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Keep the stereotype alive just this once for me (Rivera question)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by alanfc, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    hi,
    I know there's alot of folks who get irritated with those who say a Rivera (in my case an R55 from 1993) is a "Marshall on one channel and a Fender on the other"... I'm not one of them , but:

    if you dare,
    for those of you who have used Marshalls,
    what does the R55-112 (or similar) , Channel 1 "British" sound like?
    I mean which Marshall, which era or series does it sound like, or remind you of??

    fyi I use mine with the internal speaker on, and on top of an upright 2x12 loaded with V30 and G12h30. So I have a little 1/2 of a 3/4 stack.

    thanks if you can:)
     
  2. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Ya know, the first channel of Rivera amps sounds nothing like a classic Marshall to me.
    I'm a huge fan of the Rivera's 2nd channel (Fender-like) and wish they made an amp w/ two of THAT channel.
    But to answer your question, I would say the closest Marshall would be something like the two-channel JCM800s, the Silver Jubilee (2555?), or even some early JCM900s.
    It's a much more gainy/bassy/less-articulate/modded sound to me than the single-channel JCM800s and before (JMP, plexi, JTM45... which the Fender side of the Rivera cops better).
    Just my quick impression based mostly on the M100 design.
     
  3. garfight

    garfight Member

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    ive had two m series amps and a knucklehead2 and have found that the marshall channel is alot harder to tweak than the fender channel.
    with my m100 i ended up with a 12at7 in v1 and sed 6550's in the power slots.with that tube setup it was best at copping jmp-jcm800 tones.turning down the gain knob and upping the power control would get it into jtm territory but not nail it per se.
    that being said i own an m60 right now and it is alot better with a 412 than it is with just the combo speaker - i dont think the combo cabs have enough resonance to get that beefy marshall thing going.
     
  4. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Channel 1 varies quite a bit from one Rivera to the next. Even closely related Rivera models, such as R55-112, Chubster '45 and Suprema, (which are essentially the same chassis in different boxes, different speakers), sound different because they have different voicings of Channel 1.

    The Rivera "pseudo Fender" is pretty Fender. And it's pretty consistent from one to the next.

    The Rivera "pseudo Marshall" is harder for me to place as a Marshall sound. It's not that hard to find Marshall plexis that don't sound like Marshall plexis, so maybe Paul Rivera has this plexi in the back of his shop which sounds exactly like some Rivera model channel 1, but I haven't heard that Marshall. I once A/Bed two plexi clones by well regarded builders and because they cloned plexis from about six months apart they ended up with completely different sounding clones. So you never know. I am not really surprised at whatever sounds come out of a Marshall

    Another point is that Rivera channel 1 sounds are very dependent on the settings - and you want to open the amp up a lot in many cases to get what's in there. But when you do, Riveras channel 1 usually have a roaring and grinding quality as opposed to a screaming or hissing quality. Sort of like a Harley Davidson as opposed to a Kawasaki Ninja. Paul Barrere uses the Rivera grind almost as a signature tone. It has aspects of Charles Earland's organ tone. If there is a characteristic channel 1 sound for Riveras, it's that when you bust them all the way open, you should get a big full throated roar with some growling from intermodulation.

    Some guys seem to come at the ideal Marshall tone as one which has all sorts of upper mid range hair. OK, well that's a sound. I actually find Demeter TGA-3 has the best flaming upper mids for my taste. I suppose some people find that a more Marshall sound that Rivera.

    If you want the exceptional Rivera amp to this, the Bonehead could be the one. Unlike most Riveras, it doesn't have that shiny dark black mirror Fender channel. It's more like opaque superbright dayglo colors. Very forceful and hot hairy and fuzzy. The people that like Marshalls with hairy upper mids might find Boneheads the Rivera that sounds the most Marshall to them.
     
  5. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    cool thanks for the detailed notes-
    Way back when I was shopping JCM 800 1x12 combo to place atop a 2x12, then when faced with many models and uncertainties about quality and buying off E-bay, I went to the Rivera. I can make it do whatever I want and I'm 100% satisfied.
    I was just curious because when I'm in the mood for changing around preamp tubes and trying new things, I don't see many posts on Riveras but =alot= on Marshalls...so I was just looking for a frame of reference..
    I use the dirty channel 1 about 80 % of the time in my band.
    Thanks again
     
  6. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I had a Fandango for a week or two. It didn't sound anything like any kind of Marshall to me. I was very disappointed in it. The dirt channel sounded a bit like a dimed Deluxe Reverb, but not as good.
     
  7. Roe

    Roe Member

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    ch. 1 has more gain than a old plexi. It's more suited for metal.
    I suppose that it might be simular to a late super lead or metal face (1969 and later).

    It's very different from a the early amps (jtm45, super amp etc.) and the later super bass amps.

    I think ch 1 sounds better with a strat than a LP or 335.
     
  8. ExtraStrength

    ExtraStrength Member

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    I had a Fandango for a couple of weeks also. I agree with GCDEF that the lead channel did not sound like a Marshall to me.

