Rivera Chubster vs. Jake (harsh gain?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by AlexK, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. AlexK

    AlexK Member

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    I have a Rivera Chubster 55 currently and it's ok but the distortion on channel 1, even when set pretty low for a mild overdrive, sounds a little too harsh for me. I just can't dial it out, that midrange growl. The gain on channel 2 sounds pretty good to me, but I LOVE the clean on that channel.

    How does channel 1 on the Jake sound? I've heard it referred to as the smoothest Rivera, but does it still have that midrange harshness? I've read so many glowing reviews of it by riveratoasters that I can't help but be curious.

    I love the versatility of these amps and they have all the features I'm looking for...I just wish there wasn't that harshness on channel 1.

    Thanks,
    Alex
     
  2. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    What preamp tubes have you tried in the Chubster? I don't find the Rake at all harsh but I don't recall hearing that in the Chubster, either.
     
  3. ccoker

    ccoker Supporting Member

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    to my ears, the old Rake non reverb head with focus control is the sweetest
    I have owned 2 of them and want another, I have had 2 R30s, a Fandango 55 2x12, and a Chubster 40. (as well as a ton of other amps)

    one thing, they have a lot of mid potential, I run mine down around 3 or so if I have the boost on...

    it's a very active eq, so, a TINY twist on the knob can be all the difference in the world
    you really have to balance out mid, treble and presence controls

    try setting the all to 3 and slowing bring them up and listen carefully to what each does to the overall tone... then dial to taste

    one thing to do is off the V30 speaker in it.. upper mid peak that is grating to my ears after about 10 minutes of playing

    try different preamp tubes as well and even 6l6s instead of the el34s
     
  4. AlexK

    AlexK Member

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    I've tried Sovtek WA's, Tung-Sol's, JJ's and most recently EH's. I've also replaced the Sovtek EL34's with EH's and rebiased on the hot side. Channel 1 still had that harshness. I find the channel pretty dark, so I want to bring up the treble AND the mid, but the mid just makes it even harsher. I've tried lowering the mids quite a bit too, but I couldn't get it to sound right.

    Ccoker, what did you mean about your speaker comment? Did you mean replace it?

    Another thing I've noticed is that this channel feels kind of stiff to me. I guess I'd say it's "unforgiving." Would you say that the Jake is the same way?

    To give you an idea of the gain character I'm looking for, I have a '79 Marshall JMP 2203 that I just love. I LOVE it's lower gain break-up and higher gain sound if I boost it. It does everything I want except for channel switching (plus, just the head is heavy as hell, not to mention the 4X12 I have).

    Thanks a lot,
    Alex
     
  5. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    The Jake is smoother than the Chubster '40. I have both, have had them both for a long time. Over the years, the Chubster '40 has grown on me a little, but not enough to displace the Jake. I also have a Rake Reverb, and a 100 Watt Rake Reverb. Rake/Jake is the smoothest Rivera Channel 1 there is, except for the 100 Watt version of the Rake Reverb (which is unusual). It sounds to me like you are exactly looking for a Jake.

    There is an outside chance that you would prefer a Quiana, but the ones I've come across do not sell me on that. (My brother just played one yesterday that he is really high on so I'll go out there and try that someday, but not right away.)

    You can get around some of the harshness of the Chubster by swapping preamp tubes. Try Chinese preamp tubes to brighten the amp, then you can take the tonestack down a little.

    Another thing to think about is cranking the power section up. They smooth out a little when you do that. You can attenuate them a little to pull the volume back down.

    But I noticed this right away with my Chubster, and spoke to Rivera about it. It's there, and it's there on purpose, they wanted a bit more gain and a more modern sound. Probably there is a mod that could help it out, but since I have lots of amps to go with, I left the Chubster as it is. Sometimes you want harsh.

    If you can't get Jake or Rake, Fandango is not out of the question, but it has some of that hard edge in it's Channel 1. Rivera appears to have "modernized" the whole product line with the Fandango/Quiana/Suprema/Chubster/etc. stuff, as well as the current type Knuckleheads.

    One thing that might not have your feature set, but some people really like is to take the R30/112 and run it into an external cabinet. It has an older and lower gain voicing.
     
  6. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Ever run 6L6s in your Rake? I didn't do that yet. I have heard 6L6s in other Rivera models (especially Knucklehead Reverb) and although Channel 2 gets a little advantage, to my ear Channel 1 gets a bit brittle with 6L6s.

    On the other hand, messing with the preamp tubes makes all sorts of sense to me in the case at hand.
     
  7. ccoker

    ccoker Supporting Member

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    never did the 6l6 with the rake

    to the original poster:

    have you tried running it into a different cab?

    that makes such a HUGE difference in tone and feel

    I have always felt Riveras are some of the most forgiving amps
    not as over compressed as Mesas are but still "easy" to play

    I have owned a bunch of Mesa stuff, the last one being a Tremoverb head like 10 years ago..

    My Rake head replaced a modded Soldano HR50, it was love at first note, so much warmer and sweeter..


    Riveratoasters:
    I have read that Rivera will mod an existing amp like an R30 to "rake" voicing..

    any details on that?

    I thought the Fandango would be killer, focus AND reverb, but it was harsher sounding...

    the focus control on the original Rake head(s) I had was the **** in terms of getting the right feel and amount of attack out of the amp/cab setup

    I have a Buzzbomb 2x12 coming in in a few weeks to run the R30 I have into..
    going to turn it into a head, I have'nt fell in love with the 2x12 combo cab I have for it
     
  8. AlexK

    AlexK Member

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    Well, I just bought a Jake off of Ebay so I guess I'll find out soon enough. I'll try to get rid of the Chubster soon after the Jake comes in.

