The complete Hiwatt - style amp list.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Wally Gator, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Member

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    I'm looking for a Hiwatt-like amp with tight bass and crisp cleans. Distortion is not necessary, but a bonus if it doesn't sound like a mosquito trapped in amberized sap. Reeves is #1 on my list for the range in their lineup. Here are some others:

    Harry Joyce
    Scholz
    65amps Royal Albert
    Reinhardt Fat Albert
    DST MarWatt

    VHT?
    Fryette?
    I used to have a 1st gen. VHT 5012 and recall in it's natural state it was it, without using all of it's pushbuttons.

    Who or what have I left out? Please feel free to elaborate on any amps that you've had experience with.
     
  2. Roe

    Roe Member

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    try VHR or even ceriatone
     
  3. yabasta

    yabasta Member

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    I would say go vintage HIWATT first. probably cheaper anyway.

    Second, Reeves. great product and the vp speakers are pretty good for the fane sound.

    At one time I had the CP103 when they were just rebadging the musicground HIWATTs before the whole Fernandes deal.

    It was a great amp, but it couldn't top my old DR 103, catch my drift?

    I wouldn't worry about a vintage HIWATT going bad. You seen inside one? Their reliability is unparalleled. Every cap, resistor, solder joint is there plain to see, 90 degree wiring etc. if somethings wrong you'll find it.

    best of luck.
     
  4. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Member

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    My problem with vintage Hiwatts is knowing which one is quality and which one is just the name. Seems like there are many different versions from different timelines. Newer versions are very pricey next to an equivalent Reeves. I wish I had a place like PlexiPalace in the area where I could play thru a bunch of different versions.
     
  5. yabasta

    yabasta Member

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    They are all QUALITY. don't get better craftmanship than a hiwatt.

    Most people go for a 4 holer hiwatt, early to mid 70s.

    the later 2 holer were just as good, used pcb, who cares?

    Yes go reeves before new HIWATT. new ones are ughhhhhhh. $4k? they are nuts.

    Please go here to get all your HIWATT info:

    http://mhuss.com/Hiwatt/index.html
     
  6. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    Any of the original Hylights are top quality, even the atomic bomb proof PCB 2 holers Dave Reeves made in the early '80s. After that, Reeves, Harry Joyce and Audio Brothers are all great. The new MG Hiwatts are certainly not junk, but they do differ from the originals in a few significant ways (tranformers, layout), and you can buy a REAL Hiwatt for similar or less $$$. There are also other business "ethics" issues surrounding Music Ground that would make me shy away from them.


    Trinity Triwatt is another great Hiwatt style amp......
     
  7. Purplexi

    Purplexi Member

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    No love for Sound City? I know they're beneath Hiwatt in tonal warmth and collectability, well, even they're getting ridiculously priced these days. Anybody tried the new Sound City line? How hard would it be to bring an old or new one up to snuff with a tranny/grid upgrade??
     
  8. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Hard to tink about Hiwatt without mentioning
    one of the experts. Mark Huss
    http://www.mhuss.com/Hiwatt/index.html
    and our friends at the Hiwatt Convention
    The Plexi Palace also has an excellent reference forum.
     
  9. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    I've converted several Sound City 120's to Vintage Hiwatt specs---- this usually requires a thorough gut-and-rebuild----- many SC 120's have time-degraded fiber insulation on the wires, some turret boards are saggy, etc--- just general age related problems. Some SC's don't age as well as Hylight Hiwatts.
    The chassis and orig Partridge transformers are Hiwatt-like but not identical---- the general layout is close enough so that new Hiwatt-type turretboards can be used for the rebuild.
    A lot of work but very impressive when finished---if you had to pay a tech per hour to do this it would be very expensive---probably cheaper to buy an orig Hylight Hiwatt if you can't do the work yourself.
    The new Mk6 Sound City amps share nothing with the orig Sound City amps except the name--- they are PCB, made in China, modern construction-type amps----- they may be good sounding amps, i haven't played one.
    The older (late 60's--early 70's) Sound City 100 Mk3 heads don't need any conversion to be "like Hiwatts"---- they are very similar to early Hiwatts in construction and design (unlike the later SC 120's w/Mk4 active preamps and EL34x6-- see above)----- the 100 Mk3's have no Master Vol and also have a little more raw, hairer response than their 70's-style Hylight Hiwatt DR103 cousins---- these also have Partridge Transformers so no "upgrade" is necessary..............gldtp99

