REVIEW > RIVERA
Super-low sustain levels will actually have
a major impact on gain, picking dynamics, and the range of your guitar’s volume
control, though the lower ranges are useful
for dialing up a sweet spot for percussive
rhythm. Up around noon and 3 o’clock,
the sustain starts making your guitar sing a
little more, but keeps the best parts of your
guitar’s voice intact and beautifully emphasizes high-mid harmonics.
These levels are particularly effective for
use with fuzz and overdrive, provided you
use the level knob with care—the Sustain
Shaman isn’t entirely beyond inducing
feedback. Cranking the sustain creates a
delightfully sizzling layer of high and high-mid harmonic content that adds a swirling,
psychedelic wash to 12-string arpeggios and
a lingering vocal bite to leads.
The Sustain Shaman’s rabbit in the hat
is the Super Sustain function, and it’s no
wallflower of an enhancement. Cranking
the sustain and turning on the Super
Sustain toggle gives individual notes the
droning, sonorous sustain of a church bell.
This is a glorious effect for arpeggios on a
Pros: Impressively versatile and effective compression.
Built like a brick. Great tone-shaping control.
Rivera Sustain Shaman, $299 street, rivera.com
Cons: A little on the expensive side.
Control labels are decals.
Ease of Use
Telecaster, the bridge pickup of an SG, or
a Rickenbacker 12-string—guitars that cut,
but become interstellar with a little sustain.
Combine this effect with a long or backwards delay, and it’s as if you’re watching
time itself melt and stretch.
Setting up the A and B channels with
identically aggressive attack and sustain settings, and then engaging the Super Sustain
function demonstrates the considerable
boost in gain and high-midrange content
you get with the Super Sustain control on.
This is killer at quiet club levels, but something to be mindful of at loud performance
levels. You’ll also notice a slight volume
swell when you really hold onto a note, and
this is most obvious in spare arrangements.
The Sustain Shaman is one of the most
thoroughly designed compressors you’ll see
outside a studio, and it’s not constrained to
a single voice, thanks to the two independent channels. The Shaman is also noticeably less noisy than typical stompbox units.
A lot of the Sustain Shaman’s versatility
comes from the tone and effect blend controls—functions that can add another range
of color to a given set of attack and sustain
settings, and let you accommodate just
about any guitar or musical context. The
Super Sustain function, however, makes the
Sustain Shaman a potent stage weapon and
an impressive tool for altering how your
guitar, amplifier, and fingers interact.
We spent months locked up in our sound design labs with an intense focus on dreaming up the most spacious, lush, creative, tweakable, and musically inspirational delay effects ever heard.
TimeLine. It’s not a delay pedal.
It’s an inspiration machine.
I am absolutely floored by how amazing the Maz 8 sounds. All of the huge, arena-ready tone I have come to expect from Dr Z amps in a portable package that is perfect for smaller venues. Now I can “break a leg” at the show without breaking my back lugging around a heavy amp! -Mark Lee I am absolutely floored by how amazing the Maz 8 sounds. All of the huge, arena-ready tone I have come to expect from Dr Z amps in a portable package that is perfect for smaller venues. Now I can “break a leg” at the show without breaking my back lugging around a heavy amp! -Mark Lee
176 PREMIER GUITAR JUNE 2012