Rivera amp guidance

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Can anyone offer me some guidance with Rivera amps?

I mean Rivera branded amps, not his period as a designer for Fender.

A lot of the amps seem to have exactly the same features and controls. M series, R series, Fandango, Chubster, Pubster etc. What's the difference between a Fandango 55 and an R55 for example?

Thanks!
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  • RecklessReckless Frets: 0
    A few years back I ordered the first Fandango 55 into the UK on the strength of owning an R55 for a while. The difference was substantial. The Fandango IMO is one of the most underrated all-rounder amps you can buy. It would be 
    my first choice any day over the R55.
    "You play the accordion - you go to jail. That's the law..."
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 1253
    I owned a Clubster 45 for several years. It was at the budget end of their range yet still built extremely well and was 100% reliable. Loud. Clean channel was an extremely lovely Fender-esque thing. Dirty channel was a nice (but not stellar) Marshall-esque thing. Independent tone stacks for both channels, which is a good thing. Early Clubsters had a solid state chip in the preamp of the dirty channel for drive/distortion. This was later replaced by a third valve (Clubster Royale?) which I suspect would have been a real improvement. 

    I used the clean channel for everything (including pedals for lead tones, etc) and only used the dirty channel for a Marshall rhythm tone and nothing else. The clean channel was worth it all by itself. There was also a very nice reverb and a preamp boost. Quite a small cabinet compared to other 1x12 combos. Original speaker was a Celestion Seventy80. I tried a V30 but put the original back, as it suited the amp better. 

    But I'm not a Rivera expert, just owned one quite happily for some time. 

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  • Thanks both for useful info

    Reckless, can you elaborate a bit on why you thought the Fandango was so great?

    Reckless said:
    A few years back I ordered the first Fandango 55 into the UK on the strength of owning an R55 for a while. The difference was substantial. The Fandango IMO is one of the most underrated all-rounder amps you can buy. It would be 
    my first choice any day over the R55.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 10720
    I giggled a Clubster 25 for a year or so. Really great blackfacey clean channel. 

    I never really used the dirty channel but I loved that amp overall.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 36274
    Just for once I can't offer any experience, since they never break... ever. I don't think I've ever worked on a single one other than a weird old stereo one, and even that only needed new valves.

    That and I wouldn't be seen dead with an amp marked 'Ninja Boost' on the front...

    :)
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • The weird old stereo one is the S120. I'd like that one. 
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  • veldt666veldt666 Frets: 44
    The weird old stereo one is the S120. I'd like that one. 
    I have one, great amp.
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  • welshboyowelshboyo Frets: 1010
    I've had a couple of Fandango's and it's 6L6 brother the Quiana (I've also had a TBR but that's totally different)

    Ignoring the later Venus's etc (which I think are just name changes, apart from probably a few tweaks, the feature set etc is the same )

    IMO, they are wonderful amps, I see the Fandango/Quiana as the flagships - the R series before them as the 1st editions of those amps with the F/Q being the evolution of the R series.

    Chubster/Pubster are the budget range (but still amazing amps)

    Fandango is definitely a hugely underrated amp - massively versatile and built like a brick shithouse - overspecced transformers, military grade components..
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  • Can't comment on the less gain stuff, but I did own a Rivera Knuckle head tre for a few years, Like ICBM said they never seem to go wrong, built solid as a brick house but weighed about the same. 
    One of the best High gain amps I have ever owned and only the VHT 100cl came close for gain tones (very different sounds though) 
    don't know if I would own one again as I have left my metal days behind and went more rock, it was way to high gain and modern sounding for that but did have the best clean channel I have ever heard from a high gain head. 
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  • TitchTitch Frets: 22
    I've gigged a Rivera Clubster 45 for the last eleven years and I would agree with The Big Dipper's comments, I use mine in much the same way, clean channel and pedals for dirt and the drive channel for crunchy rhythm. It's been a solid and reliable amp and it's only lately that I've had any work done on it ( a thorough service which showed up a few dry joints plus the reverb wasn't working and a new set of valves)
    I did go down the solid state route and bought a Blues Cube but had a poor experience with it as it packed up after three gigs so I'm back to using the Rivera with a Fender Blues De Luxe as a back up amp.
    Hope this helps.   
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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 886
    edited January 11
    I have a Chubster 40 but it's never been used.  Owned it a few years and it's never been out of the house and probably been switched on less than 10 hours.

