Hiwatt DIYLast updated February 10, 2009
This page documents the details of my efforts to build a '103 from currently available parts.
I'm strongly of the opinion that if Dave Reeves were still alive and building amplifiers that he would use the best possible components currently available at reasonable cost. Therefore, I did not slavishly chase down vintage "mustard" caps, etc. Rather, I used flameproof ceramic or metal film resistors for the power supply, Mallory 150 caps, and so on.
I made a couple of practical changes to the original circuit:
Here's a Bill of Materials for all the components for an original (unchanged) 103. It does not include the chassis, transformers, or wire.
The Head Cabinet
Front Panel Details
The ChassisThis stainless steel one-off came from the UK via my friend Jeff Swanson.
The Heat Shield
The Turret Boards
The boards were made for me by Ray Domzalski.
These were made by Phil at Heyboer Transformers in Michigan, USA.
The PT is just like the original DR103 transformer except (1) it is 120VAC input only and (2) the bias winding has a bit more voltage, so that no fancy bias circuitry will be needed!
Note that the Partridge-style flanges cost extra, they are strictly cosmetic and have no effect on the sound, but I like that traditional look. :-)
Work in Progress
Almost CompleteThe front panel was done for me by Dave at DKgrafix in L.A. He can be reached on the Plexi Palace board as 'DFX.'
These were made using a Schecter C-1 Classic straight in to the Normal channel, Normal jumped to Brill (a la Marshall), all controls at 12:00. The amp was fed through a HotPlate set to -8 and into a Swanson 2x12 "Hylight style" cab with the re-issue Fanes in it.
This was recorded in a medium large semi-live basement using an MXL large-diaphragm condenser set about 10 feet/ 3 meters away from the cab directly into my Fostex MR-8HD Digital Multitracker.
I extend the usual apologies about the sloppy playing! ;-)KT77 clips
DIY Efforts of Others
Chedomir J. has done an original twist or two on the Hiwatt idea, including using toroidal transformers. He has a page about it here.
Voltage table from Bill L's Home-built DR201
Main Hiwatt Page