Rivera Amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by larryl, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. larryl

    larryl Supporting Member

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    I had a Fandango 2-12 that had over-the-top gain (for me). Tried a Chubster 55 112 and it had too much bottom end. I have an older (like new) Jake 112 coming tomorrow - I understand that it is more mellow.

    What Rivera combos have you used? And how to they compare with Top Hat, Dr. Z, Bogner, Bad Cat, etc.? Should I be using a 6L6 based amp instead of an EL34?

    I am seeking a mellow amp for home use that can get some creamy distortion AND clean. But NOT harsh over the top distortion and breakup. I hope my new Jake will be the ticket..

    Thanks,
     
  2. larryl

    larryl Supporting Member

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    Does ANYBODY use RIvera's?
     
  3. retrospex

    retrospex Member

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    I had a R-55 12 combo for about a year. It didn't have the low end. It was an EL34 that was bright. I liked it, actually, but was offered $200 more than I paid for it so I sold it. 6L6's are nice too.
     
  4. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Sounds like you are getting the right one.

    I have used Jake, Chubster, Clubster, Pubster, M60, M100, R100, Fandango, R55, R30, and Quiana combos.

    There is a general concensus that the Jake is the smooth one. The Fandango is more "modern" and has more gain than the Jake.

    Try the EL34s first. Messing around with the preamp tubes and speaker can make more sense. If you end up with 6L6 tubes in a Jake, maybe Quiana is a better amp for you. But usually people who go that way with Riveras use the clean channel and pedals. If you use the drive channel too, then sticking with EL34s tends to be what people end up doing.

    Comparing to other combos? I love Rivera Jake. But there are other combos I love:

    Fender Dual Professional
    Blues Pearl Verbrasonic 210
    Bogner Metropolis 30 Watt reverb 212

    I have quite a few heads that I would expect that I love the combo version, but I don't have them, that would be

    Demeter TGA-3
    Stephenson Reverb
    Louis Electric Tweed Twin

    I have a lot of other amps that I do not love as much as the Jake, but many of them are excellent.

    As always, there's a good deal of personal preference in here. You can find lots of guys here that like Dr. Z amps, but I am not one of them. I don't know how you would figure that in to predicting whether you will like what I like, but it's a fact.
     
  5. MattB

    MattB Member

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    Check out a Pubster 25, great lil EL34 amp for practice, but will work in a small gig situation as well.

    -MattB
     
  6. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    This site might have quite a bit of traffic but in the future you might want to wait a day or so before bumping a thread. :MMM
     
  7. Deaj

    Deaj Member

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    Congratulations! The Rivera Jake is a great amp. :dude

    I used a Rivera Jake combo as my main amp for a while and loved it! Great channel switcher and an excellent platform for pedalboard use! I prefer EL-34 powered Rivera's over the 6L6 models.

    I used a combination of the amps master volumes and a THD Hot Plate attenuator for low to medium volume playing - a little of both was better than alot of either. YMMV

    Enjoy! :)
     
  8. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Except it's a 6V6 amp. The Pubster '45 is the EL34 version. It's just as great, but not as little.
     
  9. mbutler

    mbutler Member

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    I don't see many posts about Rivera's here. I have a Knucklehead 55 (First Issue) that I have a love/hate relationship with. I really love the clean sounds, but the dirty channel always leaves me feeling like it should be better. I can't put my finger on it, but it doesn't deliver the way it should. It really doesn't do well for modern high gain stuff, which I find to be wierd. And the lower gain, Marshally kind of stuff is a little flat. I've been thinking about selling it, but I keep feeling there is better tone inside of it that somehow I'm not getting out. And again, I love the clean sound and can always put pedals in front of it.
     
  10. ccoker

    ccoker Supporting Member

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    my experience with riveras is to have the boost function always on on channel 1.. without it, it sounds flat like mbutler says...

    if you run the boost on and dial in to taste I find them to be able to have a really warm and fat overdrive...
    they are very sensitive to preamp tube changes

    I also find they take pedals well, I run an AC boost into the front of mine set to a slight level boost with a bit of bass boost as well

    it's ballsy and fat
     
  11. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    You might be happier with a Knucklehead Reverb, Knucklehead II, or the new Knucklehead Tre. Rivera has been concentrating on the "modern" sound a lot since the original Knucklehead series. I'm thinking I want to swap one of my KHRs for an original Knuckle.
     
