HiWatt have been showing off a new 50-Watt head prototype at the Musikmesse Show this week. This very simple-looking amp could, of course, be fantastic, but the price will probably determine its success.
It is always a brave move to bring a product to a show that is not finished and in prototype stage. Yet HiWatt obviously felt that this is the way to go with this new 50-Watt amp head. With pretty classic looking HiWatt styling throughout, the first thing you will notice is the distinctly minimalist control layout on the front panel.
Less is sometimes more with guitar amps and HiWatt have obviously taken this to heart with this prototype. It features only Volume, Bass, Mids, Treble and a Mid Frequency three-way switch! To be fair, some of my favourite guitar amps of all time have less than this, so for me this would not be a problem.
I love simple valve amps as the circuit feels less cluttered with stuff I’ll never use and makes for a nice ‘pure’ signal path. Hopefully this will make it easier to dial in great tones.
The 50-Watt output is achieved with a pair of EL34s and a set of three ECC83 preamp valves. So I think it will have a bit of a Marshall sound, as that is classic Plexi territory. HiWatt, of course, are known for their great clean tones and it will be interesting to actually hear what this new prototype will sound like.
The amp head weighs in at 11 kg. Not exactly a back-breaker. But we don’t currently have any info on the transformers used here. There is also no price information available either, though they say the HiWatt Custom 50 will be out sometime towards the end of May.
We’ll keep you all posted when we hear more.