Rivera Chubster vs Fandango

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by DreamTheaterRules, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs Silver Supporting Member

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    I played a Fandango a few months back and was blown away buy it. Seemingly ANY clean tone you wanted was availble, and the gain channel just killed. But they seem to stay just out of my price range.

    The Chubster appears to be almost the same, but Paul describes the OD channel as being more vintage crunch vs. modern high gain for the Fandango. I'm seeing Chubsters go in my price range, but I'm afraid to pull the trigger without hearing the difference. I figure I can use a pedal to get high gain.

    For reference, I have a strat, PRS, Satch, Wolfgang and play everything from Trower, Hendrix and SRV, to Megadeth, Whitesnake, Van Halen, and Zeppelin, Ozzie, Dream Theater, etc. So clean to blues to classic to metal to modern.

    Who has compared the two, and can give me a good description of the differences? How much gain does the Chub have? Can the OD channel easily be goosed to high gain on the CHubster with a good OD? I have OCD, KOTB, Tube Zone, Blues Pro, etc...
     
  2. TSTALEY

    TSTALEY Member

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    I'm considering the chubster also.Were did you get to play the Fandango,I don't see any RIVERA dealers in cincy.

    I've been playing a Supersonic for a few years and I'm ready for a change.I really don't need super high gain but I'd like to know how well the chubster takes pedals.
    Their website does'nt say anything about an effects loop,so I asume it does'nt have a loop?

    Not trying to highjack your thread,just interested inthe same amp.
     
  3. diddlybo

    diddlybo Member

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    I've owned a Fandango, two Chubsters, two r-30s and a Suprema.To my ears, all these amps have very similar tones, with a few differences here and there. The gain of the Fandango wasn't that much different from the Chubster to me. The Fandango might have a little more gain on tap but not much. They are both in the JCM800 camp, IMO.

    The fandango also has a "scoop" pull switch on the high gain channel for more modern tones, a global "focus" control to tighten or loosen the feel of the amp and usually has a higher quality speaker. The stock Chubster speaker gets farty at high volumes.

    If you liked the sound of the Fandango, you'll probably like the Chubster. You just won't have quite as much flexability.

    As for the effects loop, they both have loops but only the Fandango's has level controls.
     
  4. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs Silver Supporting Member

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    hey, I just got it and you've been pretty hard to get ahold of lately! :)

    Diddly, thanks for the info. I'd probably replace the speaker anyway, and have 3 different external cabs I can use it with. And yes, I know that feature-wise, I'd be giving up a few things with the Chub, but if I'm getting most of it, that's probably good enough.

    Tstaley, there are no dealers around us. (Where are you in the Nati?) I had one that Guitartone (above) bought and got to check it out before I shipped it off to South Africa for him.
     
  5. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    The Chubster to my ears is more old school sounding. Has plenty of gain but more "raw" sounding. In other words not the smoothest sounding OD. It can be smoothed out with a boost pedal though. It also doesnt have FX level controls. The loop works well enough unless you push the volume (specifically the pre amp volume) too loud-it will overdriven pedals into distortion.
    If I were to think about another Rivera I'd definately want one of the more feature laden models.For the price (1400$) it leaves a lot of stuff to "work around". plus putting a 70/80 speaker in such an expensive amp is almost criminal.
    Of coarse you can get a much better deal on a used Rivera which would make one more appealing. JMO Bob
     
  6. Flameout12

    Flameout12 Member

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    Yep...you can find a used Fandango for $1400.

    I have an old R-55...takes ODs well...I actually like this better than trying to get the amp to do all the gain. With a booster pedal, I can use it more like a 3rd channel/lead boost.

    I also have moved on from the G12T speaker. I think the WGS V-30 beats it up and down and sounds great with a Rivera.
     
  7. TSTALEY

    TSTALEY Member

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    Dream, I live in Milford and work in Montgomery.

    Thanks for the input on the chubster.If I we're to pull the trigger on this amp can anyone recommend a good online dealer.I called musicianfriend they got them instock.Anywere els I might be able to get a better deal?
     
  8. Flameout12

    Flameout12 Member

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    I still buy from MF...you can return it if you don't like it...just have to pay the shipping. Hard to beat. But you still might get a better deal searching e-Bay or just the net for a used one.
     
