Why aren't Riveras more popular?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by leftycajun, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. leftycajun

    leftycajun Member

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    I just picked up a Rivera thirty twelve for a crazy low price. It's an awesome amp, with a great feature set. Why was it so cheap? I paid around $600 which seems to be about the going rate for most of the lower powered Riveras. I don't see much talk about them here, anybody got any ideas why? I've seen several "what amp should I buy" threads that list a laundry list of requirements that Riveras fit perfectly, but nobody even thinks twice about them. Is it just a case of not being "cool" enough?
     
  2. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    I really don't know but it's most likely that fact that kept me from buying one for those years that I was looking for an amp with Fender cleans and Marshall dirt. They used to be the go-to brand for that search.
     
  3. Brien

    Brien Member

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    I've played 4-5 of them and never really liked them.
     
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  4. sugarlou

    sugarlou Supporting Member

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    They are kind of difficult to dial in. Mine always sounded different at every gig. And the resale value is poor.

    Very well made and a great company to deal with though.
     
  5. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I think because they aren't the easist to great sounds from right away. My Fandango was ok at first, found out the bias was set all the way up which cooked the tubes. Replaced the tubes and put a couple lower gained 12ax7's in the preamp and once I got used to it, I'm a believer.

    Let's put it this way I off'd a Soldano SLO100, that was my favorite amp until then. Compared to it the Rivera has a proper effects loop, and the clean sound is far superior. The lead is almost as great as the Soldano and is probably a tad less aggressive.
     
  6. Pablomago

    Pablomago Member

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    I've owned an S120-210 for years. I'm still discovering new sounds. It's one of my favorite amps for playing clean with a tape echo or multi-effects in the loop.

    The downsides are the weight and the rat-fur carpet covering.
     
  7. the tourist

    the tourist Member

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    I had an M series 1x12 combo with a broken footswitch. That thing was so heavy. In retrospect, though, I wish I would have gotten a new footswitch and had it converted into a head. It was extremely versatile and I didn't even know anything about tubes, bias, or speakers then. If I ever find one for super cheap and I've got spare cash, I'll probably buy it and convert and get a 1x12 extension cab.
     
  8. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure that Rivera has sold a boatload of amps. How popular do you think they SHOULD be?
     
  9. leftycajun

    leftycajun Member

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    Yeah, I don't think they're about to go under or anything. They're probably doing just fine without me evangelizing for them. It just seems that they are ignored in favor of whatever the flavor of the month amp company is around here. The fact that they seem hell bent on making the heaviest combos known to man probably isn't doing them any favors....
     
  10. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Meh. They probably still sell more amps than the flavor of the month brands. And they're not heavier than any Mesa combo.
     
  11. DrainBamage

    DrainBamage Member

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    Ive wondered the same thing. All we hear about is the rockcrusher.
     
  12. Geetarman74

    Geetarman74 Member

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    I owned a Rivera Quiana years ago and really, really liked it. Sold it only because I needed the cash at the time. Ironically enough, I just purchased an excellent condition Quiana today for HALF of what I sold mine for seven years ago.

    It's simply amazing the deals you can get on these amps right now. And they are built like tanks. Beautiful cleans and great overdrive. Just take a few minutes to dial it in. Can't think of that many brands right now that offer a comparable bang for the buck on the used market.
     
  13. xjojox

    xjojox Tardis-dwelling wanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Great company and great amps.
    Part of the problem is that there is a very dense market for "modded Marshall" type amps. Few of those amps can touch the cleans that most Riveras put out, but there are so many great amps doing Marshallesque gain. Also, Rivera grind tones are an acquired taste. A bit stiff feeling. More importantly, they depend upon old-school interaction between preamp and power stage to really open up, which is disconcerting to folks raised on mesas or other amps that put so much more of the tone on the preamp side. Riveras make you work for it. But they are great once you figure them out.
     
  14. metropolis_4

    metropolis_4 Member

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    I've been hit or miss with them. I had a Knucklehead 55 for a while that I thought was great, but also had to be really loud to sound that great. I later tried a clubster as a smaller option, but thought it seemed really dark and a little flat. I liked their idea with the ninja boost, it was a very useful amp for crossing many gain shades in a single amp.
     
  15. Wyzard

    Wyzard Member

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    I have an original Knucklehead that has taken me a while to get to grips with. It was bought for its cleans - and in preference for purely sound reasons over a RedPlate that was three times the price second-hand(!) - but was mothballed when I changed musical direction a bit.

    But I just recently replaced a Marshall JMP 50W combo with it in our newish rehearsal room, and so far it's proving more popular, even though it was a good-sounding Marshall that it pushed out the room. Since it gets rotated (along with the Mesas it shares the room with) among the different guitarists that use the room, everyone is also in the process of learning that the gain pedals everyone felt they needed with the Marshall aren't quite so necessary any more.

    It's great having a strong new flavour in the room, but it's definitely a learning process. Even little things like the loop having separate send and return levels are welcome features that help get a great sound at different volumes. And there doesn't seem to be any danger of it not cutting through - it has presence in spades.

    So- a great company IMHO, making amps with their own very useable flavour.
     
  16. shampoch

    shampoch Supporting Member

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    ^^^^^^^^ this^^^^^^^^
     
  17. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Wow...I've never played an SLO but I have owned/flipped about a dozen Riveras. Never liked the gain/lead tones on any really. Stiff and sterile IMO. And I've always thought that the SLO was my Holy Grail lead tone for some reason...
     
  18. teefus

    teefus Silver Supporting Member

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    i have owned a ton of amps over the last 30 years. plenty of production and boutique amps. my 3 favorite have been riveras. a chubster 40, (b)m60 and a knucklehead 55. i still have the knucklehead and it is my only amp. it can do anything. great fendery cleans and tons of gain on the lead channel. great footswitching options. it is a '99 model that i had serviced by rivera a couple of years ago to guarantee lots of years of use. great tone and built like tanks. i think i paid $500 for it and have $200 in the service. well worth it.
     
  19. dangeroso

    dangeroso Member

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    The Rivera Fandango is my #1 amp.

    And I've owned many, many great amps from the likes of some great companies like Matchless, Two Rock, Fuchs, Bad Cat, Mesa, etc.
     
  20. Norjef

    Norjef Member

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    Riveras have SOOOO much tone shaping that it's very easy to get bad tones, especially bad lead tones. BUT - they're in there - and worth finding !

    M-series are the most "annoying"... and amazing.
     

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