The Rivera RockCrusher is is the finest device of its type in the marketplace. Period.
Using the Rivera RockCrusher for the first time was an eye-opening experience. I have a Mesa Express 5:50 combo amp, which I like in the 50-watt setting for maximum headroom. However, at that setting, I can barely turn the amp up and it's basically unusuable at home, practice, or even most gigs. It has lower wattage settings, but these do change the feel of the amp (and sound great but not my preference), so I wanted another solution.
This is where the RockCrusher came into play. It was so easy to set up. I basically dialed in the amp where I would ideally want to use it if volume wasn't an issue and then increased the attenuation on the RockCrusher until it was the right volume. At home it was on 20db of attenuation, which cut out some of my top end. No problem, I turned on the Edge switch to bring back some top end and viola! Cranked up tone at bedroom volume. I flipped the bypass back and forth a few times and sure enough, it sounded the exact same except quieter.
Now I can run my amp in the sweet spot 100% of the time. If I'm at home, I use the highest attenuation setting, and at practice or gigs all I have to do is reduce the amount of attenuation to fit the size of the venue. My amp settings never change. This is the best and most consistent tone I've ever had. Imagine having the best tone your amp can produce every time you turn it on, and not having to worry about volume. This is not a piece just for guys with 100 watt full stacks. If you have a head or combo over 30 watts, you need to be checking one of these out.
Its a Load Box too!!!
I've had this thing for two years now. It works exactly as advertised. You can knock the sound of a 100 watt head down to nothing with this thing and it still sounds good. I didn't realize until last week though that you can use it as a load box with no speaker cab. No one ever says anything about the load box functionality of the RockCrusher and it's my fault for never reading the manual. I'm running the line out into a Torpedo C.A.B. and it sounds fantastic. Now I have no reason to want a RockCrusher Recording or a Mini RocRec.
AMAZING TO USE AND SEE THE DIFFERENCE!
Well first off I was wondering where the power cable went. Turns out there is none. Anyhow, I connected this to a Dr. Z Maz 18 Jr. boutique amp 18 watts very loud 18 watts turned it as far up as possible, and bingo the rockcrusher does exactly what its supposed to. At the same time though, it does not diminish the tonality or quality of the signal as such. You basically just get a major drop in dB levels coming out of your speaker. Just be sure that your amp can handle 8 to 16 ohms. I know some amps like the Fender Twin Reverb (who needs a twin reverb anyway?LOL) are 4 ohms of impedence so know that the rockcrusher is an attenuator that only allows settings with 8 and 16 ohms. Otherwise go with another attenuator. I did have the fortunate happenstance to be able to compare this to another unnamed attenuator that is supposed to be really good. I thought the Rockcrusher kicked its butt and then some. Get this and you will not regret it. And if you're miking your amp, your mic's will thank you also. :) Have fun guys!
Very transparent very useful for home use have not used in studio would highly recommend can make your rig usable in any situation ! Thank you again Ed and Kieth!
Volume control with zero loss of tone. Impressive!
Quality piece of gear
Only regret I have is not buying it sooner!
I can finally crank my 100W Marshal Plexi without having my ears bleed.
Very easy to connect and I especially love the EQ section on the rock crusher.
The edge and warm settings give your amp a more character without loosing dynamics.
The edge gives your tone more grit while the warm setting gives you a more rounded fuller sound.
I usually leave mine between -3 to -12db attenuation.
IMO this is a must have if you have a NMV amp.
Great piece of hardware. Highly recommended.
Stop reading this now and just order it!
I played around with the idea of getting an attenuator for my 5150 III for quite some time. After reading the glowing reviews for this thing all over the internet I finally broke down and order one a few months back and couldn't be happier.
I'm now able to literally crank my amp to what otherwise would be unacceptable and ear-bleeding volumes while still getting the full tone of my amp. I use mine at the -20db mark and it works great. Absolutely no loss in tone either. It's also built like a tank and seems very well made.
The only con to this thing is the price. It IS a bit expensive. There are other less-expensive options on the market. However, the RockCrusher is the only model where I consistently read reviews that stated "no tone loss."
