With their first true overdrive pedal, the engineers at Strymon have hit a homerun. Based on some of the best analog tube circuits, this uniquely manipulable drive pedal gives you everything you could want in terms of gain and tonal control. With its three EQ knobs and even deeper control of the highs and mids, you will have no trouble dialing in a sound that works perfectly for you. And, its incredibly versatile expression input along with the boost remote allows for even more potential usability.
Like all smaller Strymon pedals, the Riverside is very well laid out and easy to understand. Its various external controls give you a far superior ability to tailor its use and sound to your liking. As far as more complex drive pedals go, this one has such clarity and ease of use, that the manual might not ever be touched.
This pedal has a uniquely wide variety of drive capabilities. Its continuously variable circuit tuning, which is meant to find the sweet spot at various levels of gain, makes the sounds this pedal produces not only vast, but highly usable. Its bevy of switches and knobs are worth the short learning curve if you wish to have a wide range of beautiful overdrive sounds.
Tonal Reproduction: 4.5/5
Warmth and variability characterize this pedal’s sound. You can manipulate the EQ and the various gain parameters to recreate a clear reproduction of your sound with a little push, or you can create a dirty, fuzzy, screaming tone.
Live application: 4/5
This is a great live pedal. Where most drive pedals cannot save presets, this will allow you to save a favorite setting that can be turned on and off at will. This effectively gives you two presets: one saved, and one that reflects the pedals current settings. The three band EQ is also beneficial for addressing live feedback issues.
Custom cascading multistage distortion topology provides a wide range of tube-inspired drive tones
Digitally controlled analog class A JFET input gain stage maximizes headroom while adding up to 20dB of pure analog gain
Precision crafted DSP gain stages provide detailed complexity and responsiveness
Low gain channel for smooth classic overdrive
High gain channel for modern saturated distortion
3-band EQ with independent Bass, Middle and Treble controls
Selectable post-analog gain mid-band EQ push
Presence switch to tailor the sound for use with all amplifiers from dark to bright
Optional variable-threshold noise reduction helps tame noisy guitar pickups
High impedance mono input
Favorite footswitch to save a favorite setting
Expression pedal input allows the connection an expression pedal for simultaneous morphing control over multiple parameters (Expression mode), or logarithmic taper for smooth volume control (Volume mode)
Boost pedal input allows connection of an external footswitch for up to +6dB of analog boost, or to toggle the Favorite preset on other Strymon pedals (Favorite Out mode)
Ultra low noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters provide uncompromising audio quality
Premium analog front end and output section
Super high performance SHARC DSP in a compact form factor
32-bit floating point processing
True Bypass (electromechanical relay switching) or selectable transparent Analog Buffered Bypass
Strong and lightweight anodized gold aluminum chassis
9V DC power supply included
Power requirements: maximum 9 volts DC center-negative, with a minimum of 250mA of current
4.5″ deep x 4″ wide x 1.75″ tall
11.4 cm deep x 10.2 cm wide x 4.4 cm tall
Designed and built in the USA
Product info from the Strymon website