• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

18 watts with Powerscaling

I'm considerin investing in an 18 Watts amp, and hopefully get one with powerscaling. I'm kinda new to this powerscaling consept. If I've understood it correctly you adjust the wattage of the amp?

Sounds rather sweet. Will it be possible to cranck my amp at bedroom level?

I've so far only found two of these amps:

Reeves Amp Custom 18

Suhr Badger Amp

Anyone has any experience with one of these amps? I think they both sound pretty sweet. They're about at the same price level $1600-1800 USD. Seems like you must pay that price to get that amp.

I've considered Fender amps, and just run it with a RAT or something, but I really want the opportunity to cranck my amp. Which will be almost never with a Fender combo. And you'll miss the great warm plexi-sound, even though you'll not get the great crunchy tone of a Fender dying. :p
I guess both sounds are accessible with some pedals ;)

So does any of you have experiences with these amps? Or other 18 watts amp with powerscaling?

Please feel free to mention other 18 watt-amps with powerscaling.

Drowned Rabbit

Black Beauty Beats Burst
I just picked up an 18 watt Aiken Intruder with a built-in
attenuater. I prefer these to an amp with Master Volume
for 3AM bedroom playing. I don't have any experience
with the two amps you mentioned, but they probably do
the job very well.


Senior Member
These amps use a techique of varying the plate voltage on the power tubes to reduce the power output. On the amps I build, my circuit uses a techique of varying the plate current through the power tubes. I'm sure either of the other two amps would work ok for you.



There are quite a few 18 watt builders out there. Make sure you look around a bit!

I've built a few 18 watters for myself.

Eric Pykala

Gigged the Badger thru my THD 2X12, on a night both my country and my rock band were playing. Scaled it about 25% for the country gig, then opened it up for the rock show. What an incredible amp! Special kudos to the tube-buffered loop; my Memory Lane has never sounded better. Haven't tried the Reeves, but have heard good things, and power scaling really works. We carry really good PA and mic everything, so 18 watts is all you need.-Eric


+1 on the Reinhardt. I have the Reinhardt 18, and I am sending it back to Bob Reinhardt to add the power scaling option. The 18 is a great amp. That being said I was also very impressed by the Badger.
BTW there was a Reinhardt 18 in the emporium I believe, not sure if it has the power scaling option.
Thanks everyone.

I've been looking at Ceriatone's 18 watt Marshalls. The only thing is that they don't have powerscaling. These amps sound decent, and they're $1000 less than the Reeves one. Even though from the soundclips I've heard, the Reeves sound better. But it seems like they're too expensive,
which leads me to my next question:

Anyone have any experience with Ceriatone? And is it possible to get Powerscaling? I don't think they do it. But it must be possible to install
it yourself?


Fargen makes a Mini-Plex MKII, which has Power Scaling. I think it has 12 watts. It is available in a head or combo. He has some pretty good clips on his site. He is a member here, try a search.

Good luck


I had a Badger for a bit, and I couldn't get good driven tones out of it at what I consider to be reasonable bedroom/apartment levels. It sounded great wide open, though. I now have an Aiken Invader Mk II, and I can get great driven tone without bugging anyone too much. The built in attenuator is by far the best attenuator I've ever used.

I've also had a Ceriatone 36-watter that switched down to 18. Very nice amp, but the low end was looser than I like, even when I put a SS rectifier in. The master volume was pretty effective as far as those things go. I miss the "normal" channel on that amp.

I have another Ceriatone, and I've had several now. They are very well put together, and Nik has been a great guy in all of my dealings with him.

I also have a Winfield. It's the 30/18-watt model, and it might be the best value out of all of them if you don't need a master volume. As it is I had David Bray put a MV in, which pushes the price up to Ceriatone levels when you're said and done. Killer amp. I might be selling it if you're interested. Haven't decided yet. Like I dais, I have the Invader now.

I've tried a couple of power scaling amps so far (the Badger and a RockyTop). It's a really cool technology, but personally I think it's a little over-hyped. I can get some good driven tones out of the RockyTop at low levels, but not great ones. I'm still planning on buying a Soultone, though, so obviously I think the power scaling idea has potential, and you at least get an MV with it, anyway.


Is there a powerscaled amp that has two channels and an effects loop aimed more in the Marshal vein?

By two channels, do you mean channel switching between clean and drive, or something like the normal and tremolo channels on the original Marshall 1974s? Either way, the answer is yes (I think). The big new 4-EL34 Soultone would do that, I believe.

Steve Dallas

You can actually buy any 18W that makes you go crazy in your pants. Then send it to Dana Hall (or any of the members of the PS forum) to have PS added to it. The mod should cost under $200. So don't necessarily limit your search to only those amps that already come with PS installed.

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
I own a Badger, and I think it's a great amp. The Power Scaling allows you to get the same sounds and feel at different volume levels.

No system of Power Scaling or Master Vol or Attenuator REALLY allows you to get a cranked amp sound at actual bedroom levels, but that said, the Badger does a great job of coming close.

IIRC, the Reeves amp is much lower gain than the Badger, and the Badger isn't that hi-gain an amp - it won't get you into metal territory - semi-hard rock - YES, Metal - NO.

Badger - think Marshall tones. Reeves - think Hiwatt tones. Don't buy from descriptions or clips, play one first, whatever the amp. these two are quite different sounding and quite different feeling, IMHO.

Good Luck, Dana O.


Reeves is old school, road ready mil spec Hiwatt and worth every penny!

Suhr Badger is also a great little tone machine.

Your first two picks show you have good taste! :)

I'd be real tempted to go for the Reeves 30 or Custom Lead with power scaling.
for not a whole lot more.

Rheinhardt and Aiken are also great builds.


I have a Badger 18. Great little amp. Power Scaling takes a little while to get used to. Each adjustment to the Power (voltage) control requires adjustments to input Gain and output Drive controls, if you want to keep basically the same tone only quieter.

Well worth the learning curve. :AOK

Don't overlook the Fargen Mini Plex II if you want to get Van Halen-ish modded Marshall tones at low volumes.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom