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texasdw

Maybe the ultimate amp for ES and L-type guitars

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I think this just might be the ultimate amp for ES and L5 type guitars. I'm a Chet player...not a jazzer by any means, but the sound I strive for is more along the jazz lines than the Chet-twang stuff. Regardless, I'm shooting for ultra clean but still warm and big. I ordered this amp about 4 months ago and it came in on Tuesday. This concludes a 2 year search for the perfect amp. My workhorse to this point has been a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue. That's a nice amp too, but it can't compare to this.

 

The Rivera Jazz Suprema 112 is 55 watts, and has one 12-inch speaker. Weighs in around 55 pounds, maybe a little less. It is ultra clean. Frighteningly clean. The bass response is absolutely phenomenal. It has an almost bouncy or "rubbery" sort of sound at the low end. Just reverberates the wall. Sends chills up my spine. The amount of this low end rumble can be reigned in with either the EQ or with the "focus" control, the latter a pretty unique facet.

 

The 112 version of this amp (the one I have) is sold through Sound Pure in North Carolina. Rivera makes a 15-inch speaker version of this amp that's sold through Guitars 'n Jazz in New Jersey. The price, comparatively speaking, is not bad for an amp of this caliber (around $1600). I'd post some sound clips if I knew how, but there are already sound demos at the link below so that'd probably be redundant. I may post some pics at some point though.

 

My Les Paul Custom sounds really nice through this. But the ES335 and the L5 are just phenomenal. It's really a "Wow!" sort of deal. I highly recommend for this spectrum of guitars:

 

 

http://www.rivera.com/index.php/products/combos/293

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It's not easy to find the one amp that does justice for so many different kinds of guitars. The Rivera amp is an excellent choice for the Gibson 57's PU which are world known and admired. Paul Jackson Jr. favors the Rivera amps as well.

 

Two years ago I ended my similar amp journey quest and landed on the Fuchs TDS 100 and never looked at another amp since for all of my guitars.

 

Congrats on your conquest!

 

Jazz,

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The price, comparatively speaking, is not bad for an amp of this caliber (around $1600).

 

At that price, it better be the ULTIMATE amp!

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At that price, it better be the ULTIMATE amp!

 

and Larry nails it! Rivera's in general are pretty expensive tho, aren't they?

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At that price, it better be the ULTIMATE amp!

 

Hhhmmmm...well, I don't know. Apart from Fenders, this is pretty average for good amps. I know you can get a decent Fender for under a grand, but apart from that... you priced Mesas lately? Besides, if we're talking L5s, 335s, LP Customs, we're talking about guitars that range from 3K-12K.

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At the 2005 Winter NAMM the best jazz guitar sound I heard was in the Rivera booth, from a great player who was playing a Borys BG100 through a Jazz Suprema. I checked the amp out, and while I really liked its sound, the weight takes it out of consideration for me.

 

Ten years ago I switched from tube amps to solid-state ones from Acoustic Image. My twenty-pound Corus+ sounds great at any volume I can stand to play and if I need more body, my Ten2 sounds even bigger and still weighs only twenty-eight pounds. Players can argue all they want over whether one of these sounds as good as a great tube amp, but it doesn't matter to me--they sound great on a gig, hang with any band I play in, are easy to transport, carry and set up, and have been completely reliable.

 

I've even done '50's-style rock gigs using them as powered speakers with a multi-effects amp modeler into the return.

 

So personally, I think these are the ultimate amps for my ES and L-type guitars.

 

Danny W.

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Yes Danny, the solid state amps were on my radar. Quite a few suited to jazz sounds. There is something to be said for light weight. But at this point in my life my gigs (on guitar at least) are not that frequent, and they're solo so I can take my time transporting and setting up. So, I don't mind the extra weight. If I start playing out more often I might even invest in one of the solid states just for the weight issue.

 

Incidentally, I play WAY more bass out at gigs than guitar. And my main bass amp is solid state...with neodymium speakers. As much for the weight issue as the tone (it's a Markbass- very nice sounds for solid state or otherwise).

