REVIEW: Hiwatt SA-2012 Custom 20

SA2012Hiwatt’s all-tube amplifiers have been powering rock since pretty much the dawn of the genre, famously propelling the world-changing sounds of artists such as The Who’s Pete Townshend and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour – all while looking super-cool in the process. As Mr. Townshend knows, there’s something magical about a Hiwatt power section pushed to breaking point – an alchemical combination of punch, growl and ring that you just can’t get from any other amp. And as Mr. Gilmour knows, Hiwatt’s cleaner tones are a great platform for effects, from simple ambience around a clean sound to full-on modulation and fuzz: they’re extremely stompbox-friendly amplifiers.  There are plenty of great tones a Hiwatt can help you achieve, and the Hiwatt catalog boasts plenty of different amps at different price points to get you there. The Custom 20 is up there in the high-price, boutique end of the spectrum. Of course, size is no indication of value, so don’t be thrown by its diminutive stature: this is a serious amp for serious players. Read More …