"The Bassbone works great
in the studio or on the live stage. Throw it in
your gig bag and take it wherever you go."
~ Victor Wooten
flow chart, reading from left to right, you will
note the two inputs. Input channel-1 (IN-1) features
a CONTOUR control with choice of 'Flat' or 'Shape
1' or 'Shape 2' contour EQ curves. These curves
are designed to provide a 'modern' EQ setting
for bass-1. A separate LEVEL control allows Input-1's
volume to be adjusted as needed to achieve optimal
signal and balance.
On the row above, input
channel-2 (IN-2) starts with a powerful 3-band
LO-MID-HI EQ that is designed to override your
amplifier's EQ section for maximum control on
this bass. Once again, a separate LEVEL control
allows you to adjust the second channel's volume
In between the two inputs
is a separate, always-on tuner out. This is independently
buffered to provide a clean and stable signal
for the tuner.
After the two channels,
comes the TOGGLE selector. This footswitch lets
you chose the active channel and toggle between
input channel-1 and input channel-2. When only
one bass is used, input channel-1 feeds both channels
allowing you to use the Bassbone like a two channel
pre-amplifier. This gives you control over two
dramatically different EQ curves and levels. Two
large, bright LED's give you an easy-to-see status
indicator of the selected input channel.
From there, the signal
may be diverted by depressing the second 'BOOST'
footswitch. This can be set to drive effects pedals
through the insert loop or used to increase signal
level using the built-in power booster. These
can be used together or set to work individually.
When used together, you could for instance turn
on a flanger and increase the output level at
the same time for a solo passage. Being able to
bring effects in and out of the audio signal path
is particularly advantageous with bass as you
can remove noisy or tone robbing pedals from the
signal path when not in use.
The output section features
two drive circuits: one outfitted with a standard
1/4" guitar jack that goes to your bass amplifier
and a second that is equivalent to a built-in
active direct box. This XLR balanced output is
'post' Bassbone which means that the signal will
incorporate your EQ settings, levels and effects
so that the sound going to the mixer will arrive
exactly the way you intended it to be.
Using the Bassbone with Two Basses
powerful EQ overrides amp's EQ
Think of channel-1 as ‘straight-through’
whereby you will use the EQ and volume on your
amp to control your primary bass. You would set
your amp volume and EQ settings to the levels
you would normally use. Channel-1 features a 3-position
voicing switch. This offers choice between flat
(bypass), and two preset EQ contour curves to
help capture popular sought after tones that may
be difficult to achieve with some amplifiers.
One would start by setting up channel-1 in the
EQ bypass mode and then try the EQ contour presets.
You may find that inserting these will stimulate
new sounds that you have not yet encountered.
Channel-2 is the override channel. This features
a powerful EQ that lets you counter and or assist
the EQ on your amplifier when connecting your
second bass. Once you have established the amp
settings for your primary bass, you would then
select your second bass and depress the toggle
switch to select input-2. Each of the high, mid
and low EQ controls are extremely active and provide
incredible amounts of cut and boost power that
let you dial-in the sound you want.
Using the Bassbone with One Bass
By only connecting
a bass to input-1, Bassbone automatically feeds
both channels like a two channel bass amplifier.
This lets you transition between channel-1 and
channel-2 by simply depressing the toggle foot
switch. For instance, you would set your ‘main
sound’ using your amplifier EQ and level
while using channel-1 and then transition to channel-2
for special effects, creating massive bass textures
or maybe adding mid range for a solo or a more
percussive style bass.
bass can sound like two instruments
Boost and Effects Loop
can be used with or without FX
The Bassbone is equipped with an separate power
booster that can be used for soloing or special
effects. To add more fun and flexibility, there
is a 3-position selector switch that lets you
assign the footswitch to 'Boost', 'Loop' or 'Both'
(FX loop + power boost). Being able to engage
both boost and the effect loop with a single foot
action adds tremendous flexibility while reducing
the amount of ‘tap dancing’ of footswitches
on stage. For instance you may want to kick the
bass up a notch and introduce a flanger at the
same time. This also has the advantage of keeping
noisy effect pedals out of the signal chain when
not being used.
