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 premierguitar.com/may2011.
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.
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