Hiwatt Custom 20 (13.5 watts) and the Booker Valve Dynamics amps. By the Audio Brothers. Enables saturating power tube, output transformer, and guitar speaker at practical volume levels. Two EL84's in Class A.
HiWatt DC40 with 1/4 power mode is 12 watts. This might be the Bulldog amp.
I don't know if the following is relevant.
The Hiwatt DC40 was built by Fernandes and designed by me. The DC40 has nothing to do with the Audio Brothers in the UK. Audiobrothers made the original Fernandes reproductions, then decided to take all the research Fernandes paid for and build them for someone else. A judge ruled in the UK that HIWATT was a "generic" term and could not be copywritable. I believe Fernandes' choice in lawyers was less than ideal, but I never got a good explanation of the event.
Booker Valve user comments V12M (13.5W Tube combo). $1000 street. Excerpts:
Made By Audio Bros. England 1998 Dual EL84 output stage. 3 12AX7 Pre amp stage. 13.5 watts output. Single input. Controls: Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume. No channel switching, or any other bells and whistles. The Amp is made of finished, solid mahogany. Looks like a 1920's era radio. The controls are on the top. Probably Best suited as a Recording/Practice amp, But is extremely loud for being only 13.5 watts. You could definitely use it in a small club gig, unmiked. The only feature that is really lacking is an external impedence selector switch. It is set to 8 ohms, but is internally switchable to 16Ohms; But this is obviously a real hassle. Too bad, because this amp sounds unbelievable through a 4X12 cabinet. The amp has been tried with a variety of different guitars, Fenders, Gibsons etc. Makes Fenders really come alive. If you have a "Fat" sounding Strat or Tele, there is no better amp. Humbuckers really make the amp sustain at higher volumes, and it seems to really favor Gibson style guitars. The amp is very clean and punchy, but breaks up nicely as the volume goes up. With the Gain and volume at about 2 oclock, there is not a "Fatter" sounding amp. The Booker is especially suited to "Blues". It does not overdrive like a master volume Marshall, but instead, starts to break up as the volume is turned up. By cranking the gain, the tone controls, especially the treble, have mor presence and effect. Instead of channel switching,you can roll off the volume on the guitar to clean up the sound. This does not work very well on most amps, but the Booker really sounds nice with the guitars volume down. The guitar's tone control is suddenly very useable now also. The Mid control seems to be voiced at a lower frequency than you are normaly used to, but it really zeroes in on the fat tone of a guitar. It is also very quiet. point to point Hand wiring, it seems to be built like a bomb shelter. I have used the "sister amp" : the Hiwatt Custom 20, and if it is half as reliable, I would have no worries. I wanted a well built, great looking, fantastic sounding amp, that was easy to transport. That's what I got! Can't imagine a better amp. You are not going to find a better made, better sounding hand wired amp at twice the price. Period. There is one thing I hate: The amp looks so good, that I am living in terror of that first big scratch.
HiWatt Custom 20 (2x10, 13.5W Class A tube combo) - HiWatt Custom 20 user comments (13.5W Tube combo).
>I'm told by the Audio Brothers (the folks who make Hiwatts and Booker Valve amps) that I'm the first person in the US to own a Custom 20. One of the reasons I bought that model over the more traditional Hiwatts is precisely what you've been discussing in your web site -- to get power amp/transformer/speaker distortion at practical volume levels... And running two EL84's in Class A at full crank ( I'd say "on 11" but Hiwatts have no numbers ;-> ) is a thing of wonderment!!!
>I must add that at least on small amps, which often can be *seriously* overdriven [at relatively low room-noise levels compared to a 100-watt Marshall stack], having separate volume and gain controls is quite helpful. I typically run the volume on full and gain about 1/3 of the way up. This gives me the classic tube amp tone -- perfect for playing the blues (as I do). Bringing up the gain at full volume gives the "Brian May" super saturated sound that is *extremely* compressed and rolls off all the highs. Of course this set-up also lets you (if you're so inclined) get the fuzzy tone of cranking the gain and backing off on the volume.
