Knucklehead Tre review by Rivera

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (8 votes)
Rivera: Knucklehead Tre

Sound — 10
Since I don't keep it at my house, I am unable to actually play any other genre than what I play with my band, which is metal. No doubt, this thing was made for metal, doing heavy, tight palm mutes, chugging rhythms, and without changing any settings, screaming leads. The amp has hum, which is always present with high gain amplifiers, and can get feedback if you are not careful. Especially in gig situations, when you turn up louder, you have to be even more conscious about extraneous noise. However, the use of a Furman Power Conditioner can remove most of it, which is a crucial piece for any amplifier and rack setup. Now as for the distortion, you can get pretty much any distortion you want from the amp if you have an eq in front of the amp. Anything from a soft growl to an extremely brutal guttural roar, or even sounds reminiscent of chainsaws now, if that's not brutal, I don't reall know what is.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this amp is absolutely amazing. It gives out some of the best and brutal tones I have heard, and suits me very well. It responds well and extremely different to different guitars and pickups. By far, one of my favorites, after testing the Mesa Mark IV, the Bogner Uberchall, and a bunch of other boutiques. If it were stolen or lost, I would definitely track the guy down before buying another one, because it's so expensive!

Reliability & Durability — 9
I think this head is very dependable, it has never broke down, and is solid as a rock. Especially since it is made in America, in California (handmade), it is very safe to say that all the parts are in working order and will stand the test of time. I would gig without a backup, mainly because I don't have a second amplifier, ever, and only if I inspected it thoroughly beforehand to make sure nothing could go wrong.

Features — 8
Made in 2006 this two channel all valve monster is versatile enough to crunch out the heaviest metal tones heard, and immediately turn around and play jazz, blued, and everything in between. The amp has an effects loop, with send and return levels to give one the ability to run the power valves hot without use of a hot plate, or playing extremely loud. And it also has a built in gain boost, which is very subtle. The only thing I wish the amp had was a master volume for the clean channel instead of only a gain pot, but the clean has plenty of headroom so it doesn't make a very big difference. I use this amp in a band, and it has more than enough power than I'll never need. This thing can play stadiums! Probably without even being miced!

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Usually the amp goes for prices around 2000 USD, or when used in the mid thousands. However, if you are lucky, you might be able to get a very good deal on it. I got mine for 900 USD because no one wanted it!
    would people reccomend this head if i wasn't playing THAT much metal. like, my band plays more alt rock, but we use a bit of distortion here and there. and a little bit of cleans. anyone? And does this head for sure come with a footswitch?
    I got one, and wooow, Rivera got the best clean sound ever! and even boss distorcions sounds great with this amp. it comes with footswitch aswell. this is an Amp for life! and the Rivera Cabs are top quality too! Modern sound and definition. It has his own tone, you know, Mesa its Mesa, and Rivera it's Rivera, but they are at the same level. I prefer to explore a tone with Rivera because there are not many people using it, and my band gets a more original sound. I play metal, two guitars and two Rivera amps like this. We use distorcion and clean delays, we can get alot of "alive" melody!
    Norway here. Had this for 3 months now and its great. Only thing is that it is to much power but i found out that i can control it a little with send and return. I wish it had a switch that could turn it down to 60w. I'm agreed that it could have a master on the clean channel. Over all i am really excited about the amp and i'm learning new things about it every day