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Amp Review

Price: £225
Hiwatt made the monstrously clear and powerful stacks behind such great names as Gilmour, Townshend and – let’s not forget – Noddy Holder. Review by Dave Petersen

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ntroduced three years ago, but with its latest upgraded modelsappearing last July, the Maxwatt range represents Hiwatt’s current aim of providing the novice and semi-pro player with affordable equipment that’s outwardly consistent with the prestige valve-powered Hiwatt models used by some of the biggest names in rock, past and present. In doing so, it’s stuck to the proven policy of giving quality and performance for the price, because a satisfied first-timebuyer is more likely to stay with the brand when returning for a more prestigious model. At the same time, it wouldn’t be a good idea to outperform the more expensive line, because players might decide there’s nothing to be gained and stay with their first amp. With solid-state amp technology evolving fast, this is becoming a more and more likely scenario. The G100R has much of the visual characterof its valve forerunners, only the Maxwatt emblem differentiating it significantly from the SS212 valve combo we reviewed in 2005. The fact that this range is made in China to Hiwatt’s UK design is by no means obvious, except when you consider its price. The solid look of the cabinet, created by front-battening the speaker baffle, isn’t at odds with its actual weight, reminiscent of a valve 50with two speakers (idly curious, we removed the speaker and chassis, and this didn’t make very much difference – at 16kg empty, it really is one solid cabinet). The roadworthiness that’s very much a part of the Hiwatt ethos will please many, but a growing number of players have easy portability on their wish list, and are looking to solid-state technology to provide it. The Maxwatt chassis is quitelow in weight, the speaker no more than average for its rating, and a lighter cab might be a good thing in the future. Still, the build quality is beyond reproach, with well-made joinery and neat covering work liberally outlined with white trim. The speaker cloth is Hiwatt’s standard kickproof salt-and-pepper. The single carry-strap is solid enough, although an amp of this weight could do


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Maxwatt G100R


Specs: 100W solid-state reverb channel-switching combo with 12" custom Hiwatt speaker RRP: £225 Front panel: Single input jack; Overdrive Gain 1; Overdrive Gain 2; Overdrive Contour (Gain 2 only); Gain 1/Gain 2 selector; Overdrive Bass, Middle, Treble tone controls; Overdrive Channel Volume; Overdrive/Clean channel selector;Clean channel Volume; Bass, Middle, Treble tone controls; Master Reverb; Master Volume; headphone jack; power switch Rear panel: IEC mains inlet / fuse assembly; External speaker jacks 4 & 8 0hms (4 ohms mutes internal speaker); Line Out jack; Channel / Gain footswitch jack; Reverb footswitch jack; Effects Send / Return jacks (series wired, line level). Dimensions: 78cm wide, 60cm high, 36cm deepWeight: 25kg/55lbs Accessories: IEC mains cable. Footswitch, slipcover available separately Others in range: Spitfire (10W), G15, G20, G25-AFX, G50R combos; G200-HD head with one or two 4x12" cabinets Contact: Freestyle Music 01924 455414

With the Maxwatt range Hiwatt aims to make affordable amps with the look of its prestige valve-powered models
with an additional pair of endstraps. The chassis is a wide tray of 16-gauge steel, reasonably strong in view of most of its load being towards one end, fixed to the roof by four screws with the speaker baffle supporting its front edge. It carries four printed circuit boards – two for the preamp and power amp assemblies, two smaller ones for the output and line jacks. Connections between them are flown by loosely-loomed...
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