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Old 01-11-08, 08:21 AM   #1
Ed A
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Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

OK, this is a project that has been in the making for months. A ton of research and time went into this one…. Its time to debut what I believe is the first ever copy of Jimmy Page's Custom Hiwatt 100!!!.... Before I say another word, let me just get it out there that this is my personal amp and its not for sale and wont be sold by me, not only because I don’t want to but because having the Hiwatt name on it is for my use only and not for resale. Don’t want to screw myself!!!.... Apologies that this post will be so long, but Eric and I have been dying to share all this info with Page fans and it needs to be thorough. Thanks to Eric (Albion) for building this beauty for me!….


MY NEW AMP...


BUT… before we get into this amp, a little history is in order which I think many (including hard-core Page fans) will find VERY SURPRISING!!...... Below is a picture of Jimmy Page’s ACTUAL 100w Hiwatt (one of two) that he used at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970. It showed up at a well known repair shop a few years ago for service.


PAGE'S ACTUAL AMP...



PAGE DIDN'T JUST USE HIS HIWATT FOR A COUPLE GIGS, HE USED IT LIVE FROM AUGUST '69 TO NOVEMBER '71!!!
When you think of Jimmy Page live, you think of Marshall. Well guess what, for nearly two and a half years and a ton of Zep gigs, THE amp primarily used by Jimmy Page live was Hiwatt, NOT Marshall! Ive know for some time now that Page used his custom made Hiwatt in early ’70. But I was surprised to find that it was his amp of choice going back to mid ’69 and all the way to the end of ‘71! And two and a half years is a long time in the early days of Zep… The newly broadcast Paris ’69 has some killer tone, and probably one of my favorite live tones ever is Montreaux, March ’70. I also love the tone in late ’70 (the Blueberry Hill tour) as well as throughout ’71. You can hear variations in his tone during that period…. But the constant throughout is the Hiwatt!


CHECK OUT THESE PIX, (look closely) THEY'RE ALL WITH HIS CUSTOM MADE HIWATT!!!
They'll take you through the years... Check out the 8-70 shot, thats the Hiwatt footswitch he's stepping on!... And you can really see his name clearly in the 4/71 shot...
















Notice that beginning with the August ’69 picture, Jimmy’s standard setup was two Marshall stacks (no heads on top) and the two Jimmy Page Hiwatts on a table next to the stacks. He used this setup right through all of 1970 including September (the Blueberry Hill tour!). In only one of these pix (early ’71) do you even see a Marshall at all which was being daisy chained with the Hiwatt. Even by December ’71 he was still using the two Hiwatts although by that time the table is gone. Even though you cant make out the Jimmy Page name on the face panel in all pix, you can tell that it is indeed his custom heads throughout the two years when you notice the positioning of the type on the face panel (not the standard DR103 layout) and the unusual XLR switch input on the left of the front panel… take your time and zoom in on the pix and you’ll see that clearly throughout that two plus year period he was using the Custom Hiwatt 100 ‘Jimmy Page’ amps. So the earliest photo I have found of him using his signtature Hiwatts is the Toronto, August '69 pix. But it may be safe to assume that he actually started using them as early as July 5th because that was the beginning of that American tour and Ive been told of a picture of them in July in Central Park where he has the Hiwatts!……… Im not about to dump my vintage Marshalls, they are killer, but the significance of this is that there was quite a long period of time covering many known bootleg shows that Page was using Hiwatt, not Marshall….

