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Strymon Riverside Multistage Drive Pedal



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Product Description

Strymon are always pushing the envelope. Their Riverside Multistage Drive pedal is an innovative hybrid design that has both an analogue and digital circuit — capable of delivering a wealth of raw, amp-like gain tones that can easily be controlled via a clever digital interface. This makes the Riverside an incredibly flexible drive pedal, and with the quality that Strymon are renowned for, this could be the only overdrive you'll need on your board!

Digital & Analogue

The first stage of gain that your guitar signal hits on the Riverside is the all-analogue, class A JFET circuit. This is a commonly used distortion circuit for guitars that will dirty up your tone, while retaining loads of clarity and jangle. Strymon have designed the JFET circuit to give you up to 20dB of analogue gain, so that you can really crank up the pedal before it starts compressing and "sagging". However, if you keep the level down and max the gain, then you can still achieve that glorious "sag".

Once the signal has gone through the warm analogue circuit, the incredibly powerful SHARC DSP chip will add detailed and responsive distortion to match the dynamics of your playing. In essence, classic gain tones enhanced with modern digital power!

Real Tube Dynamics

The Strymon Riverside reacts like a tube amp and when you play quietly, the pedal will respond accordingly. Up the intensity of your picking hand, and you'll create more aggressive distortion. Riverside has a low-gain channel for smooth, classic overdrive sounds and a high-gain channel that provides a more modern, saturated distortion tone — so you can set the pedal up to match your genre, and then play within that parameter. Or, you can use the 'Favourite' switch to tap dance between a high-gain setting and a low-gain overdrive setting. It's like having 2 pedals in 1, and can essentially turn a clean single-channel amp into a 3-channel monster!

Multistage Design

We've touched on the fact that there's more than one gain stage, but Strymon have actually crammed four gain stages into the Riverside that will cascade into each other — adding more gain as you go. This will increase the harmonic response so that you don't lose clarity or top-end under loads of distortion.

Amazing Flexibility

Ultimately, the Strymon Riverside a very versatile drive pedal that will give you access to classic sounds at your feet, but more importantly, will help you carve out your own unique distortion sound. Plus, the 3-band EQ makes it easy to match the pedal to your current guitar and amp setup.


Sound Design

  • Custom cascading multistage distortion topology provides a wide range of tube-inspired drive tones.
  • Digitally controlled analogue class A JFET input gain stage maximizes headroom while adding up to 20dB of pure analogue 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-analogue 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.

Ins, Outs & Switches

  • High impedance mono input.
  • Mono output.
  • 'Favourite' footswitch to save a favourite 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 analogue boost, or to toggle the Favourite preset on other Strymon pedals (Favouite Out mode).
Jed Van Wyngaardt author picture

Written by Jed Van Wyngaardt

Customer Reviews


11 reviews





Dr H24th Dec 2022

Value 5Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

Trusted Customer30th Oct 2022

Value 4Looks 5Durability 4Sound 5

Mr Roger Baldwin19th Jul 2021

Natural sound - not a digital replica but an original overdrive that pairs beautifully with my Marshall SV20 plexi.

Value 4Looks 4Sound 5

Paul Bigby15th May 2021

This is an excellent overdrive pedal that can sound very transparent but also has a mid boost setting. It has a very tube style sound to it and is capable of very high gain sounds - far higher gain than I would use. Also very good at providing a good “dirty clean” sound which can be quite elusive.

Value 4Looks 5Durability 5Sound 5

Mr david green12th Mar 2021

Value 3Looks 5Durability 5Sound 4

Steve Nuttall9th Oct 2020

The only gripe i have is that when setting a favourite sound on the pedal and you hold the favourite button down the LED just stays on. I have looked at videos from yourselves and also from Strymon and the LED goes out after a few seconds thereby letting you know the settings have been saved. It appears that the settings have been saved but I'm not convinced. What do you suggest?

Value 4Looks 4Durability 4Sound 4

Adam Williams16th Nov 2019

A very amp like overdrive pedal, worth using midi to access more than just 1 sound, it may be slightly overpriced but it is really good

Value 4Looks 5Sound 4

michael hicks8th Sep 2019

Pedal is great it goes from slight break up to full on distortion and works well with volume knob to and gives me the tone and drive I was looking for and heaps more could not recommend it highly enough you get what you pay for

Mr John McEwen4th Apr 2019

Mr Eric Gilmour22nd Jan 2019

Great drive pedal from low through to high gain

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