NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

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OU818
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NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by OU818 » Tue May 22, 2012 1:35 pm

I finally got it :D

The guy dropped it over, I plugged in the LP and promptly fell in love.
In my apartment I could only put it on Volume 2 but man, what a tone. The cleans are clear and articulate with layers of warmth and chime. It is also completely whisper quiet when running. No buzz or pops.

The tubes in it appear to be Groove Tubes however the guy said that he hasn't retubed it since he bought it in 1990, so they are fairly old ones. I will be hunting down a NOS Quad of Mullards when I can (more like when I can afford it, those things ain't cheap).

I will be giving it a good go tomorrow, as it was 9pm when I got it so couldn't play too loudly.

The cab is a 1977 Hiwatt cab loaded with Fanes. Apparently the guy got it and had never played it himself. It seems to have a blacked over logo that says THE GAME on the back, so it may have been a touring rig before it came to him. He used to own a guitar shop which is where he got the head and cab from.

So... for the part you've been waiting for... PHOTOS!

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I think my girlfriend is jealous of the looks I am giving it :lol:
Last edited by OU818 on Tue May 22, 2012 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DiabloS
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NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by DiabloS » Tue May 22, 2012 1:36 pm

Excellent score man! Glad to hear everything worked out so well for ya!
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Currently own:
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Sethery
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by Sethery » Tue May 22, 2012 3:55 pm

It's... Beautiful... SCORE!
How much did this beast run you? (if you don't mind me asking)
I've been looking at custom 50's myself, but never had a chance to play one.
Love, Seth.
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a.hun
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by a.hun » Tue May 22, 2012 4:19 pm

Ah, thats great for you. Yeah, that's the real deal. Just wait 'till you get some air moving with it. You won't believe what is happening, because there is NOTHING out there to touch these amps. But even quiet they still sound 'bigger' (at an equivalvent volume I mean) than about anything else out there. Sweet.

I see at 3 Mullard preamp valves, almost certianly all original. If so you'd be unlucky to need to replace any for a very long time. My '74 DR103 has all of its originals. Yeah, whisper quiet is right, no noise with these amps and good valves. Always worth grabbing a couple of spares of course, working OS if fine as they are pretty rare now NOS.

The GT power valves may actually be Teslas. (Brown bases?) Show me good pics and I'll try to tell you as I still use them in my OR120. These are damn near as good as old Mullards and again if that is what they are you might get plenty years out of them yet. If looking for Mullards once again don't discount tested working OS valves. These are basically the way to go in terms of cost effectiveness. Unless you strike the motherlode and find unused NOS ones at a good price. (If you do bell me first please! :lol:)

Remember to try channel linking. A 'Y' cable should do it, or a decent 'A/B/Y' switcher. That way the two volumes also become tone controls. Though frankly you can do damn near anything on the normal channel alone. The Bright channel should have a bit more gain though.

You are going to have some fun with that amp - guaranteed! :D :D :D

Oh and yeah, my wife has a serious jealousy thing going on with my Hiwatt too. That's just par for the course I guess... :wink:


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

jason41224
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by jason41224 » Tue May 22, 2012 5:02 pm

ahhh that looks so good. congrats man!
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Jason
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ironlung40
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by ironlung40 » Tue May 22, 2012 5:06 pm

I want that! I was born in 78' too! Nice score! Tell us more after you play it.
Sincerely,
Ironlung40
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OrangePaul
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by OrangePaul » Tue May 22, 2012 5:47 pm

Congrats Man the waiting is over 8)

This all makes me wonder how Rick at MG managed to buy the rights to make these awesome amps and how much he paid? I know it was the 80's (synth pop decade) and solid state guitar amps were all the rage at the time but even so :)
Paul.

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irish_admiral
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by irish_admiral » Tue May 22, 2012 7:19 pm

Tasty...
Joe

G(sus) saves

Orange AD15, Matamp 1224, Fender 'JD' Tele, G&L ASAT, Duesenberg Starplayer TV, Eggle Kanuga, Avalon D25, Warwick FNA Jazzman, Eden Nemesis / Bergantino EX112S, Eastman MD305 & other stuff...

OU818
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by OU818 » Tue May 22, 2012 9:05 pm

Sethery wrote: How much did this beast run you?
The head and quad box set me back $3,500AUD. Considering there are only 2 other vintage Hiwatts (just the head, no cab) for sale around here that are asking $3,000 and $3,600 respectively, the former being really beaten up, I reckon I scored well.
a.hun wrote:
They are black based. Only one says Groove Tube, another is labelled National, one only has EL34 Made In GBR, and the 4th is unmarked. I'll take some photos later.
Orange Gear:
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brianr0131
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by brianr0131 » Wed May 23, 2012 1:34 am

Incredible

Congrats!!!!!!!!
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Randy Bass
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by Randy Bass » Wed May 23, 2012 1:41 am

Holy Shitballs! That is one impressive amp.
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OU818
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by OU818 » Wed May 23, 2012 2:00 am

My God!

I just cranked the Normal channel volume and put Master on 1.5

Played some Ramble On using the neck pickup vol on half for cleans. Even with the amp channel volume cranked the guitar cleaned up amazingly, retaining very articulate cleans.
I then hit the switch down to the Bridge and pretty much melted my face off.
This has to be the greatest sounding amp I have heard. Changed quickly into the solo from Whole Lotta Love then started noodling a bit.
Hit the switch back to neck and pushed the pup volume to 3/4...

I now have to explain to my girlfriend how I managed to break 3 plates that vibrated off of the kitchen bench that is about 7 meters away from the amp...

I'm scared to turn it up past 2 :shock:
Orange Gear:
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brianr0131
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by brianr0131 » Wed May 23, 2012 2:41 am

you owe it to us all to take it out back and dime it
Mesa Road King-Carvin Legacy 212-Silvertone 1484-Parker Fly DLX-Les Paul Trad Pro-USA ASAT-LP Junior-60's Tribute LP GTop-HWY1 Strat-Esquire Build-Peavey Predator-VHT Valvulator-Bud Wah-CMAT Signa Drive-Keeley Mod DS1-Monte Allum Dyna Comp-TU2-CE5-GE7-DD7

OU818
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by OU818 » Wed May 23, 2012 3:03 am

The guys at my local guitar store want me to bring it in. I might get them to close shop for 5 minutes and we'll crank the hell out of it!

That or I hire a generator and head out to some middle of nowhere spot in the desert :lol:
Orange Gear:
AD200B MkIII
Terror Bass MkII
OBC810

Non-Orange:
Barefaced Super Twin

Basses:
Sandberg Electra VS4
Polaris Manta V Custom

a.hun
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Re: NAD: 1978 Hiwatt Custom DR103!!

Post by a.hun » Wed May 23, 2012 7:46 am

OU818 wrote:My God!

I'm scared to turn it up past 2 :shock:
Oh sorry, did nobody mention these are a bit loud?

Now you know why they give old Marshalls (and their owners) heart attacks...

I've never had a chance to crank mine for guitar since getting it. (Except with an attenuator of course.)
I'm getting on a little now you see. It is a bit like climbing Everest - no longer a realistic ambition! :lol:


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

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