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Hiwatt bass amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chriso21, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Chriso21


    Jan 15, 2006
    Fort Worth Texas
    HI there,
    Been looking at getting a nice big tube amp setup over here in england. looked at ampeg which only comes with a years warrenty allthough everyone appears to use em. Came across Hiwatt which is roughly the same amount. I believe the head to go for would be the custom 200 and combined 410 and 115 cabinet to compete with my guitarists' 50 watt tube heads - marshall/mesa.

    What do you guys think of Hiwatt? it sounded nice, smooth and clean to me today after playing an ampeg setup(which sounded some what muggy by comparison).

    Any input is appreciated.

    Thanks guys! Chris
  2. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I believe some consider Hiwatt's 200 watt head with that as a "Holy Grail" of tube bass heads.

    I have only played bass through a 200W slave amp head with an alembic pre for an hour or so, and I really love the tone I got, smooth. Now agian I'm not sure what it sounds like in head form with a Hiwatt pre (in the sense of it being combined with the tube power stage into one head).
  3. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Actually, if you like the sound you got I would definately go for it. It sounds really nice, and I think it could compete with your guitarists head.

    People in the UK are lucky in a sense, where all the British amps are cheaper/more readily availible than here in the US (for fairly obvious reasons). Like Hiwatt, Orange/Matamp, Trace Elliot ect.
  4. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
    I really like Hiwatt bass heads, so much better than their Marshall counterparts (IMHO). I was discussing with Matamp last year the possibility of them producing a bass head and they did say that this was something they were already considering. I might give them another call.
  5. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    I have been wondering, back in the day (60s and 70s) were Hiwatt heads universal? I mean as in could any one Hiwatt head be both a guitar or bass amp?

    Does that same rule apply today (given it existed then)? I wouldn't mind picking up a vintage Ampeg tube amp or even a vintage (unlikely) or even modern Hiwatt tube.
  6. anyonefortennis

    anyonefortennis Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    I'd love to try a Custom 400 but for that kinda $$$ you have to consider the Sad SA200 (Actually cheaper!) in the US at least.
  7. gwx014


    Dec 22, 2005
    I wish Hiwatts were the same price as an SVT on our side of the pond. :crying:
  8. If you like vintage Hiwatt amps you also should keep an eye open for Sound City amps: Dave Reeves was Sound City's designer before he started Hiwatt. Sound City amps can be had for a lot less than vintage Hiwatts. I own a 120 watt PA head that sounds absolutely fine for bass:

    (note: pic is not my amp, but mine's the same)

    More info on Sound city: http://home.earthlink.net/~iktoblikto/sc_home.htm
  9. gwx014


    Dec 22, 2005
  10. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    I'd love to have the oppritunity to try one....the people I have talked to, and it's only been a couple since they're pretty rare around these parts, have nothing but praise for them when it comes to guitar AND bass amplification.

    I know Trujilo from Metallica swears by them...says they totally "complete" his sound.
  11. Tone Heaven is a scam. Did some digging myself, the prices seemed too good to be true.
  12. alanbass1


    Feb 8, 2006
    Agreed, Tone Heaven is not on the level. I'm from the UK and when based over there, I tried to buy an amp from them that was displayed on their site for $1100 (it was an early '60's AC15). They did not respond to my e-mails and the telephone was an answer message and they never responded. I asked a friend to mail from the states and they got an instance response saying that that particular amp was sold but they were getting a better one in which will be priced at $1800. Trouble is, the one on the site was being advertised as all original and in excellent condition (which the photo's backed up).
  13. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    +1 Tone heaven looks like a scam even from looking at their website. I'm glad that I have someone's personal experience to back up my suspicions.

    Also, even if you could get a 200W Hiwatt for $1200 shipping would be horrendous across the pond. Not to mention hoping it's in one peice.
  14. gwx014


    Dec 22, 2005
    I'm glad I know now. I always thought in the back of my head that it might be a scam. To bad it's not real though.
  15. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    There is a US company distributing the real deal, true to form 70's era Dave Reeves designs with a five year warranty.
    The amps are for guitar or bass, as they always have been, but Reeves' current primary target is guitar players.The big amps aren't marketed on the website but are available, either imported from the UK or built to original spec in the US.
    I got to use a Custom 200 for a couple of months, it was like a time machine back to the days when all amps were tube, except I've never seen an amp built like these tanks. There is a pic of one of the US built chassis on the website, it's no wonder why these guys give the big warranty. If WW3 were to happen, there would be nothing but left but roaches and Reeves!