Rift Amps made its name on faithful-recreations of Fender combos from the '50s and '60s. The Hawker, however, is a different beast. As the brand's first original design, this amplifier boasts a raft of additional features that bring it up to modern standards.
With a buffered effects loop, a dynamic response switch and a power-down mode, the Hawker will appeal far more to contemporary players looking for an excellent tonal foundation. Rather than drawing inspiration from one particular type of amplifier, Rift decided to take elements from several legendary UK amps to create a 'best of British' sound.
Rift Amps are hand built one at a time in the heart of England. If you would like your amp in a particular colour or with a different speaker, please contact us & we’ll get in touch with Rift to see if your request is possible.
Controls & Tones
The control set on the Hawker may look fairly unremarkable at first glance, however with just a few turns, you can get anything from a glassy clean to a raunchy overdrive out of its single channel.
Set the Gain knob low and that chimey AC-style clean will sing brightly, but turned up you'll find yourself in '70s hard rock territory! With 3 gain-stages of amplification, the Hawker produces a naturally rich and warm-sounding breakup when you push the volume, while also allowing your playing dynamics to shine through without an overly-compressed quality.
A 4-band EQ also makes tone-tailoring a joy, with the Treble, Middle, Bass and Presence controls letting you manipulate all of the key areas of your guitar sound. The Hawker is powered by a 12" Warehouse Blackhawk Alnico speaker, delivering crystal clear highs, tight mids and a robust low-end for a balanced overall sound.
Unlike the older units that the Hawker tips its hat to, this vintage-modern amp of sorts has a number of appointments that 21st Century players will be sure to appreciate.
Effects Loop - A buffered effects loop is the main refinement, allowing pedal aficionados to seamlessly run their time-based reverb or delay effects between the amps pre and power amp stages. Optimised for low-noise, this serial loop also has a level control that lets you determine how much of the effect you want in your signal. If an effects loop isn't quite your thing though, then you can simply flick the bypass switch to remove it completely from the circuit.
Power Down - Many modern valve amps now feature multiple power modes, to make them more usable at different volume levels. The Rift Amps Hawker is no exception, with a switch on its front panel letting you power down from its full 30W to 8W. This means that if you're playing at home, in 8W mode the Hawker will breakup at a lower volume without completely deafening you!
Dynamic Reponse Switch - Although a slightly more unusual feature, this 'Push/Pull' switch on the rear of the amp switches between two seperate high-voltage windings and rectification methods. In essence, this affects the character of the amp. In Push mode, you'll find that the Hawker will have more bite and articulation, while Pull mode offers a more saggy sound with a softer response.
About Rift Amps
Based in Brackley, England, Rift Amplification is a boutique brand that specialise in vintage-style amplifiers. Hand-wired and built with the utmost attention-to-detail, Rift faithfully recreates some of the world's most desired traditional amps from the '50 and '60s.
Originally modifying Fender amp circuits, the company now produce their tweaked designs under their own moniker. While retaining the classic styling that you know and love, Rift's time-honoured offerings have the trusted reliability you'd expect from modern valve amplifiers, and can serve as perfect workhorses for live performances or session work.
- Controls: Gain, Treble, Middle, Bass, Master Volume, Resonance
- Power Modes: 30 Watts / 8 Watts
- Inputs: 1
- Rectification: 1 x GZ34 (Pull) or SS (Push) - Dual High Voltage
- Output: 2 x KT66 Cathode Biased
- Preamp: 1 x 7025, 2 x ECC83
- Speaker: 12” WGS Blackhawk Alnico 50w 8ohm
- Speaker Outputs: 1 x 8ohm + Ext. Socket
- FX: Series FX Loop w/Level Control and Bypass Switch
- Construction: Baltic Birch Ply
- Dimensions: 510 x 610 x 228 mm (excl. Feet & Handle)
- Weight (Combo): 23 kg
- Line Voltage: 240v 50Hz
- Warranty: Lifetime to Original Owner (Excludes Certain Items)