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In addition to trading as Hiwatt, Reeves also did work on a subcontracted basis for other companies such as Sound City and Solasound (which owned the brand name “Coloursound,” its most famous pedal being the “Tonebender”).Reeves formed Hylight Electronics in September 1966, which was Hiwatt for all intents and purposes.The two models for which Hiwatt best is known are the DR103 and the DR504 (“DR” being the initials of the company’s founder).The DR103 is a 100 watt class A/B valve head using an EL34 power tub output stage (it is a popular misconception that Hiwatts are pure class A). Both types were made individually with hand-laced wiring looms and point-to-point construction on tag-strips.
In addition to innovative circuit design with its radical tone-shaping capabilities, and meticulous wiring technique, other contributors to the characteristic Hiwatt sound are the output transformers supplied by Partridge, the most prestigious of British manufacturers; and the Mullard output tubes. Music Ground does not own rights outside of the UK and Europe.Picture #3 Picture #4 Picture #5 Picture #6 Starting in 1970 most models have a white-on-black traffolyte block logo, which is the “classic” Hiwatt look, as shown at Picture #7.Reeves entered into a manufacturing relationship with Harry Joyce, whose company put the heads into production.As with Marshall, there are transition models, which vary in some characteristics, such as the bottom two heads in Picture #1.Reeves also subcontracted assembly to smaller companies when the workload became heavy, which may account for the cosmetic changes that took place at various points in Hiwatt’s early history.