Rivera Pubster 25 - 25-watt Tube Head

1-channel, 25W Tube Guitar Amplifier Head with Foot-switchable Boost, Effects Loop, Line Output, and Spring Reverb
5/5 4 Write review Item ID: Pubster25HD
Rivera Pubster 25 - 25-watt Tube Head image 1
Rivera Pubster 25 - 25-watt Tube Head image 1

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Rivera Pubster 25 - 25-watt Tube Head
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Tube Head for All Seasons

Rivera built the Pubster 25 guitar amp head to sound immense at lower volumes in your home or studio - and to have the juice to gig out with. With a duo of euphonic 6V6s in the engine room, the Pubster spits out tasty, all-tube tone that'll stand up to your drummer and strip the paint off club walls while it's at it. Amp guru Paul Rivera has been on the bleeding edge of guitar amplifier design for several decades, and he knows what you're looking for in an amp. Sporting a single channel and a footswitchable boost with its own master control, the Rivera Pubster 25 is ready to rock your world.

Rivera Pubster 25 Guitar Amp Head at a Glance:
  • The ideal amount of power
  • This baby is built
  • Paul Rivera, guitar amp design legend
The ideal amount of power

The Rivera Pubster 25 guitar amp head packs 25 tube watts. Rivera - in their wisdom - have determined that 25 tube watts is ideal. Ideal for what, you ask? Well, you want an amp that sounds huge at legal volumes at home. For recording, the days of miking up a full stack at full volume are long gone. And for gigs - unless you're playing stadiums - we'd have to agree that 25 tube watts does seem to be ideal.

This baby is built

What you have in the Rivera Pubster 25 is a guitar amp head that goes fluidly from bedroom to studio to club gig without so much as breathing heavy. And like all Rivera products, it'll last you a long time. Ruggedly constructed, this puppy boasts a welded steel chassis and nickel-plated steel corners. And inside, you'll find an oversized transformer and military-grade components throughout. The Pubster 25 head can take whatever you dish out.

Paul Rivera, guitar amp design legend

Paul Rivera founded Rivera R&D in Southern California in the mid '70s. Known for his brilliant mods, he was soon designing amps and complete effects rack systems for top acts such as Toto, Van Halen, and Lee Ritenour. In the early '80s, Paul designed the legendary Super Champ for Fender. Rivera amps and cabinets are hand-build right here in the USA, in Rivera's Burbank, California factory.

Rivera Pubster 25 Guitar Amp Head Features:
  • 25-watt, all-tube single-channel guitar amp head
  • 2 x 12AX7s and a pair of 6V6s serve up glassy cleans and massive overdrive
  • Footswitchable boost (with master control)
  • Separate boost level adjust lets you dial in the perfect amount of gain
  • Master control for the boost acts like a second channel
  • Accutronics 3-spring reverb (with pan for warm rich spaciousness)
  • Effects loop; line output
  • Rugged construction with welded steel chassis and nickel-plated steel corners
  • Oversized transformer and and military-grade components
  • Matches up with Rivera open-back Venus 2 x 12" or Venus 1 x 12" cabinet
  • Made in Burbank, California
Nail the rock tones you hear in your head with the Rivera Pubster 25 head!

Additional Media

Guitar Amp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Type Tube
Number of Channels 1
Total Power 25W
Reverb Yes
EQ 3-band
Preamp Tubes 2 x 12AX7
Power Tubes 2 x 6V6
Inputs 1 x TS
Outputs 1 x TS
Effects Loop Yes
Footswitch I/O Yes
Manufacturer Part Number Pub25 Top/Blk

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Write your review

A "secret weapn" amp

I've had this amp for a number of years and I've used it in just about every setting, and it's proven itself to be an amazing companion. It's the third Rivera amp I have owned, and it shares the family trait of being about the best-built gear money can buy. Aside from knowing how to make great tone, Paul Rivera knows how to make gear last and sell it for an extremely reasonable price. It's a single-channel-plus-boost layout, which I prefer to a true channel-switching amp. I use it probably 90% of the time on the green "channel" and dial it in for maximum headroom, then get dirt and texture from pedals. I'll use the boost "channel" for accents, as it is voiced differently and has a more pronounced upper mid quality, and set low will add just enough of a dollop of gain to get you a really nice, saturated lead sound. One thing I really like is that the pre-volumes cascade, meaning the green channel pre-volume sets the amount of overall gain and then when you switch on the red boost channel you get an added level of control from its separate volume. They are highly interactive and can get you anything from a Plexi-style grind to an almost fuzzbox texture as the foundation of your sound. The EQ section, as with all Riveras, has enormous range and between the bass/mid/treble and the cascading volume controls when you use the boost there are not many tones you can't dial in with this amp. Once you get your tone dialed in you then have a really effective presence control to help add clarity and cut. In a band setting I find this knob to be literally the most powerful tone-shaper on the amp and helps it never get lost in the mix. The amp also has an excellent effects loop and my delay sounds stellar through it. The onboard reverb has a huge amount of range and depth, and although I rarely use it, when I need those Fendery clean tones with 'verb it delivers big. The 25-watt power rating hits a real sweet-spot. The power section of this amp is extremely dynamic thanks to the custom transformers that Rivera uses, and that 25-watts has no problem whatsoever getting as loud as anyone could reasonably need. This amp has routinely kept up with a Twin Reverb without breaking a sweat and without sacrificing as much headroom as you would normally associate with a relatively low wattage. What is nice about it is that it can play nice at low volume as well, and teamed with an attenuator I regularly use this as a practice amp and am able to get the power amp working good without shattering windows. Not much else to say. It is a World-class instrument and built for the long haul. You can spend more and you can get different tones but you won't get better tones, just different.

