This of course leads us to ask a few simple questions:
What is it that guitarists really need? How many
different tones are required to perform on stage?
If the tones sway too far and wide, will the guitarist’s
personality get lost? How much noise is acceptable?
Where should there be compromise?
Back in 1979, we invented the world’s first
3-channel tube amplifier. It solved a problem.
It provided the guitarist with a clean tone, a
crunchy rhythm channel and a solo channel. Fast-forward
25 years and for the most part, this is still
the most basic yet useful set-up. The Radial Loopbone
goes back to our roots and brings forth a design
that truly accomplishes what it was set out to
do – provide a simple tool that allows the
guitarist to achieve flexibility without compromising
Consider the most basic guitar set-up: A guitar,
a good distortion pedal and guitar amplifier (fig1)
will give you a clean tone, an overdrive and with
a second channel, you can likely get a pretty
good solo tone. The problems arise as soon as
you introduce more pedals
The natural tone and relationship between the
pickup and the amplifier is lost – all kinds
of noise creeps into your signal path, the guitar
level changes and for a fleeting moment those
‘do-it-all' pre-packaged modeling systems
that just sound 'good to average' become very
appealing. Then you give your head a shake and
ask yourself, "...is there not a better way?"
The Loopbone Solution
Yes there is a better way, and that way is Loopbone.
We designed Loopbone to solve all the above problems
by creating a master control interface that provides
alternate signal paths for your “love-them-and-hate-them”
effect pedals and we've added what has been called
'the best sounding power booster on the planet'
to boot. This clever bit of design accomplishes
the prerequisite ‘clean-rhythm-solo’
setup multiplied by two. Check it out: with the
Loopbone, your original guitar-to-distortion-to-amp
set-up is suddenly transformed into a powerful
tone control center (fig. 3). Effortlessly add
4 more tonal variations by simply clicking in
the versatile variable-gain Class-A power boost.
Add effect loops and you can create two completely
different signal paths: one dedicated to the ultimate
solo patch for example, the other to weird effects.
Best of all, when they're not needed, you can
remove the noisy pedals from your signal chain
with the click of a footswitch. Lovely!
The Loopbone is small! It fits in nicely right
on your pedalboard along with all of your effects.
Did we mention how you can turn on and off various
pedals to get set for a particular musical passage
without actually hearing them until the loop is
engaged? Now that’s foot power!
When you add effects, your guitar's
pickups are no longer connected directly to the
amplifier. The effects are usually active devices
that buffer (amplify) your guitar signal to some
degree and the impedance load that your pickups
would normally 'see', when connected directly
to the amp, is lost. Your tone seems thin and
brittle. To solve this problem, we developed a
feature called Drag™ control, which lets
you to dial-in the right amount of pickup loading
that was lost. With Drag load-correction, your
guitar feels 'right' again.
Slingshot™ Remote control
If the Loopbone is truly going to be the center
of the pedalboard, it should be able to control
other aspects of your guitar system. This triggered
the concept of MIDI control without actually having
to resort to taking a university course on programming.
We call it Slingshot™.
Slingshot is a remote control that employs the
same basic functionality of the time-tested channel
switching found on most guitar amplifiers. On
the Loopbone, you can assign the Slingshot remote
to any of the two effects loops or the power booster
and when depressed, can cause a remote device
to change status. You could for instance have
your amp channel change when effects loop-1 is
engaged (fig. 4). If you have a Radial
Headbone, you could switch amp heads or with
the Radial Cabbone,
you could switch speaker cabinets and go from
a 2-12 open back to a 4-12 half-stack.
The Loopbone is truly a marvel that opens the
door to tonal flexibility without introducing
any noise or altering the natural tone and dynamics
of your favorite instrument.