Customs: BOSS 35 vs Reaver Citadel

Wurkkos

Dr. Spaceman

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Jan 30, 2020
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Hi folks,
I’m planning on taking the plunge into customs in the next few months, and have been doing as much research as I can on various makers. I’ll probably only be buying one truly high end custom light (he says to himself naively, as though he doesn’t have a crippling addiction to expensive gear), and have mostly narrowed it down to two options:

The BOSS 35 and the Reaver Citadel. Oveready is a more established operation, and there is far more information about them online in terms of specs, configurations, reviews, etc. By comparison I’m having a very hard time learning about Reaver’s lights. But WOW, the look of the Reaver really does it for me.

Do any of you more experienced folks have some thoughts? Thanks!
 

Thetasigma

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Assuming triples hit the spot for you, in terms of performance the BOSS series is hands down the winner, extremely efficient driver with up to 30W output, wide voltage range, programmability, built in temp sensor, auxiliary LED which doubles as a bounce sensor and optical programmer. The BOSS depend on your battery pack can support 1x18350, 2x18350 or 1x18650.

The Citadel if I'm remembering correctly runs a Dragon which is an FET driver with some mode group options and supports a triple MCPCB with an aux channel of LEDs. The kicker here is to preserve the beautiful form factor and slender waist, it uses a 16340. Single 16340s driving a triple array is a rather anemic setup both due to output and capacity limitations. If the 16340 limitation doesn't bother you, then it is a wonderfully executed light aesthetically and people are generally happy with the Dragon driver.
 

peter yetman

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I have only had experiences with OR, and can thoroughly recommend them to you.
Their engineering is second to none, and their after sales service is exemplary.
Running a high powered light on a 16340 is, as Theta says, problematic.
I've just built a Nichia Triple running on a 16340 and I'm getting about 40 minutes at about 300 lumens. A boss at full power will drain a 18350 pretty quickly, and they have half as much capacity again as a 16340.
Have fun choosing.
P
 

badtziscool

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Assuming triples hit the spot for you, in terms of performance the BOSS series is hands down the winner, extremely efficient driver with up to 30W output, wide voltage range, programmability, built in temp sensor, auxiliary LED which doubles as a bounce sensor and optical programmer. The BOSS depend on your battery pack can support 1x18350, 2x18350 or 1x18650.

The Citadel if I'm remembering correctly runs a Dragon which is an FET driver with some mode group options and supports a triple MCPCB with an aux channel of LEDs. The kicker here is to preserve the beautiful form factor and slender waist, it uses a 16340. Single 16340s driving a triple array is a rather anemic setup both due to output and capacity limitations. If the 16340 limitation doesn't bother you, then it is a wonderfully executed light aesthetically and people are generally happy with the Dragon driver.

THIS!!

It's all about your end goal, really. If your #1 priority is the look of the light and all other factors secondary, then obviously the Citadel should be your choice considering that you really love its looks. I'm sure it has a really good hand feel and makes it nice to fidget with. It's a quality I value in a light. I have a BOSS, and it's my number one used light, but it's because the secondary led is low enough for me to use when I change diapers or tend to sick kids in the night, or go to the bathroom and I just don't want to blast my eyes out. I find that the dragon driver and secondary leds (even in red) are too bright for night adjusted eyes.

But we warned. This is how the rabbit hole starts. You get into one type of light and then get curious about others and get into those then discover new attributes of the hobby and then game over.
 

Dr. Spaceman

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Jan 30, 2020
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Thanks for the input so far! I hadn’t considered the power limitations of the Citadel, that does seem like an odd choice on their part. I would love to pick up a single emitter light from them though!

As far as the rabbit hole goes, I’m new to flashlights but I’m not new to expensive gear collecting so...yeah. I know what’s ahead of me and I’m *hoping* to cut it off at the pass by getting something really nice early in the game. I’m into watches and custom knives so I’m afraid for my banks account to say the least.
 

badtziscool

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As far as the rabbit hole goes, I’m new to flashlights but I’m not new to expensive gear collecting so...yeah. I know what’s ahead of me and I’m *hoping* to cut it off at the pass by getting something really nice early in the game. I’m into watches and custom knives so I’m afraid for my banks account to say the least.

I refuse to go down the knife path. Luckily my main priorities with knives is practicality and actual usage, so it doesn't make sense for me to get into the nice and pretty stuff, but dang it, some of the foldable cleavers are just irresistable.

Good luck with your venture into the lighting hobby. I find it to be an exciting one if you're into techno geeky stuff and/or machining, design, and engineering.
 

Ozythemandias

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Jan 4, 2017
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Great comments here, I have nothing much to add but I do want to say one thing.

The concerns about 16340 powering a triple are only concerns on direct drive channels. With regulated modes the triple is more efficient than a single.
 

RedLED

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Dr.,

Welcome to custom flashlights! They are really something to have, and for myself, hold on to and use daily. I love the world of custom flashlights, however, I was buying custom knives before, and I found, and still find the vast majority of them very disappointing.

Best of luck,

RL
 

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