Mark Huss Hiwatt Information Pages

The Dave Reeves Legacy

These are my pages dedicated to the wonderful classic valve guitar amps known as HIWATTs - the product of the design genius of the late Dave Reeves.

Dave Reeves worked at Mullard during the day, but in the evenings he worked in a tiny shop in Kingston, where he repaired hifi sets and televisions as well as musical instrument amplifiers. It was here he conceived the idea for a unique, sturdy and reliable line of amplifiers.

Here Reeves started creating his Hiwatt designs, which were never just "me too" copies of existing popular amps, but completely original and different. These amplifiers used only the highest quality components inside and out, featuring transformers by Partridge and valves by Mullard from the beginning.

While doing all this, he produced an OEM run of amplifiers for Sound City, and was laid off by Mullard. At this time, in 1968, he used the money he got from the Sound City project and his severance from Mullard to buy a house in New Malden, and started building his Hiwatt amplifiers full time in the garage.

HIWATT was a life-long labor of love for Reeves, and he ran the company until his unfortunate accidental death in 1981. The company struggled on for a few years afterwards, but fell apart by early 1984, when the name was sold and the remaining assets liquidated. Sadly, the surviving Reeves family got nothing from the company's dissolution, and even lost the rights to the Hiwatt name.

Mark Huss - December, 2013

NOTE: As with all things historic, your author must rely on second- and third-hand information, and therefore there will certainly be some inaccuracies and errors in the information presented, particularly when it concerns historical facts and dates.

Questions? Ask me: m h u s s    at    h i w a t t    dot    o r g

Dave Reeves, Frankfurt Music Show
Dave Reeves at the Frankfurt Music Show
Image courtesy of Michael O'Brien and David Cottam

Hiwatt Links

Hiwatt.com and Hiwatt UK -- the current owner of the Hiwatt name and brand.
Vintage Hiwatt Forum -- a forum to discuss vintage Hiwatts
Harry Joyce -- a tribute site

Currently (in 2018), the ownership of the HIWATT brand name is a bit confused; it is owned by at least two different groups (depending upon which part of the world you are in). In Europe, it is Hiwatt Amplification U.K. (at hiwatt.co.uk) - a subsidiary of the MusicGround group based in Doncaster, England. In the U.S., there is a new group (at hiwatt.com) that has a brought out a competing product.
Hiwatt.org is in no way affiliated with either company.

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