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Anyone own or have played a Reeves Custom 100? Saturation Plugins
Old 22nd December 2010
James Lugo's Avatar

Anyone own or have played a Reeves Custom 100?

I have been loving my new Reeves Super 78, one of the best amps I've ever played. I've also really been digging the Hiwatt Custom 100 I played recently, was wondering if anyone has heard the Reeves Custom 100. I'm really looking for the Hiwatt thing and I've read from many people that if you go new Reeves is the best. Just was wondering what you guys thoughts or experience were on the subject. Not to many clips out there, anyone use it on a record?
Old 22nd December 2010
Lives for gear
I tried one and liked it okay, but frankly couldn't see paying more for a new 'copy' than for a vintage (and utterly reliable as they are) Hiwatt

Matt Wells keeps my DR103s running impeccably, and they almost never break, other than tubes. - and that includes my bouncing them around on the road for the last 10 years.

for studio use particularly, I can't imagine why I'd buy a Reeves over an actual Dave Reeves era Hiwatt
Old 22nd December 2010
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

As a business, there may be tax advantages to buying new vs. used

Today, buying vintage amps can go easy or become a nightmare.
Yes Hiwatts are generally rock solid, but there are pitfalls to buying
vintage amps from unknown sources.

IF...... you manage to find a completely original vintage Hiwatt with
original or quality NOS replacement Mullards, you've done well.

Both of my vintage Ampegs had some repairs, a mix of tubes and
my amp tech needed to re-do the cap job that was already done
on my Gemini I.

There are some rather serious issues now with critters hitch hiking
a ride on used gear. Bed Bugs being the most expensive along with
roaches, scorpions, spiders, fleas, lice, mouse turds, you name it.

Mold, mildew, corrosion from moist location storage, cat urine, smoke, beer, lots of serious or pesky problems that the sellers photos may not show.

As I explained in the other related thread, if you get bed bugs in your studio, then they infest your home and then your client's homes and you've
got some big costly and possibly libelous headaches.
Old 22nd December 2010
James Lugo's Avatar

I can get a Reeves for quite a bit less then a vintage Hiwatt. There are 2 vintage Hiwatts in my area, both going for almost 3k. I don't think I would buy an old amp off ebay, that just wouldn't work for me. Plus for me I'm trying to build a relationship with the Reeves Co, I love the Super 78 so much and Bill is a good dude, I'd rather invest my money in a current company that is doing something I believe in, if I can. When I went SVT shopping early in the year the new SVTs couldn't touch the vintage ones, so I ended up getting the most amazing early 70's SVT off of Bob Dixon. We'll see I'm going to have a Reeves Custom 100 at the studio next week and we'll crank her up.
Old 22nd December 2010
James if you try one I hope you'll do some sort of recording I'm curious to hear the 100 watt Reeves.
Old 23rd December 2010
Lives for gear
davet's Avatar

I've played a Reeves Custom 50 through one of their closed back 2x12 cabs with the Purple Speakers. Clean, chimy highs, not harsh, headroom for days. Gets real loud, stays clean with a consistant tone.

Great gear...
Old 23rd December 2010
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

With a good amp switching pedal James is gonna have a blast
running the 100 for cleans to crunch, then switching over to the
Super 78 for the drive tones.

Dayum I'm jealous!

One thing for sure James, your place is going to rocking into the new year!
Old 24th December 2010
Lives for gear
is a new Reeves going to have "NOS Mullards"?
I think not. so it's a non issue.
there ARE good new EL34 quads.

If I wanted another Hiwatt I wouldn't have any qualms about buying one over the internets.
but that's me.

I still see Dr103s for closer to 2k all the time.

but let us know how you like the Reeves
Old 24th December 2010
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

If you visit the Reeves Amps web page, you'll see a note that
says all Reeves amps can be custom ordered with NOS tubes
subject to availability.

These beautiful amps are still hand built, one at a time.
Old 24th December 2010
James Lugo's Avatar

I went and played a RI Hiwatt Custom 50 at a music store today, it sounded nice but I couldn't crank it. I think the days of guitar shops not having iso booths to turn it up has to end. Demoing amps at low volume in open showrooms is a joke, a laughable joke and needs to end somehow. This music store has one booth about 5X5 and it's filled to the roof with 12 watt combo amps... Wow.
Old 24th December 2010
Gear Guru
FFTT's Avatar

Music stores are not the place for critical listening, that's for sure.

The original Reeves/Joyce Hiwatt circuits were built to be run at Concert Volume
and built to take the punishment of heavy touring. They sound best CRANKED!
and they were designed to run that way.

Pete Townshend demanded reliability and that's why he gave up on Marshall.

Guys like him and David Gilmour can get right picky about amp failures standing
in front of 50,000 people. :-)

Back then, Marshall was trying to find ways to cut corners to save on cost, the builds were inconsistent,
Vox was even worse, one may have been great, the next a complete pile of crap.

Meanwhile, Reeves and Joyce excelled in top grade component quality and mil spec build execution.

If James had the luxury of being able to open up the chassis between the new Fernandes Hiwatts
and the Reeves and the vintage DR-103 he would see why so many recommend Reeves.
For people who want legacy build quality, new, with a warranty.
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