A "must have" for small combo owners

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by stratzrus, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    I realized after reading some responses to a post yeaterday that not everyone is familiar with the Rivera Sub 1.

    The person who posted the thread was asking for suggestions regarding how to get a sound like a Deluxe Reverb but "bigger".

    When I put a Sub 1 under my BFDR, all of the tonal characteristics of the amp remain intact, but it sounds more solid and larger. Clean headroom and overall volume are increased since the Deluxe does not have to produce power hungry low frequencies. When coupled together the volume falls between a Super Reverb and a half-stack. The gain tones when pushed are gorgeous.

    Two things are important to getting the most out of the Sub 1. It is most effective with open back combos; adding one to a 4x12 yields questionable results (and I prefer the sound of the Sub 1 to the Sub 2 which is a real backbreaker weight-wise).

    Secondly, they must be set up properly. Fortunately set up is a piece of cake and can be done in less than two minutes. All you have to do is dial in your ideal tone with the sub off, then while playing low notes have some one turn the trim knob on the sub up and down until you hear an improvement that sounds natural (hint: less is more. I tweak it until it sounds good and then back it off just a hair). Play through it for a while and then turn it off and hear the difference. Unbelievable.

    For anyone who has a 25 watt or less combo, this is a "must try out" if not a "must have". At bedroom levels it makes all of the difference in the world. You know how on most amps you have to turn up the volume a bit to get a full sound? The Sub 1 allows you to get a full sound at home or on stage with lower volume.

    I highly recommend trying one for yourself if you're an open back combo player. I wouldn't consider doing a paying gig without one.

    I'm not affiliated with Rivera (or any other manufacturer) but wanted to share info about the best screwdriver in my toolbox. IMO it's the best/most innovative amp Rivera has ever made.

    Available used on eBay for $450-$600.

    http://www.rivera.com/powsub1.php

    stratzrus
     
  2. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    I agree that they sound great, and for a fixed installation like a bedroom there's no reason not to go that way.

    But they do add a lot of weight (55lbs.) to a small combo rig.
     
  3. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    I agree they're not light, but I picked up a folding hand cart from Target for $10 and bungee the Sub 1 and Deluxe Reverb to it and it's fine, even for stairs.

    I don't haul it around just to jam, but when it's for the money, the Sub 1 is always in tow.

    stratzrus
     
  4. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Like I said - I agree. No question that the Sub 1 does the job. It's just a question of whether carrying it is convenient.
     
  5. JohnnyL

    JohnnyL Member

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    Got one-Love it!

    I first tried the Rivera K312(Sub1 and 2-12s in one cab) but opted for a Sub 1 and K212 instead for versatility and back pain prevention. I use the sub with my Knucklehead Reverb and Marshall JCM800.

    You don't know what you're missing until you've tried a sub!

    Take Care,

    Johnny
     
  6. Shamus

    Shamus Supporting Member

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    Sounds like it's guaranteed to piss off your bass player.. :rotflmao
     
  7. Cap'n Fingers

    Cap'n Fingers Member

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    How does it prevent the DR from having to produce lows?
    That doesn't make sense to me. The DR's functionality
    shouldn't be changed be adding an external cab.
    Am I missing something?
     
  8. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    I'm not sure, but I think he means that you can dial the bass way down at the amp since the Sub will be producing more than the amp is capable of anyway.
     
  9. Cap'n Fingers

    Cap'n Fingers Member

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    Ahhh. I'm walkin' what he's talkin' now.

    In that respect I imagine the the issue with
    flab in the bottom end would be greatly
    improved. No need for a Ayan Smooth & Slim?
    If anyone has used the Ayan S&S with a Sub1
    let us know what you thought.
     
  10. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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  11. Terry Hayes

    Terry Hayes Member

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    Not if you set it up correctly, as described by stratzrus.

    Terry
     
  12. Giraffecaster

    Giraffecaster Member

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    doesn't that defeat the purpose of a "small combo"?

