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1977 Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103 Vintage Tube Amp Hylight Era, Serviced & Retubed


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Up for sale, a 1977 Hiwatt Custom 100 DR103 head in excellent condition and in perfect working order. The definitive Hiwatt head, the DR103 is notably louder than its Marshall Super Lead 100 watt equivalent, offering tremendous headroom, even-ordered harmonics and a distinctive grind and punch that's pure vintage Hiwatt. Extremely powerful, efficient and searing with pummeling low end, this Hiwatt can achieve saturated roar and robust cleans, as commanding and bass-rich as any vintage British tube amp with an incredibly dynamic, touch-sensitive responsiveness.

The amp features a two-channel circuit (Normal and Brilliant) and each channel is distinctively voiced. While the Normal Channel is engineered to stay clean all the way up the dial, the Brilliant Channel can achieve saturation and overdriven grind via its hotter input when really cooking (higher output pickups also assist in pushing the DR103 to an ideal saturation point). The preamps have their own dedicated Volume knobs, with a global three-band EQ and Presence knob, followed by a Master Volume. The back panel features a modern three-prong power cable receptacle, ohm selector and pair of 1/4" outputs.

The circuit is very original and recently given a clean bill of health, retaining its stock Partridge transformers. The turret board preamp retains a bevy of original Mullard mustard caps, with date codes from the 1st quarter of '77. All of the original pots are intact too.

The original Hylight-era Hiwatt badge is intact with a serial number dating to 1977. The tubes include a properly biased quartet of Electro Harmonix EL34 power tubes, with modern in the preamp too. All hardware is original, and all stock plastics are accounted for, with a full complement of black chicken head knobs and a large Hiwatt badge. There's modest wear on the enclosure edges, and a faint band name stencil has been largely removed from the face of the amp.