David Gilmour’s Hiwatt DR103 100W

This has been David’s main live and studio amp since the very early days of Pink Floyd. From around 1969 to 1973 he used two AP (All Purpose) DR103 heads, played through WEM Super Starfinder 200 cabinets with 4×12” Fane Crescendo speakers. 

Around 1974 David’s guitar tech Phil Taylor purchased a couple of more DR103 heads, and he continued using these all the way until the 2000s.

One of the first jobs I did in the band was to go out and buy him (Gilmour) some new Hiwatt amplifiers. I went down to Hi-Watt in Kingston (in 1974) and saw Dave Reeves and bought two 100 watt heads which are still in Dave’s rack today. He had WEM 4×12 cabinets with Fane Crescendo speakers in, identical to the ones he uses now…

Pink Floyd backline tech Phil Taylor, Guitarist Magazine, January 1995

From around the late/the early 90s, the Hiwatts were modified so the preamp stage could be bypassed. From that point on, David instead used an Alembic F2-B as a preamp. According to Gilmourish.com, this setup was used up until the early 2000s, when David went back to using the preamps on the Hiwatts.

He likes his initial signal to be very clean. To achieve this he uses a mid-Seventies Alembic F2-B bass preamp and the power stage of six 100-watt Hiwatt heads.

A look behind DAVID GILMOUR’S mighty wall of sound. [interview with Phil Taylor]
David Gilmour’s Hiwatt amps circa 1974. Note that the two inputs on the left are taped over because at this point the amps were modified so the Normal and Brill(iance) channels were linked together, and they were connected to one volume pot.


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