As always, everything about the Sweetwater experience was phenomenal. I've worked with Aaron S. for a few years now and he was able to quickly and accurately address any questions and concerns I had prior to placing my order.
best attenuator yet
I've had a 100 watt Super Lead for 20 some odd years. It's great in the medium/big clubs, but made a lousy practice amp...until I picked up the RockCrusher. I now can safely use my favorite amp in my home studio without murdering my ears (or making my wife want to murder all of my body parts).
Expensive, yes, but definitely worth the price.
Worth Every Dime
I can't overstate the value of this device enough. I have several tube amps that were a constant trade off between tone from the tube distortion and finding the sweet spot with the speakers. It always became a very small window where the amp was playable and usually at an eardrum splitting volume. The rock crusher allows me to get the tone I want and expanded the playable volume from bedroom practice, to table talk volume in small venues and even refine the tone with lots of volume for large or open settings. I use the Rock Crusher on my Deluxe Reverb at a volume of 7 and can still have a conversation with someone right next to me. The speakers don't get thubby when I play the low E string. Next to my guitar and amp this is one of my favorite tools in the road case. Yes it's a little expensive but it's built like a tank. Rivera products are very high quality. Swallow hard, spend the $500 bucks, and just order one. You will not be disappointed.
Save Your Hearing and Your Marriage!
I recently purchased a Mesa Five 25 thinking it would be a great for club gigs and home practice...I was half-right. This Mesa is, in fact, a wonderful club amp but way too loud, even at the 10 watt setting, for home practice.
Enter the RockCrusher...I now have total control over volume, both at home and at the gig, with ALL the dynamics you'd expect from a tube amp in the 'sweet spot'. Not only am I able to practice at non-divorce inducing levels, my ears don't ring afterwards! The RockCrusher is hands-down my wife's favorite piece of music gear...and has made ALL my amps (Mesa Five 25, Blackstar HT40, Marshall Vintage Modern, Jet City JCA50) usable...EVERYWHERE!
It's also over-engineered for a lifetime of hard gigging and works as advertised...it's also crazy expensive. My advice is to swallow hard and buy it if you can. Your ears and your family will thank you for it!
I was skeptical how my amp was going to sound but this little box does work great. I can get the tone I want and keep my band mates happy. It's pricey but it works.
The RockCrusher is an "Amazing" Tool
I've always loved the tone of "Tube Amps" I'm from the old school where a electric guitars through tubes produced The Best tone & feel, but I was always on the fence of weather to use an Attenuator or Iso-Box.
I'm using the RockCrusher with my Soldano SLO with Celestion V30 spkrs, and I can absolutely say that I'm blown away! At first I didn't want to believe at a lower volume would produce the great SLO tone that I'm use to (from a live perspective), but to get at lower volumes for recording in my home studio is "Truly Amazing" I just wish I tried the RockCrusher years ago!!! I am VERY picky about rock/hard rock tone, and at lower volume high-gain tend to run more preamp than powertube tone. Non-master amps have to run very loud to get the tone I like! from the Marshall Plexi to JCM800. Of course there is a difference when you are playing live and there is the Speaker movement and pressure going into a microphone but if you are looking for "As Close as you can get" which is Very Organic, with the tone and feel of your amp and you work with the amp & RockCrusher you'll be a Believer (as I am) AMAZING! The Rivera is a bit expensive but what you get out of it will reward you, I tried AxEfx II (amazing simulator) but for me "There is a huge difference" Tubes might be old school but they are a "Necessity with Elec. Guitar". Also the folks at Sweetwater are "Wonderful!" they really know there business and there also musicians and engineers. Read all the stunning reviews, that's just the beginning. Thanks Sweetwater!!!!
.. Piece of equipment! I use Rock Crusher with 50watt Marshall JVM and record from direct out to my DAW. Don't have possibility to mic my amp so I use impulse responses instead, and I actuallly prefer this option. Mostly I dial RC attenuating level to studio and that way I'm able to monitor my sound from JVM's own cab (whisper quiet if needed) with no latency. For other similar equipment, I have also tried Koch Load Box and Dummybox and RC kicks their *** totally.
I gigged my (wonderful but generally too loud for the rooms I play) Mesa TransAtlantic TA-30 1x12 combo with a Rivera RockCrusher last night for the first time. It was the the same sweetly-distorted liquid gain I love from my Les Paul Standard through the Mesa, but produced at a much more civilized level; I didn't even need the 20 db earplugs I normally use onstage. I received tons of compliments on my clean and overdriven guitar tones. Also, having the the RockCrusher's Direct Input for the bar's soundman made setup super simple. Also, it's a total hoot to be able to get these "bedroom metal" tones at home at non-wife-angering levels. I also am really impressed with the solid construction (it's heavy, as heat sinks tend to be) but the chassis didn't even get warm to the touch. Thanks to Rivera and Sweetwater. I wish I'd bought it sooner!
Don't second guess
If your skeptical. Stop. You need this if your serious about tone. I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger on this.
I'm also dissapointed because i have no need for one of my pedals now. Having a cranked amp sounds better than the pedal. If you play styles that beg for a cranked and dynamic tone and you can't turn up, this will solve it. I play a 15w egnater tweaker and it sounds incredible. I only need to go down to -16 to - 20db and its great for in home. I still have plenty of lower volume option with the studio setting. That's what makes this really versatile for me.
I can match AC/DC and zep tones with my les Paul. Switch to my strat and get SRV all day long. All with just the amp and guitar knobs/pickups. Thats the guitars tone and amp doing all the work. Love it.
I bought this for a Marshall '76 JMP. It gets the volume down and still gives me the tone I'm looking for without much manipulation of the control knobs. It has its sweet spots that you have to find, but that's part of the fun.
Even better than expected!
Solved our stage volume/tone problem quickly and easily. Now the guitarist can get his sound without playing too loud. After using it for a few weeks, he decided to try the line out instead of using a mic on the cabinet...Outstanding! Says he won't use a mic again, and can't wait to record with it. Thanks again to our rep Ed Nystrom for yet ANOTHER good solution from Sweetwater.
The Special Sauce, for your Tone
This attenuator is as advertised. I researched carefully for a boutique amp that would break up and give me the holy grail of tone. I succeeded in that by listening alot on youtube, and reading reviews on the net. I did not realize my 20 watt amp would be so loud, cops gonna show up loud! The Rock Crusher gets the volume to studio level, without sacrificing the great tone. The line out is even more icing pn the cake, especially when you put a delay, and equalizer between the attenuator and your PA, or recording console. Built like a tank, thanks Rivera.
If Goldilocks Played Guitar
I ordered the rock crusher because I've always been very conscious of annoying neighbors and family members with my guitar playing. I owned a hotplate a few years back and I hated what it did to my tone. The rock crusher was exactly what I needed to have total control over the volume without losing tone. I use it on a small 15 watt amp but I love that it is built robust enough to handle a 100W head should I ever decide to go that route. I think there are many people like me that are willing to spent a little extra for a product as long as the sound quality is superb and the item is made with quality in mind. The rock crusher did not disappoint and I am extremely happy with the tone and the quality.
Phenomenal piece of gear
I live in a small apartment. i have a Mesa Boogie Mark IV amp that I love to play, but at the lowest possible gain settings it was still too loud and not really working the amp at all.
The solution was the Rivera RockCrusher. I can crank the Boogie -- and my other tube amps to where all the candles are lit on the amps and still not bother my neighbors. Well worth the investment for me and it's obvious studio applications are evident as well.
Great for Home or Gigs
One of the biggest advantages for me is to have a line out to the board. It is very difficult to mic an amp and get the correct and consistent sound. Running the line out to the board allows me to have that consistency in sound. Another big feature is being able to carry a head and the RockCrusher to practice or a gig. We have a small practice area and I dont need a cab since this does just fine there and in a small venue where I really want to control my volume even more I ditch the cab and just run a line out to the board. It does not take away from the tone of my amp or my pedals. Larger venues I use a combination of a cab and the line out from the RockCrusher. I highly recommend this product.
