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!!!