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Rivera KnuckleHead K100
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  • MGR/George W.R.EgonutMGR/George W.R.Egonut

    Rivera Knucklehead 100

    Rivera KnuckleHead K100Published on 11/10/01 at 15:00
    I purchased this amp from Makin Music in Chicago while actually looking for a Mesa Boogie Mark IV. I ended up buying it used for $1000 because of its excellent bottom end response, and a nice little feature called the Ninja Boost.

    The main selling point of this head is its bottom end -- it can't be beat. We're not talking muddy, Korn-style, poorly defined distortion -- it's very clear, tight, "punch you in the face" bass response that you can feel. It reflects the sound of your guitar quite well -- when played with a Music Man Luke, it sounds very reserved and "studio"; with my modded '65 Mustang, it's much more aggressive and biting. The Ninja boost gives your clean channel a Boogie R…
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    I purchased this amp from Makin Music in Chicago while actually looking for a Mesa Boogie Mark IV. I ended up buying it used for $1000 because of its excellent bottom end response, and a nice little feature called the Ninja Boost.

    The main selling point of this head is its bottom end -- it can't be beat. We're not talking muddy, Korn-style, poorly defined distortion -- it's very clear, tight, "punch you in the face" bass response that you can feel. It reflects the sound of your guitar quite well -- when played with a Music Man Luke, it sounds very reserved and "studio"; with my modded '65 Mustang, it's much more aggressive and biting. The Ninja boost gives your clean channel a Boogie Rhythm 2 quality -- think Izzy Stradlin's tight chopping technique and you'll get the idea. The company recommends using Celestion Vintage 30s, and I agree, although I prefer a 2x12 to a 4x12 with this particular amp. This gives it much more penetration and focus.

    My main gripes with this unit are with its clean channel and its effects loop. Channel 1 does not have a very impressive tonal quality -- actually, without severe tweaking, it's very flat-sounding. Also, when you click on the Ninja, there is a drastic volume boost, which means you have to adjust the Master volume -- not very convenient in-song. The effects loop sounds fine, and does what it is supposed to do -- but compared to some other heads in this price range, such as the Mark IV, it's a bit basic. I would like to see a footswitchable loop, or perhaps even dual loops.

    This unit is build solid. The electronics in the back are well protected but easily accessible. The knobs are very smooth and everything on the unit is easy to read. I had a problem with the power section early on, and when I had it repaired, the guy told me that most new amps are like new cars -- you have one or two problems early on, and it will run great for quite a while. I've had it for about two years now and that is proving to be true.

    The fact of the matter is this -- if you want a killer heavy sound that isn't like everything else out there, buy this amp now! If you're looking for a super-versatile amp that's going to do everything you need, well, maybe try a Boogie or a Marshall TSL.

    This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com
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