UNIQUE TONE...
The next important thing to talk about here is that Jimmy’s 100w Hiwatt did not sound like the typical Hiwatt DR103 of the day. Anyone who has played a stock early 100w Hiwatt will tell you that trying to get Royal Albert Hall or Montreaux tones out of one is extremely difficult. Those amps are way clean with a ton of headroom and even played on 10 they don’t seem to have the quality of tone you hear in the Zep recordings. They just don’t break up in the same way. Jimmy’s Hiwatt amp is much closer to typical plexi Marshall. The Hiwatt has a bit more cut and focus, but it still responds very much like a great plexi. Not high gain, but more saturation and softness than a standard DR103. That’s because Page’s circuit was different and not a standard production model at all. Hiwatt offered a few special features for artists and JP’s was very unusual. Only the power supply section is similar to a DR103, and even then there is a small departure from a normal DR103 which Eric included on my amp…


MY AMP...
It took a very long time to research and develop my amp but Eric and I were able to copy Page's very closely. We have photos of the inside of his actual amp (which I can’t post here, because they are not ours). And through research and many calls we got all the info and parts we needed to build this amp. A lot of tests were done and various tweaks were tried & employed to get as close as possible to JP’s unique amp. So my amp not only looks the part, but functions and sounds like Page’s!... The unusual circuit design allows for more gain than a standard 100w. Again, not high gain, but more typical of plexi gain and saturation… And my amp includes the bizarre footswitch that plugs into the XLR input on the front panel. The footswitch is simply a volume cut and the amount of cut is controlled by the balance knob. Also it acts as a cathode follower line out too. Meaning that if the amp were tied to another amp at the same time (which Jimmy did a lot), it would allow the balance to drive the other amps input. There are quite a few pictures out there that show this footswitch on the floor that many of us wondered what it was used for…. It’s the Hiwatt footswitch!

But it’s the tone of my amp that’s flooring me. I knew when we started this project, that we would have a cool look-alike amp, but I didn’t know if I was going to want to play the thing! Ive included some soundfiles..…. I can play this amp forever, I love it! In many ways it feels similar to my ’69 plexi, but it has a bit more of a ‘high fidelity’ character which I guess is typical of Hiwatt. Especially when you roll down and play clean. Listen to White Summer from Paris, October ’69 and you’ll hear that warm, fat tone Im talking about…. Played through old basketweaves, it’s a combination to die for!


RECENT BETTER QUALITY SOUNDFILES BELOW!

Eric has a killer home recording studio so I was finally able to record the amp properly. Here's a couple clips of me playing Moby and Eric playing Heartbreaker..... There is also a cool clip of Eric doing a piece of one of his originals where he set up the amp for more of a mid 70s Zep tone..... The guitar used was his Historic '60 reissue with a T-top in the bridge and two basketweave cabs with G12H30s and no attenuator....... Depending on amp settings and whether you use PAF type pickups or T-tops, a wide range of tones can be achieved.... for these files we used a T-top equipped guitar.... Excellent drumming by Mike Parsons and solid bass lines by Michael Turner..... Just give them a few seconds to open when you click on them.....

http://h1.ripway.com/Ed%20A/Mobystudio.mp3
http://h1.ripway.com/Ed%20A/Heartstudio.mp3
http://h1.ripway.com/Ed%20A/Mercurystudio.mp3

More 'lo-fi' soundfiles recorded at home with a digital recorder:

http://h1.ripway.com/Ed%20A/RWHeart.mp3
http://h1.ripway.com/Ed%20A/RWLemon.mp3
http://h1.ripway.com/Ed%20A/RWMoby.mp3
http://h1.ripway.com/Ed%20A/RWOhwell.mp3

We spared no expense when building this amp. Custom made Hiwatt style turret boards are filled with the correct original NOS mustard caps. NOS OEM original tube sockets, NOS UK Cliff jacks and fuse holders were used. Military spec closed pots (like the originals) and high end switches as well. Premium F&T cans with correct tolerances. The wire is solid core throughout like the originals. And the trannies are reverse engineered copies of the original Partridge transformers used on Hiwatts. Eric did an awesome job of following the meticulous layout and work of original Hiwatts. This thing is built like a brick shithouse!

Anyway, hope you got a kick out of this whole thing. For a guy that will be forever associated with Marshall it sure surprised me how much Hiwatt was a big part of Jimmy Page’s history as well…. Thanks again to Eric (albion) for bringing this beast to life, his work on this is the work of a true craftsman!!!...Hat’s off to him! Here are some detailed pix of my Page amp (#JPP001)….

