Reeves/Hiwatt - questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Probos, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok. So I'm seriously considering trying out a Hiwatt or Reeves amp,..in particular a 1x12 combo 30-50 watts. I want an amp that portable but sounds pretty big, has a nice amount of clean headroom (can be set up as a nice pedal platform for dirt boxes and such), but can grind/crunch when cranked. Here are my questions:

    - Go with a Reeves over a new production Hiwatt, like say the Custom 50 1x12?
    - If I go Reeves do I try the Custom 30 or go for the 50?

    The 30 is 2xKT66 and the 50 2xEL34. My initial thoughts were to get the 50, but the power scaling on the 30 is very intriguing. I'm sure the 30 would have plenty of power for gigging but will it suffer in the headroom department when compared to the 50? Anyway, all input is welcomed. Thanks.
     
  2. malabarmusic

    malabarmusic Member

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    The Custom 30 and Custom 50 are totally different amps. Very different tones. If you can handle the volume, I would recommend the 50 -- and definitely Reeves over MG Hiwatt.

    - DB
     
  3. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

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    yes the 30 and the 50 are gonna sound very different. The 30 is supposed to be based more around the JTM45 design, while the 50 is more classic hiwatt i believe.
     
  4. callaway_1

    callaway_1 Member

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    I have played both and the best description of the custom 30 is 1/3 jtm45 and 2/3 DR504. It is very musical! It has quite a bit of headroom although not quite as much as the custom 50. Unless you have played through a vintage HIWATT or Reeves custom 100 or custom 50 chances are you have not played through an amp with that kind of headroom.

    They are both great!
     
  5. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    I have a Reeves Custom 50, and let me tell you, by the time that amp starts breaking up, you are just about loud enough to play the Superdome unmiked. That having been said, the cleans are very good and it takes pedals very well.
     
  6. saucyjack

    saucyjack Member

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    I've been going back and forth on the Reeves Custom 50 vs the 30 as well.

    I currently gig with a Tophat King Royale(AC-30 ish)and usually play small-medium sized clubs with the occasional big room.The Tophat has plenty of volume and headroom for 99% of my gigs.
    I'm really wanting a different sound and the Hiwatt vibe seems like it would be right up my alley,but I'm a bit worried that the 50 with a 2x12 would just be too much for most of my gigs.
    Is the 50 gig-able in bars?
    The Custom 30 sounds about right but not sure how much "Hiwatt" sound it has.
    I'm looking for a killer clean sound with a touch of grind and I will use pedals to take it up a notch or 2.
     
  7. justonwo

    justonwo Member

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    Man, I really wish I had more than just a few cumulative hours on my Custom 30. Most of my playing on this amp has been at home at don't-disturb-the-neighbors volume, so it's hard to say anything about gigging.

    I will say that the controls take some getting used to. The power scaling, drive, and volume controls all interact, and there are certainly some combinations that sound bad (and obviously ones that sound very good). At home/lowish volume, I will say that it's a very mid-heavy amp.

    Having cranked the cleans up for a few minutes on this amp, I will say that there's quite a bit of headroom on tap. I have to think it would work fine for most bars. But the Custom 50 with an attenuator would also probably work fine, too.
     
  8. mr.blacksummer

    mr.blacksummer Member

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    I gig and tour regularly with the custom 30...
    I'd say the description of : "1/3 jtm45 and 2/3 DR504" is pretty accurate.
    I love this amp to death...mine is the white head on the reeves site..now converted to a 2X12 combo.
    it's really one of those amps that sounds good no matter where the eq is set...you gotta work a little more with the drive and volume controls. I also agree that it takes a sec to make the power scaling sound correct...but it works brilliantly when you figure it out. I generally run this amp power scale all the wide open...volume @ about 2:00, gain a little lower...like 10-11:00...and use pedals to get dirtier. the reverb sounds tops too!
    if y'all wanna hear some clips...I used it 85% of the time while making my record...here's 4 tracks, the custom 30 was used as the primary amp for all 4 cuts:
    www.myspace.com/theblacksummercrush

    good luck!

    *scott
     
  9. saucyjack

    saucyjack Member

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    Cool.
    How heavy is the combo?
    How would rate the clean sound?
     
  10. mr.blacksummer

    mr.blacksummer Member

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    the combo is heavy...for sure.
    I use it with a fender custom vibro...which seems like a feather-weight compared to my reeves. but I can deal with it.

    the clean sound is very very nice...but the amp excels at the 'just breaking up' sound..I use it with my LOUD rock & roll group, so to really get the volume where I need it it's imperative that I run it about as loud as it will go before it is full out distorted...and THATS the sound that this amp absolutely kills at...BUT, if you can run it a little quieter the clean tone is fantastic. takes pedals nicely too...in a very nice 'hiwatt' fashion.
     