I have an amp without a master volume (6505+) which means of I change the post volume, I change my tone. Also to get the tubes going, I have to get LOUD, but neighbors and sound guys don't approve. The Rockcrusher let's me tame the volume and maintain my tone. No more eq adjustment needed as I change locations.
Rockcrusher works as advertised
I had been considering the rock crusher for over a year and my only regret was waiting as long as I did. I really enjoy the overdriven tube sound but unfortunately that also limits me to when I can practice without disturbing my family esp late at night. This is the first guitar related purchase that I couldn't get in trouble for. She likes it probably more than I do. I would definitely purchase again especially from sweetwater. Great product. Great company ( both sweetwater and Rivera ).
Rivera RockCrusher Useful for Live Sound
I use the RockCrusher with two Marshall vintage Plexi's. The RockCrusher reduces the volume on the dry first amp wired from amp speaker out to the RockCrusher to the 4x12 speaker cabinet in. The Line Level Out feature contains the first amp's preamp and power amp tube signals at a safe line level where it runs into several delays and chorus effects pedals. Then it routes into the low input of the front of the second Marshall. The amp's preamp level is low and I can control the volume from the RockCrusher's provided volume control. In this way I achieve an effects loop quality signal to the second amp for my stereo sound. The first amp dry, the second amp effected "wet." The RockCrusher has fantastic integrity of tone and adjustability. I can achieve forever clean sustain and at any volume level. The crunch sound is genuine to the Marshall tone.
Awesome! bought the RockCrusher to use with my Egnater 65 head. Use it in my home studio to keep the wife happy and my tone intact so I can set my effects pedal parameters to match my amp without having to blast it at gig volumes.
The RockCrusher keeps my tone consistent no matter the volume setting, now I can finally enjoy great tube tone in a quiet setting and know that when I crank up the volume my amp and effects pedals will sound the same as they did the night before when I was jamming at home.
Sounds good, feels great.
I got the Rock Crusher today and eagerly put it between my Bogner Ecstasy 101B and 2x12 closed back cab loaded with V30s. The amount of attenuation and the steps available are impressive. I was running the amp in 1/2 power mode - which is still bone-rattlingly loud when its wound up. The Rock Crusher allowed me to really get into the range of great power section distortion, and the feel was all there. To me, that was the most important part. I A/B'd it with and without attenuation - and the sound was good -- of course, I couldn't feel the air moving and such, but the guitar felt right and the Rock Crusher pulled lots of DBs out, without making an impact on the interaction between fingers and speakers. That is pretty impressive. Without the attenuation, it was unbearably loud. With an amp like the Bogner, one of my favorite things about the amp is the blue channel, in plexi mode. But to really get it cooking, you have to crank it. Rock Crusher allows me to get closer to that sound without having the neighbors call the cops!
I've played lots of Rivera amps (and still have my Sedona rig) and every one of the products I've ever had has been great. This is right up there with the best of them. Nice work Paul and crew!
RockCrusher is terrific product
This is an amazing attenuator. I get great tone at low volume. I can't listen to my amp set on anything above 2 as its too loud and my neighbors would complain. It is built real heavy duty and it doesn't get hot. I love it and HIGHLY recommend it.
I have mostly master volume amps because I had tried attenuators before and they were no good. Even the Weber Mass left me disappointed. But I picked some great amps - Reeves, TopHat, Dr. Z, Germino - and some without masters. Even those with masters just beg to be cranked. The Rivera reviews sounded legit so I bought it. It is huge, solid, and heavy. And it works. I sat on the floor in front of my 4X12 cabinet with the Reeves amp (basically a Hiwatt) on 10 and the Rivera set to "studio." I could dial it down to almost no output and it sounded saturated and incredible. Man, I hope they never stop making these. I like that it has no noisy fan and does not need to be plugged into an outlet. Freakin' great product!
