New Attenuator Day!

Frodebro

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I've had my eye on the Rivera Rockcrusher Recording ever since they were first introduced earlier this year, and have watched just about every video demo that is out there over the past few months.

So I stopped by my favorite little local shop this morning looking to get a TC Electronic Spark Booster, and they just happened to be out of the pedal, BUT the Rockcrusher that they ordered some time ago had recently arrived... :cool:

So I started my testing with the attenuator side of it. I've had a THD Hot Plate for years, and it has always been satisfactory for attenuating up to 8dB, but it wasn't so great past that point. The Rivera flat out SMOKES the old Hot Plate, especially when you really start knocking down the volume.

I ran my DRRI with the channels jumped and both volumes set to 6. Even knocked down quieter than my TV, it sounded GOOD. Same results with my Mesa TA-15 and Mini Rectifier. Both of those amps have master volumes that work very well for the most part, but they really come alive when their power sections are pushed. The Mini Recto is particularly sensitive to how much the power section gets involved. Below a certain point it gets a bit buzzy/fizzy, but once the power section is pushed it smooths out (the same as the big Rectos). I couldn't bring it down very far with the Hot Plate before it started sounding choked, but the Rivera handled it wonderfully-again all the way down to mouse fart levels.

The other side of this unit is the cabinet emulator and eleven band EQ, which is for recording direct or driving a slave amp. I haven't tested it with my DAW yet, but I did run the XLR out into a small mixer to drive a pair of headphones. I ran a reverb pedal (Eventide Space) in the effects loop of the mixer to add some ambience and give it a stereo spread in the headphones, and again tried it with all three amps that I mentioned above.

The results were surprisingly VERY good, I think that I will be spending a lot less time dinking with cabs and mics in the future, and just run the XLR out straight into my interface.

Here is a demo clip that showcases the cab emulator/EQ side of it, the results I was getting in my headphones were about the same.



Ironically, while I was in the process of paying for it, the phone rang in the store, and it was Paul Rivera Jr. calling about something or other. I saw that as a sign that I was doing the right thing dropping the coin on this thing, and so far I'm not regretting it.

For those who don't care about the cab emulator and EQ (which only works with the line outputs), they also still offer the original Rockcrusher, which is just an attenuator/load box.
 

Frodebro

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Gave it the torture test last night: Boogie Mark V, all channels set to 90 watts, master volume/effects loop hard bypassed, channel masters between five and six. Unattenuated, this was loud enough to sterilize a herd of water buffalo. I was able to bring it all the way down to TV levels with very minimal change in tone (Fletcher-Munson being taken into account) or dynamic response.

VERY cool.
 

Frodebro

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Honestly, the primary draw to the Rivera for me was the direct out capabilities. I was looking for an alternative to micing my amps, as I often am working on stuff at funky hours and can't always crank them up.
 




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