    PS---- the 50 watt Sound City 50 Plus heads are nothing like Hiwatts in design or construction---- despite what sellers claim in their 'bay auctions---not bad amps but definately not DR504 rivals IMHO----- completely different construction layout would make a Hiwatt conversion on these amps very difficult---not worth the effort
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  10. GuitarBrent

    GuitarBrent Member

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    I had a '73 4 hole 50 watt DR-504 for a few years about 6-7 years ago. I sold it but always missed the Hiwatt sound. I just picked up a Reeves CP-103, and I must say, I've forgotten about that 50 watter. The Reeves kills and sounds better IMHO. Of course it sounds exactly like Live At Leeds, which to me is THE Hiwatt sound. That being said, if you can find a vintage Hiwatt from the late '60s through the '70s, and it's not been modded, and it's not over priced, then pick it up. If you don't want to search and wait and such, then a new Reeves Custom 50/100 or CP series Hiwatt clone is where it's at.
     
  11. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    If you are looking for a "sound investment" then finding a clean and cared for original DR 504, 103 or 201 with either all original tubes or proper British Mullard NOS replacements and original circuit integrity, you'll always know your investment is secure.

    An original Fane loaded cabinet will set you back more than many people
    were prepared to pay for the amp itself, but if you're going for no compromise
    original, add that to your budget.

    If you want something brand new and trouble free with a warranty, then
    Reeves is absolutely the strongest option.

    The benefit here is that you can custom order, The perfect Hiwatt circuit
    for your needs, for cleans, for gain, for volume options.
    As budget permits, experiment with tube upgrades and speaker/cab options
    to taste.

    If you are a touring professional, Reeves offers the ability to
    buy several identical or variable amps for your back line.

    Even though these circuits are all considerably roadworthy,
    the availability of back-ups is a non issue.

    Every Reeves amp carries a 10 day, no hassle return policy.
    All you risk is shipping if not completely satisfied with your purchase.
     
  12. homebrew

    homebrew Member

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  13. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Member

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    Found another - Greer Rev 50. Tone sounds promising, but clips were tough to listen to. I'm a complete mistake prone hack, but I think I could lay down at least 3 songs to do justice to this amp.
     
  14. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Member

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    Granger H50 sounds strong and is priced incredibly low. Anyone get to see one in person and can comment on the build quality?

    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I did stumble across a Hiwatt 50 2x12, but the seller won't ship it. I'm guessing it weighs just under a hundred.
     
  15. Jd3

    Jd3 Member

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    Another amp you might check into is the Dr. Z KT45 ... supposedly he modelled this after the 'live at leeds' sound -- I'm no expert on Vintage Hiwatts (beyond the fact that I own every Who album :phones) but I can tell ya the Z is one of my favorite amps for pure 'thump' AND touch sensitivity ... you can go from crushing power chords to chimey single note stuff based upon pick attack and your volume knob. Another one to try ! :wave
     
  16. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Member

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    Reeves incoming! Clips sound like The Black Crowes tone which is hip. I'm excited!!
     
  17. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    There's some HIWATT flavor to it, but it's not a straight Hiwatt clone.
     
  18. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Member

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    Thanks Mike. I did think the tone was a nice blend of Hiwatt tightness and Marshall grind.
     
  19. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Pretty much what he's going for. I give him crap about better clips but he can either spend time building orders...or recording. LOL

    man, I wish Id' have grabbed a couple old hiwatts when they were cheap. Local used music store used to have a wall of them 12 years ago...5-600 bucks.

    you could get a mid 70's tele custom (ala Keef) for around that too. :facepalm
     
  20. auratnik

    auratnik Supporting Member

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