Hiwatt Bulldog 440 Watt Bass Head

4.9/5, 4.9 from 2 reviews
Rock tone from a modern, solid-state Hiwatt Head
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  1. littlebun
    Solid state rock tone from Hiwatt
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 23, 2020
    Build Quality:
    • + Tone
    • - Weight
    I came across this solid state 440 watt Hiwatt Bulldog head for 349.00 US new, and gave it a try. I'm surprised at how nice this head is for so little money. Out of the box it weighs 39 lbs, so it's not a Class D amp. It's an old school solid state design with heavier components. It looks great, and reminds me of the British bands that used Hiwatt rigs. Tone-wise, set flat, it's the opposite of a funk amp. No scooped mids or glassy highs---although I'm sure the tone can be adjusted for funk. You can get a bit of grunt going by raising the input gain past noon. I like the extended range of the treble control because it also affects the clarity of the lower register notes. I set the treble control to 3 o'clock or more. Bump the bass control slightly, and you have a good all-round tone. I sometimes kick in the 7-band graphic and bring up 1khz to speak better in the mix or to lower 250hz for a cab that peaks too much in that range. Compared with my TC head, the Bulldog 440 can be set to sound a little uglier, which I like, and helps the bass cut through in the mix. The Bulldog 440 sounds good thru different cab types. I didn't hear it struggling at all into a 4-ohm cab with a full band at an outdoor concert. It also didn't compress the overall tone like my TC head did when comparing them at the same concert. The switchable limiter is adjustable via the input gain knob, and I find it too heavy handed for me when setting the input gain knob above 9 o'clock; for slappers it may be fine. No effects loop for pedalboards. It has a rear aux line output, and front and rear aux inputs for practicing with tracks. Sending the rear aux line out jack to an effect and then routing it back into the rear aux input doesn't work, and the amp will squeal if you try; the rear aux input is a direct connection to the amplifier section only. The front aux 1/8" input is useful for inserting tracks in the system and playing along with them during practice sessions. The headphone jack mutes the speaker output and has plenty of gain to drive phones via the master volume control. Rear XLR out is post-eq only with no pre-eq setting offered. If you don't mind the weight of this head, it's a no-brainer considering the quality tone for a very good price at 349.00 new. I also like the tone of the preamp, which is great when practicing with tracks via the aux in, using headphones. The designer of this head really did a great job with the Bulldog 440. Solid state with 440 watts of beefy tone --a winner for me.
    Price Paid:
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