Any Hiwatt Players?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Justinvs, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,861
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Location:
    Wise River, Montana
    Have any of you ever used or owned Hiwatts? Other than maybe seeing them at a concert, I've never been around any of them. How do they compare to Marshalls?

    Justin
     
  2. Bluessoldier

    Bluessoldier Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    136
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Vilnius, Lithuania
    The old ones are much cleaner than marshalls.
     
  3. jitensha

    jitensha Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    931
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo/Montreal
    I can't speak to much about the newer models but I played a Hiwatt Custom 50 through a Marshall 4x12 cabinet for years. It was an awesome amp, lots of clean headroom and loud as heck. Compared to Marshalls I'd say the Hiwatt was brighter, less creamy when over driven. If you think of Townsend's tone on Live at Leads that was pretty much it. It was a solid amp. I toured mine pretty constantly for about 8 years and it never let me down - not even once. I'm not sure when exactly mine was built, I think around '80 or '81. it had the partridge transformers and was point to point wired. When I stopped playing bigger rooms though it was just too much amp so I ended up selling it. (Which I regret) If I was ever to need a bigger amp again though, I would for sure be on the look out for another -- although you'll pay through the nose for one now.
     
  4. Jerry J

    Jerry J Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,568
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    NoVa
    Never owned one but that pretty much hits the nail on the head!
     
  5. Birdmankustomz

    Birdmankustomz Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    2,648
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    Never played one but Jimmy Page does and he's got a pretty awesome sound with his.
     
  6. jitensha

    jitensha Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    931
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo/Montreal
    Hmm. Maybe he did at one point, I always thing of Page playing through Marshalls and Oranges and then a little Supro in the studio (though others here are likely a better authority)

    The musicians most associated with Hiwatt are Pete Townsend from about '68 to the late 70's. and David Gilmore from around the same era. Quite different tones for both those guys.

    I remember reading a story somewhere where Hendrix comes bursting into Jim Marshall's shop sometime in the late 60's and goes " Man I just heard the Who's latest, and I gotta get that tone. Set me up with whatever Pete is using!!" and Jim just sort of sheepishly went, "Gee, sorry Jimi, but Pete's moved on to Hiwatts now."
     
  7. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,861
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Location:
    Wise River, Montana
    David Gilmore was what started me wondering about Hiwatts. I love his tone. Not that I could ever afford a Hiwatt, you understand, but it's fun to dream.

    Justin
     
  8. JCSouthpawtele

    JCSouthpawtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,542
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Location:
    Middlebury,Indiana
  9. Dave_O

    Dave_O Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,572
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    offline and IRL
    Except for the fact that I owned a 100watter much like this one...


    [​IMG]


    it's my experience as well.
     
  10. Birdmankustomz

    Birdmankustomz Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    2,648
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    [​IMG] I know he's using hiwatts here, and in "It might get loud" he used one for pretty much everything.
     
  11. jitensha

    jitensha Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    931
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo/Montreal
    ^
    hmm, well there you go. I'm sure Page has a shed full of amps, to suit his tastes that day. When Zeppelin played that reunion show he was playing a combination of Marshalls, Oranges and a couple of Russian made Petersburgs (which I know very little about.)

    But, Yeah HIWATTS are awesome, totally worth the investment if you find a good one. I was lucky when I got mine. I had a Mesa Boogie Mk IV head that was acting up on the road but I was able to swap it for the Hiwatt at a local music store in Winnipeg. When I eventually sold it in the late 90's I got about 800 for it, now its worth probably twice that. (...sigh)
     
