Here is a modern classic – a hand wired, all tube masterpiece of tone, made in Yorkshire, UK in 2006. Founded by Dave Reeves in the late 60’s, Hiwatt gave Marshall a run for their money, contributing hugely to the sonic landscape that became known as The British Sound.
From Hiwatt – “With artists such as The Who and Pink Floyd, the brand was at the forefront of guitar amplification for the remainder of the 1960s and much of the 1970s. Reeves’ untimely passing and licensing problems threw the trademark into a grey area for the next two decades.
Eventually the trademark passed to the present owner, who has strengthened the Hiwatt brand. A further generation of artists – U2, Nirvana, Oasis, Coldplay, The Killers, The Black Keys, Foals and Japandroids – have all embraced the unmistakable Hiwatt sound.
Today, a team of highly-skilled engineers continue to custom-build Hiwatt amplifiers in the UK to original specifications, providing the power and reliability guitar and bass players have come to expect:
* Transformers wound to the original Partridge design specification
* The highest quality valves
* Point-to-point wiring painstakingly finished to Harry Joyce’s exacting military standards
* Cabinet construction with 18mm marine-quality birch plywood
* Each amplifier and speaker cabinet carefully assembled and soak-tested in our own factory in England.
The result is that unique Hiwatt sound, rich in third and fifth harmonics, as effective in the studio as it is on stage. These amps sound like no other. The sound of a Custom 50 or 100 stack at full tilt is truly awesome. The sheer power and responsiveness is guaranteed to blow you away.”
The HIiwatt Custom 50 features a dual channel preamp with Low and High sensitivity input for each, 50 watts of all tube output, and individual controls for Brilliant / Normal inputs, Bass, Treble, Mid, Presence and Master Volume. Equipped with 2 x EL-34 tubes in the power stage, 4 x ECC-83 tubes in the preamp. Adjustable 4, 8 & 16 ohm output impedance.
A look inside the amplifier reveals point- to-point hand wiring, turret tag boards (no printed circuit boards), and hand laced wiring harnesses. The power and output transformers are manufactured by Partridge, the original 1970’s supplier to the original design sheets. The components and wires are the modern available equivalents of the vintage components, 1-watt carbon resistors, and wound polyester capacitors being used throughout.
- Power: 2 x EL-34 tubes
- Preamp: 4 x ECC-83 tubes
- 50 watts output
- Dual channel: normal and bright
- Adjustable 4, 8 & 16 ohm output impedance
- Low and High sensitivity inputs
- Individual channel volume
- 3-band EQ
- Hand wound transformers
This is the revered DR 504 model – a classic Hiwatt in 50 watt guise. And it truly does what the Hiwatt blurb promises. It is a thick, distinctive and harmonically rich sound. Very touch sensitive, and responsive at any volume setting.
It is in very good condition, with only a few scuffs minor tears in its original tolex. Inside, everything appears to be original, and the layout and workmanship is a thng to be admired.
This is a hand-wired, classic tube amp from a brand synonymous with the best of British guitar sounds since its inception in the late 60s. David Gilmour has been using a Hiwatt Custom 50 DR504 for years now, including on his recent “Live At Pompeii” album. That’s what it sounds like.