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Rivera Amps Club (Post-Fender Rivera)

Discussion in 'Amp Owners Clubs' started by don jon, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. don jon

    don jon Tele-Meister

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    I can't believe someone hasn't already started this thread with all the Paul Rivera fans I have seen on here. His work with Fender was great (mostly), but IMO his work since leaving Fender far surpasses his earlier stuff.

    My go to amp is a Rivera Quiana Studio 212 55/30 watt combo. Mine has a tone stack/bias mod by Voodoo Mods that was installed when I bought it used. It runs on 3 Tungsol and 2 JJ 12AX7's and 2 Gold Lion KT-66 power tubes which lend a little fatness to the Fender channel and make the Marshall voiced channel sound better than an old JTM.

    It is jam packed with very practical features but my favorites are the Bright, Mid Notch, Warmth, and tube buffered fx loop with adjustable send and return levels. Not to mention it is built in a two ton extra deep cab that booms with tight low end and projects better than any other combo enclosure I have heard. That being said it is a hernia causing back breaker that you wouldn't want to lug around without casters (which it comes with). The 6 spring Hammond reverb tank really makes for beautiful lush tones with perfect decay.

    And oh yeah, here's some pics of my tan and vintage cream beauty with her Blackface cosmetics, oxblood cloth, and beam blockers over her Warehouse cones!

    [​IMG]

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  2. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Super sweet Quiana! I have been playing my Chubster 40 for about 10 years now and it continues to impress me. I have never played an amp like this that covers so much ground so effectively. From Creedence to Stone Temple Pilots, the Chubster gets it done with conviction!
     
  3. don jon

    don jon Tele-Meister

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    I haven't played a Chubster. But I can say that Paul Rivera is a genius when it comes to packing smart features and lots of versatility into an amp yet still retaining the warm unadulterated tone of a simple hand wired tube amp. There are a lot of great PtoP boutique amp builders out there that make great sounding machines. But IMHO none of them can compete with Rivera's ingenuity and still deliver those big classic clean tones.

    Any pics of the Chubster? I have heard lots of good things about them, but never played or even seen one.
     
  4. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I don't have any pictures but I may have some alarming news.

    Have you ever looked inside your Quiana? If it's anything like my Chubster, it's a PCB amp, not PtP.

    Shock!:eek: Horror! :eek:

    Still, they're built like tanks and just keep working!
     
  5. don jon

    don jon Tele-Meister

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    Yeah the PCB sounds awesome to me. It never influenced my decision to buy the Quiana. And it keeps the tone snob purists from jacking up the resale price to 5 times the actual value. Which is also fine by me because I picked it up on CL for $700 used. And it came with a $150 Voodoo mod. The Quiana goes for about $1600 new I think. And at the time I was torn between a handwired Marshall Bluesbreaker JTM 45 RI and the Quiana. The problem was the BB RI is $2300 new and $1600-$1800 used.

    But boy am I glad I saved $1000 and went with the Quiana. It gives me almost the identical JTM tones, the Fendery cleans that I love, and I don't have to worry about fraying grill cloth, peeling cheap tolex, an inferior quality cabinet, and the faulty photocell tremolo those BB RI's are notorious for. PtoP amps sound amazing when quality components are used. But I try not to get stuck on buzzwords like handwired, PtoP, true bypass etc. and make an honest judgment on everything by playing it and using my ears and my common sense. Good gear = good gear. And if I can save a few bucks and still sound like a guitar demon I'm pleased and my wife lets me continue to feed my G.A.S. problem!:D
     
  6. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    LOL! So true! Rivera is one of the best kept secrets of major league toneful amps at a more affordable price than many other options costing way more and not sounding any better.
     
