Musikmesse 2018: Hiwatt re-launches with Gary Hurst-designed pedals, new amps and Gold Music partnership

Recently re-launched British brand Hiwatt made a big splash at this year’s Musikmesse.

The amp makers showcased two hand-build pedals by Gary Hurst, the Octafuzz and the Fuzz King.

Hurst built fuzz boxes for Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, The Beatles, Spencer Davis Group and numerous other top guitarists of the era.

The new Octafuzz is a reproduction of the Octafuzz pedal built by Tone Bender-designer Hurst in the ’70s for the CBS/Arbiter, Meazzi UFO and his “Electronic Sounds” range of pedals.

The new model enables a full range of standard fuzz effects over a complete tone range controlled by means of the Filter control plus the addition of high octave fuzz.

The Fuzz King is a reproduction of Hurst’s Fuzz King pedal built in the ’70s. Fuzz Sustain and Output Level controls enable the sound to be matched according to the taste of the guitarist and particular music played, from the familiar ’60s fuzz to all the latest variations.

Hiwatt had a new prototype 50w bass amp at the show, featuring “straight forward controls with standard Bass, Middle, Treble EQ”. A new feature on the amp is a frequency switch. This allows you to choose from three different types of Hiwatt based sounds, depending on the type of music you’re playing. It also has a line out so that you can DI it for live gigs.

Also on show was a Hiwatt Tube Series T40 amp and Hiwatt Hi-Gain HG212 2×12 cabinet. The T40 has a footswitchable reverb channel, overdrive and normal gain with an effects loop. It’s also switchable between 20/40w. The cabinet has a power rating of 200w loaded with Fane speakers.

Hiwatt planned to showcase its new Mike Fortin-designed Maxwatt Super-Hi 50 Custom Amplifier at the show, but unfortunately it got stuck in customs. Here’s what the manufacturer said about the situation on its Facebook page:

“It is with great regret that we have to announce that the Maxwatt Custom Super-Hi 50 did not make it to Musikmesse 2018 in Frankfurt. The amp was shipped from Canada March 29 and landed in the UK on April 4. Where it has been sitting in customs ever since.

“Our core team at Hiwatt has tried in every possible way ever since, to have the amp released by customs in order for it to be played by all of you at our booth.

“We tried right up until today (April 13th) to secure its release so that we could have the amp personally driven from England to Frankfurt so that it would at least be available for the show Saturday. Customs would not relent. They didn’t even offer an explanation as to why it was delayed. Well, that’s customs for you!”

Hiwatt plans to make a video demonstrating the power of the app, so look out for our story about that once it is released.

As well as its product unveilings, Hiwatt also announced its new distribution partnership with Gold Music in Italy.

“Gold Music is a modern future-focused company that embraces social media and educates its customers with informative Youtube videos and insightful in-store demos. They also have an excellent proven customer service record and a sterling reputation, distributing to brick and mortar retailers,” said Hiwatt.

“We at Hiwatt, value the retail tradition and Gold’s proven track record here. Hiwatt and Gold believe the retail experience of buying an amplifier will never be fully replaced by online sales and marketing. Nothing beats plugging in to one of our hand wired point to point military spec amplifiers and feeling for a moment that you are on stage like many of the Legendary Hiwatt Artists! Gold Music will be exclusively selling our Custom shop products produced in the UK as well as our UK designed products.”

Read all of our Musikmesse 2018 coverage here.


About Laura Barnes 427 Articles
Founder/Publisher of UK musical instrument industry publication MI Focus.