Hiwatt vs. Reeves is there really a big difference?

StudioRat320

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348
I'm selling all my amps. that's right all of them!! I gotta have that Hiwatt sound.

Ok, here's the problem. Good ones in great shape are hard to find and the new ones are stupid expensive, if you can track one down. I've been looking at Reeves for a while, but never played one. Anyone here have experience with them? Especially the Custom 50. After going to the Reeves site, I figured out I could buy 2 50 watt half stacks for the price of one Hiwatt.

I could care less what the name on the front says, as long as it's got that sound. I'm like a junkie that needs a fix.

BTW, I'm not a bedroom player with G.A.S. I'll actually be playing these amps out and touring with them.

Thanks for any comments.
 

thewestwon

Member
Messages
554
Well I've never played the real deal, but I received my custom 100 and 4x12 with vintage purples from Reeves last week. It's unrealistically awesome sounding. If the real deal sounded any better I'd be shocked (mainly shocked because I find it hard to fathom they sounded this good yet they are so uncommon). Well worth the steep price tag, in my opinion. The build quality is near perfection.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
7,441
I have never owned a Hiwatt, but considering it.
When I was a kid in the 70's they were held in awe, and known for their meticulous handiwork..silver solder circuit boards.....even way back then.
 

gregc

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3,921
What Frankee said. I will say this: I had a Reeves before I came across a deal on a vintage Hiwatt. I had them both for a short while. The Hiwatt was a step up, IMO. I still own the Hiwatt.
 

kracdown

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Gold Supporting Member
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5,984
it depends, my Reeves is the Custom Jimmy, so it's more Marshally than Hiwatt, but it's the best Plexi type i've ever heard.
 

StudioRat320

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348
What Frankee said. I will say this: I had a Reeves before I came across a deal on a vintage Hiwatt. I had them both for a short while. The Hiwatt was a step up, IMO. I still own the Hiwatt.
That right there is the issue. I've played a few Hiwatts and I know I want that sound. I'd hate to be short changed with the Reeves, even though I'm sure it's a great amp.

I got an email from someone regarding a 71 Hiwatt 50 head, but the transformers have been changed and the amp was converted to a 100. The price definitely right and the dealer says it sounds amazing like a Hiwatt should, but I'm still a bit skeptical.
 

fusionid

Member
Messages
922
if the transformers have been changed on the hiwatt I would not buy the amp. Thats the only component (besides NOS tubes) that you can not get nowadays w/ current production clones.

I would look into Hitone as well. They host the Vintage hiwatt restoration forums and convention. Their clone of the fane sounds simply amazing (with their amp granted).
 

nickthenail

Member
Messages
1,102
I own the Reeves that Gregc mentioned. I absolutely love it and could get by with it being my only amp. That being said, it is different from the Reeves that are being built today. Mine is an earlier one that was built in the Hiwatt Custom Workshop in England. -Basically a Custom Hiwatt with a Reeves plaque smacked on the front. It has Partridge OT as well.

I never did an A/B comparison of a newer Reeves to an older one, I just wanted to make you aware of the build differences so you don't think that Gregc was referring to a current production Reeves.
 

buddyboy

Gold Supporting Member
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2,072
I would buy the Reeves (yes, I own two). I used Hiwatts in the 80's and the Reeves nail the tone. Plus, with PS, the Reeves are more flexible. Try to play both and see what you think.
 

Dashface

Member
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4,854
I own and often use a pair of vintage Hiwatts. They sound stupid good. But... I've tried a Reeves and I wouldn't even for a second hesitate to use one. They really are excellent in every way. If you can't find an old Hiwatt you can be confident knowing that a Reeves will keep you happy.
 

gregc

Member
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3,921
I would not buy a Hiwatt minus the original Partridge trannies. Thaty's too big a piece of the puzzle.
 

strangec

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,549
If your going for the Hiwatt vibe, the Power Scaling is nice to have.

Reeves has several other non-Hiwatt designs ie Super 78 etc that are great amps in their own right.
 

Holliman

Triad Abuser
Messages
2,344
Reeves for sure. My Custom 50 was to funnest, best sounding amp I've owned. You can't beat the customer service at Reeves.
 

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
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47,736
I have both and the Hiwatt is the real deal. Reeves are good amps and actually the smaller wattage Reeves are what I prefer over the bigger amps. The mustard caps and Partridge trannies among other things give Hiwatts a different tone. You can still find some good Hiwatts out there .... the 4 holers are the best IMO and I've seen them for $1500 before :dunno you just have to be in the right spot at the right time.

You can find a Hiwatt PA head cheaper sometimes and they are just a DR103 with multiple inputs basically. :bong
 


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