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I think this just might be the ultimate amp for ES and L5 type guitars. I'm a Chet player...not a jazzer by any means, but the sound I strive for is more along the jazz lines than the Chet-twang stuff. Regardless, I'm shooting for ultra clean but still warm and big. I ordered this amp about 4 months ago and it came in on Tuesday. This concludes a 2 year search for the perfect amp. My workhorse to this point has been a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue. That's a nice amp too, but it can't compare to this.

 

The Rivera Jazz Suprema 112 is 55 watts, and has one 12-inch speaker. Weighs in around 55 pounds, maybe a little less. It is ultra clean. Frighteningly clean. The bass response is absolutely phenomenal. It has an almost bouncy or "rubbery" sort of sound at the low end. Just reverberates the wall. Sends chills up my spine. The amount of this low end rumble can be reigned in with either the EQ or with the "focus" control, the latter a pretty unique facet.

 

The 112 version of this amp (the one I have) is sold through Sound Pure in North Carolina. Rivera makes a 15-inch speaker version of this amp that's sold through Guitars 'n Jazz in New Jersey. The price, comparatively speaking, is not bad for an amp of this caliber (around $1600). I'd post some sound clips if I knew how, but there are already sound demos at the link below so that'd probably be redundant. I may post some pics at some point though.

 

My Les Paul Custom sounds really nice through this. But the ES335 and the L5 are just phenomenal. It's really a "Wow!" sort of deal. I highly recommend for this spectrum of guitars:

 

 

http://www.rivera.co...ucts/combos/293

 

Hi,

 

Interesting post. I'm an Aussie and we have difficulty getting access to amps that americans may use because of the need to have amps set up for 220 - 240 volts rather than the 110 volts you guys use.

 

Having said that I own 3 jazz amps, a 90 watt Polytone, a 110 watt Henriksen and a Fender '65 reissue Deluxe reverb. I gig with the Henriksen but my fave jazz amp is my '73 Polytone. Its gorgeous. And like Danny W I've moved to solid state amps for jazz cos they sound great and they are not heavy to carry about.

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And like Danny W I've moved to solid state amps for jazz cos they sound great and they are not heavy to carry about.

 

Ditto..... I'm a true believer in Roland jazz amp (solid state) technology. Roland was the first amp mfg to make a solid state amp the would/could/did compete with the tube amps of the day (JC-120). When I was searching for the "ultimate" amp for my archtops I played through MANY amps, both vintage and new. I tried everything from 50's Gibsons, to 60's Silvertones, 70's Music Mans, etc (I AM NOT a fan of Fender amps, nor would I ever play my Gibson Guitars through one). For jazz gigs, I currently carry around a Roland Cube 30X. I know jazzers that swear by Polytones, but I just can't justify the price tag.

 

One other thing I've tried not to bring up in this thread, but.......

 

When I play my ES-345, I'm not looking for the same sound as when I play my L-5CES. One amp might get great sounds for both guitars, but not on the same settings.

 

I play jazz through a $250 Roland, and I play blues and R&R though a 70's Music Man that cost me $250 when bought it. That adds up to $500, do the math.

 

As a professional guitar player (or not), there is no way in hell I could justify spending $1600 on ANY amp. I should have stayed in engineering school so I would have had more disposable income to throw away on music gear, but I've tried to live the dream.

 

Note to you youngsters: STAY IN SCHOOL!

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Fair enough L5 Larry. You got me. I don't gig for a living. And my hat's off to you guys who went that route. Seriously. I know that can be a tough route. But then so can a lot of other stuff (like engineering, forensic pathology, etc).

 

But, I'll say it again...how much did you pay for your L5CES? Bet it was more than $250. How 'bout that 345? If you're going to spend >1K on a guitar, why hesitate to spend >1K on an amp to play it through? But, we all have to set our own priorities. To each his own.

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Fair enough L5 Larry. You got me. I don't gig for a living. And my hat's off to you guys who went that route. Seriously. I know that can be a tough route. But then so can a lot of other stuff (like engineering, forensic pathology, etc).

