Chubster 40 Review

manufacturer: Rivera date: 10/19/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Rivera: Chubster 40
Almost all of the features of it's bigger brother, the R55, with 40 watts of EL34 power, (5) 12AX7 preamp tubes, housed in a extra deep open back enclosure and fitted with a Celestion G12L-55 rear mounted speaker.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 9
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
Chubster 40 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 11, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: eBay

Features: The Chubster 40's features make it an incredibly versatile amplifier. The amp comes with two independent channels. The first channel is generally referred to as the British channel since it voiced to give you that classic British (Marshall) sound. The second, or American voiced, channel is the clean channel that allows you to dial up some truly incredible clean sounds. Both channels have a gain boost feature which are controllable by push-pull pots on the amp face or from the three-button footswitch unit. The second channel also features a notch filter which is operated by a push-pull pot on the midrange attenuator. The footswitch is very sturdy and stage ready. The footswitch unit allows you to change between the two channels as well as activate the gain boost on either channel. The only thing that would make the footswitch better is if you could control the notch filter on the second channel but that's just me being a picky gear-geek. I play in a rock'n'roll cover band and this amp is the perfect gig companion. It puts out a massive amount of sound through that 12 speaker for a 40W amp. I play in pubs and small clubs and I've never needed more power. With the two channels and independent gain boosts it's really like having four amps in one! My chief complaints are that there is no headphone jack and no extension jack so you can't run through and extension cabinet if you do need more power. // 8

Sound: This amp is a tone beast! I primarily play a PRS McCarty and an American Standard Telecaster and this amp lets me fill all of my sound needs. I play a wide variety of music with my cover band ranging from The Beatles/Clash/Tom Petty to U2/Green Day/HIM/Black Crowes. I can hit any sound I need with this baby. With each channel having a gain boost it's really like having four amps in one. On the first channel you can dial up some really great dirty overdriven Marshall-esque tones and the gain boost really makes the amp scream. I use the boost primarily for a little extra oomph when I'm playing a solo but for regular playing you have to be careful of your gain settings because you can easily get a lot of feedback. It's a really hot channel but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The second channel is like heaven for clean sounds. With the notch filter engaged and mid cut you can get a great early Fender tweed sound. Without the filter engaged the amp sounds eerily like an old blackface Fender. With independent volume and master controls you can really get that singing clean sound with just the right amount of bite when you attack it. I compared this with a Fender Twin and Twin Reverb reissue amp and as much as I like the sound of those amps the Rivera, for comparable money, just seemed much more versatile. As the lead guitar player in a cover band I have to be able to emulate a lot of different amp sounds and this is the best Tool I've found yet to do that! I can get anything out of this amp from that spanking-clean Bassman-style sound to the loud Mesa/Boogie style overdrive. This is truly a great little box! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I generally play 2-3 time per month and I've never had any problems with durability. This is the first all-tube amp I've ever owned. In the past I've always had solid state or hybrid amps like the Marshall VS65 which is now my backup. I have a few knicks in the red tolex covering but that's just because I'm clumsy when I'm loading in/out my stuff. // 10

Overall Impression: Much like when I bought my Paul Reed Smith guitar I decided it was time to stop buying okay equipment and upgrade to something truly nice. I've been playing for almost fifteen years now and this is easily best thing to happen to my tone. As much as I love my PRS and my Tele it wasn't until I got this amp that truly knew what those guitars were capable of doing! Without a doubt this is the best money I've ever spent on an amplifier and wouldn't hesitate to do it again if something happened to this one (after I stopped crying, of course). Compared to the other amps I also considered and auditioned (Fender Twin/Twin Reverb reissue, Vox AC30) this just seemed be the best fit for what I wanted. That isn't to say those other amps were bad; far from it in fact. I would love to have an AC30 or a Twin Reverb but for my needs and requirements this seemed the most practical route. I actually bought this sight Unseen online and it is without a doubt the best eBay purchase I've ever made. Before I bought this the only Rivera Amp I'd ever played was the Fandango and that was at a small shop in Kelowna, BC a few years ago but it left such an impression I gambled on this. I whish my gambling was always this successful! I used my Marshall VS65 for years and while it served it's purpose I didn't realize stepping up to the Rivera was like upgrading from your Volkswagon to a Porshe. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to recommend this to another gear geek or gigging musician. // 9

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overall: 10
Chubster 40 Reviewed by: gjhdigital, on october 19, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1200

Purchased from: Route 7 Music

Features: I got my Rivera Chubster 40 at Route 7 Music in Brookfield, CT. Its brand new. I play everything from rock, country, blues and jazz. It's got 2 channels High gain and Low gain. I mainly stay in the High gain channel. I love the sound of this tube amp and the reverb but the pedal doesn't have a reverb on/off switch. // 10

Sound: I play through the Rivera Chubster 40 with Fender Japanese Strat from 1989. The neck and middle pickups are stock and I replace the bridge single coil with a Seymour Duncan humbucker. The sound is sweet clean or dirty. I can play all styles through this Chubster 40 that I got at Route 7 Music in Brookfield, CT. The distortion is good and clean. I play mainly country and rock so I use pedals for harder stuff. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The Chubster 40 amplifier is very dependable. I've played a few gigs in large and small venues with it so far and its loud enough. The tone carries across large stages and doesn't distort at high volumes. The amplifier has been great so far. If it does break down, the guys at Route 7 Music in Brookfield, CT will have it up and running again in no time. They have a great repair department. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mainly country / rock through my Chubster 40. Its got a great clean sound and a fat tone with the tubes. I really like the Ninja switch for lead breaks. It cuts through nicely. I chose the Rivera Chubster 40 over a Hughes And Kettner, Mesa Boogie and Fender amp at Route 7 Music. They have a wide selection of amplifiers and guitars to chose from. My next guitar from Route 7 Music will be a G&L ASAT either black or blonde. Check out Route 7 Music at They ship everywhere! // 10

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