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New Reeves Cabs Pics (Prototype)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by edbass, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    After much testing and deliberation, Reeves Amplification has narrowed down the prospects for their new 115 cab to the following two;


    Both use the same burly cast frame 15” woofer, both have virtually the same internal volume, and both are in final trim as far as tolex and grill cloths, but have slightly different sonic characteristics.
    One is taller and shallower, with a un-grill clothed slot port, while the other has a horn loaded port that is completely covered by grill cloth. A fellow TBer (who shall remain nameless unless he wants to jump in and be identified) and myself had the opportunity to audition them last weekend, intentionally without any test equipment or any very specific information, in an attempt to offer our observations without being swayed by preconceived notions about how they should sound based on specs.
    The slot ported cab immediately stood out as being very balanced, almost monitor like, amazingly articulate and clear voiced, with only a few minor dead/hot spots.



    The horn ported cab was also very articulate and clear, but deeper voiced; more bottom heavy with a little hump at 100ish hz, more “rock n’ roll” than the other but in a good way, again with very few dead/hot spots.



    Both cabs sound fantastic on their own, decidedly clearer voiced than the cabs we used for comparison. This isn’t to say that that’s superior to others necessarily, tone is after all in the ear of the listener, but these cabs are both exceptionally transparent and articulate compared to most others we tested. IMO, this is obviously due to the drivers, which singly can handle the Custom 225 with minimal breakup even at ridiculous SPL’s. As a side effect, the Reeves cabs probably aren’t as efficient as some of the other 115 cabs that the big amp can easily bottom out, and also because of the articulation the Reeves cabs are very unforgiving for things like “slop” or intonation issues.

    Of course, even though the Reeves people have (or at least had…) no intentions to produce both cabs, we had to stack them to see what the sounded like.
    Well, well, well… The sum total exceeded the tonal aspirations of either cab individually, and not just because of the pant leg flapping either. They really seem to work well together, well balanced and defined, plenty of bottom while still maintaining sparkling highs, smooth and even from top to bottom.




    I really don’t think that Reeves can rationalize building two 115’s that are so close in specification, and if I had to pick one, I’d go with the horn ported one. I like the added “thump”, it gives up nothing in overall clarity, and frankly I think it’s more aesthetically pleasing.
    I’ll post any future observations once I get them out in the field for a few gigs, I have an outside gig coming up in May, that should be a good test in a band setting.
  2. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Very cool; thanks for the report.
    Think they are interested in producing other cabinet combinations or adding a mid-range in the future?
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Quite interesting. I'd be interested in giving them a test run my own self. Staying tuned to this one...
  4. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I think so. I tested a prototype 112 a couple of months ago but it was a very un-Reeves like "Hmmm.., I wonder how that guitar cab would sound with a 12" bass driver in it" rather than their usual exhaustive R&D proceedure.
    It sounded pretty good. I'm pretty sure that another TBer has been playing it for a while now.
    I would think that a mid cone driver equipped cab will be forthcoming if the 115 has the same sucess as the Custom 225 has enjoyed since its introduction.
    If it was up to me (and it isn't ;)) they would already be working on one!
  5. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Guitar players have blended pairs of AlNiCo and Ceramic speakers and numerous
    cabinet configurations for a long time custom voicing their rigs, especially
    in recording.

    One might have a tight bottom to mid range and the other a smooth top end, so
    working together they compliment each other.

    Hard to tell sometimes until you mic up the cabs.

    I think it's still very important to try matched pairs of the deeper Rock cabs as well as a matched pair of the taller-thinner Hi Fi cabs and then compare those results to a blended pair.

    Blending the two cabs together also puts the amp in it's more powerful 4 Ohm mode,
    so that extra power is partly responsible for the added grins :)

    You still have to try matched pairs.

    The extra depth of one rock cab may be wonderful alone, but prove too boomy when you double them up or a pair of Hi Fi's just too dad gum Hi Fi.

    I honestly do not think people buying this amp are going to mind a wee upgrade
    if it means they have the ability to custom shape their own tones by selecting
    either or both cabs.

    I really like the idea of a compact 15" cab for small clubs or a pair for larger venues.

    The full stack actually looks quite reasonable considering the power and tone you're getting through it.

    You know of course I'm getting this!:hyper:
  6. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    OK - I was there. That's my knee up there. :bag:

    This driver is the most articulate 15" I've heard that can also handle the bottom. I play JBLs and they're pretty sweet sounding, but this thing smokes them. Unless you're a total horn freak, I doubt you would want or need a mid driver with them -there is plenty of harmonic content.