 

But, I'll say it again...how much did you pay for your L5CES? Bet it was more than $250. How 'bout that 345? If you're going to spend >1K on a guitar, why hesitate to spend >1K on an amp to play it through? But, we all have to set our own priorities. To each his own.

 

 

Hi Texasdw,

 

Interesting post mate. I'm of the view that the amp needs to be good enough to make a great guitar sound great. So I approach the purchasing of an amp with this in mind but also I don't want anything that is so heavy that I can't comfortably carry it around.

 

My Polytone is a great sounding amp and I bought it second hand so I didn't pay that much for it. My Henriksen was brand new and I paid over $1000 for it. I prefer both of these solid state amps to my Fender Deluxe Reverb which cost me more. Don't get me wrong though I do love the Fender and I would gig with it if I had to.

 

My view is that the amp has to be good enough to show off the exquisite beauty of an L5 CES or in my case my Gibson Johnny Smith.

 

 

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Wow watching that video makes me want to grab my ES335 and go buy that amp and learn Jazz! Not a bad price for an Amp of that quality. Dr. Z and yes Messa are more expensive.

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I started a post asking the same question, why are some jazz players more focused spending thousands on their guitars and less concerned with spending so little for their amp and I got hell from a few old timers on this forum.

 

A great jazz guitar will only sound great if it's plugged into a great amp. George Benson once told me that he only uses Gibson L5, Monster End High Cables and a High End Amp from Germany to record all of his music. But due to contractual reasons with Ibanez and Roland he can not publicly be seen with any other equipment manufacturers.

 

Personally, I rather have one less guitar for the price of a very well made amp that brings out the best sound of my L5. And anybody that thinks otherwise is not being honests with themselves. If you can't afford a good amp that's different point versus saying that a $5,000 plus guitar sounds great on a $250 solid state amp. BS!

 

As a musician, I think you should invest equal time and money in choosing a great amp as well.

 

Jazz,

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I started a post asking the same question, why are some jazz players more focused spending thousands on their guitars and less concerned with spending so little for their amp and I got hell from a few old timers on this forum.

 

A great jazz guitar will only sound great if it's plugged into a great amp. George Benson once told me that he only uses Gibson L5, Monster End High Cables and a High End Amp from Germany to record all of his music. But due to contractual reasons with Ibanez and Roland he can not publicly be seen with any other equipment manufacturers.

 

Personally, I rather have one less guitar for the price of a very well made amp that brings out the best sound of my L5. And anybody that thinks otherwise is not being honests with themselves. If you can't afford a good amp that's different point versus saying that a $5,000 plus guitar sounds great on a $250 solid state amp. BS!

 

As a musician, I think you should invest equal time and money in choosing a great amp as well.

 

Jazz,

[thumbup]

 

Hi Jazz Gtr,

 

I agree with you to a point. My view is that you spend the time getting the amp that best brings out the sound of your jazz guitar. And I'm committed to getting the best sound I can. However as I see it I have paid much more for the guitar because great amps are considerably cheaper than great arch tops.

 

When I gig I'm using either a Polytone or a Henriksen. Both great amps but both were less than 20 percent of the total price of my Johnny Smith or L5.

 

 

 

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Hi Guys, new kid on the block here. I snatched up a Rivera 5512 from a buddy of mine that had it for three weeks and said it was to much amp for him so I grabbed it up for 600 bucks. I don't play Jazz, I'm into Blues and the amp does have way more gain in the dirty channel than I'll ever use. It's clean channel is very nice and that's were I hang out on it. I sold my Fender Twin because it's a friggen tank and bought a Blackstar 50 watt head and single 12 cab to replace it. Great combo and is easier to move. My 65 re-issue is a good clean amp but the Rivera beats it hands down on tone. I've only done a few open mic nights and don't realy consider myself as a musician yet but am having fun. I have 3 Pauls and wanted something to round out my tone choices and decided to pull the trigger on a 339. I don't know when it will arrive but am being patient. I called Gibson directly and they said it could take 30-90 days. I have a couple other 15 watt amps should I go to a buddy's place to practice which is more than enough for practice sessions. However, I play 90% of the time at home by myself trying my best to learn what I can every day.

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