HiWatt Maxwatt B20 practice amp

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Oxblood
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HiWatt Maxwatt B20 practice amp

Post by Oxblood » Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:22 am

Back in 2007 I was on the lookout for a small practice amp. The trusty old Peavey MicroBass (secondhand) was top of my list of possibles, but I decided to check out the competition. Off I went round the music shops in Denmark St. There I saw the HiWatt Maxwatt B20. It looked quite pretty, so having nothing better to do, I thought I'd give it a try. Oh dear...

Below is a copy of the review I posted on basschat at the time.

PRICE:
It was on sale at two prices, depending on whether you want the old style case (£89) or the slightly bigger, boxier new one (£129). Didn't buy either!

FEATURE LIST:
20 Watts (supposedly)
10 Inch Speaker
High and Low Sensitivity Inputs
3 Band EQ
Presence Control
External Speaker Output
Headphone Jack
Limiter

FINISH: 5/10
Looks quite nice.

SOUND: 0/10
Absolutely dreadful. This has to be one of the weediest sounding practice amps I've ever experienced. I've heard louder transistor radios. Any attempt to get it near to a usable practice volume (and believe me, I'm not talking loud here - just audible) results in it overloading horribly. The EQ section is a joke: the mid control has no effect at all! I tried both 'styles' of the amp, and both were equally awful.

RELIABILITY: n/a

CUSTOMER SUPPORT: n/a

OVERALL SCORE: 2.5/10 (on looks alone)

SUMMARY:
AVOID THIS PRODUCT. I could make a louder - and more attractive - noise by farting into a tin can.

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timi
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Re: HiWatt Maxwatt B20 practice amp

Post by timi » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:18 am

Thats suprising. I didn't think Hiwatt would want to damage its name making a really bad practice amp. Guess you will need to go for one of the tube 200 or 400 watt heads 8)

I don't have much experience with practice amps, but whatever Fenders current practice amp range are called they are pretty good.

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beagle
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Re: HiWatt Maxwatt B20 practice amp

Post by beagle » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:22 am

It's all to tempting for companies to get gear mass produced on the cheap and slap good brand on it.
It always comes back to bite them 2 fold ... this is probably one of of those cases.
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

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timi
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Re: HiWatt Maxwatt B20 practice amp

Post by timi » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:44 am

I wonder what those Orange practice amps are like....

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Oxblood
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Re: HiWatt Maxwatt B20 practice amp

Post by Oxblood » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:48 pm

timi wrote:I wonder what those Orange practice amps are like....
I haven't tried one myself, but from what I've heard/read from others, they're not too marvellous. I've seen reports of tacky construction and buzzing/rattling from parts that aren't properly bonded down.

It still seems to be the case that there are few practice amps in the 20-30 Watt range that come close to the old (and now sadly dscontinued) Peavey Microbass. One honorable exception is the Roland Cube 30: an excllent product with an impressive range of amp modelling/FX settings.

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beagle
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Re: HiWatt Maxwatt B20 practice amp

Post by beagle » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:54 pm

I've never heard a bad thing said about Roland amps. The keyboard 100 was terrific.
Musicman Sterling, Fender Jazz, GK 800RB, 400RB, Neo412, Neo112, 410T

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