Hiwatt  DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head

DR-504 Custom 50 Head, Tube Guitar Amp Head from Hiwatt in the Custom series.

  • Increase or decrease font size
  • Print
  • RSS

All user reviews for the Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head

  • Like
  • Tweet
  • Submit
Average Score:4.8( 4.8/5 based on 10 reviews )
 8 reviews80 %
 2 reviews20 %
Not satisfied with those reviews?

James...'s review"Really great and quieter too!"

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Everybody pretty much knows the Hiwatt story. In the 60's and 70's they were sort of a Marshall alternative for players who didn't have microphone amplification and needed a loud 100 watt amp to get heard in those massive venues. Unfortunately the need for such a thing had died out. Oh well. But that special hiwatt tone is still something a lot of people want. Me definitely included. I have tried a lot of the boutique (non) hiwatt named reissues but I decided to give the hiwatt 50 watt version a try. This is your typical half watt version of the old classic. Has the basic controls. No gain control obviously. Has high and low inputs.


A lot of people seem to think these sound best with the original fane loaded hiwatt 4x12's but I beg to differ. I actually use mine for surf and punk alt rock stuff. Nothing too crazy. And I find that it sounds very complimentary with a 412 loaded with greenbacks. It's kind of marshally but with the headroom and BIG sound of a hiwatt. These do sound very big and kind of bassy but at the same time there's a high end pang to the tone. It's a less focused sound than a plexi amp and it really fills up a room in a way no other amp can. It's pretty easy to dial in too. Actually, it's quite a simple amp to use and you don't need many pedals. It's one of my go to amps for plug and play stuff.


I really feel like I can only use mine with a Les Paul. It sounds alright with a telecaster, but for me personally this amp is at its best with the les paul at the helm. It has a sort of neutral tone to it that I find very satisfying. It's bassy and treble with a slight growl in the mids, although not quite marshally growl. I expect this amp can take a lot of pedals very well but I find all I really need is a good overdrive and a nice analog delay. It would be nice if this amp had a reverb but it's not a deal breaker really.


Is this amp handwired? I tried to find some info on that and the hiwatt site is a bit shady about just how 'handwired' these are. Seems like it' a gray area but it looks like they are partially handwired. For the price I would like to hope they are. But hey, I am really satisfied with mine. I have a reeves 50 watt too and this one stands up to it. They are both different animals but this one gets the hiwatt vibe just as well. I'm impressed with the build quality. It's quite heavy due to the transformers. This is definitely not a small practice amp or anything.

-Livingroom-'s review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Tried the combo version, a killer!"

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Amp 50w lamps, 4-band EQ, master volume + volume per channel (bright + normal).


Configuration is very simple, one technique is to link the two channels by a dedicated cable (double male on one end, female on the other), the sound is good anyway, however refining thereof is difficult (like all great amp), all the knobs interact, and master completely changes the sound of a good clean rock'n'roll crunch (I must say that the hp plays a lot on it).


For all the people who rock (from punk to enroll), it works well. Furthermore, it is pedal friendly. Just there to add a little delay / reverb, it adds a strat and shoo, we fly at Pink Floyd. With a Les paul, crunch up quickly, and it's right as it should be: round and bite at a time.

No, really original config (called an amp 1979 anyway!) Is excellent.


I used it for a week in residence, and I kept my marshall for my project. I tried a bunch of amps, and it still survives mass! After it has a price, but it is the quality that does it.
lagartija nick03/03/2011

lagartija nick's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" the best Panzer amps"

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Everything has been said about the panzer amps! Hand made by workers at RAF origin (you Spitfire parts in it! Lol!)

More powerful than any marshall 100w lamps (I confirm with my guitar on stage and others), I bought secondhand in 1982 ... there was a burnt coil repair therefore, I take this opportunity to changing lamps ...
Only a few could rival the power is my Fender Hot Rod deVille 212 60w but it's a combo (like my little destroyer ears transistor Fender M80) so its restricted diffusion chamber without extra.

it'll do thirty years that I have and I will continue with another thirty years ... once repaired!!


simple death
its nickel
a manual? why?