the purple beast
This bad boy is a monster!!! I have a JMP PLEXI 100watt for 74. Which is the great amp EVER made hands down. But the volume was just to much for anyone else to the band to hear there amp or anything else for a couple days after rehearsal. & this was with my head volume set at 2 1.5. Now i can run my amp at full scale & still roll it back so the rest of the band can be heard. A must have for anybody with a vintage amp that needs more tube saturation with less volumvolume
I'm using this to play my Mesa Mark V in 90W mode with output set moderately high producing volume that is less than deafening (still plenty loud when I crank it to get saturation) with no loss of tone. I'm very happy with the features also. The EQ switches are great for adding mids/lo-mids and/or brightness to the sound. Additionally, the range of attenuation and line out option are very useful. The RockCrusher is expensive, but unless you have a studio to really crank your amp worry-free, then it's worth every penny to get the sound that you want to hear from your amp. I consider the attenuator inseparable from my amp. If you wouldn't skimp out on a tube amp, then don't skimp out on this either--it's worth it if you value your tone.
I was very skeptical of using a power attenuator to help the problem i was facing as you might guess what it was (VOLUME). I own a beautiful English made Vox AC-30/6TBX made in 2004 a perfect reissue and same vintage sound from the original early made in the 60's. As you know vintage amps didn't use master volume as mine doesn't have one and MAN IS IT LOUD EVEN ON LEVEL 3 VOLUME. I almost was about to build a half studio foam cabinet to attenuate some what the volume because it was overpowering the band and if i turn it any lower than level 3 on my amp i might as well tie up my tubes with a rope and choke the heck out of them, as guitarist we all know we need to turn up our amps to a certain level to get that nice sweet tone we are all looking for. It all changed when i came across to The Rivera RockCrusher, after listening to some great demos i went ahead and order this great product, I knew after hearing the demos it was the solution i was looking for but there is nothing like trying it live and yes this did it for me and boy is my wife now happy when i rehearse at home, i can actually shut it off and hear my strings ringing louder from my electric guitar than my amp and still baking those tubes. I did a side to side comparison with a friend that owns a Dr. Z Air Brake Attenuator and i liked the transparency that the Air brake provides as well but it docent attenuate very much, just enough to gig with a band but not for a bedroom rehearsal, even on the bedroom level in that attenuator it was still very loud. Im happy that i purchase the RockCrusher because it is built like a thank, it has on the top and bottom vents for ventilation to prolong the life of the product, it has 2 levels of ohms for your type of impedance amp 8 or 16 ohms, it has different levels of db attenuation and studio with a level control, it has an unbalance and balance output for connecting directly to your PA system if desire and 2 with a level control and 2 speaker outputs but the greatest feature of all, it keeps my tone in any level of attenuation. I like to use it in the 3db level when i jam with the band because i still want my amp to push out some air through that alnico blue speakers to get that vintage speaker tone and still a pleasant and reasonable volume were you can hear all the instruments of the band and o yeah, that overdriven sound of my amp. If you are facing the same problem i was facing before, get the Rivera RockCrusher and solve your problem.
Okay the review of this unit is based on gigging and not playing at home. My stage rig consist of a mesa roadster 2x12 coupled with a TC Electronics G system. Needless to say the mesa can get crushingly loud when the volume gets around 11 or 12 o'clock. The problem i was having is our band has a crazy low stage volume due to using in-ear monitors and electronic drums and a sound guy who is whiny when we turn up. But most of you know playing a tube amp at super low levels just doesn't get it done. So I purchased the Rock Crusher from sweetwater before our last gig to try it out and the only thing I can say is wow. First words out of my sound guys mouth was " What are you doing differently". Most fun I've had at a gig in a while. The amp finally sounds the way I always wanted it to. The Rock Crusher is a keeper.
rockcrusher tone keeper
as advertised does exactly what it's supposed to do!!! no tone loss
Picked this up to tame a 1985 Marshall JCM800 2204, Playing at home has been difficult since you really need to crank this amp to get that great Marshall tone. I can finally give my ears and wife some rest. It works just as described. The only issue I can find is the proximity of the 8-16 ohm setting switch and the EQ switch. Be careful when setting up your tone and you don't change the Ohms by accident. I did notice a slight change in my tone but was able to dial it back in if a few seconds. 100% worth it if you play a high gain amp that needs cranked up to get that break up and to keep the neighborhood happy.