  7. sparklecat

    sparklecat TDPRI Member

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    I am also a Rivera fan, I have an older model Quiana with the top controls and ruby red vinyl with tan grillcloth.
    I have tried many combinations of pre and power tubes, and in the end went with a pair of JJ 6L6's and the Rivera recommended Chinese 12ax7 pre's. It sounds great, since it was designed for the Chinese pre's in mind. I bought it used from a guy who had it loaded with Sovteks, he thought something was wrong because it sounded muddy. Of course it sounded muddy, it says right in the manual not to use Russian tubes to avoid an amp that sounds like it's got a blanket tossed over it! Anyway, I think I paid 900.00, but I got a roadcase with it as well.
    I keep thinking about swapping 1, maybe both, speakers for something which would give me slightly tighter bass response. Anybody here tried that? It's the one issue you see cropping up with the Quiana in reviews,(and it does have some merit, IMHO) is the bass can get flabby in certain situations. That said, this amp has a lot of low end even with the bass knob(s)) on 3. Moreso if you dial up the focus knob which gives the bottom end a real tight quality.

    The versatility is absolutely unmatched in any other amp I've owned or tried, it's tweakable in dozens of combinations and all are usable and musical.My Quiana is a GREAT AMP.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. jwc5

    jwc5 Tele-Meister

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    I have a Rivera R55-12. Anyone know where I could pick up a Rivera slipcover for it?
     
  9. don jon

    don jon Tele-Meister

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    Very nice rig! Are you using the Vintage 30's in it currently? My Quiana came with G12-75's in it and they sounded very good, but were a little too bright and gritty (hence the beam blockers). So I tried out a couple of Warehouse speakers in it and love the results. I went with the Warehouse Reaper HP (a 50 watt version of a greenback G12M) and a Retro 30 (a brighter more articulate version of the Vintage 30 with tighter bottom end). My low end never gets flabby, the break up is awesome, the bass is still big and boomy, and I have not even considered changing them. I have a You Tube demo of one of my OD pedals posted over in The Stomp Box forum where you can hear the Rivera with the Warehouse speakers. ;)

    Oh yeah, I also run KT-66 power tubes in mine which also makes a difference in the punchy mids but does not tighten up the bass at all. And I can also recommend really tweaking the EQ in very small increments. I have found that the EQ is VERY sensitive and interactive. Just a half a touch can make a huge difference in this amp.
     
  10. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    http://www.tukicovers.com/
     
  11. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    One of the biggest issues I had in getting used to my Rivera was indeed the sensitivity of the EQ controls. I ended up setting them all at 6 and then worked subtractively from there. People tend to work the other way. If the amp sounds a little thin, they turn up the bass. If it sounds a little bassy, they turn up the treble. Next thing ya know you've got the tone controls all jacked up around 8 or 9 and the amp is completely saturated and the gain has risen as a result of all the tone knobs being turned up.

    I also find that 6L6 amps tend to be a little flabby on the lows and prefer EL34's like my Chubster. There are a lot of good players getting great sounds from 6L6 amps so, it really is a matter of what works for you.
     
  12. Bill Ashton

    Bill Ashton Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a '92/'93 Fifty Five - 12 that was a yard sale find...real road warrior, pretty beat up, tubes lying in the bottom. Got it as I thought the speaker was probably worth what I paid...brought it home, plugged it in and whoa! She got UMasstele through several years in high school jazz band after his other amp failed, and recently did his "arena gig" with the UMass hoop band when the mighty Twin was down for the count.

    Last week I caught a Doyle Dykes concert that was billed as a Taylor clinic...and what is off to the side of the stage, but what I would swear was a Fifty Five -12. During a question period I asked about the amp, and he chuckled saying that it was an old prototype he hauled out of the garage, pre-courser to the Rivera Sedona, his signature amp. He said that when he started playing with Chet Atkins he was told he needed a good tube amp. "Go see Paul Rivera," Chet said, "he makes the best ones." (!!!!) And so that is how his relationship with Rivera started.

    I have intended to try my Guild acoustic through it, but just haven't found the time. perhaps this afternoon...
     
  13. Sleph

    Sleph Friend of Leo's

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    Great to see I'm not the only Rivera lover around here.

    I wasn't too keen on the Pubster 25 that I originally bought.....in hindsight I was probably expecting too much clean headroom out of the little thing.

    I forked out a little more for a whole other channel and 20 more watts ... nothing as fancy as some of the others here, just a Clubster 45 but I'm loving it!

