Riviera Labs AFM-100 SE Class A Monoi amplifiers- something new and different

Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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Gobel HQ sound room #2
rivgo.jpg
 

Pokey77

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WELquest

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Elliot, my understanding is the AFM100SE uses a 12AU7 triode and the APL01SE, a 6350 variant of 12AU7. If convenient, could you give any details on the tubes provided in your Riviera amps? And though you sound super happy with how they sound now, have you given any thought to tube rolling and the tube variants you’d like to try?
I fully agree with Elliot's reply that tube-rolling is a rabbit hole he doesn't want to fall into. That has generally been my attitude, substantiated a few times when I returned to the unit's stock tubes (as with my previous multiple Octave amps).

However, I am using Brimar tubes in both my pairs of AFM25 amps. The Brimars are arguably unacceptably smooth in comparison with the RFT tubes suppled by Riviera Labs, or the crystal clear RT tubes I also obtained -- but for my bedroom systems, especially the going-to-sleep-with-music part of the night, not caring when Natalie Merchant or Mighty Sam McClain overload the mike is a gift worth the tradeoff.

After having the RT tubes in the AFM25s, it took 2 full weeks before I could lose the memory of what I had lost, and simply revel in the just as neutral and natural beauty, even without the texture the RT tubes enabled that in shorter term or daylight or evaluation context listening would seem so completely necessary.

My AFM50s (driven by Sony 83" via 12m AQ Vodka Toslink to Vilvaldi One Apex to Riviera APL01SE) in the living room, where video dialog and soundtrack are king (2.0 home theater rules!), I am not tempted to try anything other than the tubes supplied with the amps. A quiet background piano for the dialog can be so freaking real and stimulating while totally establishing the emotional mood, that sick audiophile that I am, inside I'm screaming "wow" about the piano.

In my Riviera Labs Levante integrated, Silvio (Riviera's delightful sales manager and partner) played the stock tubes for me, his standard recommended upgrade Mullard's, and another set of tubes that allowed me (forced me?) to see the details of Norah Jones tonsils. The Mullard upgrade was an of-course!, simply a cleaned window, while the tonsil-viewing tubes were unacceptable for me.

To me, it is a very significant asset of the Riviera amps that one can make such voicing choices -- though they are not necessary. Acquiring Riviera gear does not have to be the beginning of a tube-rolling tunnel.
 

Elliot G.

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Wow, beautiful room Elliot. Love the black components. Really enjoying this threa.
That is one of two state of the art sound rooms at the new Gobel HQ outside of Munich. The other and larger room houses the Divin Majestic.
 
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gian60

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Riviera are one of the most natural amp.
I am friend with Luca Chiomenti,owner and producer,since eraly 1990.
In 1994 he came to my home to listen my completly AudioTekne system.
AudioTekne was his reference brand in that year,and Imai told me that Luca was the only one in Europe,for him,to build alone top output transformer.

Luca had one company before Riviera,KIOM,where he built tube pre and amp and an horn speaker.
He did a 2 watt channel stereo amp with 2A3 with a really magical sound,all class A,SE,zero feedback and a special integrated amp with external power supply
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Riviera are one of the most natural amp.
I am friend with Luca Chiomenti,owner and producer,since eraly 1990.
In 1994 he came to my home to listen my completly AudioTekne system.
AudioTekne was his reference brand in that year,and Imai told me that Luca was the only one in Europe,for him,to build alone top output transformer.

Luca had one company before Riviera,KIOM,where he built tube pre and amp and an horn speaker.
He did a 2 watt channel stereo amp with 2A3 with a really magical sound,all class A,SE,zero feedback and a special integrated amp with external power supply
Ciao Gian60! Perhaps I have not noticed your other posts, but this is the first time I have seen one of your posts in a long time. Hope all is well with you and your amazing system(s). Did you end up changing over to CH M10 series? I remember reading with great interest your move over to CHM1, then (I think?) M1.1 and I believe you were also one of the very first people to hear M10 series.
 
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Elliot G.

Industry Expert
Jul 22, 2010
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I fully agree with Elliot's reply that tube-rolling is a rabbit hole he doesn't want to fall into. That has generally been my attitude, substantiated a few times when I returned to the unit's stock tubes (as with my previous multiple Octave amps).

However, I am using Brimar tubes in both my pairs of AFM25 amps. The Brimars are arguably unacceptably smooth in comparison with the RFT tubes suppled by Riviera Labs, or the crystal clear RT tubes I also obtained -- but for my bedroom systems, especially the going-to-sleep-with-music part of the night, not caring when Natalie Merchant or Mighty Sam McClain overload the mike is a gift worth the tradeoff.

