Got my Rivera TBR, now I'm confused.. - Jemsite
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Got my Rivera TBR, now I'm confused..

Holy damn does this thing weigh a lot. Now I have to go shopping for a 4 space rack and a cabinet, but first I have a couple of questions about hooking the thing up.

Why does it use two mono outputs instead of a single stereo output? This is my first stereo guitar amp, so I don't know if this is normal or not. Is there a way I can hook up just a single output and leave the other off if I'm plugged into a mono cabinet?

What kind of speaker cable should I use? I have some old cable that is supposedly very high quality stuff I used when I used to have a Marshall Valvestate halfstack, but the guy who made the cables over-crimped the ends and they short out if you look at them wrong..
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 02:25 PM
 
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Welcome to the world of TONE!

In regards to the outputs on the back, for the most part, I simply use a single output from Power Amp A most of the time. For most live shows, I'll just run this into my single 12" Rivera cabinet, and it works great!

You have the capability of connecting (4) cabinets total: (2) to Power Amp A, (2) to Power Amp B. One output on each Power Amp should be designated as "Use First". Naturally, this would be the output that you would use for a single, mono speaker.

I've got my TBR-1SL in my rack setup, and my TBR-2SL setup as a backup and for messing around with at home. My home setup used (2) 2x12" Rivera cabs in stereo. It's extremely easy really.

As for cabinets, much like Mesa, Rivera cabinets definitely sound the best with Rivera amps, but...they're not the easiest to find. If you run across a Rivera 2x12" they're GREAT cabs! I've found the Mesa 2x12" cabs to be decent as well.

I've been using Monster speaker cables, but have also used Horizon and Ernie Ball as well. I never really need over 3' of cable, so it's not that big of a deal.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the prompt response! I've had the amp for a few days and haven't plugged it in yet.. Just been too busy.

So if I want to run mono it's safe to just not plug in one of the power amps? I just want to be 100% sure, I don't want to try that and accidentally blow one of the power amps.

I'm heading out to the shop in a bit to try it out with a Mesa cab and get a rack. There's a "Rivera dealer" in town, but they haven't had a single Rivera product in stock once in the last year and a half. I suppose I can order a cabinet from them.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 05:02 PM
 
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Hey!

It's perfectly safe to only use one of the power amps.

As for the cabinet, there have been a few decent Rivera cabs on a EvilBay lately. You'd save a lot of money getting a used one, if possible.

Best of luck!
Chris
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 05:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaijem777
Hey!
It's perfectly safe to only use one of the power amps.
Chris
Just don't forget to unplug this channel's input, set presence to the max and volume to the minimum. Otherwise you'll fry the output tranny on unused channel.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks I just tried it out with 2 Mesa 2x12 Recto cabs.

The clean channel is the best I have EVER heard, hands down. The bass knob actually produces more bass and not just more mud

I have to say though the gain channel was disappointing, but I think my tubes must be shot. The distortion channel was supposed to be really high gain, but it seems to have less gain than my Mesa Mark IV's orange channel.. Hmm.

Will a single stereo 2x12 sound much better than 2 1x12s?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Microdimitry, how do you unplug the channel's input? Hmm.. this would be much nicer if the power amps had independant power switches.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-19-2003, 10:50 PM
 
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Actually, on the TBR's, there is NO need to unplug ANYTHING in order to only use one power amp channel. I've asked Paul Rivera about this issue personally, and have been assured that NO damage can be done if Power Amp Bs output jacks are left empty.

Try downloading the manual from www.rivera.com It'll help you quite a bit

The biggest advantage of having (2) 1x12" cabs as opposed to a single 2x12" is that you'll be able to run a true stereo setup. Of course, if you get the right Rivera cabinet, a lot of them are wired for stereo operation as well.

If Microdimitry was at all familiar with the TBR series, he'd realize that it's not possible to "unplug" the channels input (since the amp only has (2) channels in the first place, and that there is only a single input )

Per the owner's manual (bottom of Page 18 ): "The TBR-1 and TBR-2 are equipped with a special power amp protection circuit; when no plugs are inserted into the speaker jacks the power amps are in an effective standby state."

Again...a good reason to actually be familiar with the amp in question before offering "advice"
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 12:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaijem777
Actually, on the TBR's, there is NO need to unplug ANYTHING in order to only use one power amp channel. I've asked Paul Rivera about this issue personally, and have been assured that NO damage can be done if Power Amp Bs output jacks are left empty.