    With regards to the PCB thing.....there is absolutely no problem with printed circuit board construction, especially when they are made this well.

    The boards are thick and stiff.....they are not going to wobble around and get cracked joints or loose connections. It's a perfectly acceptable way of joining components together in my book and PTP would make something that sounds this good cost thousands$$$$$.

    Clean as a Fender, Dirty as a Marshall at the tap of a switch.....I just can't stop playin' this thing.
     

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  14. Ramblin Ray

    Ramblin Ray Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm looking at a NOS R-55 right now. Tell me about yours. I reluctantly sold my Quiana Studio after 10 yrs. recently, only because my old back couldn't handle the weight anymore.
     
  15. Scobro

    Scobro NEW MEMBER!

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    I have a Rivera Bonehead. Yup, probably the biggest Rivera failure. It's a really great amp. I don't use the whole sub cab thing. I've had Rivera mod it a little so now it's an outright Jazz Fusion kind of amp. I would post a picture but all I got is my old cheap cell phone. It's going to feel like I'm trying to sexting my amp.

    For those who remember my old site, I have a new one, scobro.x10.mx. It's a site I wrote to help Rivera users select tubes. The "mx" suffix sounds like I got my site hosted in Slovenia or something. All I know it was the only free web host that the WOT plug-in didn't show up yellow or red.

    Scobro

    Scobro's Rivera Amplifier Guide
    scobro.x10.mx
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  16. teledaddyo

    teledaddyo TDPRI Member

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    I have a Rivera Clubster Doce. I've had it for a couple of years now and have been pleased with it esp. after making some subtle changes to the amp. I installed a Jensen Neo 12 in place of the Celestion 70/80 b/c that speaker was too dark. I also retubed it and put a JJ803s in V1. This tube cleaned up the low end on the clean channel and really gave the lead channel a better voice. I made a footswitch for the amp b/c buying it used there wasn't one. I think this amp's a monster for what I can do with it. For the cover band I work in this amp's capable of getting my tone and hanging with the band while not breaking my back at load out.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a Chubster here. The previous owner set it up with 6L6's, would I notice much difference if I used EL34's instead?
     
  18. Jaxson612

    Jaxson612 Tele-Meister

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    I'm in with my M-60. two 10" speakers, ugly black carpet. This beast pretty much has it all- presence control, focus to tighten or loosen the speaker, slave master channel, effects loop with level controls so you can use it as a boost, pentode- diode switch, half power switch. Can go from 60 watts down to 15.
    There are so many possibilities. Every time I think I have the best setting, I start playing with all the sounds and I find something new. Still not settled on the Marshall channel, but I have found killer tweed and blackface tones on channel 2. It came with EL's, but I had it biased for 6L6's. Hey, this is the Tele forum. Went to GC last night , played a Tweeker ( great AC sounds), a Priceton reissue, a Princeton Recording, and a Deluxe reissue, and no gas! Lovin it!
     
  19. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've got an S120-210. I use the Fender channel with a Space Echo RE-150 in the loop. With a Tele or Gretsch it's a thing of beauty. For those who don't know the amp, it's a stereo tube amp pushing 60 watts using two EL 34's per side each powering an Eminence 10" speaker. They also made a 2 x 12" model and head as well. I've had it over ten years without a glitch. It replaced a slew of rack gear. I want to get a TC G-Major for the loop for when I want to use it for an "ambient" amp.

    I feel the speakers could use an upgrade. Any suggestions? I like clean tones.
     
  20. krisls

    krisls Tele-Holic

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    Mid 90's R55-112, stock standard. In 8 years all I've done is re-tube and that from the originals. I sold a Boogie Mk3 to get this and I have not regretted it. The Boogie was punchier, but like a Tele this thing can do it all. Gigging a half dozen shows a month on average, plus practice etc, it has never missed a beat. It cuts through without effort; 2 guitars, bass, keys, drums and vocals. Um, I do have to give a mark down for the Ninja boost though...I mean...seriously... I never touch it. But clean to smooth OD this will do it.

    Kristina
     
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