    Nothing wrong with the amp.  It was bought because the only amp I had at the time was too heavy for me to lug around.  Before I got a chance to use it in anger I'd decided I wanted something even lighter and got my Quilter Micropro Mach 2 HD.  It's perfectly possible the Rivera would edge the Quilter for Fendery cleans, but the difference is too marginal to justify taking a valve amp weighing twice as much to gigs, and I only use small practice amps at home.  I wouldn't like to offer an opinion on the dirt sounds without playing it at much higher volume but I'm basically a clean amp and pedals player these days.

    I've only played it at living room volumes, but it does Blackface cleans better than most Fenders IMO. 

    It's among a pile of never used gear I really should get round to selling.
    “Britain has negotiated like 27 different countries and the EU has negotiated like one.” Tim Shipman.

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  • DrJazzTapDrJazzTap Frets: 1027
    I picked up a 2x12 m60 for £200. It has a lot of features, but the basic clean channel is lovely. I agree with @ICBM The ninja boost is a daft name and only works on the clean channel, still not as bad as the slavemaster. 
    I would love to change my username, but I fully understand the T&C's (it was an old band nickname). So please feel free to call me Dave.
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  • That's a good price for an M60. I won an R100 for £500 but the guy cancelled the sale immediately - probably not happy with the price. There's an M60 on reverb at the moment but for closer to £500. Blackface clean + effects loop is attractive to me on its own.
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  • ArchtopDaveArchtopDave Frets: 524
    I’ve owned a Rivera Jazz Suprema for quite a number of years. It does what it’s name suggests very well. Beautiful warm sound with a lovely reverb. It’s the amp I use all the time at home. I bought it secondhand, and have, so far, never needed anything doing to it.
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  • RecklessReckless Frets: 0
    Sorry for the late response. I just found the Fandango so versatile and reassuringly reliable. I provided all the Fender & Marshall tones I needed for the band I was in at the time. Terrific amp which I would recommend trying out.
    "You play the accordion - you go to jail. That's the law..."
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  • RecklessReckless Frets: 0
    "it provided"
    "You play the accordion - you go to jail. That's the law..."
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  • webrthomsonwebrthomson Frets: 441
    I've got a K-tre - great amp totally bomb proof - I'd love a KR7 but they are very difficult to get in the UK :)
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  • DrBobDrBob Frets: 1929
    Before my Budda obsession I had a run of 3 Riv’s. My first one was a Clubster 45 which was a prize in Guitarist magazine, I bought it off the winner. Stunning thing, absurdly loud mind. Then I got an R30 which on reflection was probably my favourite, finishing with a blood red Chubster 40.
    All great amps, I’d gladly take any of them back but the drive channel on the R30 was deffo the one for me 
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 10720
    DrBob said:
    Before my Budda obsession I had a run of 3 Riv’s. My first one was a Clubster 45 which was a prize in Guitarist magazine, I bought it off the winner. Stunning thing, absurdly loud mind. Then I got an R30 which on reflection was probably my favourite, finishing with a blood red Chubster 40.
    All great amps, I’d gladly take any of them back but the drive channel on the R30 was deffo the one for me 
    That was my main impression from the Clubster 25. I gigged it on the clean chanell in a loud pub band (unmicced) and STILL had an attenuator a couple of clicks down to get it at the right combination of compression and volume. 

    I recall surprising a lot of people at a gearfest with just how loud and non-boxy such a little thing could sound. 

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  • kipplekipple Frets: 224
    edited January 20
    ICBM said:
    Just for once I can't offer any experience, since they never break... ever. I don't think I've ever worked on a single one other than a weird old stereo one, and even that only needed new valves.

    That and I wouldn't be seen dead with an amp marked 'Ninja Boost' on the front...

    @ICBM ;I have a broken Rivera M100 if you fancy fixing it..I dont think it's just tubes.

