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Strymon Riverside: Is this the drive we've been hoping for from Strymon?

By Leslie Rich | October 26, 2016


Just about the time the weather is bringing about some winter starkness here at Riff City, we expect to see a much anticipated Strymon offering land at our door. I say much anticipated, not because we knew what was coming, but because it’s something we’ve been asked for time and time again – Is Strymon ever going to make a drive pedal?

This November Strymon will unleash the Riverside; A harmonically rich, multi-stage, tube-inspired drive Pedal. Even in its cleanest settings it provides tons of air to your tone and a pretty substantial helping of meat. With its Class A JFET front end you never lose the dynamic response of your playing. The DSP controls the gain using Variable Circuit Tuning as you dial through the settings, tweaking multiple parameters so you can always stay in the sweet spot. This is what really sets the Riverside apart from other drives on the market.

With the common Strymon “Favorite” switch, it essentially is two pedals in one and can take you all the way from fat, warm cleans to colossal, saturated distortions. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this pedal becomes one of your “always on” pedals – Using it to just breathe air into your playing and kicking on a higher gain “favorite” setting for punch when you need it.

The Push switch gives you the ability to either back off, or enhance your mid frequencies and really focus the gain to cut through a mix. The three band EQ allows for even more sculpting, with a mid-frequency width that varies as you increase, or decrease the setting. This means you can really fine tune the your tone. Turned to maximum it really fills up a lot of space in the frequency and dialed down to minimum it will provide a really modern sounding scoop.

Finally, the three position presence switch on the rear of the unit tailoring the high end frequency response of the pedal, allowing you to pair it well with any amp set up you have.

I can’t say enough about this pedal and I haven’t even begun to explore the optional boost, or expression controls. It’s ability to adapt to the dynamics of your playing while allowing you to dial in just what your amp needs to sing, probably makes the Riverside the pedal you’ve always been looking for!