Boutique Finnish guitar company Ruokangas Guitars have made a huge step in guitar pick-up design with the unveiling of the Valvebucker—the first ever tube-driven electric guitar pickup.
Initially the pick-up was designed for a “steampunk-influenced one-off custom guitar with an active pickup driven by vacuum tubes” that the designers built back in 2014 and named Captain Nemo. But because the guitar sounded so good, the folks at Ruokangas were inspired to spend another few years refining it. Now, it can be installed in most every guitar the brand builds.
So how does a Valvebucker-equipped guitar actually work?
Here is what the company website has to say…
“It’s a simple and intuitive instrument that works the same way you’d expect any electric guitar to work. Even though the Valvebucker is “just one pickup”, the controls include a three way switch for different sounds, a volume and a tone knob – and an additional boost switch…”
“The only difference to a regular guitar from the operational side of things is that a Valvebucker-guitar comes with a little floor unit in the size of a standard fx-pedal, connected to the guitar with a standard XLR microphone cable. Other than that it’s all business as usual! The floor unit has an A/B box function – meaning that one input is reserved for your Valvebucker-guitar and another for your regular guitar(s) – so you can easily integrate the Valvebucker-guitar to your roster of instruments.”
“The floor unit connects to the power supply provided with the guitar – or you can alternatively connect it to your regular pedal power with 12VAC output. ”