend used - I could be wrong though) to have the Normal channel connected to the Bright channel so the gain cascaded from the Normal to the Bright channel. This gives quite a bit more gain/distortion than running them in parallel.

    I had one of my amps put back to the stock configuration for a while to see if I liked it but I preferred the higher-gain of the modded config.

    It depends on the sound you're after but I much preferred the sound of the amp going through an attenuator - but that doesn't really give you the signature Hiwatt sound as it makes it a lot more saturated and overdriven than what you typically hear.
     
  8. dorianadams

    dorianadams Member

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    on my 505 I keep the treble low and the presence up. More gain this way. About 4 -5 treble... mids at 10... bass at 5-6 or so Channel volume about 2 O:clock and master at least 9 o:clock( yes even that will be loud!!)Like all great amps all controls at noon will get you very good sound to start from ( if you can stand the volume)
     
  9. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    A lot of the Canadian models (DR505) were modded like that by the Canadian distributor.
     
  10. BrewGuitar

    BrewGuitar Member

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    So I guess it is fairly common to use a y-cable and plug into both channels. I assume pushing the master volume up and dialing down the other volumes will result in output tube distortion, whereas dialing up the other volumes and turning down the master will result in more preamp distortion.
     
  11. Bradders

    Bradders Member

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    Yes, I believe so - certinalyin my house :BEER What you say is true but sadly you WILL DIE from blood loss from the auditory canals due to haemoraging from the OUTRAGEOUS amount of volume you're generating........

    HIWATT = LOOOOOUD

    peace.
    Bradz.
     
  12. fusionid

    fusionid Supporting Member

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    I see new HI-TONE and Hiwatt (England) models come with a linked channel. I don't think they are cascading but rather mixed together (in parallel). Thats how I run my DR504 and it sounds awesome.
     
  13. michael.e

    michael.e Silver Supporting Member

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    Like most of my amps, I would set my old 504 with everything at noon. Then, depending on the venue, tweak them here and there. I quit adjusting amps with my eyes.
     

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