the best amp I ever plugged into

With a strat and a sour mash 1x12 marshall style cab with guitar wharehouse lead 80 speaker I could go from knoffler cleans to 50 marshall crunch with tweedy mids, also one of the best reverbs I`ve heard in a while.Put a 12ay in v1 and sounds sweet and works with pedals great(xotic bb and analogman prince of tone).I use it crystal klean and just can`t say enuff about it.
Music background: gig 2-3 times a week for 40 sum years

Good things come to those who wait...

First, some background. I own a fairly large number of cool vintage and modern amps. Most of the vintage stuff was purchased before "collectable" was even a term. They were just called good amps. I'm not going to spend much time comparing the Pubster 25 to other amps. However, the reverb is squarely in the range of an Ampeg Gemini 1 I own. For those of you that can't make that comparison, the Rivera has some fine reverb! I'm not going to compare with Marshall or Fender sounds. I would have purchased one if that's what I wanted. But, it will get you into those zip codes very easily. Since I play mostly original music, I need an amp that sounds like me. I love many player's tones but I don't aspire to clone them. That being said, I can nail '70's Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Stones, Pink Floyd, Lindsey Buckingham era Fleetwood Mac. You get the idea. With a Strat, I can go from fingerpicked acoustic-like glass to wicked raunch with my volume control. The tone controls surprised me a bit. I don't have to set them quite the same as other amps. They have such a large range that it isn't always necessary to go to the right of 12:00 on the dials. And, no matter how much I messed around, I couldn't really make it sound bad. The mid and presence pack a lot of shaping on their own. Fun stuff! The gigs I play these days occur in some pretty small rooms. I've also grown tired of lugging around more gear than I need. I carry this and a custom 1x12 (EV12lm, I think) and although I miss shattering my eardrums, I now can actually have tone and a 1 trip carry! Great master volume situation, by the way. One of the best I've used and I'm typically not a fan. I've been inside enough amps to know good construction and part quality. Rivera's got you covered. I don't abuse gear but I do use gear and this is one tough cookie. Even the tubes, which seem to require an automatic replacement on most modern amps, are good quality. I really wanted and effects loop and my delays and modulated effects sound fantastic through this one. Very quiet and true. Actually, the amp is quiet overall. But it can get plenty loud when you've got the opportunity. Like when my wife's not home or just before the sound person tells me to turn it down! Only 4 tubes! If you own some vintage or ultra gain amps, retubing can get ugly cost and source wise. 2 6V6'S and 2 12AX7'S is all you've got to deal with. The one area I haven't fooled with much is the boost function. It works fine and sounds great. It just isn't really necessary for what I do. The guitars I've used have been mostly strats, an older Les Paul and some nice Carvins. They all shine. I've said a lot and I could babble on forever. This a fantastic amp. I have no access to "boutique amps" where I live. So, I purchased this sight unseen. I have absolutely no regrets! If you can live with one channel and some very useful features, I can't imagine how you could be disappointed. Great amp from Rivera and great service From Sweetwater!
Music background: Old pro...Gear junkie

Great club amp

Just got this one used,looks brand new.Mine has white tolex so was either special order or one of the first made.Very light,so easy to move and carry.Looks way more expensive than it was.As far as sound,pretty much whatever you want is here,except crazy high Fender Twin headroom,but who lets us guitar players play loud anymore?I use a 1x12 cab and it plays over a loud drummer no problem.The tone controls work like crazy,so if you are like me and are used to playing vintage Fenders,it takes a while to get your sound.The mid knob makes it sound like a totally different amp when cranked.One concern,it has the usual Rivera boost,meaning too much gain when engaged.If you have the preamp up around halfway,the boost takes you to high gain no matter how low it's set.Also adds a lot of treble when on,so you have to set the basic sound with less to get the boost dialed in.I'm sure I will get it dialed in when I get a chance, just using my Xotic EP booster for solos and it sounds incredible.Low gain sounds are typical Rivera great sounding.Mid gain is where I live,and it has replaced my 1964 Bassman with KT66s.Don't know what else to say about that.Reverb is better than any Fender I have had,plenty there,but not as bouncy when cranked.Have used it on several long club gigs with no trouble at all.Don't hesitate on this one,I'm sure the price will go up with time.By the way,I recorded with a Dr.Z MAZ18 and an English made Vox AC15 reissue few weeks ago,and this blows them away.No buyers remorse whatsoever.I researched every amp on the planet,and unless you have $3k to spend,you can't go wrong here.
Music background: Pro musician

Sweetwater Advice

Charlie Davis

The Pubster is one of the best value amps I know of. It's loud enough for most gigs, and I can dial in a range from pristine clean all the way up to hard rock crunch. The footswitchable boost is a real bonus too. It's also great for recording at low volumes, and with a line out for recording and an effects loop, the Pubster is a killer amp for a great price.
See also: Amp Heads, Rivera, Rivera Guitar Amp Heads