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Swapping EL34's for 6L6's in a Rivera Fandango??

jglover51

Member
Messages
3
I just bought my first Rivera, a Fandango 1x12. I love the features, build and clean sound of the amp, it's just Channel 1 (distortion) is too "midrange-y". I know that kinda comes with the territory with EL34's, but would 6L6's help? I would like to keep the option of having a lot of gain, just more modern-less mid dominant. Any suggestions? Would changing tubes make a noticeable difference?
 

Critter

Member
Messages
193
Changing the tubes should help.. I would also change the speaker. I would try every other speaker you have or can borrow, don't discount vintage 30's because it seems midrangey. They are more compressed. As soon as I can find my quad of 6L6's, I'm going to try some in my KHR as well.
 

kjrocks

Member
Messages
105
For many Rivera users the switch to 6l6's did just what your looking for, but only you can decide for yourself.
 

nitehawk55

Member
Messages
2,814
To be sure what is required just email Rivera . Excellent customer service and you will get a reply within a day or so if not sooner .
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,197
For many Rivera users the switch to 6l6's did just what your looking for, but only you can decide for yourself.
+100000 Couldnt bond with my Chubster until I swapped out the EL34's for 6L6's then better yet JJ6V6's. The Chubster has plenty of range on the bias pot so only a bias adjustment is necessary. Bob
 

Critter

Member
Messages
193
So all the process involves is changing the tubes and re biasing?

I'm wondering what other circuit differences there are between the Fandango and Quiana, besides the tubes and speakers...they do use the same manual. :)

I'm not saying I'm certain I'll prefer the 6L6's to the El34's, but Im interested in the possibility of an improvement.
Every review I've read by someone who's played/owned both the Fandango and Quiana, preferred the Quiana...that makes me think.
Yes, you just rebias for the new tubes. If you do it yourself I'd lower the bias on the EL34's first to about 5ma Then change them over to the 6L6's.

I had a fandango and traded it for the Quiana. They both sound exceptional, Fandango is more hard rock, quiana classic rock/R&B. While similar in design the voicing seems very different between the two. The guy here that I traded traded the fandango off or I would ask him if I could try vintage 30's in it. Well actually first he tried to install his own power tubes and forced them in after retensioning the sockets and messed up the sockets, got it fixed, then got rid of it. I added that so if you change your power tubes you are careful.

Anyways, back to the trade, they both sounded good and we didn't trade initially, I actually thought the quiana sounded a bit muddy. He called me later and asked what I thought, I told him I couldn't make up my mind so if he want to trade, I would do it, if he didn't it was cool. After he traded me, I found that the vintage modern switch on the power section was set to vintage on the quiana, I changed it to modern and that was all it needed. Both of them had the boost mods done so you could control the amount of clean or gain boost when you engaged the boost. Kind of odd actually, they are the only two I've ever seen with the mods done..
 

Flameout12

Member
Messages
1,178
My experience is power tube swaps won't get you the tone changes you are looking for. Most likely you'll need a speaker with more bass or even use an extension cabinet.
I also cannot recommend the V30 with a Rivera....I tried one a few years ago with my R-55 and it didn't jive.
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,197
My experience is power tube swaps won't get you the tone changes you are looking for. Most likely you'll need a speaker with more bass or even use an extension cabinet.
I also cannot recommend the V30 with a Rivera....I tried one a few years ago with my R-55 and it didn't jive.
Usually I'd agree but swapping from EL34's to 6L6's and better yet JJ6V6's is the only thing that finally turned the trick with my Chubster. This is after numerous speaker swaps and of coarse pre amp tube swaps. Most importantly it softened the attack of the upper mids which I found harsh and irritating. Bob
 

gixxerrock

Member
Messages
3,892
I have the Quianna and love it. I remember reading about how when they designed the Quianna for 6L6, they went for much bigger output transformers. I think the 6L6 Knucklehead Reverb option had different output transformers as well.
 

Flameout12

Member
Messages
1,178
Usually I'd agree but swapping from EL34's to 6L6's and better yet JJ6V6's is the only thing that finally turned the trick with my Chubster. This is after numerous speaker swaps and of coarse pre amp tube swaps. Most importantly it softened the attack of the upper mids which I found harsh and irritating. Bob
I tried some 6V6s in my R-55 and it made it sound flatter with less life. :)

Ever try a Scumback? That's a speaker that will do more for your sound and any tube swap, including your attack problem. :BEER
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,197
I tried some 6V6s in my R-55 and it made it sound flatter with less life. :)

Ever try a Scumback? That's a speaker that will do more for your sound and any tube swap, including your attack problem. :BEER
Not yet- I plan on it though. Fortunately Ive found a few speakers I really enjoy with most of my amps. At any rate both the 6L6's and JJ6V6's did the trick with my Chubster. I prefer the JJ6V6's a bit more than the 6L6's. Dont sound flat at all to me-fat is more like it. The softening of the upper mids that both the 6L6's and JJ6V6's are was just the thing I was looking for. I really like the JJ6V6 though. Its nice to have a slightly lower powered option for my EL34/6L6 based amps. Bob
 

rockon1

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,197
The Vintage switch changes the 'vibe' of the EL34's in a big way...it's almost like a different amp.
Maybe not as different as what a tube change might make, but switching back to Modern modes after a few weeks makes you really realize how big the difference is.

I'd suggest the OP tries spending a bit more time in Vintage mode, but re-tweak all your favourite Modern mode settings, from scratch.

Obviously the speaker and power tube change might still be the answer, but hey, thats a lot of hard work. :)
10 minutes to rebias. I agree though you might as well try different settings first. My Chubster doesnt have a vintage/modern switch, Bob
 




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