Dating hiwatt amplifiers
After all, one of the chief motives for the development of the bass guitar, besides portability, was its ability to be heard in the increasingly loud world of electrified music, and existing guitar amps weren’t up to the task.
Acoustic 360/361 Ampeg and Fender quickly dominated the burgeoning bass amp industry.
In 1968, RCA—then among the world’s most influential electrical engineering firms—released a paper describing important developments in solid-state amplifiers, helping the technology flourish even further among smaller amp manufacturers.
The ’60s was also the decade when many iconic bass-amp innovators started their careers, including Russ Allee and Roger Smith of AMP and Steve Rabe, founder of SWR.
The company had engineers on staff experienced with transistor technology because of the Vox Continental Organ, so it was well poised to make the leap to solid-state.
This article will outline the progression of amplifier technology through the years, explain the latest developments, and illuminate some of the technology behind the sound.
In The Beginning When Fender debuted the first mass-produced bass guitar in 1951, the Precision Bass, it was quickly clear that a purpose-built bass amp would be necessary.
On the other side of the technological spectrum was Acoustic’s 360 stack, consisting of the Model 360 preamp and 361 powered cabinet.
Released in late 1968, the solid-state Acoustic stack was one of the most coveted rigs among period bass players.
By the mid to late ’60s, a few other manufacturers joined the solid-state bass amp fray, including Univox, Kustom, Sears Silvertone, Acoustic Control Corporation, and more.