Try downloading the manual from www.rivera.com It'll help you quite a bit

The biggest advantage of having (2) 1x12" cabs as opposed to a single 2x12" is that you'll be able to run a true stereo setup. Of course, if you get the right Rivera cabinet, a lot of them are wired for stereo operation as well.

If Microdimitry was at all familiar with the TBR series, he'd realize that it's not possible to "unplug" the channels input (since the amp only has (2) channels in the first place, and that there is only a single input )

Per the owner's manual (bottom of Page 18 ): "The TBR-1 and TBR-2 are equipped with a special power amp protection circuit; when no plugs are inserted into the speaker jacks the power amps are in an effective standby state."

Again...a good reason to actually be familiar with the amp in question before offering "advice"
Well, I've built quite a bit of tube stuff myself, so I know a thing or two about tube amps. I'm not familiar with a TBR, though, but if Rivera says it's ok to leave one channel unloaded, so be it.

It's just that it's not applicable to other amps and they can easily burn out their output trannies if you don't do what you're supposed to do. As a rule there's no protective circuit in place (it costs less than 3 bucks to build it in, I have no idea why amp manufacturers don't do it).
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 01:21 AM
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Kremlin- congrats on the new amp! I think you're gonna dig it! SO MANY tones are available....wow. Anyway, here's some more info for ya:

Chris is correct- you can leave Power Amp B un-jacked. The TBR Series amps have internal switching that automatically shuts off the unused power amp. This is as per the manual, and as per my own discussions with Mr. Rivera himself (and Eric, the other TBR Master at Rivera).
Just make sure you plug into the jack that says "Use First" on Power Amp A. If the printing is gone on the back of your amp, CLICK HERE, and you'll see which one to use first.
Print the manual directly from the site. Trust me on this:
CLICK HERE for the manual. It's about 30 pages, but well worth it.

For spreaken cable, I'd suggest anything that's nice and thick. :-) I have a TBR-2SL, so with 320W at my fingertips, I went with a nice thick cable. I don't remember where I got it (Don't tell anyone, but I think it was a GC in NY...). For the TBR-1SL and -1M, I'd suggest a nice medium-duty cable. If the connections on your cable are sketchy, or could possibly short out, DON'T use it. Just replace it, or repair the connections. Few things are worse than being in the middle of that awesome solo in front of all those hotties, when your spreaken cable shorts out and the amp shuts down. :-)

Regarding the gain: Check the 12ax7's in there. If they're crap, or you got them from GC or SA, It's time to invest in some new ones. I recommend www.TubeStore.com, but there are plenty of reliable sources for GOOD, tested, tubes. My experiences with TubeStore.com have been outstanding.

Regarding cabinets: Chris hits the nail on the head here too. Rivera TBR Series amps are VERY cabinet picky. They sound great thru one 4x12, then like poo on a sick thru another 4x12. They can even have the same spreakens, and get a different sound. It's kinda creepy. :-) It's a pain in the ass, but....if you can....try out the TBR with as many different cabs as you can. Some 2x12's will work; some 4x12's will work. It's really your call. Like Chris stated, Rivera cabs work really well with Rivera gear. If your Mesa's are workin' well, rock on. Maybe save some pennies and keep an eye out for some Rivera cabs on FleaBay or locally.
I'm currently running mine thru a 2x12 with Eminence Legend spreakens, and I'm quite happy with my tone. A Dream Setup would be (2) Rivera 4x12's, (1) 2x12, and (1) 15" sub cabinet. Yikes! But tone from here to Kathmandu! :-)

Micro: Here's a link to the TBR page. If you want some shots of the inside of a TBR, email me ([email protected]). It's a true beauty of engineering. :-)
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 01:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses, you guys are awesome.

I already read through the manual numerous times before I even got my amp and still missed that somehow LOL. The gain definitely doesn't sound right, it sounds like the volume knob on channel 1 is only turned up 1/4 the way. Is the amp supposed to be very high gain? After reading rave reviews about it, I was under the impression it would have as much, if not more, gain than my Mesa/Mark IV, which it definitely doesn't have at this time.

