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 Post subject: Rivera Knucklehead Tre'
PostPosted: Tue, Mar 17, 2009 2:15pm 
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I haven't seen any reviews here on the Rivera Knuckle Head Tre'. So I'm posting my feelings about it for those who may be interested.

Knuckle Head Tre'
I had a chance to test this amp out at a local high end music store. First 5 minute impression was that this amp was ok and nothing special. But after tweaking for about 20 minutes I really started to dig what I was hearing. Another 30 minutes in and it was a keeper. I did pick one up, but I got a very well taken care of used one for $960.00 vs. the $1999.99 new price tag. Comes with 3 button footswitch (channel, boost, loop).
_________________________________________________________________________

Channel 1 (high gain):
Without a doubt, the highest gain I've ever encountered in an amp, period, even before engaging the boost control. Compared to my Uberschall, SLO and Mesa's, it's much higher in the gain dept. I'm using EMG 81/85/SA pups into the Low Gain input and with the gain on 5 it's massive, engage the boost and it's over the top. But it retains it's tone and feel, never muds out. Even at extreme levels of gain the amp is very quiet. But if you have noisy effects or pick ups you will have problems at higher gain settings. I run a Decimator pedal between my pedals and amp input which knocks out any noise before the amps I'm using. It's a straight forward channel with a simple eq (Treble, Mid, Bass), Gain and Master controls plus a shared Presence control. Master volume knob pulls for boost engage (if you are not using the footswitch). But a real nice thing is the Resonance control in this channel that acts like a sub level, without the subwoofer. According to Rivera they used an extra gain stage from the pre-amp tubes to drive this control seperately from the main channel 1 eq. It really does work, start turning it up and get ready to feel some very tight and forceful bass, not flubby or muddy, but tight and forcefull movement of air from the speakers. More usable bass than my Uberschall. This channel stays tight and clear. Leads sing for days and are very smooth and fluid. Harmonics jump out with very little effort on the players part.

Quick run down of comparisons for those who need it;
More upper mid voicing, tighter bass and more focused with less power section compression than my Uberschall gain channel.
Clean and clear, very focused gain with very little power section compression like my SLO, just all around heavier and more aggressive tone.
________________________________________________________________________

Channel 2 (clean):
This channel is clean and big sounding. A few people have said "Fender" clean, and I have to agree. It's in your face, thick and bold. The channel controls are straight forward with a few options. Eq consist of Treble, Mid and Bass. Treble knobs pulls out for "Bright" and the Mid knob pulls out for a "Mid Notch" shift. Both of these features make a very noticable change in the tone. This channel shares the same presence control as the Gain channel. There is no Master Volume control for this channel, only Volume. Basically the Volume knob controls the gain of the channel. Just keep turning it up until you match the volume level of the gain channel. Or turn it up higher for some nice crunch tones. But keep in mind it will be very loud since there is no master volume control for this channel and you will be overdriving the channel itself. It is a nice channel to balance with the gain channel.

Quick run down of comparisons for those who need it;
Big and bold cleans, very tight and more focused than my Uberschall clean channel, but not as soft or warm responce wise.
Thicker clean tone and warmer than my SLO clean channel, but not as "pristine" sounding.
_______________________________________________________________________

The amp has a tube buffered effects loop with send and return level knobs, this should all the effects loop anybody should ever need. You can also use it as a foot switched volume boost for solos or what ever.

This amp is powerfull and loud. Amp stays very tight, very little, if any compression in the power section. So if you don't like the way an Uberschall compresses when pushed, or you like the tightness of an SLO but just wish it was more aggressive, then this might be the amp for you.

Hope this helps.

-Mike


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Last edited by Death by Uberschall on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 12:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Mon, Jun 08, 2009 6:07pm 
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Thanks I liked the old Knuckleheads, but have never tried the Tre


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PostPosted: Fri, Aug 21, 2009 10:33am 
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If you like it now, try it with a boost from an OD pedal. This is what I do. I never use the built in boost. I use my BBE Green Screamer with the level almost maxed and the gain almost off. This makes the Tre 100x better.


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PostPosted: Mon, Aug 24, 2009 11:37am 
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The K-Tre is the greatest amp that I've played. Once I discovered them, my amp search was over. I have 2 of the K-Tre heads (my main live rig), and a K-Tre 55 combo for smaller rooms. I'm not as impressed with the combo(it does sound different than the head), but none the less it's still a great amp.

The only downfall of the K-Tre head is it's seeming low resale value. I think in part because people don't know how great they are as they are not "mainstream". The combos definitely hold their value better than the heads.

Rivera also has great customer service. Pick up the phone, and they are more than happy to talk amps with you. They even helped me with comparison shopping when I was looking to buy an amp.......and I told them that I was NOT buying new.


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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 19, 2010 1:59pm 
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the same can be said of the KR7 head as well.

It is indeed over the top when it comes to the Distortion and low end and everything the K-tre is as well.
Too bad most people don't know too much about Rivera's...
they are truly missing out!

Awesome amps!

