Amps with built-in powers caling/vari-watt


Just wondering what y'all think about these amps. What are the best ones? Why do you like them? Hate them? etc.


I have it on my Category 5 Andrew. I love it because it sounds great at almost any wattage setting which goes from 50W to 5W (sounds best in the 15-50W range). I like it because I can get tons of clean headroom at 50W and if I turn it down a bit I can really crank it and get really nice natural overdrive without killing everyone's ears (still pretty loud though). I actually like it best around the 30-40W range and cranked. It's a really neat way to find different tones. I love it, but it's the only amp I have ever played with this feature so I can't speak for them in general.


Silver Supporting Member
I own the Reeves Custom Lead. It's a '68 Marshall clone. It sounds like a classic vintage 4-input non-master volume Marshall at ANY volume. I can get the EL-34's saturated without ear bleeding volume.

The power scaling is a paradigm shift in setting the volume with the right amount of distortion that you need. It took me a few months to set the normal & bright volume knobs in conjunction with the Drive and Power Scale controls properly. By proper I mean a duplication of cranked non power scaled '68 Marshall Super Lead at sane volumes.

Sure, you can easily get distorted tones on the Custom Lead by cranking the Drive knob and keeping the Power Scale knob low. But if not done properly it's not a proper duplicate of the cranked tone of a regular 4-input Marshall at lower volume.

Lastly, I can get great cranked tones down to a half watt. For many, that is still too loud if everyone in the house is asleep at 2AM. Good cranked Marshall tone at whisper quiet volumes, not realistic. You're talking less than 1/2 Watt.
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I have a Reeves Custom 12 and I agree with what ripoffriffs says. Mine is a classic low watt double El 84 approach. Very nice chimey cleans with good crunch at higher settings. No high gain here though.


Senior Member
Just wondering what y'all think about these amps. What are the best ones? Why do you like them? Hate them? etc.

So, you're in Castle Rock. I have some friends of mine living there. Anyway,
all the equipment I build has internal electronic power scaling; and for all the reasons listed above.



Silver Supporting Member
I have the Suhr Badger 30 with power scaling, and it's terrific! There's a lot of flexibility with it-running the Drive knob below the Power one lets it operate like a MV amp; running Drive above Power by more than 2 numbers on the settings adds compression. Lowering the power DOES require setting the gain of the amp lower-it simply doesn't need as much pre-amp drive, as was mentioned above with the Reeves.

It's a great feature and works just as advertised!

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