  9. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs Silver Supporting Member

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    Tstaley, I work in Milford, live in Blanchester. There aren't any dealers anywhere near us. Might have to take a road trip some time. LOL

    I've heard good things about the lower models as well. One guy who had owned a Chubster, Clubster 45, Clubster 25 and R30 said that they all sounded very similar overall. The Clubster series has only two preamp tubes, compared to 5 for the Chub and Fandango. But he (currently owned all the above) said he could sit and get most of the tones out of the Clubsters that he could with the Chubster. I just didn't want to give up that many features. If so, a used Clubster 25 Doce' would appeal to me.

    I do have pedals that could take any of these into high gain even with the clean channel, but that's not what I want. I want an amp with a great clean channel, and a great OD channel. I don't have a problem taking that channel higher for solos, or just adding more gain for high gain stuff, if it's very good and at least medium high gain.
     
  10. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Buy it used. The resale is dramatically lower. I paid 1400$ for my Chubster and figured I'd be able to sell it for 900$ quickly a few months later but I was mistaken. Most wanted to offer 750-800$. I decided to keep it! Bob
     
  11. TSTALEY

    TSTALEY Member

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    Wow,small world.I've been on the amp hunt for a while just can't decide on what to get.I was thinking about a Budda but lately I've been gassing for the chubster.From what I've read here it might be a little more of the old school Marshall sound and the clean is more Fender sounding,which is originally why I bought the supersonic.



    So which RIVERA are you leaning more towards? the chubster,clubster or fandango.
     
  12. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Former Lyricist for Calhoun Tubbs Silver Supporting Member

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    If business was better, I'd have a Fandango already. But due to price difference, I'll probably end up with a Chubster
     
  13. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    My Chubster has level controls on the FX loop.
     
  14. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Must be a new thing or special order? Mine doesnt have em. Bob.
     
  15. Brian G

    Brian G Member

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    I have a blond Fandango, 2-12. I purchased it new, and at the time I felt it just had way more going for it than the lesser-cost Rivera's. IMO, the level controls on the loop are a big deal - you can use them to get good tone from the amp at lower volumes, and also to control gain-staging with effects in the loop.

    Also, the amp is just so damn flexible, in how many different types of tones you can get out of it.

    If you want a bit more "vintage" character from it, try putting Philips JAN 5751's in V1 & V2. If you thought the cleans were good before, this takes them to a different level. But you give up a bit of aggressiveness on the distortion side, easily made up if you have pedals in front. I prefer the amp overall with the 5751's, but I also don't care about heavy distortion. The boost still brings in more gain than I need.

    I had it up for sale a few months ago, but pulled back.

    Brian
     
  16. strangec

    strangec Supporting Member

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    I've got a Knucklehead Reverb 55 1x12 Combo. Cool amp. Hada R30 too. You'll be happy with a Rivera.
     
  17. TSTALEY

    TSTALEY Member

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    I just watched a video on youtube on the chubster and it says the 55 watt version has the send and return levels but the 40 watt does'nt.
     
  18. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Again my chubster doesnt-wish it did. They would really come in handy when the pre amp starts overdriving the affects. Bob
     
  19. rongtr

    rongtr Member

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    I have the 55 with the level controls, and it works great with my Boss DD5 and CE2 in the loop. I can use the return control for an overall master volume as well.
     
  20. Lt_Core

    Lt_Core Supporting Member

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    I have a Chubster 40 and I never notice any issues with my pedals in the loop being overdriven. I used to have a Mesa F-50 and I always had the effects loop level all the way up. I have the following in the effects loop:

    Digitech Chorus Factory
    Boss DD-20
    MI Audio Boost N' Buff (I use it as clean boost in the loop)
    MXR KFK 10-band EQ for tone sculpting

    DreamTheaterRules is a good friend of mine and desperately wants a Rivera of some kind, after he played GuitarTone's Fandango. I've told him the Chubster is a killer amp. To get a more modern tone I use an MI Audio Blues Pro to push the OD channel for extra distortion. I've been gigging with my Chubster for about 8 months now, around 4 gigs a month. It's a very versatile little combo with a ton of power but sounds great at lower volumes as well. Here are my other pedals in regular input chain:

    Boss TU-2 tuner
    MI Audio Blues Pro
    BYOC Mighty Mouse (killer Rat clone)
    EVH Phase 90

    I'd like to try a different speaker in my Chubster but am not sure what to try. I play in a rock cover band, so I'm guessing a Vintage 30 or something like that. Any ideas?
     

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