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PostPosted: Sat, Jan 30, 2010 12:50am 
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+1 to boosting the K-Tre with a good Tube Screamer (or similar variant). As a Rivera dealer with a lot of experience with these, I've found they definitely sound best with a boost in front (and the gain turned down on the amp). For heavy stuff anyways, of course for rock it's not necessary.

Regarding the KR7 vs KR100 vs K-Tre, personally I like the KR7 the most. It has more balls than the KR100 but is tighter and more articulate than the K-Tre and also more versatile. One of the best amps ever IMO. The K-Tre is great too though as long as a simple setup is sufficient.

It's also important to point out that the K-Tre and K-Tre Reverb do not sound identical. The K-Tre Reverb is a bit tighter than the regular K-Tre. I'm not sure why, but talks with Paul Rivera Jr confirmed this. Naturally the clean channel on the reverb model is much better too, gorgeous tones (though the cleans on the KR7 are even better IMO).

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PostPosted: Sat, Jan 30, 2010 6:35am 
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I just got in a KR7 on trade and havent even played it yet! :lol: :LOL:
Pretty busy during the week. Today is going to be TEST period on this amp. :rock:

High hopes for this one. :thumbsup:

Will be writing my review later this weekend on it.


More to follow.......... ;)

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PostPosted: Mon, Feb 08, 2010 10:05pm 
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I have owned alot of amps....
The Rivera KR7 is the best I have owned.
We play all styles of music. usually the amp falls short in one of the areas. Great metal...crap clean channel. Good Crunch....not enough low end....Etc....
The Rivera KR7 is EXCELLENT in ALL AREAS for what we play!!!
What a great amp.....I am in awe. :yes:

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PostPosted: Mon, Feb 15, 2010 7:55pm 
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I picked up a K-Tre w/Reverb a month and a half ago. Awesome amp! :thumbsup:

Compliments my KR-100 well :rock:

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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 25, 2010 10:05am 
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I've owned a Rivera R55 for over 10 years. Amazing amp. I think Rivera is one of the most under rated amp makers out there.


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PostPosted: Sat, Dec 25, 2010 11:33am 
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I have one. The initial review comments are spot on. This amp pushed a Rectifier out of the lineup in the man cave. The high gain channel is amazing, run a 15" cab with the 2x12 and it will rattle a kidney loose. I demo'ed this thru a Diezel 4x12 at a store where they let you crank it up a bit, and it was brutal.

The clean channel does sound very Fender clean to my ears. It does not have a master volume, but you can engage the loop and adjust the loop level like a master volume. On reverb on this amp. A Hardwire reverb does great with it.

The clean channel loves pedals. With just the added grind and boost of an Xotic AC Boost it turns into a vintage early Rush type amp. I have pulled two of the power tubes just to bring the volume down a bit.

And like the OP, I got it dirt cheap used. This amp next to my SLO is what has worked out to be the perfect high gain set up. The SLO has the great weird mids and cut, the Rivera KT has that pissed off evil voice and the deep deep tight bass. I am running mine thru a 2x12 cab with Celestion 75s, best scooped speaker I have. Tried it thru Classic 80's - ok but lost some of the agression.

The Rivera KT is one of the best 900-1000 high gainer heads out there. Marketing for Rivera is non-existent. I think that is killing the resale value, not that they are poor quality amps. There is no online manual for the KT. But, the peeps at Rivera are very helpful if you call them.

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PostPosted: Mon, Feb 27, 2012 5:41pm 
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I have to agree. I picked up a KTre about a year ago and LOVE it!

Absolutely brutal gain that's very throaty. Resonance and Foundation knobs are great to tweek with

Clean channel is one of the best I've heard on a high gainer. Are stellar amps live. Never tried to track them

Only negatives I have are:

Resell value doesn't seem that good. They are pricey and many could argue worth it but don't seem to hold their value
When you mention the name Rivera, most people respond with "Who?!". I think that adds to the resell value problem. Their marketing dept is asleep at the wheel
I've never had much luck (or need) running pedals in front of this amp. Almost like the amp says "no thanks, I got this".

Other than those tiny things, LOVE IT


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PostPosted: Tue, Mar 06, 2012 10:12pm 
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I had a Rivera Knucklehead 100 (KR-100) and the mids were too chewy IMO and got old quick.


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PostPosted: Sat, Sep 15, 2012 4:55am 
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Awsome amp and very versatile


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PostPosted: Tue, Jan 29, 2013 4:57pm 
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just picked up a second K Tre' Reverb... currently best bang for the buck high gainer!
Rob..

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PostPosted: Wed, Jan 30, 2013 3:26am 
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Another KR7 owner here.. I like mine alot, it does everything very well...

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PostPosted: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 9:47pm 
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Robd wrote:
just picked up a second K Tre' Reverb... best high gainer!


There, I fixed it for you :D

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PostPosted: Mon, Mar 04, 2013 2:43pm 
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mjtripper wrote:
Robd wrote:
just picked up a second K Tre' Reverb... best high gainer!