    Ed pretty much summed it up. The flared port roared a little more and had more apparent bottom to throw around, also had slightly less even frequency response. The slot port was much more like a reference cab - very even. I think if I just were going to play through one, I'd choose the flare port for the extra throw. I can imagine that two of the slot port cabs would absolutely kill, though.

    The two combined was everything I would ever ask for out of a bass rig. Such a pleasing sound - even off axis, in another room, whatever. The driver is really the thing - it's amazing.
  7. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    You guys still haven't heard what a Hiwatt circuit can do until you try a Y jumper
    between those channels. :)

    You guys just have to do some clips.
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sexy, Bob! Of course, I'm referring to the fretless Jazz Special ;)

    What kind of driver is it? Do they make it themselves? Have they gotten as far as deciding the price range?
  9. rbonner


    Sep 25, 2008
    Oh I thought you were talking about me jimmy.

    That horn cab is very nifty looking, a pair of those would seemingly make a nice rig. It sort of makes me think about my old VOX foundation, two 18" cabs and the head. About 5 1/2 feet tall. I'm sure this sounds better though.

  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well I like what I see here, but I also dig the Vox. The Reeves/Hiwatt look is very understated and classy. The Vox is pimped out:


    To put it in terms you can understand, Bob (Bonner, that is), the Reeves is a $2000 a night call girl, and the Vox is a porn star ;)
  11. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    Edbass, did you compare them to the orange 115 as a reference?
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  12. pgk


    Aug 19, 2007
    very, Very nice
  13. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Ed sent me the original review and yes, the Orange was used as a starting reference point for a good 15" cab.

    I'll quote from his e-mail

    A single driver handles the 225 quite well, I think it's a 300 watt driver. You have to seriously bang on it it to get any speaker distortion, well beyond reasonable stage SPL's. You may have noticed the Orange OBC 115 in the background. It's pretty generally accepted as the, or one of the, preeminent bass 115 enclosures available, and was purchased by Reeves purely as a benchmark to be exceeded. Make that "obliterated".
    Mission accomplished. The Reeves cab(s) stays tight and clean well beyond the point that the stamped frame Eminence in the Orange begs for mercy, and at any level is substantially more articulate, during the A/B process I described the Reeves cabs as making the OBC should like it had a pillow in front of it. But only tonally though; the Orange was in fact loud, and appeared to be more efficient than the Reeves offerings, just not nearly as clear voiced.

    He also mentions that the Reeves cabs are lighter than the Orange.
  14. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I suddenly have major Reeves GAS. As if the 225 head wasn't enough. Oh boy.
  15. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    I can't wait till we hear from the first one to stack a pair of 225 heads in a big venue
    back line configuration.

    A single 225 head already gives you that stadium tone, so daisy chaining a pair must be unbelievable!
  16. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I can tell you that one head through two of those cabs is all I would ever want or need for any gig, anywhere. What's really cool is - the stack has the same kind of presence as an old 8X12 marshall stack, but without crapping out down low. Much smaller footprint and lighter too.

    It sounds like a big fat british bass amp brought up to todays spec. Awesome rig. :cool:
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  17. Fantastic!..... Now where's that (winning)lottery ticket?!?
  18. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Oh the Reeves 225 is more than enough with today's monitoring
    capabilities, but for sheer shock and awe, it would be nice to
    do an Entwistle rig with I dunno maybe 8 cabs :D

    I'm just looking at what John Entwistle used early on and there are some cool surprises. Great stuff !!!

    Entwhistle: Sound City, they’re an English amp. We both use sixteen twelve-inch speakers and two two-hundred watt amps.


    Hiwatt rig: top, customized Sound City L100 amp badged as Hiwatt (unused, as backup); bottow two, customized Hiwatt DR103, customized to the CP103 four-channel specification (i.e., no “The Who” faceplate). Top cabinets are Hiwatt SE4123 4x12s; bottom two are Hiwatt SE4122 4x12 or Sound City 4x12 badged as Hiwatt.

    Three Hiwatt DR103 100-watt amps customized to the CP103 spec (i.e., no “The Who” faceplate).

    Beginning early 1970: three Hiwatt CP103 100-watt amps. Two Hiwatt DR201 200-watt amps and one customized Hiwatt DR103 100-watt amp.
    Four Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets.
    Two Hiwatt SE4151 4x15 cabinets and two Hiwatt SE4123 4x12 cabinets.

    As long as someone else was loading it.
    son_of_mogh likes this.
  19. spellcaster

    spellcaster Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2007
    Exciting! Very interested in hearing future live reviews and developments.
    How do these compare to your vintage Sunn with JBL's?
  20. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

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