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Verellan vs Reeves

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by UrsaMinor, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    :D Hey everyone!

    I will be in the market for a new amplifier soon, and I was curious about how these two animals differ. The Reeves 225 and the Meatsmoke.

    I am looking for a versatile amp, as I play rock/metal/doom/punk/post rock/post metal/alternative/hardcore/etc. I have heard that the Verellan is voiced more like the SVT/Mesa, and that the Reeves is more like a Hiwatt? Sorry for any confusion in my post. I was also curious about the build quality between the two amps, as they are priced the same.

    Btw, Happy Holidays to anyone who cares to chime in! :D
  2. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    I had a Reeves 225. As Paul McCartney sang in Penny Lane, "it's a clean machine." It ended up being a bit too clean for me.

    IMO, YMMV, etc.

    I have never played through a Meatsmoke, so I have no info to offer on that.
  3. Both will give you great build quality. You'll get more grind and mids out of the Meatsmoke. Smoother sounds out of the Reeves. I've heard good stuff about Reeves customer service but I can vouch for Ben being excellent at replying and working one on one with you. Solid customer service. Really, you can't go wrong with either. Just depends what you want to sound like. You can even have Ben build you something more Hiwatt voiced if that's the sound you're after. He'll do any cusomt order and loves those old Hiwatt / Sound City tones (from what I've read).
  4. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    I guess I am looking for the most usable tones for my money. They are the same price, and I was curious about which would be more versatile. Hell, why not just buy both eventually. Also, I have heard about Ben being one of the nicest shopkeepers alive! That is a rare commodity these days. :bag::bassist::ninja::hyper:

    Thanks for the reply's so far. Keep'em coming!!!
  5. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    The Reeves is super clean, old school, tube goodness.
    One great amp.
  6. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    I am assuming it would need more pedals to get that natural dirt from it?

    Sorry for all the questions, as I have researched this pretty well, but I still haven't heard ALL of the tones from both of these amps. One seems more like the SVT, and one more British voiced(of course). In your honest opinion, which do you think would be more versatile?

    I want to start studying bass FT, and wanna start from the Jamerson era, and work my way up to 2013 ha. If both of these amps are perfect for that. I would be using either of these through the NV610 and a Geddy Lee Jazz.
  7. I'd say neither lend themselves to being mega flexible due to the designs of the amp. I'd go for the reeves and pedal it up if I had to have one of those two amps
  8. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    Keep'em coming guys. The more the merrier! :)
  9. The Meatsmoke is 25% OFF for the rest of the month. DO IT! This, coming for a HUGE Hiwatt / Early Sound City fan. At that price, though, you can't beat it. More power, more gain flexibility, more custom options if you want any (again, he'll work one on one with you if there's something here or there you'd like to change), plus ace customer service. Again, I'd take a vintage Hiwatt over a vintage SVT, but if you're buying new before the year ends, might I'd suggest Verellen with his 25% off sale.
  10. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    Alas :( I am not. It won't be until around May. I am just working hard and saving money until then. I seen the 25% off sale, and I was like "No!!!!!!!!!".

    I do dig that it's 2 channels/switchable, 300 watts, same price as the reeves, and is original looking/original preamp/semi gain circuit(apparently). I just know that I play mostly heavy music, so I am aiming towards the MS. It's just that I've heard about the Reeves being even nicer, and I could dial in dirt with pedals.

    I am also looking into the Morgan as well. I am actually watching some videos on it as I type this. I just heard a MS live, and I've lusted for one ever since. Then I seen something about the bullet proof reeves 225.
  11. Hmm... I've heard more people play out of Meatsmokes and they have sounded superb. I've actually never heard a Reeves live, which doesn't surprise me being into loud, heavier music myself. Last time I saw Russian Circles, the guy was playing a Meatsmoke with an SVT-4 and it was the BEST live tone. Obv Ben has it in with bands that style so you'll definitely see/hear more Meatsmokes than Reeves. Have you looked into a Matamp GT200? It probably gives you a bit of both flavors with it being a little bit more geared towards what you're playing. I've heard excellent things about them too. I wouldn't mind one myself. I guess the only reason I wouldn't spend $2500 for a Reeves is because you can pretty easily find a Hiwatt DR201 or Sound City MKIII 200 for around those prices or less. I could be way wrong, but it seems that's what Reeves is going for. As opposed to Verellen being a little more original circuit/design or Matamp still being the original company that came out with the OR200 in the late 60's/early 70's while being one of the few companies of that era that still get positive feedback and reviews while maintaining their build quality (compared to modern Orange and modern Hiwatt, etc).

    Just words for thought.
  12. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    That is what I was thinking as well. The Matamp stuff i haven't heard at all, but I hear about it all the time/how great it is.

    There are just so many options like the Morgan, Matamp, Meatsmoke, Reeves, and even the vintage SVT/SVT II Non-Pro. I just decided to narrow it down to what I've heard was the best built amps. Now, not so much.