Gerald C. Lopez wrote:
I know a guy who had a problem with the power section of his Custom 20 and got it repaired under warranty with no problem at all. Actually the Audio Bros are on the web ( look under Hiwatt and Booker Valve Dynamics on the HC manufacturers page), however, they have recently removed all references to their Hiwatt stuff. My guess is that they are caught up in the continuing legal wrangles over who owns the Hiwatt name. By all accounts though their amps are just terrific ( you've got to want that Hiwatt sound though), and the construction quality doesn't come any better.
No prob, I worked on them. Actually, the Audio Brothers built the Fernandes reissues, and then I and others at Fernandes rebuilt them, replacing crappy caps and correcting unauthorized circuit mods. They are fairly sturdy, but if you want a Hiwatt, get a REAL Hiwatt. One made in the 70s with the words "Hylight Electronics" on the badge on the rear. They are the real deal built by Dave Reeves and are actually CHEAPER than the reissues. Also, If you buy one of the English ones over here, good luck with warranty claims.
>>Blackhawk does not use the English Class A Hiwatts. They use the Fernandes Reissues.
Marc Ferguson wrote
I recently serviced one for a road band. Seemed ruggedly built. Much like the original issues I 've worked on. Big loud fat sound with lots of brightness, as long as it's there at least you can roll it off. Blues and r&b would be fine through it. Blackhawk works a lot of dates, so the reliability of the unit is good if it makes it from city to city in the truck.
Kim Weedon wrote:
I currently play a strat through a Peavey classic 50/410 and like this sound, but at larger gigs the Peavey has struggled to cut through! Someone recomended I try a Hi-watt 50w class A combo any coments on this amp appreciated. I play blues /r&b.
DejaNews query: hiwatt and "custom 20"
Messages 1-12 of exactly 12 matches for search "hiwatt" "custom 20":
Date Scr Subject Newsgroup Author 1. 98/06/08 051 Hiwatt Custom 20??? alt.guitar.amps Tristan Tzara 2. 98/05/14 048 Re: HI WATT alt.guitar.amps Geoffrey Lyman 3. 98/05/14 046 Re: HI WATT alt.guitar.amps yes, another To 4. 98/10/27 044 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/3 alt.music.4-track Michael 5. 98/10/27 044 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/3 alt.guitar Michael 6. 98/10/27 044 Amp emulators, speaker sim, rec.audio.pro Michael 7. 98/10/27 042 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/2 rec.music.makers.guit Michael 8. 98/06/18 042 Re: Hi-watt 50w combo_coment alt.guitar.amps Gerald Lopez 9. 98/10/27 041 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/3 alt.music.4-track Chris Gieseke 10. 98/10/23 041 Low-watt power-tube devices? alt.music.4-track Michael 11. 98/10/25 038 Re: Low-watt power-tube devi alt.music.4-track Michael 12. 96/08/12 037 Q: Small recording amp to go rec.music.makers.guit Lars Reisdal
DejaNews query: booker and "valve dynamics"
Messages 1-9 of exactly 9 matches for search "booker" "valve dynamics":
Date Scr Subject Newsgroup Author 1. 98/10/27 043 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/3 alt.music.4-track Michael 2. 98/10/27 043 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/3 alt.guitar Michael 3. 98/10/27 043 Amp emulators, speaker sim, rec.audio.pro Michael 4. 98/10/23 041 Low-watt power-tube devices? alt.music.4-track Michael 5. 98/10/27 040 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/2 rec.music.makers.guit Michael 6. 98/10/27 040 Re: Amp emulators, speak#1/3 alt.music.4-track Chris Gieseke 7. 97/04/12 040 A question about Hiwatt Amps alt.guitar.amps Tweedtube 8. 98/06/18 039 Re: Hi-watt 50w combo_coment alt.guitar.amps Gerald Lopez 9. 98/10/25 038 Re: Low-watt power-tube devi alt.music.4-track Michael
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