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: 1091
    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: 10181
    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: 34726
    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."
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  • The weird old stereo one is the S120. I'd like that one. 
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  • veldt666veldt666 Frets: 43
    The weird old stereo one is the S120. I'd like that one. 
    I have one, great amp.
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  • welshboyowelshboyo Frets: 974
    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: 818
    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.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell

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  • DrJazzTapDrJazzTap Frets: 947
    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: 489
    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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