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FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Reeves Custom 12 with Powerscaling Review

Contributing Member

B.C. Canada

Do your best, fake the rest
Mar 21st, 2008 11:29 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My Reeves Custom 12 with Power Scaling arrived yesterday and Iíve had a few hours to play it.

12 watt, 2xEL84, 1x12AX7, heyboer transformer

The amp is well built with perfect orange tolex and the typical Reeves build quality inside. The Tonkerlite speaker is incredibly light Ė the combo weighs about 26 lbs with the 12Ē Tonkerlite.

My first learning curve was that the volume, power scaling (PS), and drive are very interactive. You can set the volume to max, PS off, and the drive is then the volume control that goes from chimey cleans to raunchy grind. This is the non-master volume mode and it responds like may other NMV EL84 amps. Or you can leave the PS off and play with the volume and drive like a master volume amp. Or you can dial in the PS to reduce volume. But the PS isnít like an attenuator. It doesnít automatically just cut the volume leaving the same tone. You need to ride the volume and drive down as you dial in PS. For instance, one nice setting is volume dimed, drive at 10 oclock, and PS off. This gives you a chimey edgy clean Hendrix tone with a strat. But it is a bit loud for my basement with the family home. But if you engage the PS so the volume is at a loud TV level, the tubes start to overdrive and the clean is lost. So you just ride the volume down to about 12 noon and the clean tone returns. Of course, you can use the distortion as a tone in itself.

This amp has all the classic Marshall JTM/plexi tones at reasonable volumes. The chime is complex and the grind is great. I compared it to my Velocette which is also 2 x EL84 and my Weber MASS 50 attenuator. Without attenuator, the Velocette seems actually louder Ė but the Velocette is a very loud 15w amp. The Velocette, however, while having acceptable cleans, is really best when run at about 85% where it just sings. The Reeves is much more versatile with really nice Marshall style cleans and the crunch we love. I havenít discovered quite that singing EL84 insanity the Velocette has but the Reeves is built with larger transformers and it is more reliable. The Velocette has a reputation for being biased extremely hot and really running on the edge (although Iíve been bagging on it at 85% through the MASS for 2 years). With the MASS, the Velocette still sounds great but at decent basement volumes. However, the amps still sees the tubes cooking away while PS on the Reeves is not cooking the tubes.

The Reeves also has a very usable treble/mid/bass controls and 4-8-16 ohm speaker outs. Overall, Iím very happy and the speaker has yet to be broken in.

(This message was last edited by PappaRay at 11:34 PM, Mar 21st, 2008)

Contributing Member

B.C. Canada

Do your best, fake the rest
Mar 22nd, 2008 11:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sorry. Forgot we had this place.

FDP Forum / Non-Fender Gear Reviews / Reeves Custom 12 with Powerscaling Review

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