  11. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    I play in a classic rock cover band, and my 4 hole DR504 clone is my main amp. (I also have a '79 DR504 2 holer)..... I set it to band volume clean, and use pedals for dirt. It works very well like this. I can go from rich Twin-ish cleans (without the ice pickiness) to Marshall crunch with a few pedals.

    The DR504 has plenty of headroom. We have a loud drummer, and it easily keeps up with him with room to spare and sounds great doing it. It cuts through the mix like a Panzer tank.

    I get lots of compliments on my tone (my playing ability is another thing!).....

    Oh, and it sounds great CRANKED too, but I only do that when I am in a Live at Leeds kind of mood.......


    Oh, and like the others said, go Reeves, vintage Hylight, Audio Brothers or Harry Joyce ahead of the new Music Ground versions. They are not built like the old ones........
     
  12. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the input fella's -- very helpful and much appreciated. I'm gonna have to stew on this for a while and do some more research. The Custom 30 sounds like a great amp -- 1/3 JTM45 and 2/3's DR504,...pretty cool. I would be playing small to medium sized clubs/bars, so I'm sure the 30 would have more than enough power but the 50 is tempting.
     
  13. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    I borrowed one for a gig once. I figured I'd turn the amp up to the point where it just starts to break up and use pedals for harder distortion. Well... not quite. I couldn't get to the point where it just starts to break up without pedals, at least not without being tossed from the bar where I was playing. LOUD amp with LOTS of headroom. That said, whoa baby - it delivers in spades on the cleans - rich and chiming, and decidedly not Fender-ish. I like its sound a lot. You'll have to use pedals to get all of your distortion and overdrive though. That said, it really takes pedals well. They seem to become part of the sound instead of sitting on top of it. It's also not a grab-n-go amp, unless you're fairly buff. They're a bit heavy.

    jb
     
  14. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

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    The 30 is probably the way I will go -- seems a bit more versatile. But the 50 is still calling my name,....still don't know.

    BTW -- you're band sounds great. Love the vibe and the tunes. :RoCkIn
     
  15. KBN

    KBN Member

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    I have a Reeves Custom 50 and it is very loud. Amazing amp, but I don't think I will ever be in a situation where I could use it cranked with a bit of breakup. As stated by others, it is a great platform for pedals.
     
  16. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Bill from Reeves posted here recently that they are working on a power scaled
    version of the Custom 50, so I'd talk to him directly before making my
    final decision.

    The Custom 30 delivers closer to 35 watts from what Bill said.
    That's plenty loud for most small venues and the 30 has reverb if that's important to you.

    I'd be tempted to have that AND :)

    The Custom 50 or CP504 powered by EL34's is a whole different animal.
    One of the best amps ever built.
     
  17. Probos

    Probos Gold Supporting Member

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    Man -- the decision gets tougher and tougher. For me, I do want a great sounding clean amp that takes pedals like a champ. I know the Custom 50 is loud but it can be set for a good, solid clean tone taylored to any size venue correct? Then use pedals for dirt? Everyone says such great things about the 50 -- but the 30, from an overall standpoint, seems like the more versatile amp.
     
  18. KBN

    KBN Member

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    Solid clean tone at ANY volume and use pedals for dirt? That only works in theory for me. In my experience, I have to have the master vol at about 10:00 (and 10 o'clock is pretty loud) before my pedals react correctly with Custom 50. Below that and something funny happens. YMMV. For most clubs I have to use an attenuator and recently picked up an oversized 2x12 to help cut down on stage volume (as opposed to a 4x12). I'm not trying to talk you out of it, but see if you play a good Hiwatt and put it through its paces before you commit to the Custom 50. Like I said before, the Reeves is an AMAZING amp, but it has a lot of horse power. Also, it is probably the most revealing amp that I have ever played. I literally had to re-learn how to play. Took me about two months before I would use it live. The first time a good friend saw me use it live, his only comment was, "That amp has changed you."
     
  19. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    The fun stuff with the 50 begins when you jumper the channels.

    Honestly though if you go for the 50, I'd go for a 2X12 separate cab
    and blend one AlNiCo and one Ceramic together.

    I'm big fan of the fullness of EL34's, but this may be too much amp for your situation, but the 50 will also deliver all the cleans you want at band volume
    too.
     
  20. KBN

    KBN Member

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    Troof.
     

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