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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:46 am 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:41 am
Posts: 4
First time posting...

I have a Mark V. I’ve been very interested with the idea of the classic Hiwatt DR103 as a pedal platform ala David Gilmour. But I already have too many amps!

I’ve been thinking that the Mark V is very versatile. One of the clean channel modes “should be” a good starting point, but which one? I know that Hiwatt baseline EQ is different than Fender, Marshall, and Vox. But in what ways?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:28 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:41 am
Posts: 4
Dang! I was hoping somebody had some ideas.

To date, my solution to creating a "faux Hiwatt" has been to use a Catalinbread RAH pedal set as clean as possible (very limited) at the end of the chain feeding either my Allen Encore (Vibrolux clone) set clean or the Clean mode of channel one of the Mark V.

If I knew what makes clean Hiwatt EQ inherently different than basic Fender BF clean, Tweed clean or Marshall clean, then I would have a starting point to harness the powerfull EQ controls (tone stack and 5 band) and three modes of the Mark V. Basically, not have to buy a Hiwatt.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:40 pm 
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Mark II

Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:57 am
Posts: 113
I've literally just been through this exact dilemma myself, and I hate to break it to you but the Mark V won't really do justice to the Hiwatt DR103's ability to handle pedals. The Hiwatt is relentlessly clean, even when the Inputs are cranked and jumpered. The EQ curve is much more balanced than a lot of Fender Amps or even Marshall based amps, which makes it perfect for pedals because you get out exactly what you put in, with minimal color from the amp.

I ended up picking up a boutique amp builders clone of a DR103, compared to a vintage Hiwatt it's about 95% there, turret board construction and Reeve's style wiring with the only substantial difference being the Transformers (Mercury Magnetics instead of vintage Partridge) and in comparison to the Mark V, I can certainly get tones that would resemble the tone from the Hiwatt but there's no comparison in terms of handling pedals.

The Hiwatt takes pedals unlike any amp I have ever played. I can put all the controls to noon, including the presence and I'll get a very balanced tone so that when I use pedals with it I get a very uncluttered impression of what the pedal is really doing. The EQ on the Hiwatt reminds me of Hi-Fi Stereos, with everything at noon it sounds balanced and when I throw a pedal through it I can just boost or cut the mids, treble, and bass from a genuinely neutral starting position. Makes more sense to me with certain types of drives and fuzzes. On Fender's I always feel like I'm having to compensate for the inherent scooped mids tone, and with Marshall's it feels like its the other way around, compensating for that mids spike.

_________________
- '09 Mark V Combo
- DC-5B Head
- '88 Barrington BRG884TC Pearl
- '96 Gibson Explorer
- Viking Cabinets Diagonal 2x12 (MC-90 & V-30)
- Marshall 1960B 4x12
-Swampwerks Custom Hiwatt DR103
-Boogafunk 2x(2x15) Speaker Cabinets


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:03 pm 
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Bottle Rocket

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:41 am
Posts: 4
Thanks for the reply. Kind of a bummer.

My Mark V spends a lot of time right next to my Allen Encore (Vibrolux-based) and/or my Trinity 18 (Marshall clone). So it's really, really easy to use an A-B pedal to go back and forth to learn how to be able to dial in BF Fender tones or old style Marshall tones on the Mark V. The controls and modes of the Mark V cover a lot of ground!

I used to have the notion that the Mark V was a terrible pedal platform and I should basically view it as a great 3 channel beast with a nice effects loop for delay or modulation. But that was because I typically dialed my clean channel a certain way to make it less pedal friendly... but didn't know it! Or at least not pedal friendly in the same way as the Encore. But once I did an A-B comparison, I realized that those EQ controls are powerful and I could get it darn close to the basic flavor of the Blackface circuit.

Ditto being able to do the same for the 18 watt, FWIW.

But since I don't have a Hiwatt at my disposal, I'm unable to go back and forth and figure out which of the three clean modes is the best starting point for getting it Hiwatt-ish. Although I kind of figure the basic Clean is the way to go - most headroom and all. I hoped for some pointers. But I guess there are a few things hidden here. BF Fender = basically mid scoop. Marshall = basically upper mid bump. Hiwatt should be somewhat flat. I suppose I'll just use my ears and go for the flattest response I can get, given the Mark V's control set.

And yes, I know that no Mark V can ever do the ridiculous headroom and massive power thing that a real DR103 does. It's kind of a fire breathing beast. But I was looking for the best basic tone settings to feed that Muff, boost and Electric Mistress, plus delay!


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