HIWATT(custom 100) DR103 owners ....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mainly, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Bossco

    Bossco Member

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    Since we're sharing Hiwatt tone clips ... here's my favorite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JVGjonKABQ
    Sorry, it's not a DR-103, but I couldn't resist! ;-)

    My experience has been that if you're running strong p/ups you can push these to break up nicely, but Tele and Strat players are surely going to need some boost. Analogman, Keely, etc. make some awesome boosters that are worthy of being in the signal chain with any vintage Hiwatt.
     
  2. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Here is my board for the 504.....
    [​IMG]
    Clinch is now gone, I just was not using it.
     
  3. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Ok that's a good question!
    There are a number of overdrive and boost pedals made today specifically for the purpose of "pushing an already distorting amp over the top".
    I can see how a lot of those pedals might not necessarily marry a Hiwatt.

    That's kind of a new idea really, an amp effects pedal.
    Any pedal designed to effect the sound of the guitar, like a compressor, or an envelope filter, or an echo, octave divider, chorus, uni-vibe, etc. that would normally get washed out on an already distorting amp should sound great through a DR103.

    So, you should get good results with any period correct type stuff: tape echo, Tone Bender, wah wah treble boost, etc.
    The tone controls on those amps work better than anything else I know of for shaping an effected tone while retaining the basic character of the amp

    I think the speaker issue is just a matter of taste. I have the 4x12, it's nice, but that amp sounds good to me through pretty much anything.

    peace
     
  4. polifemo

    polifemo Member

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    Ok, I´ve always assumed that people where referring to "dirt boxes" (Overdrive/Distortion/Fuzz) when claiming that the Hiwatt was pedal friendly.

    I totally agree that the pedals you listed above go very well with a Hiwatt, but due to the amps extended frequency response many (dirt) pedals sound totally different thru a Hiwatt compared to most other amps.

    Some will have a fizzy high end while others, that sound "transparent" with many amp, will sound "midrangey" in a Hiwatt.

    Strange creatures these amp, but fantastic when you get it right!
     
  5. Pole With Soul

    Pole With Soul Supporting Member

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    Bought a used DR103 Custom 100 in 1977. It was so clean, I could have used it as the PA head! Everything cranked with humbuckers and not a hint of crunch. Used a Distortion+ in front of it for most everything. I think these amps vary a great deal from one unit to the next, similar to older Marshalls. Speakers come into play also. Sometimes people hear crunch and it's the speakers breaking up, not the amp.
     
  6. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    :agree100%...I never ran humbuckers through mine so I can't say anything there.Mine had Mullards in the power and brimars in the pre,when turned all the way up(BTW this is dangerous,remeber the scene in back to the future),slight touch of hair but no one is going to play at that volume...Maybe these guys earlier are talking about the new ones,or like you said about speaker choice.
     
  7. Zero Point

    Zero Point Member

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    Unless you use a power break or attenuator... you'll blow your windows out before a Hiwatt overdrives. They are designed to be clean and remain clean at all levels. Because, originally, they were designed as a PA amplifier. You could have as many as 4 instruments going at the same time.

    However, the Pete Townsend Hiwatt signature amp does have a more forgiving overdrive structure.

    You gotta use a pedal for more gain with a Hiwatt in my opinion :)
    -Z
     
  8. mj07

    mj07 Supporting Member

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    My Hiwatt loves my Klon but not so much Timmy. Theres a mid brashness to it that I can't scoop out. I agree that some dirt pedals just don't work with the DR-103.
     
  9. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    Hiwatts do not stay clean at all levels.
    My '73 does overdrive nicely. I am talking about volumes that are rehearsal level.

    Bedroom levels, not really.

    Where did you read that they were designed as a PA? Dave started the company in order to build his own guitar amps..

    They may have made PA models, as Marshall did, but they were not originally designed as PA's in and of themselves.
     
  10. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    I play my DR103 with either the Zxex Box Of Rock or the Barber DD LG (low gain) for overdrive, and Tonebender clones for fuzz.

    I don't own a Hiwatt cab- mine's a Marshall 4X12 'bass' cab with 55 hz GH1230s.
     
  11. mainly

    mainly Member

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    well, thanks for all the responses, but it looks like this amp is not for me.

    too many guys confirmed the "wont break" up suspicion
     
  12. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

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    I think that premise is wrong frankly. Don't make any decisions till you hear my next rehearsal recording being made on Tuesday. Hiwatts gain up quite nicely at reasonable volumes. I have vintage Marshalls and this vintage Hiwatt. The breakup is different and REALLY lends itself to potent rhythm tones that grind and pushed lead tones that slice right through a loud mix. To me, they have a sturdier backbone than the Marshalls. Just depends on what you are looking for.
     
  13. malabarmusic

    malabarmusic Member

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    Anyone who says a Hiwatt won't break up either ...

    1. ... hasn't played one, or
    2. ... has played one that's not working anywhere close to properly, or
    3. ... hasn't truly cranked it, or
    4. ... is using a guitar with half the output of vintage-style single coils.
    Over the past ten years I've owned five different Hiwatts -- 50s, 100s, 4-input, 2-input ... While they all differ slightly, every single one has been capable of generating at least a massive crunch -- with some capable of a downright roar. No pedals or high output pickups necessary -- just earplugs.

    - DB
     
  14. KBN

    KBN Member

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    You are dead on correct with this one. I play a Reeves Custom 50 and have the same issues with overdrive boxes. Great amps for modulation and delays, but it certainly takes dedication and tweaking to get the overdrives right. It can be done though. The EMMA Reeza has been a godsend.
     
  15. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    Townshend's was originally a PA amp, DR103s were not. AP was for All Purpose. ie. keyboards, bass and guitar.

    Most vintage HIWATTs do have to be pretty loud before they break up. I have heard lots of different real HIWATTs and they all break up well before maxing out the master volume.
     
  16. Zero Point

    Zero Point Member

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    The modern ones are different?

    See all I have is a Reeves Custom and a vintage 1974 DR103 with old Mullard glass in it. Both these amps remain clean up until ear bleed levels. And at that point I can't say with any reasonable certainty that it wasn't my ears that were breaking up :p

    -Z
     
  17. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    They distort beautifully and it's not the speakers or your ears. Is that a usable sound level? Only in a very large room.

    dc
     
  18. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    Massive crunch?....What kind of speaks do you use?.All I got from my dr103 was a little hair turned all the way up(when I pulled two tubes even a little more).Like someone else said at that point it may have been my eardrums breaking up
     
  19. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

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    You own my old cabinet:



    [​IMG]
     
  20. vicdeluca71

    vicdeluca71 Member

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    We have to clear something up here.Half say great breakup,the other half can't get breakup....I suspect those who use humbuckers get the breakup,the speaker will def have influence here also.....
     

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