MORE PICTURES OF MY PAGE AMP WILL FOLLOW BELOW...
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Last edited by Ed A : 05-15-08 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 01-11-08, 08:23 AM   #2
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

AND HERE ARE MORE PICTURES....



















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Last edited by Ed A : 01-24-08 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 01-11-08, 08:30 AM   #3
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)



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Old 01-11-08, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)



Very impressive!
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Old 01-11-08, 08:40 AM   #5
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

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I'm in awe; great work and great photo! I don't want to hijack this thread so maybe you could tell us about the gold top in another thread.
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Old 01-11-08, 08:57 AM   #6
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

GRET POST ED !!!!!! OH YA BABY!!
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Old 01-11-08, 09:01 AM   #7
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Just listened to the clips. Never heard a more accurate tone. Very well done.
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Old 01-11-08, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

I'm speechless.. Amazing ....
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Old 01-11-08, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

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Just listened to the clips. Never heard a more accurate tone. Very well done.

Thanks I appreciate that, because the more I listen the more I feel I didnt capture the true tone at all like I wanted to!!!... I'll try some more another time, but glad you like them.... You know I was thinking about you when I posted this because I remember you saying youre favorite period was '70 to '72 (mine too!).... and now we find after all these years (for me its been 36 years since I first saw them live), I find that a ton of it is Hiwatt!!!....
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Old 01-11-08, 09:24 AM   #10
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

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I'm speechless.. Amazing ....
Hey I was trying to send you an email about this, but its getting kicked back... I guess I have the wrong email for you?
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Old 01-11-08, 09:26 AM   #11
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Ed, its Watt91@gmail.com
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Old 01-11-08, 09:33 AM   #12
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Like I said below, Best tone from a clip Bar None since 05
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Old 01-11-08, 09:37 AM   #13
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Ed, I think this tone is closer, at least clip wise, I don't know about in person.

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=112093
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Old 01-11-08, 09:40 AM   #14
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

You just nailed this tone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7QkbruQ5UQ
This to me is some of the best tone in world , and to think you now have it at your fingertips... With your capable hands and this amp you have what I always wanted. I'm very happy for you.
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Old 01-11-08, 09:53 AM   #15
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

that amp you've now got looks beautiful inside, what a piece of work!!!!!

whats the small box page has ontop of his heads in some of those photos?
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Old 01-11-08, 09:57 AM   #16
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kane View Post
Ed, I think this tone is closer, at least clip wise, I don't know about in person.

http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=112093
Hey Mark, oh yeah that tone is great and the clips were recorded better too... And yeah old Marshalls are killer, I'll love them forever and theyre all over the place with Jimmy Page... Zep II is Marshall, not Hiwatt for sure... But Im just talking more specifically about his live tone from that period. This Hiwatt is similar to an old Marshall but still a bit different. And if you listened to boots (the perfect example is Montreaux '70) and listen to Heartbreaker, you'll hear a character to the tone that is a bit different than '72 when he had the Marshalls. Its a little more in your face and cutting. Not quite as soft and sweet as the Marshall (which is great too!).... So Im happy that in my opinion Ive got a different flavor now with this amp and along the way discovered all these historical photos that blew my mind in terms of how much he used the Hiwatt!
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Old 01-11-08, 10:20 AM   #17
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

all you need is the argyle sweater and you're ready to go! =)
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Old 01-11-08, 12:20 PM   #18
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

KILLER
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Old 01-11-08, 12:38 PM   #19
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Awesome tones, what a nice clean layout in that amp!

thanks!
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Old 01-11-08, 01:21 PM   #20
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

I'm impressed!!
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Old 01-11-08, 03:02 PM   #21
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

**Dies**
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Old 01-11-08, 03:45 PM   #22
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

that's awesome!! Great playing too; you pretty much nailed the phrasing and sometimes "sloppy" playing, when he really means it... I mean that as a compliment. Sounds *incredibly* authentic.

