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Any input on HiWatt Bass Amps?? Or the all-tube MarkBass 300?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MaccaMan1964, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. MaccaMan1964

    MaccaMan1964 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Moved to Miami
    Looking for some input...

    I have been GAS'ing for some tube tone. I currently have an Aguilar DB750, which I really like. I also have a MarkBass 2-10 combo that I think is great for smaller gigs.

    But, I played a late '70's SVT for years and loved that tone.

    Was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on HiWatt as a possible tube amp? Or the MarkBass 300 all-tube amp?

    Other inspiring thoughts welcome!!:bassist:

  2. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    I'd love to try a Hi Watt but if you're after the SVT tone its probably not going to be it.
  3. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    +1. If I were you, I'd get another '70s SVT. You can find one used in excellent condition for a lot less money than the Hiwatt or Markbass heads, BTW.
  4. MaccaMan1964

    MaccaMan1964 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Moved to Miami
    I have thought about just buying another used Ampeg SVT...but I guess 'cause I've "been there, done that", I am looking to explore other territory.

    I am also thinking about Orange????
  5. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I had a HIWATT years ago, it ain't gonna sound like and Ampeg. Unless they have done something about it, they have a tube socket problem. Mine was even hand wired, but they used cheap tube sockets. They started to arc between the pins on the tubes and I had to have them all replaced and a tube job.
  6. I would PM Tom Bowlus on this one. He has a love of all tube amps and has a bunch of them, and could probably tell you if any of the more updated models cop a more vintage SVT type vibe.

    I'm pretty clueless on these amps, but did read the review of the new Markbass head in some detail. It sounds like that head has a design goal closer to the Sadowsky tube head... fat, warm, round, and the ability to get very wonderfully 'tube clean' versus being designed for the all out grind.
  7. demon666


    Jul 16, 2005
    Providence RI
    If you liked the SVT your probally not gonna like the Hiwatt. I've heard they don't really break up and have a somewhat bright sound to them. I would look into the new Reeves head if your thinking about a Hiwatt. The Orange head is great. can break up nicely if you push it. It's kind of a one trick pony but it does it really well, What I mean is it doesn't have a very powerful EQ but it is voiced very well. If you like your Aggie you could also check out the DB359 not SVT'ish more of a "Hi-Fi" warm sounding tube tone. Also you could look into the Trace V series tube heads if you can find one. There is also the Mesa Bass 400/ 400+ well I've never been to fond of them (but alot of people on here love them) Also the new Traynor head is cool and not to much money. So here is a list of some of the heads

    Fender Bassman 300
    Orange ad200b
    Hiwatt 200/400
    Reeves 225
    Mesa Bass 400/400+
    Vintage SVT
    Traynor YBA200
    Trace V4/V6/V8
    Trace Hexavalve
    Aggie DB359
    Peavy tour VB-2
    Eden E300T
    Eden VT300B
    Sadowsky SA200

    So You've got alot of choices. I could help you out more if you let me know what sound your looking for and your budget.
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, as it turns out, we will be reviewing the Markbass Classic 300 and the Reeves 225 very soon, as well as the SVT-VR (and a vintage '72 SVT, just for kicks!). And, if you check my profile, I have a few other nice tube heads.

    I definitely have a 'solid state' side to my personality, but I really do enjoy the different flavors that tube amplification can bring to the table. Some of these more modern takes are really great, but some of the classic tube heads also stand tall and proud. That said, if you ask me, if you really want to sound like an SVT, then get an SVT. I'm a big fan of the vintage SVT's, and I am anxious to put a VR through its paces. :bassist:

  9. bdeaux

    bdeaux Bass, the final frontier! Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2002
    Salt Lake City based
    Branden Campbell
    I had the newer Hiwatt 200 last year. I liked the Hiwatt in medium sized clubs, and it brought out the best sound of my Jack Casady Epi. That bass has never sounded as good as it did via the Hiwatt. Hiwatt does have its own sound, very clear, but with all the rich harmonics we love from a good tube head. It doesn't break up like an SVT, and I found myself using pedals to get an SVT sound. So I sold it and bought an SVT. Ha ha. Though some of the pedals sounded awesome: Duncan Twin Tube, Fulltone Bass Drive, Boss Blues Driver (try it on bass!!!).

    I do think the Hiwatts are pricey, so I would def get a Reeves. Also check out a new company in San Diego called Satellite. They make a 225 watt all tube. I played their 50 watt and it was stellar.
  10. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    If you like the Hiwatt, check out the Mywatt: www.weber-amps.de
    They are boutique clones of the Hiwatts at reasonable prices.
  11. Discharge


    Nov 25, 2006
    Sounds like your after a marshall vba400, but like the orange ad200b it's a one trick pony.
  12. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    I would really recommend that you don't go by what some guy in a chat board thinks he heard from his cousin's postman about Hiwatts or any other amp. I know it can be tricky, but you have to try things out yourself. My personal experience has been that they are simply some of the best amps ever made. On the guitar front, a good Hiwatt makes a Marshall sound like a toaster oven. I have had great luck getting huge, growly tones from them.
  13. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    One amp may have tube socket problems but I've known many Hiwatt and Marshall heads from 1968 to the present and that's not a known weakness. The mil spec design and implementation of vintage Hiwatts is indeed beyond all others. They really blur the debate about tubes being unclear and SS being hifi. A Hiwatt really does as was said above all those great harmonics yet it so clear. I could see why a guitarist wouldn't want one at all. WAY more clear than most any tube amp out there. I haven't heard the Sadowski or the Markbass.
  14. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006

    Had an Orange AD200B that gave me my best tone ever, but was too heavy for me to lug. There's one in the TB classifieds now with a silly ask price of 1899.....but it says obo.....
    Just be aware it's a bare bones head with no DI or FX loop. Greeaaaaat tone, however. Not really SVT style IMO.
  15. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    The Reeves is the nicest new/old school tube head I've played through recently. Not cheap, but none of them are.
  16. Geddyfleaharris

    Geddyfleaharris Supporting Member

    I would love to try a Hiwatt. I am an SS guy but the Hiwatt does intrigue me. Part of that is the fan boy side of me because last I am a big Steve Harris fan. Yes I know the player makes the sound, there is more to it than just the amp but I love Steve's clean, clanky sound. If Hiwatt doesn't break up like a typical tube amp then I now partly understand how Steve arrives at his sound.
  17. Colonel_Claypoo

    Colonel_Claypoo Steve Harris nut

    Oct 24, 2007
    look into weber mywatt amps mate;)
    i'm thinking of getting one
  18. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Vero Beach, FL
    i just found out that i have a hiwatt dealer here i memphis...i might have to check one out
  19. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    I started as a qualified amp tech in 1971 less than twenty miles from southend and the old Hiwatt sockets suffered no worse from the ingress of beer than any other, its often the cause of arcing, it blows its fuses someone dries it out with a hair drier, doesn't clean the valve bases, the sugar in the liquid turns into carbon over a number of years and etches into the baker-light valve base finally shorting out.
    Other than that they can carbon track through dust and in one instance quite a lot of cat hair.
  20. im ordering a cable that will enable me to hook up two 4 ohm cabs to a vintage Custom Hi Watt 100.

    Ill let you know how it sounds, and im VERY excited!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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