The Trimode tube distortion takes you from slight overdrive to full-on distortion. Think Mesa-Boogie in a pedal and switch instantly from rhythm to lead.Classic
The Tonebone Classic is a high performance 12AX7 tube distortion pedal that is designed to deliver the tone, feel and dynamics of a real tube guitar amplifier.Hollywood
The Hollywood is a dual-mode distortion that delivers everything from slight overdrive to super-saturated solos. Think of it as a solid state version of the famous Tonebone Classic.Plexitube
The Plexitube delivers five generations of Marshall in a box. Triple gain stage delivers fat, harmonically rich tones that let you switch from rhythm to lead.Hot British
The Tonebone Hot British delivers five decades of brute power for everything from scooped-out chunky rhythm to screaming sizzling hot lead tones.London
The London is a super compact Marshall in a box. Features super rich, fat tones and dual-mode operation to seemlessly switch between rhythm and lead for soloing.
The Vienna Chorus is vintage bucket-brigade chorus that delivers old-school analog tone. Dual-mode controls lets you switch from slow to fast choral effects like a Leslie.Vocoloco
The Voco-Loco is a foot-controlled effects loop that enables the lead vocalist, sax or trumpet player to incorporate guitar effects pedals into the signal path, just like an electric guitarist adds effects for soloing.
The Tonebone Switchbone ABY is a high performance ABY switcher that is designed to deliver the natural tone and feel.Loopbone
The Loopbone is a high-performance effects-loop switcher that enables the guitarist to insert, remove and combine pedals via two independent signal chainsHeadbone
The Headbone is a specially designed switching device that lets you toggle between two different guitar amplifier heads using a single speaker cabinet.Twin-City
The Twin-City is a class-A ABY switcher with Drag Control that delivers your guitar tone without introducing harsh sounding artifacts. Ground isolated to eliminate hum and buzz from gournd loops.BigShot MIX
The BigShot MIX is a unique pedal that lets you combine the dry sound of your instrument with a wet effects loop. Think of adding distortion to a bass while retaining the fundamentals.Cabbone
The Cabbone lets you switch between two speaker cabinets using a single amplifier head. You will not believe how changing the cabinet can affect your tone!BigShot ABY
The Radial BigShot ABY is a compact ABY switcher that enables you to either switch between two amplifiers or combine the signal when you want both amps to play at the same time.BigShot EFX
The BigShot EFX is a true-bypass effects loop switcher that lets you set up two separate effects loops and insert them into your pedal chain at will.BigShot IO
The Radial BigShot i/o is an easy to use instrument selector that lets you quickly transition between any two instruments and send out the output signal to your amp.BigShot SW2
The BigShot SW2 is a two channel universal remote control that can be used to replace the two amplifier foot switches and combine their main functions with a single pedal.PZ-Select
The Tonebone PZ-Select is a unique pedal designed to work with today's new breed of electric guitars and basses that employ both magnetic and piezo pickups.Twinline
The Radial Twinline is a unique device that enables a guitarist to share effects pedals between two amps when using the amplifiers' built-in (rear-panel) effects loops.
- PREAMPS & BUFFERSPZ-Pre
The PZ-Pre™ is a power-packed preamp that lets you switch between two acoustic instruments and feed the PA with a built-in Radial direct box. Piezo optimized for orchestral instruments.PZ-Deluxe
The PZ-Deluxe is a studio quality instrument preamp that jam-packs a full array of features into a compact pedal for live stage use. Ideal for all acoustic instruments.Bassbone OD
The Bassbone OD is a bass preamp with two instrument input channels, each of which is fully equipped with a level control, super powerful passive-interactive EQ and a low frequency filter to help eliminate resonance.PZ-Select
The Tonebone PZ-Select is a unique pedal designed to work with today's new breed of electric guitars and basses that employ both magnetic and piezo pickups.Dragster
The Dragster is a super-compact load correction device that lets you adjust the load on your electric guitar pickup to make your instrument sound natural in the PA or when recording.Bassbone V2
The Bassbone V2 is a power-packed bass preamp that combines on-stage efficiency, amazing tonal control and superb audio performance in a compact box. This makes it the ideal front end for both live and studio recording.ELEVATOR
The Elevator is a unique class-A multi-level power booster and buffer that provides the guitarist with a degree of customization to better match their playing style.BigShot PB1
The BigShot PB1 is an ultra clean 100% discrete class-A power booster with Drag Control load correction and switchable mid-range boost. Likely the best power booster ever made.Stagebug SB-15
The Radial Stage Bug SB-15 High Performance Signal Buffer lets you drive guitar pedals without added noise and also powers 15V Tonebone pedals.