is a vrai4x4, goes everywhere and is suitable for all styles (with effects that go well)
Mine has never saturated to death (no effect), it's all a little crunch ... the sound is very present, I use MS Office with a 4 / 12 1960A and a Peavey 4 / 12 with metal gate (old)
I am sure he is as powerful as my Peavey Triple XXX, but I never tried the 2 together ...
I play post punk / goth / industrial / rock batcave


not need a super saturated gain, at least we may well use the external effects without boiling sound!

hiwattdoctor's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
All tube
50 80 watt rms following the tubes (el 34, e34l, 77 kt, 88 kt, 6550


The 50 watt sounds better than the 100 watt
(Possde 1-50,1-100 and 1 - 200watt)
the best sound in the world better than my twin reverb and my plexy 1970 Super Bass 1969


We do everything with a HIWATT Bass Guitar Keyboard Singing: all purpose model
with a brief HIWATT enntend you everywhere and in all styles of music


The 50 watt possde since 1984 I c is an old friend now
I miss him more than the 400 watt (j soon hopefully)
cabl hand with the best components
must be either stupid or deaf to sell a vintage HIWATT
(Possde schmas HIWATT all possible if someone need to restore their own)

tontonseb's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Everything has already been said, lead "all lamps" old. This is the same panel as the custom 100 with two lamps and less behind.

The model I tried is old (probably 70 years) and is coupled with the 4x12 cabinet of the mark (this time).

The 50 watts ads are very present. With the main knob to half, it still could teach my Marshall Valvestate 100.

Simple settings: one channel, no reverb or distortion, but the possibility of transplanting clean channel on the channel for a bright vintage overdrive.


. to scratch with a Fender Tele and a Les Paul (Epiphone)
. on bass with a Squier Precision and an Ibanez (SR)

Manuel? Manual Que?


Ecstasy. I know the custom 100. It's the same. I perceive little difference in power. Let's say the custom makes the scene 100 medium (without transplant), the Custom 50 is suitable for rehearsals and small scenes (bar).

A guitar, I love the warm crystal clear rock (jazz or blues) according to the settings. This is an amp that does not have the severe food and faithfully reproduce the most from your guitar. Obviously you have to like the "vintage". With different pedals, you can play what you want on this beast, with the assurance of a rich and present.

A bass is a surprise. These W-50 is more than enough and we get a fast slamming her to play brutal stuff. But by inflating the lower, one can also play reggae and dub.


I feel that when we tasted Hiwatt, the rest seems quite tasteless. I do not pretend to be objective, of course. My tastes are not necessarily shared by all, but all guitarists, bassists and even that I know who have tried this amp recognize its qualities.

TeDire's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Amp lamps, 50 W
4 jack inputs, two channels (normal & bright). possibility of these linker.
a master volume, one volume for each channel, presence control, low, mid, treble.
output for two speakers, an impedance selector.


- The configuration is it simple?

it is not easy.

- Gets it easy to sound good?

One branch and one gets the best clean sound of all time.

- The manual is clear and sufficient? ...

no manual.


- Will it fit your style of music?

I am greatly influenced by David Gilmour. So it goes without saying.

- With what (s) guitar (s) / low (s) or effect (s) do you play?

I play mostly on Fender (Stratocaster, Telecaster) and also a little on Gibson SG.

- What kind of sound you get and with what settings ("crystalline", "bold ",....)?

The sound is more than crystal-clear.


- How long have you use it?


- What is so special that you like most and least?

Most: ease of use, sound, its indestructibility.
The least: no effects loop, but it's a bit normal for a 1978 amp.
- Have you tried many other models before buying it?

I played in on a Marshall JCM 800. very good amp, but I wanted above all his ultra light, which is not the highlight of the Marshall

- How would you rate the quality / price?

paid 2500 francs in 2001. my best deal!

- With experience, you do again this choice? ...

Without hesitation.

jujugratte's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Hiwatt Custom 50 did in the 70s, a real one ...


We just easily get a very good sound, great amp reacts to rglages.


Personally I love Pink Floyd, Archive, U2 etc ...
With this head comes with two Celestion Vintage 30 HP and a small strat US EMG equipped.
It is true that this amp is amazing, clear sound breathtaking, a warm, round and very very sharp (or dfini, prcis) .IT transcribed perfectly your guitar playing ( ... so pay attention to imperfections ...). I think this little amp suit all styles simply s'quiper with pedals appropris. Personally I play Rock, Pop, Funk and a little blues and is perfect then for Mtal and other I do not know but there is no reason.