Using the Power Booster
The Bassbone's power-booster circuit is designed
to go from unity gain (signal level in equals
signal level out) to +8dB of gain boost. This
allows you play regular passages clean, then click-in
the boost to get the exact amount of 'take-control-of-the-world'
Using the Effect Loop
TRS FX loop cable - Order#R299 1001
The effect loop features an insert jack like the
ones used on professional mixers. This employs
a standard tip ‘send’, ring ‘return’
Y or insert jack with a stereo TRS (tip ring sleeve)
at one end and two standard ¼” mono
jacks on the other end. The advantages of using
an effect loop to connect pedals include reduced
pickup loading (for a more natural bass guitar
sound), less noise (because your sound is going
directly to your amplifier), and the ability to
have different pedal set-ups on stand-by (to engage
the effect loop precisely when needed). Combining
pedal effects with the power booster can be both
powerful and dramatic. With the touch of a button,
one can produce thunderous tones that can completely
change the dynamics of the performance.
Using the Tuner Output
The Radial Bassbone also incorporates a separate
tuner out and because it is buffered, the tuner
circuit is completely removed from the primary
audio signal path, thus reducing the effect of
added load on the circuit.
It is possible to use the effects loop as a
footswitch enabled 'tuner mute' by (a) using
a switcher like the Radial
BigShot™i/o in the effect loop or
(b) inserting a dummy 1/4" plug into the
effect loop jack while the 'BOOST ASSIGN' switch
in either the 'Loop' or 'Both' positions. Method
'b' would, of course, be at the expense of loosing
the boost and FX loop circuits. The signal would
continue to the tuner-out while muted to the
amplifier and XLR out. Sliding the assign switch
to the 'Boost' position removes the FX loop
so the dummy plug would have no effect, and
'Boost' would work as normal. Removing the dummy
plug returns the use of the FX loop circuits.
Silent Tuning Using One Bass
When using the
Bassbone as a single channel preamp, there is
an easy way to set it up for silent tuning.
All you do is connect your bass to input channel-2.
When you want to tune, simply depress the input
toggle footswitch and since nothing is connected
to input-1, your sound will be muted while the
input-2 signal will still flow to the tuner
output. Simply depress the toggle footswitch
again and you are back to normal.
Using the XLR Output
The Bassbone's built-in Radial direct
box is equipped with a separate XLR male output
to feed a mixer. This is a 600-ohm mic level
output that is designed to run along side microphone
signals in a snake without causing crosstalk.
It is important to note that the XLR output
of the Bassbone is post-everything. This means
that all of the Bassbone EQ and volume settings
will be heard on the XLR output. This is of
particular advantage when playing gigs without
a sound engineer as the bass signal going to
the mixer will be boosted or altered to follow
your Bassbone settings. An example would be
on a solo where the engineer would normally
increase the bass volume. By engaging the Bassbone’s
power booster, the level would increase on your
bass amp and at the mixer at the same time.
The XLR out is particularly cool for studio
session work or small coffee house gigs where
bringing an amplifier would be an extra hassle.
Simply connect the Bassbone’s XLR output
to the mixer and use the Bassbone as your miniature
amp. All your EQ settings are now right at your
The XLR male connector is wired to AES standards
with pin-1 being ground, pin-2 hot. A ground-lift
switch disconnects the ground on pin-1 at the
output to help reduce hum and buzz caused by
Using the Bassbone for Recording
If you have read through the various
pages on this site, you know that the Bassbone
is in fact a preamp designed specifically for
bass guitar. The magic lies in the warm sounding
EQ and ultra quiet operation. Connecting the
Bassbone's balanced lo-Z direct out to your
mixer or favorite mic-pre blossoms into the
ideal front-end for direct recording. Simply
plug in and play!
How will it sound? Well, that depends on how
you set the tones. Will Lee uses the Bassbone
for many of his session gigs and you can hear
it on recordings by George Benson and Billy
Joel. Nathan East recently recorded album cuts
for Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Alicia Keys
using the Bassbone. Suffice to say that some
of the world's best bassists use the Bassbone
every day to do their job for the simple reason:
'no frills, no hype - it just works!'