What brand of tubes do you guys like the most? I've used mostly Mesa or Sovtek in the past but I'm openminded. BTW if you've bought any NOS tubes from thetubestore.com, chances are, they belonged to me at some point or another I found an old cabinet FULL of tubes in my high school electronics class, and the teacher was going to throw them out, so I took them and sold them to thetubestore.

I realize the stereo effect would be better with 2 1x12s because I could position them further away than the two speakers in a stereo 2x12, but how would the tone compare? If the cabinet is smaller, wouldn't it have less bass response?

Rivera has 3 different speakers available in most the cabinets, not sure which I'll use. I will phone Paul Rivera some time and see if he can give me some suggestions.

Again, thanks guys!
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 01:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevan
Micro: Here's a link to the TBR page. If you want some shots of the inside of a TBR, email me ([email protected]). It's a true beauty of engineering. :-)
Check your email. I'm always up to some amp porn.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 01:46 AM
 
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Dammit!!! It's a FULL amp, not just poweramp. I've been daydreaming here. Sorry guys.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 03:05 AM
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I prefer Electro-Harmonix and Tesla tubes, but those are my ears talking. I've had great results with both.

The TBR's are indeed high-gain amps. If you're not getting sufficient crunch (just this site of solid state), then you really should do some pre-amp tube swapping. Also, while you're in there, check your power tubes. I *LOVE* my 6550's, but the EL-34's I've heard in TBRs can move some furniture as well.

Here's a cool little tid-bit for ya: If it comes time to purchase new power tubes, Rivera has them for you. All ready to go. :-) Since the TBR Series amps were 'made to order' (i.e. you call them, order the amp in the configuration you want, throw them $1850- $2300, and they send you a 6550 or EL-34-equipped amp), if you give them your serial number, they will sell you pre-biased tubes! How cool is that! Sure- they cost a few bucks more, but....they're literally a drop-in replacement, direct from the manufacturer! And, it saves you a trip to the amp tech and the cash he'd get for biasing.

That's the other cool thing about Rivera: The best customer service from any music company that I've ever dealt with. It's not everyday that you call a major manufacturer and the president of the company picks up, and answers all your inane questions to a T. :-) If Mr. Rivera, or Paul Jr. aren't there, ask for Eric. He knows the TBR Series inside and out as well.

Cabinets are so kooky. I've heard 1x12's that sound like subs under a concert stage, and 4x12's that sound like a Dremel cutting ceramic tile. I think the 2x12's that Chris has, and use on stage regularly, are probably a good middle ground to start with. If you want more bass, try a couple of different cabs: 1x12's, 2x12's, 4x12's (or even one of those 8x12's I saw somewhere. LOL). Another suggestion is to try different spreakens. Eminence, Celestion, WeberVST, and a few others make kickass spreakens. Sell off your old ones if you like the new ones to recover some of the cost.
When it comes to cabs and spreakens, you really have to let your ears decide.

I have to talk to Mr. Rivera this week anyway (other stuff). If you'd like, I can save you a call? Just email me your questions and I'll get the best answers I can. Just an option for ya.

BTW- do you have a TBR-1SL, TBR-1M, or TBR-2SL? I don't think the model number has been stated yet.

Micro- sorry about not having the amp p0rn on the HDD. I'll dig it up this week and send it to ya, or post it here. :-)
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-20-2003, 10:02 AM
 
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When I got my TBR-2SL, it still had the original Rivera tubes in it from '89 or so. I was surprised that they STILL sounded great! Of course, they've since been changed anyway.

Currently, I've been experimenting with JJ tubes in the TBR-1SL, which is my main gig amp. I've got (2) matched pairs of E34Ls, which have roughtly 20% more clean headroom than the traditional EL34s. After a handful of gigs with the JJs in place, I'm VERY pleasantly surprised! They sound great!

On the TBR-2SL, I've got a (2) matched Svetlana quads, which sound terrific as well.

I've always used 12AT7s in the phase-converter positions, and have JAN/Phillips NOS tubes in both amps (as well as my Mark IV combo). I've also got the JAN/Phillips 12AX7s in all amps, but am ordering some JJ 12AX7s this week so that I can try a full set of JJs in the TBR-1SL.
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bass response , electro harmonix , ernie ball , marshall valvestate , mesa cab , mesa mark , power amp , power amps , rack setup , recto cab , rivera amps , rivera tbr , space rack , speaker cab , tube amp , tube amps

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