After having the RT tubes in the AFM25s, it took 2 full weeks before I could lose the memory of what I had lost, and simply revel in the just as neutral and natural beauty, even without the texture the RT tubes enabled that in shorter term or daylight or evaluation context listening would seem so completely necessary.

My AFM50s (driven by Sony 83" via 12m AQ Vodka Toslink to Vilvaldi One Apex to Riviera APL01SE) in the living room, where video dialog and soundtrack are king (2.0 home theater rules!), I am not tempted to try anything other than the tubes supplied with the amps. A quiet background piano for the dialog can be so freaking real and stimulating while totally establishing the emotional mood, that sick audiophile that I am, inside I'm screaming "wow" about the piano.

In my Riviera Labs Levante integrated, Silvio (Riviera's delightful sales manager and partner) played the stock tubes for me, his standard recommended upgrade Mullard's, and another set of tubes that allowed me (forced me?) to see the details of Norah Jones tonsils. The Mullard upgrade was an of-course!, simply a cleaned window, while the tonsil-viewing tubes were unacceptable for me.

To me, it is a very significant asset of the Riviera amps that one can make such voicing choices -- though they are not necessary. Acquiring Riviera gear does not have to be the beginning of a tube-rolling tunnel.
I don't want to go down the rabbit hole. When I was young I did a lot of that type of fooling around and it lead me to a place where I was not listening to music but rather listening to the differences in the equipment, or the tubes, or the cables. This to me was unsustainable and made me NOT enjoy the music which was why I had the gear to begin with. My time is limited and my ability to listen is precious and so when I sit down to listen I want to listen to music and not get lost in the audiophile matrix. In my years I have met many that just grind through gear and seem IMO to have missed the point. My thoughts are always maximize what you have before you look for alternatives. The Riviera products are a perfect example fo finding something special while not looking for anything. Had any of my other business partners stepped up for the show this would have never happened to and for me. That part I am very grateful for, as I believe these are ytruly special products.
 

Ron Resnick

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Elliot, Gian,

I am very happy for both of you that you love this Riviera amplifier!

I know this is not exactly how Elliot is looking at it, but, through my personal prism, I am not one bit surprised that "having a tube somewhere in the system" improves emotional connection and believability and realism.
 

Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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Elliot, Gian,

I am very happy for both of you that you love this Riviera amplifier!

I know this is not exactly how Elliot is looking at it, but, through my personal prism, I am not one bit surprised that "having a tube somewhere in the system" improves emotional connection and believability and realism.
for a young man Ron you are very "old school" LOL. The world has changed and I look for the outcome not the materials. I have nothing against a tube but I don't care for tubey sound. Tubey sound is a coloration and some may like that but I don't want that in my listening. Riviera does not sound tubey in any way. I can say this Ron I would be very surprised if you wouldn't love this gear in your room !I t does glow in the dark a little LOL.
 

Ron Resnick

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Jan 24, 2015
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for a young man Ron you are very "old school" LOL. The world has changed and I look for the outcome not the materials. I have nothing against a tube but I don't care for tubey sound. Tubey sound is a coloration and some may like that but I don't want that in my listening. Riviera does not sound tubey in any way. I can say this Ron I would be very surprised if you wouldn't love this gear in your room !I t does glow in the dark a little LOL.

Dear Elliot,

I don't understand the relevance of your reply. Where did I advocate for a "tubey sound" or for "coloration"? You are attributing to me that I like that sound, but I never suggested anything like that in my post to you.

All I wrote is that the tube in the Riviera appears to be doing something good for your ears -- something good that your all solid-state components apparently did not do.
 

Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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Dear Elliot,

I don't understand the relevance of your reply. Where did I advocate for a "tubey sound" or for "coloration"? You are attributing to me that I like that sound, but I never suggested anything like that in my post to you.

All I wrote is that the tube in the Riviera appears to be doing something good for your ears -- something good that your all solid-state components apparently did not do.
Ron I was just poking fun with the old school line that a system had to have a tube somewhere. I am not saying you are advocating anything.
I would hope this site someday we
will go beyong the old Tube vs SS, analog vs Digital etc. discussions as they have been played out forever IMO.

BTW I just concluded negotiations with my room partners for Axpona 24 and we will be doing the Gobel/Riviera/Wadax super group once again . I am workingon also doing another Artist tribute for two days at the show. We will do our best to replicate or bypass the level we achieved at Capital Audio Fest.
 

Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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So i had the gear off over the weekend and turned it back on a few hours agao. I just got finished listening .
Some of today RichieHavens - Mixed Bag - follow
Come together - Brian Bromberg - Wood
Chitlins Con carne - the stimulators- Vooddoo swing
Mississippi Night- KIngfish Ingram- live in London
I'm Free- Bobby Rush- All my love for you
Great Day in the morning- Big Daddy Wilson/Goosebumb Brothers
Sister Rosetta Goes Before US- Plant and Krauss- Raising sand
Acoustic Ninja- Trace Bundy- Adapt
Sweet Child O'min Trace Bundy - Missile Bell Part 2
Damien Rice _ The Blowers Daughter -0
Annie- Willie Nelson _ teatro

Words from today
HEAVY - havent used that since I was a very young man , the system is Heavy
immersive
involving
entranced
it has this way of just making you commune with the chair and listen. I like that and its an uncommon feeling for me as this doesn't happen a lot but it does now all the time.
 

Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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See what happens when you rediscover tubes?? Dave Wilson was right. You DO need a tube in there somewhere!! :cool:
LOL yeah that's the ticket.
 
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Kingsrule

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I wish these amps had IR triggers for on/off ...possibly a overlooked detail that is a deal breaker IMO
 

Kingrex

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I wish these amps had IR triggers for on/off ...possibly a overlooked detail that is a deal breaker IMO
I'm not trying to polute Elliots thread. You can use something like a Torus AVR and it will sequence the on and off of the outputs. And if you have a brown/black out, the system will shut off and won't turn back on till you tell it. That will protect against motor boating you amps and tube gear in particular.
 

Elliot G.

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Jul 22, 2010
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I'm not trying to polute Elliots thread. You can use something like a Torus AVR and it will sequence the on and off of the outputs. And if you have a brown/black out, the system will shut off and won't turn back on till you tell it. That will protect against motor boating you amps and tube gear in particular.
this wont work here as these amps are in standbuy ( master power switch on the back) and then power button on the front. Once the power is off and then turned back on the amps will stay in standbuy. This solves any issues of rapid turn on turn off.
 

Kingrex

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this wont work here as these amps are in standbuy ( master power switch on the back) and then power button on the front. Once the power is off and then turned back on the amps will stay in standbuy. This solves any issues of rapid turn on turn off.
A good design if you ask me. Power cycling can be an issue for some amps.
 
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Mike Lavigne

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A good design if you ask me. Power cycling can be an issue for some amps.
Today so far 5 power outages, winds gusting to 50mph. I always leave my dart amps in standby, which is where they go from any power outage.

Currently reading a book in the living room in the house as my NG Generator does not cover the barn. Pretending to listen to my phantom @bonzo75 Memorial’ horn system in the room. sounds great! :rolleyes:

My dart pre is the same but since it’s battery powered more complicated. A power outage will kick it to ‘sleep’ and then off.

The issue is when I turn it on from no power the volume goes to +11, which if I forget to turn it down and I’ve got music playing can be a bad thing. I always need to remember to lower the volume, or not have a source playing, before I power up the amps.

In any case power flickers are not an issue, and the big 10kva transformer in the 10WQ Equi=Tech will maintain the music past lots of light flickers that I see. Which is nice.
 
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spiritofmusic

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Today so far 5 power outages, winds gusting to 50mph. I always leave my dart amps in standby, which is where they go from any power outage.

Currently reading a book in the living room in the house as my NG Generator does not cover the barn. Pretending to listen to my phantom ‘Kedar Memorial’ horn system in the room.

My dart pre is the same but since it’s battery powered more complicated. A power outage will kick it to ‘sleep’ and then off.

The issue is when I turn it on from no power the volume goes to +11, which if I forget to turn it down and I’ve got music playing can be a bad thing. I always need to remember to lower the volume, or not have a source playing, before I power up the amps.

In any case power flickers are not an issue, and the big 10kva transformer in the 10WQ Equi=Tech will maintain the music past lots of light flickers that I see. Which is nice.
Mike, we must have one major cut a fortnight, and a couple more brief ones per week, mainly birds strike on overhead lines, very few thankfully mid-listen.
I have *no* idea whether it's my 8kVA balanced transformer, 100A house fuse, or my system split away before the house electrics, but I haven't had one fuse blow yet. And I've got 15+ of the critters.
 
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