Funny....

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by mmd, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    My band has one more show for the 2017 calendar before the holiday season kicks in and our annual hiatus occurs. We are performing at the Deland Music Festival on November 4th. We'll be on one of the smaller stages near the second main stage. Having attended in the past, I have seen some of the PA that the smaller stages get, so the band and I decided I should probably just bring an amp this time. We figure with the hectic festival schedule and volunteer sound guys (ugh) it would be "easier" in the moment to just have a mic shoved in front of the cab, rather than explaining to a guy who is not a professional that I don't need a mic, just a line, and all is good. Seems kind of stupid that using an XLR would be problematic, and maybe it wouldn't be, but I don't want potential issues when maintaining the schedule is the first priority....

    So, anyway, we rehearsed yesterday and I brought out the Rivera. A little background on my settings before I go into the "funny" part. I use a stereo Rivera - (2) 60 watt power amps. Each can be run in pentode or triode for a sort of power scaling. That combined with the full/half power switch allows you to run each power amp at 60/30/15/7. I use a stereo cab, each speaker getting one power amp. For this instance, I ran each power amp at 7 watts. Should have been a good volume....

    Well, after the first song EVERYBODY complained the amp was "too loud". According to the drummer it was "annoyingly loud". He and I have worked in every band together for the last 10 years. He KNOWS the Rivera because the current band is the only one where I have used the Helix. The bassist and singer were complaining about how BAD the amp sounded compared to the Helix. I laughed, and, admittedly was a little annoyed. We carried on....

    As rehearsal continued, I found that I was suffering as a player. The articulation that exists in the Helix was not there with the Rivera. It was just a massive wall of sound. It was hard to get the frequencies to "balance". I adjusted gain and EQ, but the sound was never as smooth or balanced as my Helix. It was shocking to me.

    I tried the amp with my pedal board into the clean channel. It sounded "big" but ate up too much frequency range. I switched to straight into the gain channel. It was MUCH better, but the tone was either too muddy or too bright. Consistently, the amp was "too loud" to get it to where it sounded best. Even the drummer noticed how much the "sound changes when the volume is changed". I worked through different power configurations - all that accomplished was to increase headroom, which changed compression ratios. The higher the headroom the less "natural" sustain I was getting from the amp - unless I increased the master volume.

    It was interesting and funny, because the overall consensus from the BAND was "why would somebody WANT to use an old, archaic tube amp???" - quoted from the singer. That was followed by "Dude, the Helix sounds SO much better!!" - quoted from the bassist. I was a bit hurt and annoyed because I LOVE my Rivera. I was kind of expecting them to prefer it over the Helix....but NOPE. They were VERY brutal about how "crappy that thing is" - quoted from the drummer. It was annoying.....

    So, at the end of rehearsal it was decided that we'll risk it and use the Helix. It should be fine (not the actual performance of the unit, but getting a DI) and I tend to obsess over some of this stuff. In the end, I just can't believe how much the band HATED the actual amp.....crazy!!!
     
  2. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

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    You might as well sell it the band has spoken!
     
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  3. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    But, but, the Helix is digital, it simply can't sound better. [sputter, sputter, cough]

    And the Rivera is a pretty damn good sounding tube amp.
     
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  4. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Yeah...it is a thought. I really NEVER use it anymore, and every time I do I am always told that the Helix rig sounds better. Cleaner, much more clear and people can hear the band better. I am on the verge of letting it go. I have sold all other tube amps.....I kept the Rivera for sentimental reasons, but since it rather unliked by my fellow musicians these days (not just in the band either - friends/musicians that have hung out/followed over the years also comment on how much BETTER the Helix sounds) there is no REAL reason to hang on to it....

    LOL, yeah....go figure.

    The real kicker is that not only is the Rivera a damn good sounding amp, this S120 was built by Paul himself and signed/dated by him when it was shipped to me. It is like a "super" Rivera!!!
     
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  5. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

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    :laugh2: man that's brutal...
     
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  6. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Or is it Brootalz?
     
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  7. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....nah, we aren't THAT metal. You can read our logo, lol...
     
  8. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    This is where modelers (esp the Helix) excel, because you can dial in tone and then worry about the volume.
     
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  9. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Unless money becomes an issue, I might hold onto it. A signed and dated Paul Rivera is collectible.
     
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  10. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Good point. It hangs out well in the gear closet, supporting the box of pedals and the box with miscellaneous recording cables, lol....
     
  11. matthew bear

    matthew bear Senior Member

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    I think my pets agree with your bandmates :laugh2:

    I just fired up my Swart for the hell of it, and it was loud but not clear at all... the cat had to leave the room and the dog just had his ears pinned back looking at me like a was hurting him! and I was using an attenuator! So more sound pressure, less clarity = no fun for me :dunno:
     
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