The concept behind Rocktron has always been to deliver quality sound to the guitar player through exciting and often very innovating products. Many of the Rocktron products seek to marry a vintage style to modern technology and bear the mark of actual longtime musicians who understand and appreciate the needs of guitar players and then design and develop products accordingly.
Rocktron launched in 1983 when founder, Bob Waller, along with cohort Jim Chowning and others stepped back from a long musical career that included stints on the Hollywood club circuit and the Detroit to Toronto circuit. Using their background from years of club and concert appearances with their rock bands (The Blame, and originally Wildwood), the boys decided to launch a company aimed at producing top quality signal processing, amplification and effects.
Innovation is often the name of the game, and Rocktron has a history of many “firsts”. In 1984 the company introduced the first compressors, preamps, enhancers, effects and controllers with built-in noise reduction, along with the first footswitchable rack mount compressors. 1985 saw the introduction of the first touch-sensitive, digitally-controlled multi-effects preamp. In ’89 Rocktron provided the first factory-produced Bradshaw switchers.
Innovation continued into the 1990s as Rocktron became the first ever electronics company to bring to market preamps that included Artist presets as the ProGap provided presets from Steve Lukather and Allan Holdsworth. In ’92 we introduced the first 24 bit DSP effects processor with the Intellifex. This was followed by the first preamps with on-board speaker simulation, the first DSP processor based on analog stomp box sounds, the first digital effects processors with no annoying “drop-outs”, and the first digital noise reduction. We also brought to market the first power amps with “reactance” and definition.
In the year 2000, Rocktron was sold to GHS Corporation. The move was a short one, a mere 100 miles from the northern suburbs of Detroit to Battle Creek, Michigan. Bob Waller remained the division President/General Manager until a well-deserved retirement in the fall of 2019. Jim Chowning continues to serve music retailers in both technical support and sales roles.
We love what we do here, and it shows in our product offerings. Part sonic "black magic," part electronic innovation and technology, Rocktron will continue to please you with great sound.