There, I fixed it for you :D



ok thanks!! :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Mon, Mar 04, 2013 2:47pm 
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Dang gives me gas for a KR7...!

Rivera Knuckle Head Tre'/Reverb for a KR7 anyone? :yes:

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PostPosted: Mon, Nov 30, 2015 1:23am 
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Sounds as though these are quite a focused, crunchy high gain tone and don't have too much bottom end and aren't too loose or muddy. I've been searching and searching for the right amp for me. I've got through 6505's, Splawn Nitro, Randall Satan, ENGL Fireball, Blackstars, Laney's, MI Megalith Beta, all sorts. So far the Fireball has been my favourite, don't mind losing a bit of overall boom and power for a tighter crunchier high gain tone. Got an Engl Savage on the way so hopefully this is the Amp for me. If not i'm considering a few others, and the Rivera Knucklehead is one of them. I think this, and maybe a Pittbull UL.... I'm lost as to what to try after that, Bogners, Diezels, all seem to be too 'huge' sounding.

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PostPosted: Mon, Jan 11, 2016 10:12am 
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That review of Ktre is pretty much what I got from it when we tried it out at Sweetwater. Played it thru several cabs w diff speakers n v30 were the best. For me at least. Took me only a few minutes to dial in an unforgettable Hi-gain tone.


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PostPosted: Wed, Feb 24, 2016 2:53pm 
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I almost pulled the trigger on one of these..still wondering how it feels under the fingers..sounds really good


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PostPosted: Tue, Apr 07, 2020 9:38am 
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I just picked up another Rivera.

I've had the KII for years, and it's been my main amp since I got it. Lots of amps have come and gone and nothing has dethroned the mighty Rivera.

So I picked up this KR55 for stupid cheap. Very similar to the KII except WAY more gain available, not quite as much low end, and an extra channel.

It mystifies me that Riveras aren't more popular. I will admit they can be tricky to dial in due to all the tonal options available, but this is also what makes them so versatile.

I also generally use a boost with mine (but then I use a boost with pretty much all my amps).

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PostPosted: Thu, Apr 16, 2020 12:44pm 
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ZEEGLER wrote:
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I just picked up another Rivera.

I've had the KII for years, and it's been my main amp since I got it. Lots of amps have come and gone and nothing has dethroned the mighty Rivera.

So I picked up this KR55 for stupid cheap. Very similar to the KII except WAY more gain available, not quite as much low end, and an extra channel.

It mystifies me that Riveras aren't more popular. I will admit they can be tricky to dial in due to all the tonal options available, but this is also what makes them so versatile.

I also generally use a boost with mine (but then I use a boost with pretty much all my amps).

Image

:rock: :rock: After messaging you a few weeks ago I ended up grabbing the KII (Knucklehead II) to go with my KR100. It's a pretty sweet amp. Great clean, the Ninja boost is a very cool feature. The Gain side has plenty of gain on tap and with the pull knobs on all the frequencies there's quite a bit of tone variety available. The KII definitely has an excessive amount of lows available! Boosted with my mainstay Maxon OD808 it sounded pretty good. Tried a buddy's Fortin 33 in front of it as well and it was pretty amazing. Those 33's do wonders for 6L6 amps.

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PostPosted: Thu, Apr 16, 2020 1:20pm 
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Jeremy wrote:
ZEEGLER wrote:
Image

I just picked up another Rivera.

I've had the KII for years, and it's been my main amp since I got it. Lots of amps have come and gone and nothing has dethroned the mighty Rivera.

So I picked up this KR55 for stupid cheap. Very similar to the KII except WAY more gain available, not quite as much low end, and an extra channel.

It mystifies me that Riveras aren't more popular. I will admit they can be tricky to dial in due to all the tonal options available, but this is also what makes them so versatile.

I also generally use a boost with mine (but then I use a boost with pretty much all my amps).

Image

:rock: :rock: After messaging you a few weeks ago I ended up grabbing the KII (Knucklehead II) to go with my KR100. It's a pretty sweet amp. Great clean, the Ninja boost is a very cool feature. The Gain side has plenty of gain on tap and with the pull knobs on all the frequencies there's quite a bit of tone variety available. The KII definitely has an excessive amount of lows available! Boosted with my mainstay Maxon OD808 it sounded pretty good. Tried a buddy's Fortin 33 in front of it as well and it was pretty amazing. Those 33's do wonders for 6L6 amps.


Hey that's awesome! Mine are the opposite of yours. My KII has EL34s and the KR55 has 6L6s. I think I still prefer the KII at this point, but I've had it for years and I'm very familiar with it. I must admit it's taking a while to get used to the KR55. It's very easy to make it sound too fizzy and harsh, especially at lower volumes. It's interesting that although the basic character of the two amps is so similar, they can still be very different. The Headmaster foot controller is a whole new problem. The KII footswitch is simple. I have the manual for the headmaster but still haven't managed to make it do what I want. I called Rivera and the guy (Rich) told me to shoot him an email about it. I haven't heard back yet, but hopefully he can help me out.


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