    I am looking for the best built amp for the buck as well, though. Something that is a bit versatile, takes pedals well, is loud and clean, and has that bulletproof reputation for road worthiness/quiet for studio use. I hear the Reeves doesn't even use a fan, unlike the MS.
  13. I don't think a fan is necessary at 200w +/- with KT88's as opposed to 300+ with 6550's. I've kinda been starting to look into a new 200+ tube amp myself as my 140w Univox doesn't seem to keep up with how loud we play (even while practice then alone a show). I'm more of a vintage guy myself though. I still don't think anything today is built as good as an old HJ era Hiwatt. Obv my opinion, but there are some great modern amp builders. The few that I've had on my list as far as modern amps are the Matamp GT200 and the Verellen MS (although too many people play out of MS's that I've kinda turned away from them a little to not have the same tone everyone else has, regardless of how good it sounds). I think that's about it, though. Like I mentioned in my last post, for $2000+ dollars, I rather get a real vintage DR201 than a modern day replica. I can even say the same thing for the Meatsmoke compared to a vintage SVT. But again, I just like old amps as I've always had them.
    I keep looking more and more at that Matamp GT200 though. 200 pre-clipping watts plus break up after that. Smaller size than the other amps and my as common so you can get a good original tone going on. Seems like all good points to me. I haven't seem how much they are though, haha. I could be way below in mind to what it actually is.
  14. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    If you don't mind me asking, how is Matamp as a company in general? I've heard that Ben from Verellan is excellent, and that Reeves is super amazing as well. Plus the warranties for MS(limited lifetime) and Reeves(5 years) just seem to GAS me even more.

    I can completely understand about the vintage style amps, though. On the other hand, the Reeves was made to be more bass specific, so the DR201 thing is only half the battle. The MS also has a little brother, called the Ohm Steak. It's a 200 watter, with a half power switch, and 2 channels wit a foot switch.
  15. Ben is beyond fantastic from my little experiences with him and I don't even own anything Verellen. I don't know too much about Matamp CS but I've heard it's better than Orange. Build quality for sure it way better than Orange. But I haven't researched Matamp enough to make my own decision on how their customer service is. I know they work one on one with clients for custom builds (and not just huge name artists), so I can imagine they are good about customer service. I've heard great stuff about Reeves as well. Again, just not many bands I know of into them or play them (as well as DR201's or MKIII Sound City's). I usually see a lot of SVT's, Meatsmokes, AD200's, a few vintage Mesa 400's (I used to play one. Sounded great but tons of pain the ass maintenance), everything else is a mix between vintage and modern solid state amps. I heard ONE Matamp (actually it might have been Electric amp) on bass once a few years ago and it sounded ooooh so good. Like I said, it keeps popping up on MY list of amps to check out along side a vintage 200 watter.

    I didn't know about the 200w Verellen but I know Ben will do anything (ANYTHING) custom. I'd probably even ask him to do a DR201/OR200 voiced amp and see how much it cost. That would be pretty cool.
  16. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    Yeah, most definitely. If you ask him in the near future, let me know what he tells you. I am looking into these other amps(that's really all I've done all day), and I keep going back to the Reeves/MS.

    ONE of these amps will be mine. The one cool thing about the Reeves is that he leaves 2 spots open for 2 extra tubes. So instead of 4xKt88, you could redo it in a 6xkt88 format. Pretty swell innovation.

    Lemme ask you, or anyone else something: What is this Hi-Fi thing I keep hearing about Matamps/Hiwatt style amps? Is it more modern sounding, or am I missing something?
  17. I'm not an expert on it but Hi-Fi amps will give you less break up and cleaner power. Old Sunn tube amps are what Hi-Fi would be to me. Really clean, ultra linear transformers, headroom and power, balanced eq (little flavoring), simple circuits to not distract from signal path tone. I could be way off with terminology but that's basically what I've gathered. Again, I'm no expert at all. I just own a bunch of old amps.
  18. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    IMO "hi-fi" is the ability to recreate the input signal accurately. Sunns are indeed very hi-fi, they have the capability to reproduce low frequency signals very accurately and down low is what separates the "men from the boys".
    Old Sunns are +/- 1 dB down to 20 hz at full rated power at < 1% THD, that's some pretty serious headroom.

    My experience with the Reeves C225 and the Sunn 2000S side by side is that the C225 is substantially more "hi-fi" than the Sunn.
    It's a very strong 4 X KT88 amp; tons of headroom and bottom end, super clean but not sterile, very musical with a strong tight bottom and clear but not harsh highs.
    The term used by Tom Bowlus is "singing" highs. Mea culpa counselor, but at the risk of [DEL]stealing[/DEL] borrowing terminology I really can't think of a better description.

    I've not had the opportunity to play the Meatsmoke, but from what I've gathered it's more "grindy". Probably closer to an SVT; a bit more mid centered and probably a better choice for grittier genres overall, although the Reeves takes pedals quite well I believe that it's probably naturally more articulate, clean and "hi-fi" than the Verellen.
    Not a "good" or "bad" judgment, just a different amp.

    UrsaMinor; although the C225 has holes in chassis that it shares with the C400, you can't just add another pair of KT88s to get more power. The entire circuit of the "big boy" Reeves is altered for more power, most notably the bigger transformers. This is a picture of the original prototype C225 next to the C400 prototype; look at the iron.


    The trannies are about twice the size in the big amp.
  19. UrsaMinor


    Jun 10, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks a lot Ed! I had a few people say that you could mod the amp, and add an extra pair of Kt88's, so I guess they were wrong. I apologize. On the other hand, the MS is definitely a more grindy amp, and would work well for a multitude of heavier genres.

    On the other end, would you lose any tone with using pedals with the Reeves? I wasn't sure if running them straight into the signal chain would disrupt any high, mids, or lows. I am trying to learn more about amps and EE in general, and I'd like to become more knowledgeable. I am not quite a beginner, but these two amps would be my first high end tube amp. I used to have a Mesa 400+, but sold it for financial reasons, and it wasn't exactly warm enough.