a testimonial to the Richards KT88se amplifier

the mighty KT88

the mighty KT88

Here is a testimonial to the KT88se model amplifier, rated at 15 watts into 4, 8 or 16 ohms, designed and hand-wired, one at a time, by the Richards Amplifier Company – Australia.

The testimonial was written by Chris Earle, Sydney based baritone guitar and open-tuning guitar stylist and is reproduced in it’s entirety without any editing. Chris commisioned the development of this unique design and ordered the first two amps to be completed.

Please see our previous blog for an introduction to the KT88se and a detailed background to the development of this model. Many thanks to our good customer Chris for these words……….

“This amplifier is unique and highly innovative – during my research I’ve not come across a dedicated KT88 single ended amplifier built to such a high specification – there may be some ‘home brew’ ones out there – but none with the same impeccable build quality, application of years of hard won intellectual property, and unquestionable tone.

The oversize Mercury Magnetics transformers and choke certainly play their part – but it’s Ivan’s skill and insight with amplifier design that makes this the best amplifier I’ve heard or played by a country mile.

It has a truly rich beautiful sound – the notes decay with a chunky well defined solidity that I’ve never heard before – the 2nd harmonic is sublime with this amp – it provides an extra depth that is unforgettable.

The use of a Richards modified Hiwatt style preamp is a master stroke by Ivan. It allows the clean signal to be uncluttered by any form of fizz or fuzz and translate every subtlety and nuance from the fretboard.

This means it sounds amazing with modulation, be it Uni-Vibe, Chorus, Phaser or Flanger as well as long, full delay trails. But the piece de resistance is the driven sound – a richer, fuller sound is not humanly possible !

Yet it still retains astonishing clarity with my oversize guitars, be it open-tuned chords, slide or blazing single note runs and vibrato – no mean feat given the shortcomings of a single ended design that I’d experienced previously: lack of headroom and a compressed, cluttered sound.

Once the sound was dialed in – EQ flat, no adjustments necessary (though there was extensive experimentation), I was shocked to discover I had the guitar tone I’d craved all my life – you encounter that only once and I’m glad I did and get to play it !”


Thanks Ivan.


Chris Earle,

Sydney, Australia. October 2014.

4 Responses to “a testimonial to the Richards KT88se amplifier”

  1. Ashlee Tenberge Says:

    An honestly written testimonial from my brother Chris, who has unique requirements and from whom praise doesn’t come lightly! 🙂

  2. Nick Ananas Says:

    You should look Leslie 145, uses 2 Kt88 and it’s pretty gorgeous sound

  3. Brett Says:

    hey mate how can you buy these?? i cannot find any sort of online shop.

  4. ivanrichards Says:

    Brett all amp orders are direct to the builder – each amp is individually hand-wired to order – you can contact me via email, text or mobile (0418 862 034); IR.

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