NAD - Hiwatt T40 first impressions

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Freethenoise, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Freethenoise

    Freethenoise Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    944
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    Hey guys,

    This arrived last Friday, had a chance to sit down and record some stuff with it this morning.
    I'm working on a full demo/review but here are my first impressions.

    . Speakers are mega stiff, and I'm not sure how long it'll take for them to break in. There's 300 watts worth of speakers being driven by 40 watts worth of amp. Not sure how long that'll take playing at volume...
    . Overdrive channel isn't all that great. Honestly, it's pretty flat sounding and takes a lot of dialing in to get a sound I like.
    . It eats pedals. It really makes any pedal I've thrown at it sound like part of the amp.
    . The preamp is entirely clean, you really have to push the poweramp to get the clean channel to break up, that's fine by me, I bought this amp for headroom.

    Here's my first playthrough video, just playing it clean with some pedals. Full demo is on it's way...

     
  2. midget bar

    midget bar Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    289
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Good new toy, hope you enjoy it and please post a fuller review. I have not seen to many reviews of HIWATTs
     
  3. Freethenoise

    Freethenoise Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    944
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    I really think this T-series by Hiwatt was one of the worst promoted amp series in a long time.

    They're great sounding, robust amps, but Hiwatt didn't send out any for demos or reviews and they barely announced their launch. This is Hiwatt's attempt to get into the 'working musican's tube amp' market. Understandably, like a lot of folk do with Fender amps, there was a demographic of players who dismissed them because they're far eastern made and not as high quality as vintage Hiwatts.

    Does that make the amps bad?
    No.

    Am I very impressed with this one?
    Absolutely.

    Hiwatt never backed up this series with any soundclips or demos or anything to show potential. They don't even list full specs on their website.

    Speaking of which, does anyone know if this amp is cathode biasing? It's EL84 and hints that it could be class A on the Hiwatt website, but I'm pretty eager to get the stock EL84s out of there...
     
  4. ValDiaz

    ValDiaz Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    746
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    Hey Freethenoise, congrats on the new amp. I scored a T20 a few months ago, gigged it quite a few times. Mine was second hand (but more or less mint) so the speaker had settled in nicely. Give it some time, those Fanes are nice.

    Like the T40, this amp loves pedals. Agree on the OD channel – on the T20 it’s very fuzzy & wooly IMO. I only use the clean channel so no bid deal. The cleans are sort of warm but jangly. Decent reverb, too.

    Totally agree that Hiwatt dropped the ball with promotion on these amps. Barely any reviews etc, & Hiwatt’s own site seems to raise more questions than it answers. For example, their site states the T20 has an FX loop & half-power switch. My amp has neither. Go figure. Doesn’t bother me & in a way I’m glad these amps have gone under the radar, so to speak. If they hadn’t I wouldn’t have picked up mine’s for £150, sole bidder on ebay…
     
  5. Freethenoise

    Freethenoise Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    944
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    Yeah, I've had a few people tell me that Fanes are really efficent speakers. Might have something to do with just how clean the amp sounds.

    I never really planned on using the dirty channel when I bought the amp, I mostly use fuzz pedals to get my tones, and it works as a magnificent platform for them. It's really a poor mans twin reverb.

    Have you changed the tubes in yours yet? I really can't find any biasing information on these amps at all.
     
  6. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,033
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Cathode bias means the amp is self-biasing. Nothing to worry about there.

    You cannot get 40W out of 4 EL84s in Class A, so no, it is not a Class A amp. At least not in 40W mode. You could get 20W out of them as Class A, but there is no information on how the low power setting works, it may just bias lower or shut off 2 tubes. It is most likely not Class A, as switching would be more complicated and cost HiWatt more money -- which they may not do in a "budget" model.

    The words "Class A" sound "better" than Class AB. It isn't. Over the last 15 years or so most amps advertised as "Class A" are just cathode bias amps. Not that it matters.

    P.
     
  7. ValDiaz

    ValDiaz Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    746
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    Haven't changed the tubes, the guy I bought it from said he put new ones in around April this year. Not sure if he did but it sounds good so if it ain't broke...

    Nice demo btw!
     
  8. Gary Mitchell

    Gary Mitchell Former Member

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    1,159
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Location:
    central tx
    Hiwatt is my favorite amp can't remember the name of the one I liked and have played. It was a 212 combo all tube 3 to 5 grand way beyond my old pocket book. Myself I like Fane speakers better then EVs a lot better. I also used a Fane 15 with a 210 cab when I was playing Bass. I was using a Aguilar 210 the Fane 15, and a SWR 700 head great sound. I would like to have a Fane 12 8ohm laying around now. Give that Hiwatt a chance play with for a while.
     
  9. BBill64

    BBill64 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,899
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    There aren't many of these about here... I'd love to try the head version.
     
  10. Freethenoise

    Freethenoise Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    944
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    Thing is, I can't actually find a source where it states that it is actually cathode or fixed bias. This is baffling me a little.
     
  11. Freethenoise

    Freethenoise Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    944
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
  12. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,099
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Western Canada
    That amp has a lot of clean headroom and sounds tight and punchy. It's a generalization - but those are characteristics of fixed bias, not cathode bias.

    IMO this does matter. Cathode bias does not = Class A and I get really irritated when marketing departments misrepresent products.

    I will admit - A vs A/B, and Cathode vs Fixed does not matter! If you like the amp - that's all that counts. I'm just bothered by marketing taking advantage of the confusion.
     
  13. Freethenoise

    Freethenoise Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    944
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Australia
    I just want to get a spare set of tubes and I wanted to know if I have to rebias it or not.
    I sent an e-mail to Hiwatt when I got the amp, but no response so far.
     
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.