  12. marantz1300

    marantz1300 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    380
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    london england
    I use to use Boogies untill I found a 74 DR103,which I used for years ,untill I wanted a Marshall. The Hiwatt cost me £65 and I traded it for a 76 Super Lead plus cab. I love the Marshall tone,but it couldn't stay clean like a Hiwatt and it was non master volume ,so it was unbelievably loud,even at low 1-2 settings on the volume control.
    Three days after the deal I found a 73 Hiwatt DR112 PA 100 in a junk shop and bought it for £140.It might be called PA,but the circuit is very close to the Who and Page Hiwatts and it sounds awesome,from Gilmore to Townsend.
    These were made as all rounders,for bass,guitar and vocals.With six inputs,pre out and a fx loop,its very versitile.So vintage Hiwatts can still be had for affordable money.
    The Marshall is now gone,the Hiwatt is my everyday amp,never lets me down,has the best build quality of any amp I've seen and sounds glorious,especially if you use pedals.
    Both are great amps,you may like one and not the other.I love both.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. FenderLover

    FenderLover Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,912
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Minnesota
    "David Gilmore was what started me wondering about Hiwatts. I love his tone. "

    Dave is a 'preamp' guy. He uses the Hiwatt as a clean power amp to push his preamp (pedalboard) sound. If you've ever seen his pedal board, that seems logical.

    Pat Martino is the same way. He uses a preamp and effects that he builds, and any power amp that is available, to quote this month's VG magazine interview.
     
  14. mr newhaven

    mr newhaven Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    949
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    Location:
    Connecticut
    i have a reinhardt fat albert 50 watt head
    its a hiwatt clone meant to duplicate Jimmy Page's Royal Albert Hall (1970) tone!

    and youre right its LOUD AS HELL!!!

    unbelieveable sounding though in a 4x12 marshall cab!
    throw down an E chord and just watch the hairs on your arm stand up!

    unfortunately for me...its just entirely WAY TOO LOUD so i have it up on eBay now...im more of a champ/princeton guy...but HOLY ****!
    it just makes you want to crank out Kashmir!
    hahah
     
  15. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    7,113
    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    I have very limited HiWatt experience.

    As has been mentioned above, these things are ungodly loud.

    The top end has this clean crystalline kinda thing going on. Hit a big ole E power chord and a HiWatt just goes KRAAANG - in a very good way. I would also say they're very "tight" amps, even when they're set up to give "British grind". Incredibly responsive, with a very focused low end. (And the wiring in them is a work of art, as the photos above attest to.) I wonder how much of that has to do with the Fane speakers though?

    Reeves was mentioned above. Never heard one, but would like to. I did try out one of these: http://www.trinityamps.com/Product_Triwatt.htm. Keep in mind, I don't have a lot of HiWatt experience, and I did not have the real thing there to compare with. So, I don't whether it really nails the HiWatt tone or not. But I can say it sounded good. Really good. Even at pretty low volumes.

    Also, I believe Page was just using the HiWatts for the theremin? Could be wrong about that though.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  16. Joely

    Joely Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    355
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Hertford UK
    Hiwatts are just great....

    I have a DR103 78' , 2 input version. The 2 inputs versions are said to have more gain than the 4 input (although ive never played a 4input). As above, great cleans and can just take any effects you throw at it..... If you crank the gain it is just the Live at Leeds guitar sound..... but these amps are loud...very loud.... i have never once mic'd this up with the rest of the band going through the PA and i never got lost in the mix!!!

    Although old Hiwatts up to 81-ish ( when the orginal company was sold) go for silly money on ebay....
     
  17. AndrewG

    AndrewG Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    2,168
    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Location:
    Exeter, England
  18. Joely

    Joely Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    355
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Hertford UK
    not sure about the new hiwatts???

    They are all PCB boards apart from the very top end one's. I think there are 2 companies using the tradename with rights...

    For a small combo try one of these..... this guy is great.....all the info is on his web site.

    I got a modded epiphonne junior. He does a power scale mod which effectivley is a built in hot plate....

    http://www.ratvalveamps.com/

    mine is the bollocks for a small valve amp.
     
  19. HonenShonin

    HonenShonin Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    111
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Utsunomiya, Japan
    I play guitar through a Tech 21 Leeds pedal, and I have a Made-in-Korea Hiwatt bass amp. Does that count?

    I didn't think so.... :)
     
  20. Joely

    Joely Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    355
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Location:
    Hertford UK
    near enough..
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.