    I didn't keep it because the loudness between the boost and unboost was too great, making it difficult to work in the cover band I was in.
     
  9. SFW

    SFW Member

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    I've owned a few Riveras over the years. (M100, BM60 & K55) They all have different Ch1 tones. I'd say that the most "Marshall" of the bunch was the k55. It was somewhere between a plexi and JCM800 kinda vibe. I think the big thing to realize is that this is Paul's take on the "British" sound... not necessarily the Marshall sound. I find it to be more of an Orange type tone. Most Riveras are defiantly darker sounding than Marshalls. They record like a dream thoughÂ… which is what I love about them.
     
  10. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    I've got the older K-55 non-reverb from the '90s and agree with SFW. I can't really add much to the "is it Marshall or is it not" debate. It just sounds good. The newer Riveras that I've played seem a lot more modern and have more gain in the lead channels. My amp has some gain to it, but it seems more old-school than some of the higher gain amps I've demoed lately. Channel 2 seems more consistent across models. I also found that I had better luck making channel 2 sound like an old Marshall (or at least what I know of them).

    I've had my amp for over 6 years now and love it, but the one thing I've discovered is that I much prefer the head/cab route than their combos. I also owned a Jake and a Fandango and while both were fine amps, I wasn't as happy with those. If I were looking for an amp right now I'd buy a used Rake Reverb. Back in 1999, that's what I went back to the store to buy after demoing it, but it had sold so I took the K-55.
     
  11. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    The most common mod for Riveras is a pot that controls that volume. Rivera does that mod all the time. I think it should be standard on all the models.

    The "Ninja Boost" level doesn't make any sense for most players. But if you ever get a chance to dime the thing, then due to compression, the Ninja Boost level is actually just about right.

    OK, so apparently they picked these boost levels for when you can light your hair on fire. Makes some sort of sense, except nobody can do that very often any more. They ought to set the default boost levels lower. I've never heard anyone complain that they are too low, and a lot of people complain that they are too high.
     
  12. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    How much difference do you find between the Jake and the Rake Reverb? Or is it just the head/combo thing for you?
     
  13. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    That's true of a lot of Rivera models, but I think the Rake/Jake series are closer in terms of amount of gain. They don't sound like Marshall clones, but they don't have the increased gain of a lot of the more recent models.

    There are a few examples of 100 Watt versions of Rake Reverb heads, and the one I know about has extra headroom and very smooth gain.
     
  14. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    This is correct. The louder the amp is and the higher the preamp gain is set, the more the boost seems to fit. I find that if I set the pre-gain around 6.5-7, the boost fits. However, I leave the boost on all the time so it's not an issue for me. It's a crankin' sorta clean/sorta dirty rock and roll rhythm sound.

    The Jake is a cool amp and I should've kept it. I wasn't a fan of the open back design or the stock Celestian speaker. When I unplugged the internal speaker and ran it through the sealed Soldano 2x12 that I run the K-55 through, it was great. To my knowledge the Jake and Rake Reverb are identical circuits.

    FWIW, I've seen a few Rake Reverbs come through our own Emporium recently, but I had no cash. $800 for an amp of that caliber is a good deal, IMO.
     
  15. blong

    blong Supporting Member

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    I own a Rivera Rake head, 55 watts, no reverb. The heads w/out reverb have a Focus knob that tightens up the bottom end.

    I love my Rake. I used to love a Bassman 135 head for clean tones and a Marshall JCM 800 for dirty, and I liked to kick it over the top with a decent distortion pedal, I liked the MXR , but would now use some other if I had the amps.

    Then I bought a Rake. It made the other two amps unnecessary. The Fender channel is great and the knobs actually work on a Rivera, so you can get all sorts of Fender tones from tweed to blackface and beyond. You just gotta play with it and lose the idea of traditional settings for your tone knobs. I have a hard time turning the bass way down on most amps and then turning the treble up. On the Rake that works. I love the versatility.

    On channel 1, I can get many different Marshall-esque tones. It is better than some marhsalls I have heard, and not as good as a very few exceptional ones. There is so much variation between some of the old amps of the same make/manufacture that it is hard to say whether they are Marshall-y enough or not.

    Play with the settings. Go to Scobro's Rivera page and try some of his settings, or download the Fandango or knucklehead manuals and try some of those settings for starters and go from there. I like my Rake better than most marshalls I have heard, and it can go form jtm to jcm, and everything in between.

    I don't have any preconceived notions as to what a true marshall tone is b/c the tones are all over the place. I can get most of those tones from my Rake b/c I am willing to turn the knobs and try settings most would never try.

    I have never tried an R-55, but I like the Fandango, Quiana, Rake, M-60, and Knuckleheads and think you can get great marshall-esque tones from the Rake, M-60 and Knucklehead. The Fandango can get there also, you gotta tame it down, though. Turn the gain down some and the master up, and you can get some good tones.

    I did not like channel one on a suprema. It was my least favorite, and it sounded nothing like a marhsall.

    If you can find a Rake or M-60, I would buy one.

    Bob
     

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