  12. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    Mbutler,

    My Jake Studio is sensitive to tubes, (power and preamp) and bias settings, so I would certainly explore and research this avenue. If your tone seems a little "flat", it's probably a safe bet that tube/bias tweeking will get you where you want to be. You can pose this question on Rivera's new forum http://rivera.com/bbs/index.php and check out Richard's Rivera page for some tube guidance http://bellsouthpwp.net/r/i/ricjohns/Richard's%20Rivera%20Amplifier%20Page.htm.

    Based on what you describe, it may be worth while to install some new power tubes first. This would give you a good tonal baseline to then experiment with preamp tubes. A power tube swap woke up my Jake immensely. You can bias them yourself per Rivera's instructions with just a meter.

    Good luck,
    Scott L.
     
  13. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    I have been using one of the original K-55 heads since '99 and still really like it. I like the classic style gain it gets as opposed to the more modern stuff. I used to have a Jake and a Fandango, both of which were nice but not necessary for me. I found all three amps to be similar but ultimately settled on the K-55 with a sealed cab.

    In addition to that, I recently picked up a Tophat Club Royale and though I can dial both amps in for a good low-gain overdriven sound, the CR is quite a bit different and responds differently to my playing. Two great amps to have.

    You also mentioned Bogner. I think the Shiva's lead channel is along the lines of my Rivera's lead channel (gain-wise) but it sounds better.
     
  14. mbutler

    mbutler Member

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    I just ordered a new set of Svetlana's for my K55, so we'll see where that gets me. I'm not looking for a "Modern" sound at all, I just thouhgt it might have been designed for that. I'm hoping the tubes are going to make the difference. Thanks for all your replies.
     
  15. Kevan

    Kevan Member

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    I run a TBR-2SL, so....I'm out of the combo arena.
    :)

    It is, however, *the tone* for me...and it's got enough power. LOL
     
  16. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Member

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    I agree with this as well. I had a 1 12" Fandango and got pretty good Marshall/Fender vibes happening on the two channels. The way I dealt with the Marshall side was to run the boost at low volumes.

    Then I realized that my old Fender Pro did a better Fender than the Rivera and that I really wanted a Marshall. Sold the Rivera, bought a Marshall BB.

    Real happy now. :D

    I felt the Rivera was trying to do just too darn many things. But for clean, punchy headroom, they are fabulous amps.

    Jet
     
  17. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    I play riveras

    None of them are good apartment or bedroom amps... they just need to be cranked loud to sound good from my experience... although I have gotten decent results with an attenuator

    Riveras cut...never had a problem using them in a band situation

    They are sort of hi-fi sounding - Perfect if you want something versatile with a lot of options... not good if you're into simple & responsive
     
  18. Roe

    Roe Member

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    have anyone tried the duane eddy model (with 6550s)?
     
  19. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    i owned a chubster 40 for many years and liked it. it was great for open mics and rehearsals and could even keep up with a heavy handed drummer at smaller shows. while owning the chubster i ran across a bm60 combo for a great price. i couldn't pass it up and i am glad i didn't. i sold the chubster soon after as the bm60 was much more versatile. it can do anything. the clean channel can be glassy, punchy or slightly grindy. it maxes out in a very fender way without getting too gainy. the lead channel can do anything form there and on up. it starts at low gain marshall and goes up to modded marshall. the switchable fx loop (fx loop can be an "either channel" boost if set up right) and ninja boost (clean channel only) are great features. lots of pull pot options on both channels really let you fine tune your rig. one thing about riveras, it is VERY important to set the bias correctly. i have a friend who has an m100. he was not too fond of it until the bias was set properly. it makes a huge difference, trust me. there are instructions on the rivera site.




    i sure miss the rivera users group but oh well, can't have everything.
     

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