I am enjoying it everday using it with a Carvin V3.
Does what it's designed for.
I've run this through my 65 Fender DRRI and my 1974x Marshall. You can take it down as low as you want. Sure, you're going to lose something the lower you go because the speaker isn't distorting, but it's great for allowing you to crank it in your house and get the power tube break-up. It would be very useful in any situation, a gig, a studio, etc. The amount of attenuation starts very gradually all the way down to nothing. If someone else makes a better attenuator, I doubt that you could tell the difference. I gave it a four because I only rarely get a piece of equipment that totally blows me away. It's great. Go ahead and buy this one. You'll find that it's what you've been looking for. There is no 4 ohm setting. You need to know what ohm rating is coming out of your amp to the speaker. Almost all are 8 ohm, some 16 ohm. For example, the Marshall 1974x is going into a 15 ohm speaker. Your probably going to need two SPEAKER CABLES with 1/4" male plugs. You'll also need a 1/4" female to female adapter. My amps speaker cables are very short. You are probably going to want to set the attenuator somewhere other than on top of your amp. Get at least 3' in length. 6' will be overkill, but give you the freedom to put it where it's handy. Enjoy.
3.5 stars (not 5) because..
I agree with all the reviews here, but there is only one disappointment... The 'Studio Level' volume knob is great for fine tuning the minus DB.. but I wish that could be used for all the 'Attenuation' settings and not just for the 'Studio' setting!
Oh.. not mandatory, but.. I wish it had LED lights, like effects pedals do.
What's with the 16awg or higher, speaker cables, quoted in the manual? .. I had thicker, nicer, more robust speaker cables that were 12awg and 14awg. I got a pair of 16awg cables anyway.
I am using it for gigs at -16DB setting, Warm off and Edge on, 16 ohm
So because of the lack of a volume knob for ALL attenuation settings, I could not give this 5 stars. Otherwise..Yes! .. its perfect!!!
It does run hot, be sure to have plenty of ventilation!
Sweetwater and Ed Nystrom as usual are awesome!!
"This unit performs as advertised. It certainly cuts the DB without affecting the tone of your system. Solid construction. The one thing that disappoints me is that it only has a 16 ohm and 8 ohm setting. If this thing had a 4 ohm setting, then I could use it in my current configuration. All of my tube amps have a 4 ohm setting, for a reason. As it is I had to reconfigure my speakers and run everything at 8 ohms, not optimal. Give the ohm switch a 4 ohm setting and this thing gets 5 stars.
There are better choices
* Quality build
* Probably among the safer designs for your amp
* Sounds about the same as other attenuators I own that range from $130 to $600
* Bedroom levels attainable
* 8/16 Ohm operation (but what about 4 and 2 ?)
* Rated to 120W RMS for higher power amps
* HUGE form factor -- too big -- does not fit well atop a full size head like a Marshall JTM45, and definitely not on top of a fender amp like a DRRI, supersonic, or similar.
* Among the more expensive at $500
* I was hoping this would be the most transparent and best sounding attenuator in my collection, but it really is no better or worse than any of the others I own in terms of tone. (Weber, ULTIMATE, Dr Z)
I wanted to love this product, I really did, but I don't. It was expensive and doesn't sound any better than my other attenuators. It is less flexible in terms of impedance as well. The worst part is that the size of the box is so large it doesn't fit well anywhere. It is best suited to a fixed mount in a studio - perhaps where a shelf can be built for it. My recommendation would be to go with the ULTIMATE ATTENUATOR if you are shopping in this price range and want high quality. This is a good product and I'm not saying it isn't -- it functions well -- but it is less flexible and less convienent than other options. My favorite it the ULTIMATE for studio use, and the Dr Z Brake Lite mounted version for gigging with a combo amp -- because it mounts inside the amp and is a passive device. The Weber mini mass is ok if you are on a tight budget.
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