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Speaker Cab advice (Hiwatt Content)

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by hennessybass, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

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    Here's the deal... I have a very nice '77 Hiwatt DR201 amp (actually for sale right now - but I'm on the fence), and have considered getting a cab to match it. A 4x12 came up for local sale, and I want to explore the possibility.

    Right of the bat... I do have some very basic knowledge of how the speaker thing works. I am sure I am missing some critical information.

    The cab is a Mid 70's Hiwatt SE4123 speaker cab. - John Entwistle apparently 4 of these.

    The non-original speakers are Eminences and the only info the seller has is that they say 1975. The seller says... "they were used in sound reinforcement speakers (PA) and also found in some old Ampeg and Kustom guitar amps." (mystery speakers)

    The cab measures ~30x30x13 inches. I would guess that is is made from 3/4" plywood. No idea on the port measurements. It's small, just a slit at the bottom - see pic.

    [​IMG]

    Anyone know anything about these speakers? Any thoughts on if this would make an OK bass cab (with a speaker change)? Any recommendations on speakers?

    I get that this cab is big and heavy and I could get a small cab that goes louder, lower, etc. Not the point... Just trying to get a discussion going on this cab.
  2. azwhofan

    azwhofan Supporting Member

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  3. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

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    Could be similar to the V4 or V2 guitar cab speakers, they were eminence made. Either way, I wouldn't expect all that great low end bass out of 70s guitar/PA speakers. Might be okay for an occasional use type thing, but for a more heavy use cab I'd look into getting some modern bass speakers. Pretty similar in size to the V4 cab (27 x 30 x 14) so it might work with deltalites (a la the JohnK 4x12) if you plug up that rear port. Or might be good with the rear port, you'd have to do the testing.
  4. will33

    will33

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    Disclosures:
    Use of this field for any other purpose is prohibited
    If you can get all the identifying numbers off the speakers themselves and email them to Eminence customer service, they've always been very helpful with me in digging up whatever info/specs they have on them. I've done that with a bunch of old speakers I've come across so long as that exact same driver model is not still under OEM contract with some company. Meaning they'd still be proprietary as someone is still using them in their new products today. From 1975, I'd say your chances are very good they'll be able to give you whatever info they may have.

    That cab size and shallow depth suggests guitar cab to me.
  5. ebulakowski

    ebulakowski Supporting Member

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    hennessy, sorry/glad to hear your on the fence about selling the head.

    I can't speak for how different brand speakers would act in the hiwatt cab. That said, if we are talking vintage hiwatt cabs my understanding is that the se4122 and 4123 were the same box just with different speakers. The se4129 would be the only vintage hiwatt cab that would be rated to handle the DR201. Even the 2x15's needed two cabs to handle the DR201 correctly. And I am fairly sure that is was the same box as well. Remember it is 200w before breakup and potentially 400w peak. I think it is feasible to use the box and put different 12's in it.
    All of that said I have not found that solution either.
  6. Wasnex

    Wasnex

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    I looked for some vintage Hiwatt cabs for awhile and eventually bought a pair of 4x12s from Hi-Tone Amps.

    I did quite a bit of research. Tonally the Hi-Tone drivers are based off a somewhat rare model of Fane purples that people at the Vintage Hiwatt Convention seem to prefer. Hi-Tone worked with eminence to build a tone clone, and all the reviews I have read indicate they nailed the tone.

    Tonewise for guitar: These speakers are incredibly articulate.
    You can really push the bass on these and get a incredibly warm sound without mush.

    Tonewise for bass: I would say they are definitely vintage sounding, a bit lean with an extended high end.

    Interestingly, they seem a bit forward in the low-mids with guitar and a bit scooped in the low-mids with bass.

    I have the EL34 based DR201 and they supposedly make about 192 Watts. The KT88 version puts out a bit more and is reported to have a little bit more grunt down low. The president of Hi-Tone recommended 2 of the 4x12 cabinets to safely handle the output of the amp with bass guitar. One cab would do fine for guitar as thermally they can handle much more power than the amp puts out. But if you really push the bass there is some danger of pushing the drivers past their excursion limits if you only use one cabinet.

    Be advised if you buy the optional removeable casters they don't install the stock skids. So if you buy two and want to stack them vertically you should buy one with casters and one without. Or you could just work around it by cutting some thick carboard to use as a pad between the speakers so the caster hardware doesn't damage the tolex. Or maybe use some rubber furniture cups to hold the casters.