You sure you didn't just remove Plant, Jones and Bonzo from a live track to fool us all??
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Old 01-11-08, 04:55 PM   #23
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Ed that's awesome! Thanks for sharing. You and Eric have managed some of the best live Zep tones I've heard. Keep the clips coming. Very cool amp.

W
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Old 01-11-08, 05:02 PM   #24
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

!!!!~~~~~~~~~~Wow~~~~~~~~!!!!
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Old 01-11-08, 05:15 PM   #25
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

.
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Old 01-11-08, 05:17 PM   #26
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Ok, Please tell us there is somewhere that we can get the full lowdown. This must be patentable surely? This time next year you'll be millionaires!

Can I get my name on the waiting list?
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Old 01-11-08, 05:22 PM   #27
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Great sounds on the clips Ed. What does the balance knob and switch jack do? I saw LZ on 9/9/71 at Boston Garden. He had 2 Marshalls SL's and one of those Hiwatt heads. IIRC the Hiwatt top sat on an Orange cab.
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Old 01-11-08, 07:06 PM   #28
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Absolutly stunning! And thanks for the history on Mr. Page's rig. He is absolutly my favorite player, & is responsible for me sneaking my older brother's guitar every chance I got. I never knew (much less noticed) he used Hi Watt heads during that time! Thanks for the great pics & the education!
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Old 01-11-08, 07:08 PM   #29
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

I hope the good folks at Hiwatt are watching/listening.
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Old 01-11-08, 07:47 PM   #30
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Blows my mind, has to be the closest Page tone I have heard. I'd take the Hiwatt name off of it and sell this thing. I know I want one, anyone want a 1959HW
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Old 01-11-08, 08:04 PM   #31
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

I think if you were to back off the gain just a touch - those clips would be absolutely perfect - great amp - super jealous@!
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Old 01-11-08, 10:03 PM   #32
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

thats amazing!!!! i want one so badly
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Old 01-11-08, 11:09 PM   #33
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Amazing! Thanks for sharing...


Here's a close up of the 'hiwatt' pedal... a mystery solved indeed!!!



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Old 01-12-08, 01:38 AM   #34
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

my hiwatt gas has just swelled .....
very nice indeed
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Old 01-12-08, 07:58 AM   #35
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Quote:
Originally Posted by beck-ola View Post
Amazing! Thanks for sharing...


Here's a close up of the 'hiwatt' pedal... a mystery solved indeed!!!



Thanks for posting that, its exactly what I wanted people to see, its sitting right next to the echoplex pedal!!!..... I have the functioning pedal with my amp as well. As Ive mentioned, its actually a volume cut controlled by the balance knob but apparently can he used to control the input of a second amp, which is what I assume Jimmy used it for....
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Old 01-12-08, 12:37 PM   #36
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Here's a couple more from the same show. Not sure when it is, do you know!?







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Old 01-12-08, 01:19 PM   #37
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Nice job Ed!

Where did you get the Bulgin power indicator lamp? I couldn't find one anywhere when I built my DR504 clone........

What trannies did you use?

Also, what changes were made to the preamp? It's hard to tell from the photos?
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Old 01-12-08, 03:47 PM   #38
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Ed - I'm speechless! Wonderful, wonderful.
I have a question, OK, a few questions.
1 - what's that little transformer on the chassis? I wasn't aware that Hiwatts had chokes? Is that what it is?
2 - how do I get my own - I mean, I'd like to do the same thing and build my own - any tips? BOM?
And, by the way, your tone is to die for, especially the clean runs. Congratulations!
You've just put together two legends (for me, at least) Page + Hiwatts!
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Old 01-12-08, 05:26 PM   #39
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Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Quote:
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WHERE THE HECK DID John Paul Jones GET THOSE PANTS???
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Old 01-12-08, 07:07 PM   #40
Alrod
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 327
Re: Jimmy Page and Hiwatt! (Page R9 content)

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublea View Post
Just listened to the clips. Never heard a more accurate tone. Very well done.
You're kidding right?!? Sorry, that playing/tone is not even close to Page. Let's be real here. Kudos to the guy for his effort on the amp, but let's keep this real.
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