Ask any guitarist about the ultimate stage setup and they will tell you that having two amps on stage is tonal bliss. Using a low-power head for crunchy rhythm and a high power two-channel amp for clean passages and soloing lets you handle just about any situation. The problem: using two amps on stage is both large and cumbersome - especially if you are lugging around 4x12 cabinets! This also means that you need two mics, two channels on the mixer and of course a bigger truck. We thought to ourselves... what if we could share a single speaker cabinet with two heads? This would save space, make setups easier and finally give the guitarist the range of tone he needs.
The Headbone signal flow
The Radial Headbone is a seemingly simple device that takes a guitar signal and sends it to two amplifier heads plus a speaker cabinet. Although this sounds simple, to perform this task you need to combine a bunch of cables with a series of sequenced switch actions done in such a way as to ensure the two amplifiers run safely and that switching is both smooth and transparent.
Then of course, one must manage the guitar signal without affecting the tone in any way. When switching heads, you are not just diverting speaker signals; you are also redirecting the original guitar signal. This means retaining the natural tone of the instrument without introducing distortion or coloration. With guitarists like Joe Perry and Mark Tremonti using the Headbone, you can be sure that they will not accept anything messing with their guitar tone. Furthermore, any clicks or pops can be devastating, especially with high gain amps at concert touring levels. And of course 'concert levels' not only means loud, but also means performing on concert-size stages. Running 50-foot speaker cables from the amplifier heads to a pedalboard and then all the way back to the speaker cabinet is impractical. This not only makes setup more difficult, but long speaker cables reduce the amplifier's ability to control the speaker excursion which results in less punch and definition.
When we set about deciding on how to build the Headbone and what features were needed to get the job done, we had to take all of this into account. This is how we did it:
Maintaining a perfect guitar signal
The Headbone is equipped with both a buffered and a non-buffered input. A buffer is an active gain stage that is used to maintain the signal level when manipulating it to perform various functions such as driving multiple amplifiers. Most manufacturers employ op-amps or integrated chips for buffers as one single chip can replace hundreds of discreet components. This makes it easy to route the printed circuit board and significantly reduces costs. The downside to this approach is sacrificing tone. The Radial Headbone does not employ any signal degrading op-amps or chips in the audio signal path. Instead, you get Radial's award winning 100% discrete class-A buffering circuit for the most natural and transparent tone possible. If you already have a buffer in your signal chain, the direct (un-buffered) input lets you bypass the Headbone's internal buffer. Less buffers in the signal chain generally results in less noise and distortion.
Routing the guitar signal to the heads
Once the guitar signal is in the Headbone, we want to toggle the signal between the two heads. Guitar signal routing can be accomplished using several different methods such as voltage controlled amplifiers (VCA's), relays, mechanical switches or opto-couplers. Guitar signals are low-level, high-impedance signals that are highly susceptible to noise. As such, devices such as VCA's, which may work well in line-level mixers, often cause tone aberrations that guitarists find offensive. Relays do not color the tone, but introduce a mechanical 'pop' when the switch is engaged. This is particularly noticeable with high gain amps. Instead, the Headbone employs a series of opto-couplers to perform the hi-Z guitar signal switching. An opto-coupler is a combination light emitting diode and photocell that can be used as a switch to smoothly ramp-up and ramp-down the signal. Because this eliminates the contact 'spark', you can enjoy 100% quiet switching. The downside is cost: opto-couplers are significantly more expensive than either VCA's or relays. This therefore limits the use of opto-couplers to high-end gear and is why most manufacturers do not use them.
