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Hiwatt inside, or inside an Hiwatt

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by zoloo, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. zoloo


    Jun 7, 2005
    Here is the inside of my DR201 (I just opened it, because I need to recap it and retube it.
    As you can see, no board, only point to point soldering... :
    Photo Gallery

  2. asad137


    Jan 18, 2007
    I've never understood why people think point-to-point soldering is better. I'll take a properly-made PCB soldered by a properly-programmed robot over something handmade ANY day of the week.

  3. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I have 2 friends that work for Dr. Z amplifiers (a boutique guitar amp maker). They both build and fix tube amplifiers for a living. They can fix...and have been fixing any brand of tube amp out there...until PC boards came along. It's way harder to find the problems and fix it when it's on a PCB.

    So, it's not that it's better...it's just that it's easier to fix when something goes wrong.

    My bandmates Marshall JCM 2000 broke one day and now he is having a hard time finding someone to fix it because , according to the fix it guys..."it looks like a space shuttles cockpit in there!!"
  4. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    Nice amp. Someday when I'm rich enough.
  5. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    Thanks for the pics! I love this kind of stuff.
  6. asad137


    Jan 18, 2007
    I buy that...but how many people, when drooling over an amp, say "Wow, I bet that'll be easy to fix!" ;)

    That said, the workmanship on the Hiwatt looks pretty dern good.

  7. tadawson


    Aug 24, 2005
    Lewisville, TX
    With the large temperature changes that happen inside a tube amp, point to point tends to hold up better - the expansion and contraction with temp changes can make circuit board joints crack and get intermittent. A hybrid design (like the Boogie bass 400+) with the preamp on a PCB and the big, hot, output tubes point to point gives the best of both worlds. Myself, I kinda like working on point to point - it's so much easier if you actually fix stuff . . . (easier to mod too . . . ) the module swappers like PCB designs, since they don't actually have to troubleshoot beyond the board in most cases . . .

    - Tim
  8. Nice amp!!!!
  9. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    It's always a pleasure to see a Hiwatt's interior. Sheer work of art...
  10. Have you ever tried to repair a Peavey, or maybe a Beringer?

    The key being properly designed pc board. Most companies use pc boards to help cut costs. Quality and cost cutting don’t usually work well together.
    The component board layouts are pretty much linear, and easy to repair. (Vintage Vox and Gibsons are the exception).

    Btw: that is component board construction not point to point. Point to point is a rat’s nest of components hanging in mid air.

    I love the look of the Hiwatts layouts, pure mil spec work.

  11. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Bump, because this one seems tailor-made for Psycho.
  12. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Pretty cool gallery setup.

    That's a real way-back machine.

    Recall some TB'r saying he actually got one in trade for a Behringer rig - amazing.
  13. Nightbass


    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Wow, the date codes on the caps and pots point to 1969...
  14. Energy


    Jun 20, 2006
    That doesn't necessarily mean the amp was made in 1969, it only means the caps were made in 1969.
    Anyway, it's a 4xKTT88 amp, which means it is one of the older series of Custom 200 models.
  15. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    That is a thing of beauty. Thanks for sharing.

    (I won't mention the fact that I am envious as hell)
  16. zoloo


    Jun 7, 2005

    Some high-end audiophile say that the conduction in a wire is better than the slim cupper track on a PCB (but I don't know, I'm not an electronician).

    I got this Hiwatt in a trade (for a Marshall 30th anniversary g%"#r amp ).

    Some people on vintageamps.com forum told me that it was probably made around 1969/1970 (before they saw the cap pics...)
  17. Ive borrowed a DR201 from a friend, he has my Trace Elliot V4 (V8 type one). I love its sweet top end. I find it a little "harder" sounding than the Trace however starting to really like it. Its one of the new UK built ones and very well built too, the partridge transformers are huge, not that i feel the Trace is under specified but these really are monsters! I maybe a V-Type freak but the Hiwatt goes on the "respect list" right next to ampeg...
  18. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Great pics. Being a geek, I like looking iside cool stuff and I've never had one of these on my bench. I think they're one of the better looking trad style tube heads. Thanks.

    I wouldn't like to buy a P2P wired PC, but an amp's different.

    There's often a lot more hot components in a tube amp and having them further apart and spaced on turrets can overall keep the component cooler. Most MI amp parts aren't derated a lot, so that bit extra is important. In most tube heads I've seen the tubes get a lot of airflow, but not the components inside. I've got a lot of old military databooks etc that state slight variations of every 25C increase in temp halves the component life.

    P2P also gives a lot more routing options for wiring

    I use a lot of ancilliary SS parts in my designs, like voltage and bias regulators and I mount these on small PCBs and heatsinks as it's easier to do that way.

    Tube sockets mounted to a PCB without an excellent support structure underneath it is asking for trouble. Ham fisted techs and non techs aren't gentle and often don't have good tube handling skills, with minor cracks and fracures in the PCBs, traces and joints resulting. A full failure isn't as much of a PITA to fix as an annoying intermittent, unless you're the guy on stage whose amp just failed. Chassis mount sockets and a PCB for everything else doesn't bother me as much.

    P2P stuff is quicker and easier to fix and field servicability is a big plus for me.

    Plus P2P looks great when it's done well.
  19. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Hmmm... I may need to get to know your friends. :smug:

    BTW, love those Dr. Z amps! :bassist:
  20. I too have a '73 DR201 that I'm refurbishing. I used JJ 100+100 MFD 500V caps. They're the same size as the Radio Spares units in the originals. Radio Spares stuff was never that good in the first place. If you are doing a cap job you might think about replacing the old rectifiers. They are 1KV @ 1A giving a rating of 2KV @ 2A for both sets of bridges (plate feed and screens). However the HT (B+) fuse is 3A. I didn't like that so I used 1KV @ 2.5A rectifiers to replace them. Now if the fuse ever blows the rectifiers will still be within their working rating.

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