by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Ruokangas Valvebucker

Ruokangas Valvebucker  ·  Source: Ruokangas


Hailing from Finland, Ruokangas has announced the Valvebucker, which the company reckons is the first ever tube-driven electric guitar pickup. Will it burn your fingers or just produce some smokin’ tone?


Ruokangas Valvebucker

Here’s the basic idea: put a valve inside a pickup loaded on a guitar. But can this even work? Well, it has a tube-amplified active preamp circuit utilising triode and pentode NOS valves. That’s then powered by an XLR cable running to an external 12V AC power supply in the floor. Ruokangas says the Valvebucker uses very low voltages and makes use of ‘sweet spots’ found outside typical operational points of vacuum tubes.

It all sounds a bit odd, but I’ll go with it if it works. Colour me interested! I’m a guitarist with a weird obsession with valves. As long as I don’t burn my fingers on hot tubes when I’m playing, I am game for this.

See the diagram below to see how it all works. The pedal has two inputs: one XLR coming from the Valvebucker, the other normal TRS from your normal guitar. The footswitch toggles between the two inputs.

Ruokangas Valvebucker wiring: setup diagram

Ruokangas Valvebucker wiring: setup diagram · Source: Ruokangas

Valve Control

It all sounds like it should work and I think I’m safe in saying my fingers won’t get toasted at such low voltages. The system uses standard volume and tone controls which are wired via a three-way switch and a two-way boost switch.


Ruokangas · Source: Ruokangas

New Guitar?

The only real downside is you can only get it fitted to your Ruokangas guitar, and even then it will cost an additional EUR 1,200. I kind of wanted to fit one to my Jazzmaster, pity. I might just have to order a new guitar then!

But seriously, it looks like a really interesting idea and I would love to try one out myself. I’m a sucker for a (not so) hot tube and this whole system intrigues me. Go on, check out the demo video below, you know you want too.

More Information


You are currently viewing a placeholder content from Youtube. To access the actual content, click the button below. Please note that doing so will share data with third-party providers.

More Information

Ruokangas Valvebucker

How do you like this post?

Rating: Yours: | ø:

2 responses to “NAMM 2019: Ruokangas Valvebucker – the first ever tube-driven guitar pickup?”

    Manfred Knauthe says:

    Its not going to work,
    Firstly nobody drills a giant round hole into his favourite guitar. Secondly is 12v a fraction of the voltage we are talking about when we are talking tube amp. Its like building a lawnmoyer motor into a racecar. These tubes can distort or color the sound, but not in the same way an EL 34 dors

    Nethan Paul says:

    Join the discussion…This is the best article to describe ruokangas guitars. I am a professional guitar player and I have an old Gibson guitar. Recently some vital parts of this guitar are not working and I have to replace its wraparound bridge unit. Right now I want to buy a new guitar and from this article, I came to know about this guitar. Thanks for this blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *