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NAD: Reeves Custom 225!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Plastalmonus, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. So about 5 years back when I was still playing electric guitar I owned a beautiful 1978 Hiwatt DR103 which, since taking up bass full-time, I have been kicking myself for selling.

    I've had my eyes out for a DR201 or a Reeves for ages but the cost of importing one is quite heavy here in Australia (e.g. the 225 bought from Reeves would wind up costing me $4,500 AUD).

    So last night at band rehearsal I was browsing a gear page when I spotted a mint looking Reeves 225 for sale locally for $2k. I messaged the guy and asked if it was cool for him to hold it until next Friday (pay day) and he agreed! So in 1 week I will be picking this up :)


    It runs at 8/4/2 ohm so now I just need to decide if I want to run it with my Orange OBC810 or if this maybe justifies looking into the 1989 Ampeg 810e that is at my local store for a bargain price :p

    Anyway, I can't wait despite the fact that I'll still most likely be using the Berg CN212 and Darkglass for most gigs. Sound guys here tend to get scared about 8x10 and tube heads in small rooms :D
  2. LeftyD


    Feb 22, 2017
    Las Vegas
    That is such a nice amp head.
    It would match the Ampeg 810 beautifully.
  3. WVBZfpB.

    Here it is with the rest of the kids. I’ve only played with it a little at low volume so far but I love what I hear. Cleaner than the Orange but definitely more articulate. Also it loves my Dingwall 5.

    It also seems to favour a more vintage cab as with the Bergantino CN212 it was a little too prominent in the highs whereas the roll off from the Orange suited it to a tee.

    Also it may be a build fault but the active switch drops the volume so much as to make it unusable. Even with the ESP which has a very hot active output it makes it so quiet that I can put it over 12 o’clock and it is still quieter than passive at 9 o’clock. May get this looked into as I play a lot of active.

    Looking forward to getting a chance to really open it up over the holidays :D
  4. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Nice! Congratulations! I don't know how I missed your new amp day, but I did. I also play Dingwalls through a Custom 225. As you know, it is a physical as well as aural experience! ;) I would post a rig pic, but Imgur isn't cooperating...
    DirtyDuke likes this.

  5. Unfortunately I don't know how good it is as the amp has been the bane of my existence. For some reason it is having major power section troubles and keeps taking out tubes. Been in the shop since the first week of Jan. My tech is very capable however we just keep running into gremlins. Very expensive gremlins.

    If it fails one more time I swear I'm gonna count my losses and sell it as faulty. I don't see this as a reflection on Reeves quality however, sometimes amps just blow up.
  6. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Wow. I'm sorry to hear of your negative experience. :rollno: I hope your tech can address the problem(s) effectively!
  7. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    What did Reeves say when you contacted them?
    On any amp, I never use the active input anyway
    i hope Reeves can sort you out
    BassmanPaul, rodl2005 and btmpancake like this.
  8. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Maybe why the other guy was selling it at such a steal.
    Your tech should get in touch with Reeves for sure.
    Doubt I'll ever get one, but the Reeves 225 is one of the only amps on my GAS list.
    spiritbass likes this.
  9. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    Love my Reeves 225, and I second the recommendation that you call them for assistance. My experience is that their customer service is excellent.
    murphy likes this.
  10. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    It can be common in repairs of any amp.
    Other Componets fail because of the original issue. The componets keep getting replaced but the original problem not fixed.

    Have another opinion from tech and basic voltages checked. Line voltages could be high in your area.

    I had same issues with a SVT and was ready kick that thing off the trailer lol. On tour it was frustrating. After many citys and many techs. A older gentleman made some changes and the problem was finally fixed. His extra knowledge and know how is what caught my interest in learning this stuff myself. Very helpful in years to come

    Cab wise another matching orange 810 would be very consistant and pleasing. After playing around with various cabs 2 x810 was my go to rig for years.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  11. Line voltage in Australia is pretty stable 240v +/- 6%, or 230v +10/-6% in the more up to date parts. I wonder if Reeves supplied it for 220v or it was perhaps converted from 115?
    hennessybass likes this.
  12. It's labelled on the back as '240v ONLY'. It has been through two other owners who used it live so that wouldn't be it. Something in it has gone faulty but it really isn't obvious.

    I have tried Reeves however they have said that without having it on their bench they are at a bit of a loss. My tech has been given their response email so hopefully he reaches out if we hit another dead end.

    When I got it however it had a loud hum even with all volume down and nothing plugged in. When checking the tubes it turned out that two of them were faulty. That has now become 3 sets of new tubes that have all faulted out.

    Anyway, I'm just waiting for one last attempt then giving up. May look at the Mesa Prodigy next.
  13. Obvious thing but it did enter my mind, how's the bias. Were any of the output tubes red plating?
  14. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    What happened?
  15. Robal


    Oct 26, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Did this Reeves amp get fixed? What was the needed repair?

  16. Actually it's a really long story however the tl;dr version would be:

    My tech gave up and said he had no idea what was wrong with it after months of bench time and multiple tube swaps.
    I took it home, opened it up and within 30 seconds noticed that the cathode resistor wire for Power Tube 3 had a broken solder joint. The wire only made contact with the pin by sheer luck. I soldered it up and the amp worked like a charm.


    Unfortunately by that time the whole thing had soured for me so I sold it off. The new owner loves it. I am now just using my AD200 and loving it. :D
    Goatrope and Arthur U. Poon like this.
  17. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Unfortunate, and seems like your tech dropped the ball on that one.
  18. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    Kinda sad story. There’s always a reason for an obvious problem and I can see how a tech might miss a solder issue on a newer amp. However, he should have asked himself why he couldn’t find it. It took a non tech to find the obvious.
  19. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I get that sometimes things are easy to miss but the amp was having power tube issues and in the months of bench time checking all the joints and connections on the power tubes was overlooked? Though I'll fully admit to having shelved an amp with a simple issue like that (grabbed an under rated part from my bin so I assumed that component was good to go despite evidence otherwise), so I guess it happens.

    I hadn't realized how old this thread was at first, was going to comment on the Reeves/CN212 combo - I've run my Science Mother (also DR201-based) with my CN212 a few times and quite liked it, but I also keep the tweeter off for the most part, play passive instruments, and don't do darkglass. I would think the low mid scoop on the DG and the low mid scoop on the hiwatt tone stack wouldn't pair well. But yeah, a more vintage sounding/designed cabinet is my preferred choice for that amp.

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