    As soon as I turn it on it starts redplating the powertubes
    I tried swapping out the power tubes in the rivera for some others that are known to be good and it did the same thing.
    Then I took the power tubes from the rivera and tested them in a marshall and they worked fine.
    Setting the bias does not seem to make any difference...
    Visit my free to use auction site. 
    https://kippleauction.com/
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 36274
    edited January 20
    kipple said:

    @ICBM ;;I have a broken Rivera M100 if you fancy fixing it..I dont think it's just tubes.

    As soon as I turn it on it starts redplating the powertubes
    I tried swapping out the power tubes in the rivera for some others that are known to be good and it did the same thing.
    Then I took the power tubes from the rivera and tested them in a marshall and they worked fine.
    Setting the bias does not seem to make any difference...
    Yes, that is almost certainly a bias supply failure. Interestingly it's one of the very few things that goes wrong with the Rivera-designed Fender Concert series - there's a resistor in the supply that's very marginal spec and can burn out.

    If you're anywhere near central Scotland I would be happy to have a look at it, if not any good tech should be able to find it in a matter of minutes. I probably wouldn't ship it for a fairly simple fault, couriers can do a lot of damage...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson
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  • kipplekipple Frets: 224
    ICBM said:
    kipple said:

    @ICBM ;;I have a broken Rivera M100 if you fancy fixing it..I dont think it's just tubes.

    As soon as I turn it on it starts redplating the powertubes
    I tried swapping out the power tubes in the rivera for some others that are known to be good and it did the same thing.
    Then I took the power tubes from the rivera and tested them in a marshall and they worked fine.
    Setting the bias does not seem to make any difference...
    Yes, that is almost certainly a bias supply failure. Interestingly it's one of the very few things that goes wrong with the Rivera-designed Fender Concert series - there's a resistor in the supply that's very marginal spec and can burn out.

    If you're anywhere near central Scotland I would be happy to have a look at it, if not any good tech should be able to find it in a matter of minutes. I probably wouldn't ship it for a fairly simple fault, couriers can do a lot of damage...
    Hi
    I am in south wales and I would not fancy shipping 
    Thanks for the advice though
    Visit my free to use auction site. 
    https://kippleauction.com/
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  • welshboyowelshboyo Frets: 1010
    edited January 20
    kipple said:
    ICBM said:
    kipple said:

    @ICBM ;;;I have a broken Rivera M100 if you fancy fixing it..I dont think it's just tubes.

    As soon as I turn it on it starts redplating the powertubes
    I tried swapping out the power tubes in the rivera for some others that are known to be good and it did the same thing.
    Then I took the power tubes from the rivera and tested them in a marshall and they worked fine.
    Setting the bias does not seem to make any difference...
    Yes, that is almost certainly a bias supply failure. Interestingly it's one of the very few things that goes wrong with the Rivera-designed Fender Concert series - there's a resistor in the supply that's very marginal spec and can burn out.

    If you're anywhere near central Scotland I would be happy to have a look at it, if not any good tech should be able to find it in a matter of minutes. I probably wouldn't ship it for a fairly simple fault, couriers can do a lot of damage...
    Hi
    I am in south wales and I would not fancy shipping 
    Thanks for the advice though
    Get it in with Tony Packer in Porthcawl, really good tech.
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  • kipplekipple Frets: 224
    welshboyo said:
    kipple said:
    ICBM said:
    kipple said:

    @ICBM ;;;I have a broken Rivera M100 if you fancy fixing it..I dont think it's just tubes.

    As soon as I turn it on it starts redplating the powertubes
    I tried swapping out the power tubes in the rivera for some others that are known to be good and it did the same thing.
    Then I took the power tubes from the rivera and tested them in a marshall and they worked fine.
    Setting the bias does not seem to make any difference...
    Yes, that is almost certainly a bias supply failure. Interestingly it's one of the very few things that goes wrong with the Rivera-designed Fender Concert series - there's a resistor in the supply that's very marginal spec and can burn out.

    If you're anywhere near central Scotland I would be happy to have a look at it, if not any good tech should be able to find it in a matter of minutes. I probably wouldn't ship it for a fairly simple fault, couriers can do a lot of damage...
    Hi
    I am in south wales and I would not fancy shipping 
    Thanks for the advice though
    Get it in with Tony Packer in Porthcawl, really good tech.
    Hi
    I will look him up
    Thanks
    Visit my free to use auction site. 
    https://kippleauction.com/
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