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Hiwatt DR401 400 W bass head

Hiwatt's new DR401 400 W bass head  ·  Source: Hiwatt

UK-based Hiwatt has brought a new bass amp head to Musikmesse – and a right monster it is, too. The DR401 is rated at 400 W, and according to Hiwatt clips at 580 Watt RMS. Ear protection, anyone?

This colossus of an amp head runs eight KT88 in the power stage and a preamp stage comprising three ECC83s and an ECC81. This thing can move a serious amount of air. So it fits perfectly to the Hiwatt range – let’s face it, they’ve never been associated with quiet, silky sounds, although I’m sure all their amps can offer more measured tones, too. This amp is, Hiwatt say, also suited to guitars and keyboard, which gives a bit more versatility.

The two channels each have two inputs, a Normal and Bright, each with a high- and low-sensitivity input for passive and active basses. Each channel offers a volume control, with a 4-band EQ and presence addressing both channels. The Master control lets you rein in all that power.

This amp is hand-made in Hiwatt’s Custom Shop based in Doncaster, England. We stopped by at the Hiwatt booth at the show and had a nice chat with the guys – super-friendly people who know their stuff. Just don’t expect this amp to be cheap – pricing hasn’t been announced yet but it certainly won’t be a bargain.

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