When we began discussions with Rick about a signature amp, we were to say the least intimidated. How do you build an amp for a guitar virtuoso and Rock ‘n Roll legend like Rick Derringer? He has played almost every production and boutique amp under the sun. His musical style can shift from heavy rock to blues to jazz, to contemporary Christian in a heartbeat. It seemed like a daunting task but we did it for Lindy Fralin why not Rick.

After meeting Rick in the spring of 2005 at a guitar show in Nashville Rick Purchased one of our 50 watt 6V6 Model Earthquakes. Soon after we sent Rick our smaller 22 watt 6v model which he fell in love with immediately and has used it on several studio sessions. So with Rick digging the first 2 amps we threw at him we figured we had a pretty good handle on the tones Rick was after, We presented the Idea of a signature series to Rick and he was thrilled. Knowing that Rick would not put his name on a repackaged vintage amp clone; any boutique amp builder can do that, we wanted to build Rick a unique amp that would be worthy of his signature.

It’s a high gain design that we dubbed the Earthquake 9.1 Overdrive. But Rick said, “I don’t like high gain amps; they always have this buzzy thing going on in the background.” When we heard that we just smiled. That was The same issue that we had with channel switching high gain amps and was the reason that we started VVT Amps. At this point we could write a book about our obsession with this amp but we’ll try not to digress too much. Once we had the basic circuit design, we tweaked the amp with every imaginable circuit permutation and component searching for THE TONE.

Our stubbornness paid off. The bees buzzing in the background are gone; the overdrive tone is thick and rich with lots of harmonic content, superb output tube compression, and the clean channel is oh so sweet. Then, we asked Rick, What if we could build an overdrive amp using four 6V6s without the buzz and a clean channel that you could live on? He said he would be interested in hearing that. So we built the prototype and tweaked it to perfection. We said a prayer, sent it to Rick for testing, and waited on his response.

It was only a week or so, but it seemed like a year, when Rick called and said, “This is it. I’m in the studio and this amp rocks royally.” But I want an access port for the adjustable overdrive tone stack, ivory tolex, a copper colored front with hardwood accents, and I don’t want an effects loop.” The result is the Rick Derringer HyperDrive. It has the best hand wound transformers on the planet by Mercury Magnetics and all other components were selected for durability and most of all, TONE. This amp has the versatility of an SUV and will cover any genre of music. It’s exceptionally sweet with any guitar, tele/strat single coils, P90s, or humbuckers. Toss your pedal board but you may want to keep your wah and delay or reverb. Are we bragging? You bet we are! We think we make some of the best amps on the planet and the Rick Derringer HyperDrive is exceptional in the hands of a good guitarist.


  • Available in Black or Ivory
  • Two separate channels – Clean and Overdrive, as well as a boost for each channel (foot switch included)
  • Volume, Master Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, Drive (Gain), Level
  • 4 x 6V6 Output section of 50 Watts
  • Power, Output, & Choke Transformers by Mercury Magnetics
  • High grade aluminum chassis for a quiet design
  • Solid Cherry wood trim with available tiger stripe maple upgrade