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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All

I just got a 1976 50watt Hiwatt head and matching 4x12 with original Fane speakers. And I'm here to spread the joy !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now I have never owned any other Hiwatts of this power but I do have a new 20 watter that I bought in London, England last spring. That amp got me very interested in trying a 50 or 100 watt version. Since these things are quite rare in these parts, I only had the opportunity to try a couple in the past year in various stores in T.O. I was always intrigued and pleased with the results I heard. But until today I had still not found one that had it all, tone and a good price. I drove out to Hamilton and bought this amp and cab from a very nice man (thanks Tim). Drove right to Capsule Music where myself and a couple of the staff that were more knowledgeable than myself in Hiwatt tone, let this baby fly.
As luck would have it, the store became quite busy about this time and we never got to really let it go. So I loaded it back up and brought it home.
I will say this about this amp, IT IS LOUD !!!!!! But the good thing is, it has very smooth and gradual taper on the volume controls. this allows quite a bit of latitude in dialing in the right volume. Not like a circa 72-73 Marshall that when you have the volume at three you are maxed out volume wise and then just compresses after that. It has a very gradual ramp up of db's here. So there is incremental increase in vol. all the way up.
This amp may have the most headroom I've ever had in a 50 watt amp. It's a bold, clear, articulate beast. It doesn't really give it up till you are up past 1 o'clock and then it is that gradual ramp to full on rage. I really only used my Gustavsson and a Baker Crucible Prototype today, so we are in full humbucker land here.
Two channels, four inputs, bright and normal are both extremely useful. The normal has enough top end to be articulate with a HUGE bottom end and the bright is not offensive at all in it's capabilities. But if you jumper the channels then you have all the tone possibilities right there for you to mix in your tone with.
The tone controls are extremely sensitive and can really make a difference in sculpting the overall sound of the amp. I had raging mids, then clear articulate highs and a tight low end that was close to being in the range of most bass players. Amazing !!!
This amp just pours out tone and versatility. I was blown away at the tones that the Baker and JG were getting here. I could have played for hours, squeezing bluesy feedback laden syrupy licks out of the lady Hiwatt.
I wouldn't know but, these amps are apparently built like a brick shit-house and require very little maintenance. This particular one had been in record producers home, studio and tours since 1981. He told me today he had changed the power tubes just once since he owned it. It is still loud and full of great tone.
You know it's quite funny that the big selling feature of a lot of boutique amps is their ability to have a lot of head room and big bottom. Let me tell you, this amp will give any amp on the planet in that style a run for the money. And that would include, Komet, Two-Rock, Dumble etc.. And at a fraction of the price of some of those aforementioned models.
Yes I guess messers Gilmour, Townsend and Bolin knew good tone and where to get it.
I'm very pleased to be a Hiwatt owner. Finally.

cheers
Pete
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I've played a few Hiwatts at jam spaces over the years and they are cool sounding amps. I found that they took to pedals very well too.

I definitely prefer the 50 watt over the 100 watt model.

Sounds like you made a good score...very cool that you got the cab as well.


Scott
 

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Fabulous amp!

I've worked on a few classic HiWatts, 50 and 100 watters. They were designed and built by some ex-British Air Force electronics guys. They applied their training inside the amp and so you find hand-wired turret style construction with a clean and beautiful layout.

They are a joy to service and/or modify, although I can't see any need to modify one from stock.

I wouldn't expect to get that kind of tube life with modern tubes. Still, a new set of output tubes (very rarely is there any need to change preamp tubes even after years and years) and a re-bias job every couple of years is much cheaper maintenance than many modern amps.

Even better from a tech standpoint, after you've fixed 'em they sound great! It's worth it!

Can't say the same about some other brands...
 

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hiwatt used to make and still make excellent products. i will tell you a story. when i lived in london, england my dad was selling his vintage hiwatt 4X12. the date of the cabinet must have been around 1965-67 no later than that. so anyway, my dad put an ad in the newspaper and we had a few people interested and this one guy was very interested and wanted to see it right away and was willing to pay much more than any of the other buyers. this guy came around and looked at it and said looks very nice etc etc. he then asked if he could see the inside. seemed like a bit of a hassle but why not. so the back of the cabinet was opened up and he took a look inside. he turned around and said "my father made this one". his father was the owner of hiwatt and he had his eye out for vintage hiwatt stuff so he could find some of the products his father actually hand built. so yeah, was pretty cool and he gave my dad more than what he had asked for. im sure the cabinet is worth more now, but back in 1994 it was worth a little less than what we got for it.
 

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sesroh said:
hiwatt used to make and still make excellent products. i will tell you a story. when i lived in london, england my dad was selling his vintage hiwatt 4X12. the date of the cabinet must have been around 1965-67 no later than that. so anyway, my dad put an ad in the newspaper and we had a few people interested and this one guy was very interested and wanted to see it right away and was willing to pay much more than any of the other buyers. this guy came around and looked at it and said looks very nice etc etc. he then asked if he could see the inside. seemed like a bit of a hassle but why not. so the back of the cabinet was opened up and he took a look inside. he turned around and said "my father made this one". his father was the owner of hiwatt and he had his eye out for vintage hiwatt stuff so he could find some of the products his father actually hand built. so yeah, was pretty cool and he gave my dad more than what he had asked for. im sure the cabinet is worth more now, but back in 1994 it was worth a little less than what we got for it.
Now that is a cool story.

Nice score faracaster. :food-smiley-004:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
sesroh said:
hiwatt used to make and still make excellent products. i will tell you a story. when i lived in london, england my dad was selling his vintage hiwatt 4X12. the date of the cabinet must have been around 1965-67 no later than that. so anyway, my dad put an ad in the newspaper and we had a few people interested and this one guy was very interested and wanted to see it right away and was willing to pay much more than any of the other buyers. this guy came around and looked at it and said looks very nice etc etc. he then asked if he could see the inside. seemed like a bit of a hassle but why not. so the back of the cabinet was opened up and he took a look inside. he turned around and said "my father made this one". his father was the owner of hiwatt and he had his eye out for vintage hiwatt stuff so he could find some of the products his father actually hand built. so yeah, was pretty cool and he gave my dad more than what he had asked for. im sure the cabinet is worth more now, but back in 1994 it was worth a little less than what we got for it.

That is a cool story. Thanks for that.
I haven't used the amp at a gig or rehearsal yet, but I have been playing it at home and I'm loving it even more. Might have to sell some of my overpriced boutique amps.

Pete
 

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yeah... i would love to have that cab back but in reality it would cost too much to bring over to canada when we moved so we had to say goodbye.
 
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