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Thread: Urgent: Hiwatt DR504.. what's going on with this?

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    Urgent: Hiwatt DR504.. what's going on with this?

    I have a chance to trade for this amp tomorrow, but something is bothering me.

    How original is this thing?

    All the 4-hole 50 watt heads I've seen have the two power tubes mounted in the two center-most positions and not the outer-most.
    Also, in the two inner-most power tube slots there appears to be some sort of connections going on there.
    I also notice the cement wire-wounds on the tube sockets which I am not sure Hiwatts of this era came with.

    What I know: it dates to 1977. It's very loud, it's very clean. It was maintained by Matt Romasco for many years.

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    Here are some pictures:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Those resistors could have blown long ago, and I wouldn't necessarily expect them to be replaced with originals, so no big deal there. Bad tubes can take those resistors out. Or they may have just drifted in value and were replaced with generic type.

    Are those some kind of test points (bias?) that have been added to the inner socket holes?
    Once again, no big deal depending on how original you need it to be (for valuation I expect).

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    Just because they don't have tubes doesn't mean they don't have feelings! - glebert

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    Senior Member vintagekiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    ... ...
    Also, in the two inner-most power tube slots there appears to be some sort of connections going on there.
    These are hand made derived measuring points

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I also notice the cement wire-wounds on the tube sockets which I am not sure Hiwatts of this era came with.
    The value and power of built-in 1k/ 5W wire-wounds resistors are correct but these are not the original Hiwatts resistors.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Be aware of what these are. Loud and clean is an understatement. I had a 1973 made one that I bought new as a kid thinking I would get instant Who... I got rid of it for a Marshall. The HW just wouldn’t break up. My bandmate played bass through a 100 watt one that he bought at the same time. It was great for that. He still has it.

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    Last edited by olddawg; 08-16-2019 at 06:55 PM.

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    Senior Member vintagekiki's Avatar
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    Loud and clean is the law.
    Only one is Pete Townshend

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMS47w8hAZ8

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    Thanks for the responses!

    I got the hear this amp. We had the master at about 2:00 (3/4 of the way) and volume past noon somewhere with a Les Paul in the low normal channel and it's extremely in your face midrange punch.
    The cabinet was a Bogner loaded with some type of Celestions but still sounded really good with this amp. I understand that a Hiwatt prefers "stiff" speakers.
    Hard to describe the sound, but as I was fiddling with the controls I'd be talking and then I couldn't her myself talk. Then I'd yell, and I couldn't hear myself yell. Yes, loud. But very different from a Marshall loud. I've heard people throw around the term percussive to describe it and I would tend to agree.
    That Isle of Wight clip kind of nails what I was hearing actually.

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    Last edited by fred; 08-16-2019 at 07:00 PM.

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    Senior Member vintagekiki's Avatar
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    Hiwat has a very massive tone. Tone color satisfied even the greatest gourmet (of course they know how to play)
    Treble is like Fender, bass massive as Marshall and middle precise as vintage Boogie MK I.
    Of course, the overall impression is contributed by an adequate 2 x 412 box, and the guitarist's hand.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    The Isle of Wight video starts with Loud and Clean Hiwatt.
    And then at 2:30 he goes back, near the amps, and steps on some nasty distortion pedal.
    Anybody trying to get that sound from Guitar + Hiwatt alone will get .... ummmm .... frustrated.
    Just sayin´

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Senior Member vintagekiki's Avatar
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    The battle does not beats the rifle at the hero, battle beats the heart in the hero.
    Various pedals are used to cover up the imperfections of musicians.

    What the man does.
    Only guitar, cable, clean Fender with reverb hall and heart in the musician.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDOIL5OqvYs

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwAFPdSKAHM

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    Last edited by vintagekiki; 08-16-2019 at 08:05 PM.

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    The Isle of Wight video starts with Loud and Clean Hiwatt.
    I was there amongst around 600,000, saw the concert and was overwhelmed by the sheer power of the Who. I always thought they were the most dynamic and powerful rockband I ever saw. The only other festival's act that came close was Chicago. Also great Gallagher's The Taste and a band named Heaven. The performance and sound of the J.H. Experience however was disappointing, nevertheless I am still a huge Hendrix fan (as were Pete Townshend and Terry Kath). Three weeks later during my stay in London he was found dead. Oh well.

    Sorry for distracting.

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 08-16-2019 at 10:33 PM.
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    Not a distraction at all! Thanks for sharing the memory.
    From the clips I've seen The Who would have been an incredible act to see live. I had a chance in the 80's to see them but alas I couldn't afford the tickets.
    My how times have changed!

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    I had a chance in the 80's to see them
    Don't think they would have been the same without mad Keith Moon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmholtz View Post
    Don't think they would have been the same without mad Keith Moon.
    Saw them in the 80's , on their first "last tour ever" with Kenny Jones on drums , they were impressive ,but agree he wasn't Moonie.

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    Okay, just downloaded a copy of Live at Leeds on my iPhone. Now I need a Hiwatt...and p90's. good Lord.

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    Don't forget the influence of the speakers. Marshall always used Celestions while Hiwatt mostly used Fanes AFAIK. Fanes sound way different from Celestions. I once had a Vox AC50 with Fanes and could compare to my AC30 with alnico Celestions.
    This said, different Celestion models sound different as well but typically not as tight and percussive as the old Fanes.

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    Last edited by Helmholtz; 08-17-2019 at 09:07 PM.
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    ...and Fanes, too!! Thanks, Helmholtz, now I need to see a doctor.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    ...and Fanes, too!! Thanks, Helmholtz, now I need to see a doctor.
    Find some oldies but goodies. Fane admits their current run of speakers sound nothing like what they made during their "golden age." Meanwhile musicians & reviewers have much the same to say about Made-in-China Celestions. Fooey! Wassamatta with these guys. They could do it - if they wanted to - I'm sure.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Also don’t forget.. you have to be dimed on a concert stage. That’s what my point was. I couldn’t get an authentic sound out of a HW in a club. I could with a 50 watt Marshall.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    Also don’t forget.. you have to be dimed on a concert stage. That’s what my point was. I couldn’t get an authentic sound out of a HW in a club. I could with a 50 watt Marshall.
    Even more to your advantage, back in the day, most of those 50W Marshalls started clipping at about 30 watts. Plenty of volume, enough for almost anything. And tone for days... luv them old "50"s.

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    Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Even more to your advantage, back in the day, most of those 50W Marshalls started clipping at about 30 watts. Plenty of volume, enough for almost anything. And tone for days... luv them old "50"s.
    Clipping at about 30 watts because the rectifier components (transformer, electrolytic caps) was dimensioned "thin, poor", so with the drive increased, the high voltage declined rapidly and the amplifier fast go to clipping.
    With a little knowledge and music there was a lot of sound.

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    most of those 50W Marshalls started clipping at about 30 watts.
    This is certainly true for the JTM45 with GZ34 tube rectifier, KT66s and (non-optimal) 8k plate-to-plate impedance.
    But its successor, the model 1987 (introduced around 1967), employing EL34s, SS rectifier, zero! screen resistors and 3.2k to 3.4k plate-to-plate impedance easily puts out in excess of 45W before any signs of clipping.
    Overall loudness was mainly limited by the relatively low efficiency 20W or 25W Greenbacks.

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