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Anyone know where I can get a Bulgin mains cord? - Hiwatt

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matthew West, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. I'm considering an early 70's Hiwatt PA100 (DR112) that someone has offered me for a good price, but it is missing the mains/power cord. It needs a Bulgin 3 pin type with US style three prong plug. Anyone know where I could get one of these? Otherwise, how hard is it to simply add a hard-wired cord, or convert the Bulgin socket to an IEC socket?

    Angela Electrical has the Bulgin plugs themselves for $35, but I would still have to add the actual power cord itself. But right how, that might be the only option if I go for this.

    On a related note, anyone have any idea what a good price would be for this? 100 watts, six channels. Runs 4 EL34's. I've heard that these things sound almost identical to the DR heads.
  2. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Just Hard - Wire it, Should be pretty easy to do.
    You'll probably find four screws underneath the head.
    Unscrew these and the whole chassis should slide out (Be careful It'll be heavy!).
    Those old Hiwatt P.A's are almost identical to the guitar head and are about 120 watts RMS.
    Should sound really good.
    Before you part with any cash though, - Make sure it works!
  3. Ah - therein lies the rub - I cannot make sure it works without a power cord. Plus, the owner is nowhere near me. Based on the pictures the guy sent me, it looks clean. He sent me chassis pictures, and all of the connections look good, etc.

    Unless it has a blown tranny, I'm not too worried.
  4. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    BEFORE you power this thing up,I suggest you do the following.
    REMOVE all the valves and power it up gently with a variac.
    Leave it powered like this for a few hours before replacing any of the valves (Sorry TUBES!)
    This procedure will to some extent "Re Form" the capicitors (which don't like not being used for long periods - possibly years in this case)
  5. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
  6. I should have no problem making one I guess, and that is cheaper than the $35 one from Angela. Thanks for the link - I saw it last night, but forgot where it was.
  7. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    Matthew, I think the only option is to make your own cord which is not difficult with that Bulgin plug. In fact, you should count yourself lucky that the amp still has the Bulgin socket. Most Hiwatt's I see (including my own when I purchased it) have been fitted with an IEC socket which doesn't exactly fit that good.

    I agree with Paul that if the amp has been sitting for a long time then the filter caps may be bad and could possibly be reformed. If it has the original caps then I would budget for a complete cap job anyway. You have to be careful when you pull all of the tubes and ramp the primary voltage with a variac. With all the tubes pulled the amp is "unloaded" and the voltage to the filter caps is generally much higher (sometimes above they're ratings) and that would destroy them.

    Hiwatt's are cool amps for sure! The inside wiring is simply a thing of beauty. Harry Joyce was/is a master at wiring!

  8. The owner just emailed me back, and said that it has been used regularly as often as last week. He also said that it had just been to the tech for a checkup. It's only running two tubes now (50 watts), but with all four tubes, he said it was putting out 104 watts RMS like it should.

    He's asking $350 obo plus shipping. Is that a decent price? I would primarily be using this for guitar through a 4x12, but I'm sure I could use it with my Ampeg 1x15 for bass as well. I could post the pictures I have this evening if that helps. The only real issues are the power cord thing, a missing serial number plate, and a chunk of tolex missing on the back panel. So it's probably of little collector value, but I don't really care about that. I'm trying to decide between this and an early 70's Ampeg V-4, which would cost an equivalent amount of money to get up and running. The Hiwatt has more mojo, but the Ampeg may be more suited to guitar purposes.

    Decisions, decisions...
  9. Tapp


    Aug 29, 2001
    USA, Mississippi
    IMO, $350 for a Hiwatt is a STEAL! The old models (pre circuit board) are built like tanks and the transformers are Partridge which are legends in and of themselves.

    Ask the owner if the original transformers are in the amp; If you look down inside the amp from the top vent you should see a little yellow sticker on both of the transformer laminations; it will say Partridge.

    Both the Ampeg and the Hiwatt are going to give you ultimate clean so if that's what you're looking for (for guitar) then they will do it. I personally think either one would make a great bass amp too so you've definitely got choices.

    The only thing that may distract from the Hiwatt is the looks of the PA100. It's not as "good-lookin" as the DR heads IMO. If that's not a concern to you then I would seriously consider it. You'll probably be the only one around with a Hiwatt PA head too; I don't see them often.

    Also, I would plug 2 more EL34's in that Hiwatt and run it the way it's supposed to be (be sure it's biased properly; Hiwatt's will eat tubes quickly). Pulling 2 tubes may cut power but the perceived loudness is not that different.

    Hope this helps,

  10. Thanks. He doesn't have pictures of the transformers, but he said (without my asking) that the yellow Partridge stickers are still on them.

    I think I may go with this. A guy from the Hiwatt bulletin board said that a fair price would be between $400 and 600.

    This could actually be pretty cool. Each channel has bass, treble and volume. There is also a separate master volume. With an A/B switch, I could do channel switching and vary volume levels at will.
  11. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    For $350, do it!!!

    I just recently picked up a '73 Sound City 200+ for $300 and it so rocks. 4 6550's, active tone controls, cool as hell lookin! I think it's tonally the best amp I've ever had, and I've had a lot! Makes my 4001 growl like no other... :)

    The Hiwatt PA heads are also pretty damn rare, and if you show up for a gig with one, you instantly rank very high on the 'cool scale' in my book!
  12. So I can pick this up for $300 plus shipping. Think I should go for it?

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