From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rick-Tone is a United States company that manufactured guitar amplifiers in the late 1980s and early 1990s.


In 1984, musician and electronic hobbyist Rick Campbell began servicing amplifiers for patrons of the now defunct Belmont 8 recording studio in Portland, Oregon. The servicing of old amplifiers quickly evolved to the construction of new amplifiers, and Mr. Campbell eventually went on to produce an estimated four- to five-hundred Rick-Tone amplifiers between the years of 1984 and 1992. Most of these amplifiers were custom built for musicians in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, who were often referred to Mr. Campbell through word of mouth reputation or through small advertisements posted in local musical instrument shops.

Rick-Tone amplifiers were usually intended for the amplification of electric guitar, though a few were constructed for other uses such as electric bass or mandolin.

Unlike most contemporary amplifiers of the 1980s, all Rick-Tone amplifiers utilized glass vacuum tubes instead of modern transistors and integrated circuits, and the method of construction was entirely point-to-point hand wiring instead of modern printed circuit boards. Amplifiers of this type were considered obsolete by many musicians of the 1980s, and the Rick-Tone brand did not fare well financially. Production of Rick-Tone amplifiers ceased in 1992.

With the resurgence of interest in vacuum tube guitar amplifiers in recent years, it is not uncommon to see well kept Rick-Tone amplifiers selling for far more than their original sales prices.


Some Rick-Tone amplifier circuits were inspired by 1950s era amplifiers from the Valco company.

External links[edit]