Rivera Venus Recording - any impressions?

stan p

Member
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1,440
I am looking for experiences and opinions on this interesting purple beast - Rivera Venus Recording. Specifically - how well does it work for lead tones. Thank you, Stan
 

KatTrix

Member
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10
8 months later I finally see this post. Perhaps you’ve already gotten one, but I’ll chime in anyway:
I am truly amazed by this amp. In fact, I just bought another one so that I can use one for stage and leave the other one at home for recording or just playing with headphones. I have a 100-watt Fandango 2x12, and I think this little 25-watt purple head sounds better. Lead tones are just like the Fandango, only more “there” if you know what I mean. I guess that’s because it saturates faster, but it’s easy to control. If you don’t use a speaker, it takes a bit more dialing in to get your sound, but I’ve used it direct in the studio and was quite happy with it. On stage I run it into a single 12-inch Eminence Cannabis Rex but I like knowing I can go speaker-less if need be. I don’t know why the Rivera brand isn’t more popular, especially this particular amp.
 

Bluewail

Tone curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,006
I have the earlier Venus Deux 1x12 without all the recording goodies. Killer amp. Amazing headroom for a 2-6v6 amp. HUGE range in the tone controls so you can dial in a lot of different tones. Unlike a DR, the top end is sweet and the bass is nice and punchy. As a result it’s a killer pedal platform. I did replace the short reverb tank with a full-size one which worked out nicely. Only other nit-pik is it’s heavier than a DR but the tone is well worth it. These are way under the radar and well worth trying out.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,145
I am looking for experiences and opinions on this interesting purple beast - Rivera Venus Recording. Specifically - how well does it work for lead tones. Thank you, Stan
I'm kinda interested in this series of amps as I dig the tonal sculpting options on rivera amps (if they are all still the same i.e with the push pull mid and boosts etc).
 
Messages
2,145
8 months later I finally see this post. Perhaps you’ve already gotten one, but I’ll chime in anyway:
I am truly amazed by this amp. In fact, I just bought another one so that I can use one for stage and leave the other one at home for recording or just playing with headphones. I have a 100-watt Fandango 2x12, and I think this little 25-watt purple head sounds better. Lead tones are just like the Fandango, only more “there” if you know what I mean. I guess that’s because it saturates faster, but it’s easy to control. If you don’t use a speaker, it takes a bit more dialing in to get your sound, but I’ve used it direct in the studio and was quite happy with it. On stage I run it into a single 12-inch Eminence Cannabis Rex but I like knowing I can go speaker-less if need be. I don’t know why the Rivera brand isn’t more popular, especially this particular amp.
I think the people who know have been into guitars for a fair while would be familiar with Paul Rivera as he contributed a lot to the L.A session)recording scene in the days and is a very knowledgeable guy.
 

ducker 1

Member
Messages
2,349
You should check out Doug Bossi's demo on the Rivera facebook page--maybe the best amp Ive ever heard
 
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2,589
It’s been near two years now I’ve had my Rivera Venus Recording head.

I absolutely love this amp. I ran it for some 6 months even as just a power amp/reactive load attenuator. Recently changed it up again to get the beautiful preamp in use.

This voicing knob on channel 2 - it’s a chameleon. Top position is supposed to be classic rock/early rock and lowest position is for modern. Somewhere in between you’ll find JCM800 type tones. Paul Rivera says channel 1 is American clean voiced and channel 2 is British voiced. I think I just nailed the Supergroup sound on it in the last hour with voicing at topmost notch. Coupled it with a RangeMaster and an echoplex preamp with gain set low on each and it growls just like early Sabbath albums. I had to turn down the gain knob on channel 2 to around noon. This thing has a lot of gain.

I love the clean channel on it. Probably my favorite cleans on any of my tube amps, next to my Plexi cleans. Very different than the Plexi on the clean side.

I was thinking about Rivera amps in general though and wonder if anyone has a Rivera that is distinctly Rivera sounding. I can’t think of any bands that stand out for using a Rivera for its own distinctive sound. I couldn’t pick out a knucklehead or Venus 5 on any records but maybe I’m just unfamiliar with exclusive Rivera artists. It does so many recognizable sounds but I would peg the sounds as Marshall, Mesa, or Fender.

I do know that that Supergroup sound I’m dialing in sounds very different than a Plexi - classic heavy rock but distinctly non-Marshall. It can go right into Marshall again though with just a few careful tonestack and voicing tweaks.

Recently had mine open to change power tubes and re-bias. It’s immaculate inside the amp. What a great build.

I don’t know why this amp hasn’t caught on with more people.

Two channels - American cleans and British drive

two fx loops - one pre-power amp and one post power amp, separate send/return level controls

headphone out with level control

Aux in with blend control for running additional pedal or Rack preamps into it. Pre/Post switch for aux in.

11 band EQ for pre or post power amp or for cabinlet/speaker simulation - 75Hz to 4000Khz - just right for guitar sculpting or speaker simulating.

Built-in Rockcrusher reactive load attenuator

balanced XLR or unbalanced 1/4” line out

Two speaker outs, and internal/external load switch

5 x 12ax7, 2 x 6V6 tubes

Built-in boost for gain channel (pull master for boost), pull notch on mids on clean channel.

Class A/AB switch, 25/7 watts

Three button footswitch - Channel/Boost/FX Loop 1

Just a ton of features in this amp. I didn’t see a lot of reviews on it before buying it, but it ticked all the boxes for features I wanted.

What a great sounding and feature-rich amp!
 
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Akoch

Member
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1
I’ve got one and absolutely love it. A lot of other amps would have to go first before this one does. The cleans, pushed cleans are prob the best I’ve experienced so far. The only thing that gets my attention some days is this peculiar low range EQ that the unit has at higher gain settings on the second channel. And it actually does sound great don’t get me wrong, but it does add a bit of its own character that is there and can’t seem to be dialed out. It could be pursieved as a bit of lack in the bottom lower register, or as a great mix-friendly carefully designed channel EQ - depending on your perspective. I’m leaning towards the latter.
 




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