    These cabs are really well made, look great, and come with a nice, thick vinyl cover. You can find a couple of sound clips here: http://www.hi-tone-amps.com/Speaker_Cabinets.html
  7. Wasnex

    Wasnex

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    hennessybass,

    I just looked at your profile and saw you previously owned an NV412. I would think that would be an ideal speaker for your DR201.
  8. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

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    That thing was a beast. I used it with a Fender Bassman 100. I think it would be nice with the Hiwatt, but there were a few things I didn't care for about that cab.

    Interested in this one more for and aesthetic / usable thing.
  9. Forrrest

    Forrrest

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    Current '72 KT88 DR201 & NV412 owner. Love how they sound together.
    [​IMG]



    I would like to find some vintage Hiwatt front ported 4X12 cabs for the head, but... first I need to find them.

    When I bought the head it came with a newer Hiwatt 4X12 (with the slit on the back), but I found the build weak and sold it off.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    IIRC these were sold through Musicians Friend... If the cab you're looking at is like that, don't bother buying it.
    I have a quad of weber Fane Clones (FC12) in an orange cab... eh. I'll probably switch those speakers out for some EV12L pretty soon. But my fane 2X12 with real fane speakers sound fabulous.... I should invest in a full stack of those! (but I'm talking guitar at this point)



    I've considered selling my Dr201 as well, but only because what I could potentially get for it (similar price to your CL listing range). yet I know that if I did sell it I'd probably eventually regret it since they're practically unobtanium.



    proper hiwatt cabs should be a sealed back (not a a screwed closed back) like this:
    [​IMG]
    and ports on the front like this:
    [​IMG]
    one day I'll find a good pair.
  10. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

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    Great pics. That 2x NV412 stack is insane!

    I think I am going to pass on the used cab... to many unknowns. Really interested in getting a cab for the hiwatt though.

    Maybe a LDS build. You guys know anything about Hi-Tone cabs?
  11. Forrrest

    Forrrest

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    the problem with NV412 stack, not enough height for full 'cool' effect! :)


    what didn't you like about the NV412?


    I imagine most of the Hi-Tone offerings are geared towards guitar players (like Hiwatt) and that the bass cabs they do build aren't properly matched to the speakers they used.

    The Dr201 demands a big cab. I'd try to get myself the biggest hiwatt cab you can find, or two. One 4X12 isn't going to cut it.

    The bassist of the band The Killers just got himself a hiwatt backline, Three Se410115 cabs, they look cool, but I don't know if they're avaliable in the USA.



    edit:
    This guy was near you last year selling a hiwatt stack...
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f127/hiwatt-custom-200-stack-dfw-923680/
    any relation?
  12. Wasnex

    Wasnex

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    Curious what you didn't like about the NV412.

    I would love to try one with my tube amps.
  13. Wasnex

    Wasnex

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    You would look awesome with four NV412s stacked. :bassist:

    You are correct that the Hi-Tone cabinets are designed for guitar and two are suggested if you want to run bass with a DR201. If you want to sound like Ox on Live at Leeds you could probably get pretty close with a pair of Hi-Tones, a DR201, and the right bass/string combination. But why stop there when the DR201 would push 8 of those cabs. Ox would have approved.


    FYI..My understanding is that if you go with vintage Hiwatt 215 bass cabs, you need two of those to handle a DR201 as well.

    Just an observation...I doubt the front ported cabs match the theile small parameters of the drivers any better than the rear ported cabs. The port area is very small and there is little depth. The ports are literally holes drilled in the front of the cabinet. From what I have read, the rear ported cabinets sound better. Never heard one of the front ported boxes personally so I couldn't say....and of course YMMV.

    You are right that the DR201 needs a big cabinet. The larger Mesa Traditional PowerHouse cabinets are close to Hiwatt styling and are less than an inch narrower than the DR201.
  14. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

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    Heavy as hell, and I don't like cabs that tilt back. I prefer 4 casters. Sounded awesome, but really just had to sell it when I moved into a smaller place.

    That's cool man, but I don't really ever need massive volume. Looking for more of a one cab medium rig. I've played lot's of cool 100 watters. Thinking a good 4x12 or 2x15.

