Paul Rivera’s amplifiers and effects are impressive by any standard. His work reflects a remarkable breadth of knowledge and intuition about the real musical applications for amplifiers and effects. The proof is in Rivera’s client list—which includes artists spanning country, metal, roots rock, and pop—and in the longevity of a career that now spans more than three decades.

That ability to work across stylistic barriers is typified in Rivera’s new Shaman pedals— the Blues Shaman, Double Shaman, and Metal Shaman. The Blues Shaman evokes an overdriven tweed Fender, while the Double Shaman combines two voices optimized for hot blues-rock or more aggressive ’80s flavors. The Metal Shaman, meanwhile, conjures high-gain destruction. Here we take a look at the Blues Shaman and Double Shaman, but be sure to also read our review of the Metal Shaman at

Built for the Stage
Both the Blues Shaman and Double Shaman are constructed from 16-gauge stainless steel and adorned with colorful graphics printed on polycarbonate panels. Shared features include a single 1/4" input and output, a 9-volt adapter input, and a battery compartment that’s accessed through the back panel’s four Phillips-head screws. High-quality parts are used throughout: WIMA wound caps, low-noise FET and bipolar transistors, and Analog Devices chips are mounted on double-sided PCBs, while metal-barreled jacks ensure road-worthiness and long life, and the knobs and stainless-steel housing suggest Paul Rivera isn’t the slightest bit interested in skimping. These pedals were built to last and were obviously designed with love and care.