It is a dream that is accomplished is beyond my esprences. He responds my expectations. The sound is beautiful, every time I turn on the amp is rel happiness, I do not think better. was around 1 year and I have nothing in the world I revendrai.HIWATT AN EXCEPTION TO AMP

manson.reznor's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
100% pure light
50 watts - but watt Hiwatt!

Connector (on mine is modified):
A high normal channel input
A high input channel bright (bright)
An input link channel Canal + bright normal


Gain a bright
A normal gain
A 3-band EQ
1 presence
1 master volume
A switch on
A standby switch

4/8/16 ohm impedance selector
Voltage selector
2 HP


No need to leave for St-Cyr know how to use this amp.
In reality there is only one channel on this amp, despite the entry Bright and Normal.
In fact the entrance to Bright just simply cut off the low above ...
Attention little saturation with this amp unless you have no neighbors, good earplugs and sturdy walls ...

For use
They put hands on the way (grocery). We expect at least a minute to warm up the lamps and it starts the standby.
Just have to play ...

Can be used simultaneously bright and normal channel by wiring the two inputs together.

Weak point of this amp, setting is effective presence in the final race.


Already I describe my style: First of all a fan of Pink Floyd and thus David Gilmour ... And more generally Blues / Rock Chuck Berry Dire Straits through the Stones, Led Zep but such Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Buddy Guy ...

For the style and I like his research and in particular for the Hiwatt Pink Floyd is perfect.
The clean sound is amazing, incredible, beautiful, magical, does not care about the ass by drooling pleasure. Well I quit a few superlatives (the time of this line)
Whatever the style addressed, this amp will do because of its super clear sound.
No channel distortion It's okay, good pedal and hop!

By the way, my amp is equipped as super lamps: Mullard EL34 original (not the news that the name of Mullard) and 2 ECC83 Brimar - 1 MINIWATT Philips ECC83 - 1 ECC81 / 12AT7 Valvo Our. My head is behind an amp Roost (middle Hiwatt clone 70 with partridge transformers and everything ...) I changed to 100% Hiwatt Custom 50 mid 70 '. My "Hiwatt" is plugged into a 4x12 cabinet fitted with Celestion Vintage 30. Using mainly guitar.

I will detail a bit more now: The bass is firm, tight and deep. They really knock. But are not dominant either. As for the medium, it is quite right, but not too hot - just right. It is very well detailed. As for the high register, it is fine, chiseled, powerful and bright but not aggressive like the Fender. Overall, the sound of this amp is quite "Hifi". The balance is excellent. This amp refund any nuance of the game and fully respects the sound of your guitar. Ditto for the effects that take on another dimension ...
Also, the dynamic is enormous extraordinary view. It really takes the sound in the mouth. But it is also able to smooth course. The resort's property without having to push the volume. Just power issue, I have not been able to push down. I would not find my brains on the wall behind me so this amp is powerful I tried to push a little high (just over half the master volume), it's already pulled a max. So when we think to do is really push him to saturate the bottom, it's chilling Now I understand why Pete Townshend became almost deaf ...

Also, I use my bass on this amp. It is just as magical with the guitar. No comments added

on the other hand, very important thing: The choice of lamps>
This amp really sounds differently depending on the lamps used. I currently have the original Mullard and this is clearly the best choice. But not the new production Mullard Reflector (Sovtek, EH). I tried the Electro Harmonix. This is blah compared to the Mullard - less fishing and definition - the whole darker. Otherwise, Svetlana C are a good alternative to Mullard at a reasonable cost. The sound is very close (closes lower, medium hot, powerful and sharp end). The same applies to lamps preamp. Ideally lamps NOS (New Old Stock / New Old Stock) as the Mullard (again ...).

I tried in preamp

ECC83 JJ: Not bad - warm sound with powerful bass but acute withdrawal

Electro Harmonix 12AX7: well balanced, but its generally flat

ECC83 EI: One of the best in current production for a Hiwatt, but its a little cold.
The bass is powerful, the medium slightly lower and the upper end and very bright. It is a very clear light ...

Sovtek 12AX7WC: To be avoided in a Hiwatt - no fishing or definition.