Routing the amp outputs to the speakers
While the guitar input signal is being switched between to the two amps, the Headbone must also toggle the amplifier outputs going to the speaker cabinet and standby load resisters. Before we discuss switching, it is important to understand that tube amps and solid-state amps work differently. For instance, tube amps must always see a speaker load. Without a load, the tube amplifier's power output transformer can heat up which could cause it to malfunction. To address this concern, the Headbone employs a load resistor that couples to the standby amp. This way, when head-1 is active and connected to the speaker, head-2's output is safely routed to the Headbone's internal load resistor. Actual head-to-speaker and load switching is accomplished using a series of high-performance silver contact relays. These mil-spec relays are able to handle over 100 watts and are rated at over 1,000,000 operations!
The art of silent switching:
Now that we understand how the various signals are switched, let's look at how the actual switching process works. When you stomp on the Headbone footswitch, this is what goes on behind the scene:
- Mute the guitar signal going to head-1
- Disconnect head-1 from the speaker
- Connect head-1 to a load resistor
- Disconnect head-2 from the load resistor
- Connect head-2 to the speaker cabinet
- Toggle the guitar from head-1 to head-2
- Turn the guitar back on
Of course all of this has to be controlled with absolute precision. This is accomplished using a digital chip called a PIC (Programmable Interrupt Controller). When you hit the Headbone's footswitch, you are actually sending a status change command to the micro-controller which then goes into action by muting the guitar, turning off the speaker, applying the resistive load and then turning everything back on again. The Headbone is a true marvel of hybrid technology that marries 100% discrete class-A analog circuitry, opto-couplers and relays with state-of-the-art digital control.
Your amps are protected with SafeMode™
One of the clever features built into the Headbone is a function called SafeMode™. This was designed into the Headbone as a fail-safe method to prevent disaster should the Headbone's power supply ever be accidentally disconnected. In SafeMode, the Headbone automatically shuts off the guitar input going to the heads and sends the tube amplifier outputs to load resistors and the solid-state amplifier outputs to an open circuit. You merely reconnect the power supply and the Headbone will automatically reset itself for normal operation.
Three Headbones to choose from
Tube amps and solid-state amps work differently: a tube amplifier must always see a load while a solid-state amp can be presented with an open circuit. We developed two completely different circuits to support each type of amplifier so that they can be safely switched. It is important to note that we are talking about the power-stage output of the guitar amplifier, not the preamp out. Some solid-state amps have a tube preamp stage and solid -state output stage. These are considered to be solid-state.
The VT is the Headbone you should use if you have two tube or valve amplifiers such as those made my Marshall, Mesa-Boogie, Fender and others. These are easily recognized by the larger tubes that are almost always visible.
The SS is the Headbone you would use if you have two solid state guitar amplifiers or are switching PA type power amps. These do not have any tubes in the power section.
The TS is the Headbone you would select if you have one solid state amp like an old Roland JC120 and wanted to switch this with a tube-powered Fender Twin.
Connecting the Headbone
To connect the Headbone, you will need three guitar cables and three speaker cables. It is essential that you employ good quality high-impedance coaxial guitar cables and heavy duty 12 gauge speaker cables in order to ensure proper signal flow. This will also help keep noise down in the high power environment. It is also a good practice to keep all cables as short as possible. This is particularly important with speaker cables as you can lose a lot of power in the cable which will affect the tone and punch.
The Slingshot™ remote control
The best way to set up the Headbone is to locate it behind your amp where you can hide all of the cables. To remotely switch heads, the Headbone is equipped with a function called Slingshot that lets you employ any contact closure to perform the task. This is basically an on-off footswitch with a mechanical latching function. If you are equipped with a MIDI controller, these are normally equipped with a contact closure output that performs the same task.
Slingshot is also implemented on other Radial Tonebone products including the Loopbone™ and the Cabbone™. The Loopbone, for example, is equipped with a Slingshot output – this can act like a master controller on your pedalboard. You could set up the Loopbone so that when The Loopbone's effects loop-1 is engaged, it sends a 'switch command' to the Headbone so that it simultaneously switches heads. With one foot-stomp, you could activate your chorus, turn on an overdrive and switch amp heads! Best of all you are making all of this switching work with simple ¼" guitar cables.
With a Headbone... the possibilities are mind-boggling!
- PREAMPS & BUFFERS