    No relation. I remember when that came up for sale. I already had my Hiwatt at that time.
  15. Forrrest

    Forrrest

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    if wheels were the only problem I would have removed them and just added 4 casters. c'mon man!

    and as for size, the NV412 is really compact delivering a big sound, I can't think of any other cab that can do it as well without being oversized (like the mesa powerhouse 4X12 cabs). A hiwatt 4X12 isn't going to be any lighter or more compact, neither is a 2X15.


    I guess get the Berg NV115 or the CN212 if you want something smaller.... :shrug:


    I've heard both, but not side by side. The rear ported cab was a newer one... so not the same build quality as the vintage cab. I just know I was instantly blow away by the vintage cab, might have been the air blowing out the front ports ;)
  16. Wasnex

    Wasnex

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    You probably need to decide on your tonal goals and what compromises you are willing to make in how the rig looks and how much volume you need.

    The Hi-Tone cabinets are well built and look great with the head, but unless you are really looking for a bright, true vintage bass sound I would recommend something else. Or get a Hi-tone and take up guitar.

    Tons of smaller cabinets that will provide significantly better bass performance...but none of the small cabinets are going to look right with a 27.5 inch amp sitting on top. I guess you could put a couple of smaller cabs side by side and stack the amp on top. If this sounds like an acceptable idea, consider Reeves http://www.reevesamps.com/bassCabinets.htm These cabs are only 24 inches wide but they are well reviewed and definitely match the DR201s styling.


    Maybe the best solution is to go with a custom builder. I am sure Don at LDS can stuff a decent sounding diagonal 212 build into a cabinet that measures 30 x 30 (HxW) like the Hiwatt cab. Depth would of course be adjusted so the internal volume was consistent with theile small parameters for the chosen drivers. This box is gonna be big and cumbersome. More so if you want a 412 because the depth will have to be double to give the correct internal volume.
  17. jujubwahna

    jujubwahna

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    I'm about to post an auction on Ebay for selling my Hiwatt Audio Brothers 2X15 ca, with original Fanes..a MONSTER...VGC..thought here was a great place to idle the engine and see what jumps..BELONGS in the hands of a fellow Hiwatt Fanatic...and they won't be disappointed...$1500

    below follows text for auction:


    HARD TO FIND AND MOST, MOST EXCELLENT HIWATT 215 BASS CABINET LOADED WITH FANE KC 15-300C SPEAKERS, EACH RATED 300W.
    MANUFACTURED BY AUDIO BROTHERS..IMPEDENCE/SPKRS 8 OHMS> CABINET LABELED AT 16 OHMS...REAR PORTED, AND MARVELED AT BY TOM PETERSSON AS RARE AND MOST DESIRABLE.

    I'VE GOT 6 HERNIATED DISCS, MY ROADIES ARE RETIRED AND BUSTED UP, AND IT'S TOO MUCH FOR ME TO CART AROUND ON MY AGED OWN, SO AS MUCH AS I LOVE IT, IT'S GOTTA GO. SOUNDS LIKE GOD PISSSED OFF: THUNDEROUS, PANT-FLAPPING BOTTOM END, CRISP HIGHS LIKE ONLY HIWATTS AND FANES GIVE. THE RIGHTFUL OWNER WILL ALREADY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE IN FOR..THE REST OF YOU CAN GOOGLE IT FOR MORE DETAILS IF NECESSARY.
  18. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen

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    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Both my proper 70s Hiwatt cabs were rear ported with screwed on backs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  19. lowend1

    lowend1

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    This. The classic Hiwatt sound is due in part to those cabs and speakers. My DR103 is mated to a later Hiwatt 4x12 that is a sealed front-loader with 3 Hiwatt "Legend" speakers and one Celestion Classic Lead 80 which sounds much like the Legends. Different vibe - tight, focused, a touch bright for bass, but still very cool.
  20. Electrophonic

    Electrophonic

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    A DR201 and matching 412 was my main rig for many years. I still cannot believe I sold it. If I ever come across a good rig like that gain I will buy it.

    Hi-Tone build the cabs vintage correct. I have not tried Reeves in person. The Hi-Tone cab with their Eminence bass speaker sound just like my old Hiwatt cab. If you are looking for an old Hiwatt 412 cab, then a new Hi-Tone cab is just as good.

    I need to sell some of the gear I have and get back on my DR201 and a Hi-Tone 412 cab or two. Damn you, GAS!

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