Dedicated to Tone: Acoustic Image's Rick Jones
Acoustic Image's facilities reside on a nondescript Raleigh, NC road mostly dedicated to other light industry. A small sign let me know I was at the right building. On the day I visited, the operation was manned by three long-time employees and Jones himself. But the place was busy with activity, and, of course, with the testing beds that each amp must pass through before being shipped. Jones walked me through the line from empty cabinets and waiting circuit boards to the testing rooms and the shipping dock. It's a small, efficient operations where each employee seems capable of handling whichever part of the operations needs doing (each is also a musician).
In the lobby Jones had assembled a line of amps that represented the evolution of his company. You could see the movement from dabbler to professional in the maturity of design. "We've always been about getting the musician the best product we can get them however that works for the player," Jones says, citing his willingness to incorporate ideas from players feedback. "And if you need anything, if the amps breaks down, you're calling right here and I might be the one answering the phone," he continues. That's what is reflected in that line of evolving amp models, a core belief about the quality musicians deserve in obtaining their own personal tone.