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Old 02-16-2017, 09:41 PM   #1
your idol
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School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

I got a chance to pick up a Hiwatt custom 100 +412 w/Fanes.

Downside: Its a 1993 theres next to NO info on them out there. It sounds great but i have no idea on the value of said package or the reputation of what i believe is a US made Fernandes owned Hiwatt...may be some association with reeves there.. anyway like I said ...not a whole lot of information

Id like to know a bit about it. Its road worn but honestly performs like a champ. Its loud and im talkin f***in loud! Like could play a small club on 2 or 3 loud. Its a mv amp but even the break up is pretty clean. Acres of headroom.

For owners:

Do they take pedals well?
Value?
Any pitfalls?

It would be used for stoner rock/doom
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #2
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Re: School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

If you mean association with the boutique amp company Reeves, there is none. If you mean association with Dave Reeves, the original designer, there isn't one anymore at that point in Hiwatt history, either.

What's the serial number of the amp in question? Check it here: http://hiwatt.org/RegMisc.php

A lot of those Fernandes era Hiwatts were made in Asia, some in Japan, some Korea...at that point, the attention to detail, components, construction methods and the like were not the same as vintage Hiwatts at all. In fact, the Fernandes era Hiwatts are thought rather poorly of by most Hiwatt experts, as well as the "Doncaster" era, because Fernandes owned the rights to the name but didn't have any experience or connection with the original Hiwatts, suppliers, manufacturing techniques, etc. So you get the same circuit (more or less), but all of the components are more cost effective, cheaper ones, and even most of the "USA" Fernandes amps were being made in Asia.

Here's an interesting thread: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/in...igner.1158856/.

A lot of people don't like the MG era of Hiwatts much at all, and liken them to an Epiphone Les Paul vs a Gibson Les Paul. That's probably a pretty fair comparison, actually--not in terms of quality, but by that point the circuits were more or less the same, but all of the components (transformers, chassis, circuit boards, etc, etc) were being made by different manufacturers. There were actually some slight changes to the circuit designs when MG took over too.

The Biacrown era Hiwatts are in my opinion great amps that go for much cheaper than the original vintage ones, and the Audio Brothers era are thought fairly highly of.

My rambling post basically means that you're going down a long rabbit hole and that there are a lot of opinions out there. It's certainly not a "vintage" Hiwatt with all of the legendary quality, but it's essentially the same circuit and can still sound fantastic. Sort of like a Fender DRRI vs an original 1965 Fender DR. Or maybe a better example would be one of the Asian or Mexican Fender guitars vs an American one, something like that.

Anyhow 90s Hiwatts can be excellent sounding amps even if they aren't the original Partridge transformers and have PCBs. Use your ears to decide whether you want it or not. Yes, they take pedals extremely well, though quality control at that point was not so great, so individual amps vary.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:50 AM   #3
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Re: School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

By the way, "Fanes" were not really the same speakers at that point either, as far as I know. The cabinets were also being built by different manufacturers with different suppliers and all of that. The speaker company and name Fane went through even more changes than Hiwatt did, I think. I know less about them.

Last edited by ErictheRed; 02-17-2017 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:04 PM   #4
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Re: School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

Great info Eric. It sounds great. Ill get a sn on it. $1500 for the whole deal in toured rough condition may be a bit steep it seems
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Old 02-17-2017, 03:53 PM   #5
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Re: School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

Serial is abo316
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:52 PM   #6
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Re: School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

Sounds like it's an Audio Brothers era Hiwatt, I don't know much about those. Maybe try asking at one of the Hiwatt forums? Though we have some other Hiwatt experts around here that probably know more about those.

Actually, $1,500 for the head and cab of an Audio Brothers Hiwatt might be a pretty good deal, I would be intrigued. Look into it some more and good luck!
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:44 PM   #7
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Re: School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

Thanks for the info thus far Eric. Hopefully we got a Hiwatt head around here. I heard a lot of the Audio Bros stuff was actually quality so fingers crossed
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:47 AM   #8
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Re: School me on 90s Hiwatt Custom 100

Audio Brothers Hiwatts were fairly good, but nowhere near current Hi-Tone reissues are today. Hi-Tones are the only ones really comparable to vintage Hylight era Hiwatts.
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