If I could put 10 to 15 of this amp, I would do so the sound is top-flight. This is the best clean sound I heard on a guitar amp. Amp never filled me as much. I have owned or tried the major brands of amplifiers. And frankly I was getting tired of changing amp ... Because every time something was missing sound. Either it was too hot or too low and tense own. Is the high is aggressive (Fender) or amp versatile enough / good clean but bad distortion (Marshall). Only to my knowledge, the Hughes & Kettner has a clear approaching that of the Hiwatt. In particular, do the little Blue Edition curiously.

Finally, to summarize, if a Hiwatt crosses your path and you have the misfortune to fall on it, beware! Why evil?! Because after your amp will seem dull and lifeless and you think to buy this gem. And the transition to Hiwatt cause you to eat the shells with butter for some time;)

Peaveycroquette's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
Amplification All Tube: 3 12AX7, 1 12AU7, 2 EL34
rdition the year 1978 MODEL
4 between two and two Bright Normal (low and hi impedance)
volume for each channel, 3 EQ, Presence and Master.
50 W
no effects loop, no reverb no saturated channel

can not be simpler

can be injected from the normal in between Bright for even more power!


Its standard, many precision and dynamics. Trs English.
The lack of channel is saturated easily overcomes any pedals, provided it is good, kind or TS7 Rat or Big Muff There's plenty to choose from that
or otherwise, pots are pushed back, but then watch out for the foundations of the building!


See above

if I can quote El Vader in Guitariste.com: (See page (https://www.guitariste.com/materiel/Amplificateur 2CHiwatt%%% 2C2 2CCustom-50% 2C888% 2C8632% 2C2364.html))


British sound par excellence! I played on and scne rpt for four years now, and nothing would make me change! we forgive him the lack of channel saturated by a clear breath away! to do so saturated, it will push back the volumes, but then attention to the ears without limiting volume!
not to mention that with the total effect is happiness. "

I would not say better.

other opinions, this time in English, here (http://www.harmony-central.com/Guitar/Data/Hiwatt/Custom_50-01.html)


This is all a purchase rcent, I still not enough back, then I will come back some time to get back to you.
until I put 10!

Kal's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Hiwatt DR-504 Custom 50 Head
This is an all-tube amp to 50 W.

The old ultra simple connectivity: 4 coming in, two normal and two bright.

The rglages are:

- A gain for the entries "normal"
- A gain for the entries "bright"
- Bass
- Treble
- Mid
- Presence
- Master

Standby for a good lamp sr.

no effects loop, no rverbe.

This amp can be used for both low that guitar, I use it with my guitar.

I put 7 as The characteristics are quite sober, nanmoins with an amp of this type (that is, it is not very young) should be expected.


The config is very simple sr, nanmoins must spend time to get a good sound, because you must choose a compromise ncessairement, knowing we can not change the sound of the amp in "time rel."

Gilmour uses this brand of amp (Custom 100 head but I think), has several heads available, Voil enough to have the sub and Racker gear for everything.

No manual.


I play metal, but I do not fear exxursions in other styles, and this amp fits all situations.

We must play sr effects that you put between the guitar and the amp to really influence the sound.

I use it with an ibanez that has two humbuckers and one single, my compressor CS3, my DOD Grunge and a multi purpose yamaha stereo with 2 attack which I entered (one bright, one normal) .
The baffle is a vintage Hiwatt.

I get a sound that suits me well trs, according rglages round mdiums quite low, and clear sound with my compressor and chorus, I think I'm Gilmour.

It is much better suited to sr sounds clear (it saturates all fawn not), but with a good distortion you can get a good rsultat.

I think with a good pramp lamps must kill.

The 50 watts are largements sufficient for group play, I RULES pramps earnings of between 2/3 and 3/4 of the race, and the master does Exceeds never to half of its travel.


I use it for more than 6 months (it lends me), it took me a while to find her a really decent (I had never used before lamps amp).

this is an amp trs particular, be aware that we must make sacrifices in buying it (in ergonomics), it calls a configuration spciale.

on the other hand if you like that sound, it can not be of.

Difficult to find, we can do good business if you look closely (the price is secondhand trs variable, it can be found for really cheap, just the series have just been a rdite foutage prices of mouth, the crafty who may well be selling tents to sell prices foutage of mouth too)