    I haven't tried the Chubster through another cabinet. I have a '78 marshall 1982A that I can try though. I'll definitely try going with some Chinese 12AX7's (in both the Chubster and Jake). Hopefully the brightness will help me. Thanks for that recommendation

    If I don't like the Jake, I think I'll have to give up on Rivera's.

    Thanks for the help everyone!

    -Alex
     
  9. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    Some good suggestions. I've voiced Channel 1 in my 1x12 Jake Studio 55 the following ways:

    When experimenting with preamp tubes, I would try one low gain tube in either of the first three preamp slots. I put a 12AT7 in V2, which significantly reduced any buzziness on Channel 1. Still has a great overdrive, but with smoother distortion at the high end. Also, the Rivera doesn't need "high gain" preamp tubes anyway IMO, unless your going for a more metal or Mesa sound.

    A Celestion for a Marshall is not going to sound the same as a Celestion in Rivera, so don't worry if your not getting your tone with the highly acclaimed V30. A speaker with great "chime" in one amp is brittle harshness in another. If the preamp tube change doesn't work (which I think it should), I'd experiment with a different speaker. If it were me, I'd go with a more american voicing as opposed to a Marshall/Vox voicing. In my Jake, I configured it to a 2x10 combo, and have had both American (CTS alnicos) and British (Weber 10F150/Blue pup alnico) setups. The CTSs are so sweet in this setup, but can be a compromise if you need gig volume without PA support. The Weber setup works well for gigging volume-wise, but it can get midrangy/buzzy if you try to push the preamp overdrive.

    Good luck,
    Scott L.
     
  10. AlexK

    AlexK Member

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    Scott,

    Thanks a lot for the ideas. I'll definitely try and get some 12AT7's to experiment with. Do you have any favorites that are in production right now?

    I'll look into the CTS's also. The volume won't be an issue since I'll only use this amp when gigging at venues with decent PA's. If there's no PA I still plan on bringing out my Marshall half stack.

    Thanks again,
    Alex
     
  11. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    Your welcome Alex. I'll be honest, I'm not a tube connoisseur. I've used both a used Phillips and GE in that slot with the same results. I believe that the lower gain of the 12AT7 is the important thing.

    The CTSs that I used were 10s from my Super Reverb, so a CTS in a 12" format may or may not be the trick. If I were you, you may try running your Chubster/Jake through different 12" cabs or combos with single 12" and connect it with a female/female adapter, or you could take a chance and get a Eminence 12" Patriot style speaker. Bottom line is that you can dial some of that midrange harshness out by getting away from a Marshall voiced speaker.

    Good luck,
    Scott L.
     
  12. AlexK

    AlexK Member

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    Thanks Scott. One more thing I forgot to mention is that the seller says there's no triode/pentode switch. That seems pretty weird....has anyone heard of or seen a Jake without this feature?

    -Alex

    edit: just heard back from the seller and it appears to have been a typo.
     
  13. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

     
  14. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    I'm a long time Rivera user and have run into folks that don't like certain things about the lead channel. I don't find that with my K-55 head, but I did own a Jake for awhile and DID think it sounded a little harsher than my K-55. I blamed the speaker though because the Jake sounded fine when I ran it through the same sealed Soldano 2x12 that I use with my K-55. From what I've heard, the next owner of my old Jake hated the lead channel. When I owned it, I always wondered about swapping the Celestian, but moved it on instead.

    I prefer the Riveras in a head format with sealed cabs, no question about it.
     
  15. AlexK

    AlexK Member

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    Guys, you're not making me feel good....;)

    I'd say the Chubster is usable, but I'm always looking for the next best thing. Hopefully the Jake will be better. I won't be losing too much money by trading the Jake in for the Chub as I got the Chub used for a decent price.

    If the Jake is just a little smoother than the Chub, I think I'll be happy. I'll just have to wait and see about the Jake.

    I've actually tried my Chub with a hotplate (16ohm version, Chub is 8ohms) and I wasn't that happy with it (tried all attenuation settings). I LOVE the hotplate with my JMP.

    Thanks guys,
    Alex
     
  16. dinrodef

    dinrodef Guest

    Alex,

    One more thing I just thought of...

    This may seem kind of insignificant... but I really like the way my KHR and my sedona sounds when I'm running about 20-24 foot of instrument cable. When I only use a 12 foot and plug straight in - it sounds too bright and harsh. My current setup is a 12 foot cable into a peterson tuner and then another 12 foot to the amp or I just use a single 20 foot cable to the amp with the peterson in the efx loop. THe extra length darkens the signal and smooths out my overdrive in a way I could never dial in exactly at the amp.

    My cables are monster pro1000 which people often complain are too dark.. But for my Riveras they work great.
     
  17. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    No I don't know if Rivera will mod an existing amp to Rake voicing. But it would be very nice if they would do it to an R30.

    They made the Fandango harsher than the Jake in the name of the added gain. The 100 Watt Fandango is a little smoother than the lower Watt one to my ear.
     
  18. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    Some of them are like that. Not all of them. It seems to me that the new ones are much more likely to be harsh than the older ones.
     
  19. AlexK

    AlexK Member

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    Thanks riveratoasters, that's what I was hoping to hear. I definitely went for the Jake based on your many reccomendations that I read after using the search function, so this purchase is on your head ;)

    But seriously, I'm pretty sure I'm going to love this amp.

    Thanks,
    Alex
     

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