Some time in early 2014, I pulled the trigger on buying a HiTone DR HT30/15 and it was one of the best gear decisions I ever made. For many, the sounds of a classic Hiwatt amp are simply out of reach. Original Hiwatts are getting absurdly expensive and hard to find and the range of other amps meant to cover those tones has been bleak since the early 80’s. Having spent a little time with some real vintage examples, I can tell you that the amps I’ve heard from modern Hiwatts, Reeves, and others are just not it- not it at all. The Harry Joyce amps from the early 2000’s nail it but they’re even harder to find and afford than the old Hiwatts!
HiTone, however, has put in the time and the research to bring back the sound and for great “big amp” classic rock guitar tone, they are my favorite. The company has partnered with the son of Dave Reeves (Hiwatt’s original amp guru from the glory days) to ensure that HiTone’s new builds live up to the standard of the originals and Clayton (the builder) over at HiTone does phenomenal work. The result is both bulletproof and toneful and I just can’t recommend them highly enough. The sound is extremely aggressive without being harsh and with a wide, full range that allows for an incredible thickness to your tones. The market is currently saturated with low wattage designs that are extremely saggy and compressed. Don’t get me wrong- those are GREAT sounds but HiTone has come to give you the other side of the rock and roll coin. They have incredible clean headroom, making them fantastic platforms for the pedal lover (like myself) and you’ll be amazed at just how rock and roll they sound without having to slather on the distortion. There’s an authority here that small amps with squishy circuits just don’t offer. There are several models to choose from that all sound amazing and all have the same inherent, core sound. The model I personally use is the 30 watt version of the classic 4 input series. I usually jump the channels together and have my channel volumes both up to about 2 o’clock and it’s still remarkably clean and incredibly musical. Clarity is a beautiful thing.