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Rating and Reviews: Rivera RockCrusher

Built for silent recording, this power attenuator and load box from Rivera is an essential ingredient to recording superior tone.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Crave Tube Amp Tone, but not the shear volume? You NEED This!!" submitted March 3, 2015

By Todd R in Epping, NH
Overall
Sound
Features
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Musical Background: 35+ year home/hobby player
Music Style: Rock & Blues
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: Only at the Studio setting is there a noticeable drop on both the high and low end. The sound is still very good, but the top end loses just a little of the sparkle and the low end loses just a bit of the thump. All other -db settings are at full tone and feel. Except for the volume drop, they sound just as full as you could ever want. Best description I can offer is that its invisible. The RockCrusher produces no sound on its own. It doesn't color the tone in any way that I can notice. Feature: For me the handiest features other then the attenuation ability are the 2 EQ switches. They really help shape the guitars tone when using different pickups and their individual flavors. I have not tried the Line Out feature. I'm a simple guy with simple needs and I don't record or play live where this would be useful. Ease of Use: It couldn't be easier to use. Just a few knobs for attenuation and the 4 switches for EQ, Z matching and a bypass. Once you get the few particulars dialed in, its just set and forget. Quality: The RockCrusher is built like a 'rock'. And by that I mean Rock Solid. Beefy steel frame and whatever is inside it makes it heavy. Value: I thought before buying it, it was a little pricey compared other well known name brand attenuators available in the US. I've owned those other as well in the past, but found that they just didn't do what I needed them to do very well. They were cheaper, but only knocked a few db off the volume while sucking the ever loving life out of the tone. Now after taking the chance and buying the RockCrusher, I found it works perfectly for my needs. Making it worth every penny I spent for it and then some. Manufacturer Support: I haven't had to use the manufactures support. So I can only go on what I've read about Rivera support on many guitar forums. If its only half as good as their reputation says, then their 10 times as good as I'll ever need. The Wow Factor: Its all WOW with this product. Its not a new amp or new guitar or new pedal WOW. But it will allow the average home player who needs to save the wear and tear on their own ears and keep peace with others in the living space. No more headphones, which personally I hate to wear. I was really starting to resent the fact that maybe would never play a smoldering hot tube amp in my house ever again. Feeling like I was 'stuck' in a sterile SS/Digital amp rut. Playing but not having fun. That all changed when I got in my RockCrusher. Pure tube bliss, but at comfortable home volume levels. That you Rivera a thousand times over for building this device. Its the bedroom players dream come true. Overall: 1st of all. Please take note that this is from the view point of a home player who was trying to 'settle' with Digital amps because good tube amp tone just cant be had without ridiculous volumes. I do enjoy my SS/Digital amps and can use them at home friendly volumes, but they just cant compete with hot cranked tubes for tone. Not just the sound, but the 'feel' of the relationship between the guitar and amp is important to me and again, I've not yet found any sub $1500 digital amps that have the same feel as a good old tube amp. But tube amps are hard to play at low volumes in a bedroom, basement or living room setting. Low volume tube amps lack tone. Even with a master volume amp, its difficult at best to get a decent sound out of the amp...they just sound so flat and lifeless. I've now owned 4 small tube amps under 6 watts and none of them had much character either. All either lifeless or fizzy sounding. Now enter the RockCrusher and its like having your cake and eating it too, to coin an old phrase. The RockCrusher lets your tube amp do what it does best. Sounds great, but with many levels of home or apartment friendly volumes. The Studio setting allows you to play at almost 'baby sleeping in the same room' levels. The Studio setting has its own level dial. Working like a normal volume knob. It will go from Zero sound up to just a normal-ish TV watching volume. Though very useful, the Studio setting does chop off a little of the high and low end of the tone. Switch to the -20db or -16db and the tone comes to its full glory, but at manageable volume levels. These are my 2 favorite positions and have had no complaints about volume from anyone in my house. The -12db starts to get a bit too loud for comfort. The -3/-8db start getting to close to full on volume for my home use. But I could see where they would be extremely handy for live use to knock things down a tad so your note blowing the heads off folks in the front few rows and keeping the FOH guy happy. The EQ buttons for Warm & Edge come in handy for fine tuning. I haven't spent a lot of time with them. I own a handful of guitars. So in those I have P-90's, Humbuckers and Single Coil pickups. I find that I end up using different combinations of the EQ switches for each of the different types of pickups. Great for fine tuning the sound of each different guitar. I've owned a few different Big Named Brand attenuators over the years and the RockCrusher is hands down far better overall for my use. Those other name brand ones are okay, and just 'okay' for taking a bit off the top of a 100 watt head, but just don't come close to the flexibility of the RockCrusher. I own lots of gear...and zZounds can back that up for me. I rarely take the time to write up gear reviews. That said, this is one of the few that I really got excited about enough to share my thoughts about. I would say only a small amount of players actually play live. So the ones like me that only play for the shear self satisfaction of it and crave/need/want what only a cranked tube amp can give, need the RockCrusher. That is if you value your tone, along with your own ears anyone that you live with or are close enough too where you need to consider just how loud you can be playing and keep the peace at the same time. The RockCrusher is for you.
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"Rivera Rock Crusher " submitted September 29, 2014

By a customer from hotmail.com in Kailua, HI
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Musical Background: Newb
Music Style: Metal
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Overall: Running a Rivera Tre Knucklehead Amp and can only put hammer down once or twice a week.... Until i got the Rockcrusher. Built like a tank like all Rivera products i can put on Studio setting in living room and crank up Tre as loud as she'll go and keep tubes glowing getting fifth gear tone at conversation levels. Awesome in every way
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"Great for tube amps" submitted January 23, 2012

By Charles Stewart in Gray, TN
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Musical Background: Been playing 30 years
Music Style: Rock - Country - Blues - Christian
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Overall: I have used the RockCursher on everything from 15 watt amps to 120 watt amps and it works great. Sounds very good. No loss of tone. Great quality and price.
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