    Why not just get a 15 inch extension speaker in a closed back cab? Or better yet run it through the PA if you have to gig?

    I can see it being useful if you need "chunk" or deep lows when drop tuning.
     
  13. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    Exactly. I don't have to turn the bass on the amp way down, but turning it down at all (1 to 2.5 numbers on the dial) helps a lot. As Fingers suggested later, it dramatically reduces flab...the bottom is solid and tight.



    For many of us, the purpose of using a small combo is to get power tube breakup at lower volumes. The price we often pay is a bottom end that lacks impact, particularly with an open back combo.

    A fifteen inch speaker in a closed back cab would produce a different sound, would not be as "transparent", would be larger, and still would not produce the solid bottom end (as opposed to extended lower midrange) that the Sub 1 does.

    As you suspect it's great for chunk, but excels at making everything from Jazz and Blues, to Classic Cock sound more satisfying at all, but especially at lower, volume levels. To me, that's its real gift.



    Terry is right, there is no need to have competing frequences with the bass player. If you do, and muddyness results, you have the trim knob on the Sub 1 set too high.

    Bass on the combo is usually between 3.5 and 5 maximum, lower at higher volumes. Once you have the Sub 1 dialed in for a given amp it's a "set it and forget it". It will track perfectly by just making fine adjustments with the bass knob on your combo.

    Interestingly, I was jamming once with some friends and the bass player was playing an import through a small combo and he was playing slap. The bottom end was nowhere to be found, so I turned the Sub 1 up a little (really just tweaked the bass knob on my amp) and laid down a single string vamp on the low E underneath him.

    It sounded great, and he was happy because it allowed him to indulge flights of fantasy without having to perform the duty of holding down the bottom. There's no conflict if you don't want one.

    I know that they are hard to locate in stores, but for those who are able to try one out, I assure you it's worth the effort.

    stratzrus
     
  14. HeyMrTeleMan

    HeyMrTeleMan Colonel of Truth Gold Supporting Member

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    I went in to a Rivera dealer today and he indicated that they may produce the Sub 1 again. He used to stock them a long time ago, but they'd sit in inventory and no one would buy them. In the end, he GAVE away the last one!!! Maybe Rivera needed our stratzrus to market them for them;^)

    Now that would be cool; working for a great company that makes great products and cares about it's employees. Sort of like mine;^) What a concept:^)

    I really want to hear the Sub 1. Anyone here in Atlanta have one? Can I listen?;^)

    Steve
     
  15. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    I've experienced the thin bottom end on some combos but not on all. My reference for a good combo (even though the amp isn't the best) is a Yamaha DG 1x12 combo. I've used it as a cab for various tube amps and lack of bottom end was never an issue, in fact I sometimes felt I could use less.

    Still, I'm interested in trying a subwoofer with a guitar amp. Unfortunately there's no Rivera dealer in Finland so I was wondering if I could use the BK XLS200 powered subwoofer (intended for hifi stereo use) I have with my amp? It has a 10" 4 ohm speaker in it.
     
  16. cpsdawg

    cpsdawg Member

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    the best "must have" i have seen for small amps if the sound enhancer. i built one, so it's probably not "tuned" exactly right, but it points that amp at your head and is rediculous how much it fattens up the tone and does not get in the way of the bass player. simple idea and works. does add something else to tote around, but since it makes a big difference, can't possibly tear up and is safer than any other "amp stand" it gets my vote.
     
  17. OOG

    OOG Member

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    i was thinking Enhancer while reading through this thread then i came to the last post
    it costs less, weighs less, and is very effective
    you owe it to yourself to try one
    i've no affilation either
    btw
    i love subs
    i've known Paul since the '70s and think he designs brilliant gear
     
  18. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Supporting Member

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    They originally sold for around $1,200, but they can be had on eBay for $450-$600.

    I'm sorry to hear that they have been discontinued; that will make it harder to find one to try out.

    stratzrus
     

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