Vintage US Catalog - Flipbook - Page 3
Welcome to the RBI Trade Catalog
A Brief History of RBI Music
RBI was founded as Rhythm Band Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas in 1961. While Rhythm Band Inc. specialized in
products for elementary music education, a sister company, International Music Company, was founded in the
early 1970’s to begin manufacturing and distributing more mainstream music products such as acoustic and
electric guitars, amplifiers, and accessories. With brands such as Hondo Guitars, Ross Amps, and Black Diamond
strings, IMC established itself as one of the premier music distributors in the United States. During the same
period, company owner Tommy Moore, and president, Jerry Freed, developed a network of foreign factories in
Japan and South Korea and IMC became the largest OEM provider of guitars in North America. In 1985 IMC
purchased a small custom guitar shop in Southern California from respected guitar builder, Grover Jackson. For
nearly 18 years, current RBI Music president Brad Kirkpatrick was a key part of the team that manufactured and
sold the premium Grover Jackson designed guitars worldwide.
As a direct result of this history in the guitar industry, in 2014 U.K music products distributor, John Hornby
Skewes Co., Ltd. approached Brad to distribute their successful Vintage® brand and innovative Fret King® brand
guitars in the United States. The involvement of guitar guru Trev Wilkinson and a long relationship with Skewes
management was reason enough to trust that this would be a successful venture. With that, RBI was able to lure
Rick Taylor, to RBI Music. Rick worked at the time for one of the largest guitar manufacturers in the world, and
has over 25 years experience as a Nashville session player. Meaning, he is dialed in to what musicians want and
expect from an instrument. Both Brad and Rick were excited, and confident that players would understand and
appreciate that the advantages inherent in Vintage® Guitars — Genuine Wilkinson Hardware, two piece
American Alder Bodies and Canadian hard rock maple necks are features typically reserved for much more
expensive guitars. With strict factory oversight from the U.K brand owner and 100% setup and QC by RBI Music
staff, every Vintage® Guitar shipped comes with a level of quality and value that no other comparably priced
instrument is able to match.
About the legendary designer, Trev Wilkinson
The central idea behind Vintage® is to offer accessibly priced, vintage-looking guitars with great finishes, quality
parts, and features that are typically found on guitars costing upward of a thousand dollars. So, to design an
industry-leading line of professional but affordable guitars, Trev Wilkinson joined forces with JHS over a decade
ago. These instruments now include class-leading Wilkinson®-designed hardware.
Certain features make Vintage® guitars a “bigger bang for the buck.” Subtle changes to traditional guitar designs
have been made so they perform much better. For instance, on the spring block, the holes are staggered in a way
that allows the strings to leave the block and pass over the saddles at a consistent angle that helps keep those
strings in tune. Trev also developed tuning keys called EZ-LOK™ that work like a locking tuner, but actually don’t
require any mechanical manufacturing. There’s nothing to unwind when you’re slacking the strings using the
vibrato, and they always come back to pitch. The same goes for our pickups. Trev doesn’t have a high-dollar
pickup range to protect, so he can produce pickups that will sound as good as any company can wind anywhere
in the world.
Trev has been described as “Britain’s one-man think tank.” Asserting that there’s always more work to be done
when it comes to improving guitar playability! We’re here to attest to the fact that’s just who Trev is.