Q: How important is ventilation and cooling for tube life?
Q: Do the Tonebones come
with a power supply?
we are ‘starving the tube’ with low
voltage, the tube will last a long time and will
never get very hot. The air vents on the side
panel provide sufficient ventilation to keep the
Tonebone running cool 24/7.
Q: Don't tubes required
high voltage to work?
A: This is
true. To make tubes sound good
and clean, they need lots of voltage.
Since we are not trying to get the tubes to sound
good, but are trying to get the tubes to distort,
we starve them to suit our purpose. Nasty trick…
but it works.
I change the tube from a 12AX7 to a 12AT7 or some
other similar octal plug tube?
A: No. The
tube as the Tonebone pedals combine electronics
along with the tube to form a hybrid circuit which
in turn, creates the sound. Changing the tube
could cause the circuit to malfunction.
Q: How often should the tube be replaced?
2-3 years of normal use, you may change the tube.
But we only suggest doing so if you find the tone
is lacking or output down from when you first
plugged it in.
Q: How do I change the tube?
instructions with pictures are provided in the Tonebone user guide (2.1mb zipped pdf).
A: Yes, a 15-Volt
DC 400ma power adaptor is supplied. Adaptors are
available for most countries. Find
power supply part numbers here.
Q: Why does the Tonebone
require 15VDC to work?
A: Even though
we are starving the tubes, we still need sufficient
voltage to get the heater coils to work. The typical
9V supplies just do not have sufficient voltage
to do the job.
Q: Are there any manufacturers that make multi-power supply bricks for Tonebones?
A: Yes; The Cioks DC10 and AC10 both have 15V outlets for Tonebone pedals.
Q: What happens if
I run an 18V or high voltage to the Tonebone?
A: You will
overheat the internal power supply circuitry and
damage your Tonebone.
Q: Is Tonebone 'true bypass'?
A: Yes. When
the pedal is off, the sound passes straight through
it without connecting to any electronic circuitry,
even if the power adapter is not plugged in.
Q: What is
A: The term
'true bypass' came about because of the problems
associated with some pedals that even when off,
were affecting the tone by loading down the guitar's
pickup. This means that instead of 100% of the
signal bypassing the effect pedal circuitry, some
of the signal is 'sucked' into the pedal even
when it is not being used. The perfect ‘true
bypass’ switch completely disconnects the
pedals circuit board from the signal path. Unfortunately,
this type of pure mechanical switch causes pops
in the audio path when switched in and out.
Q: Can Tonebone be plugged
thrugh an amp effects loop?
A: It depends.
If the insert or effect loop has been designed
for guitar level products you can do this. You
should however be careful as some effect loops
are LINE LEVEL, which means they are designed
for studio effects. Too high a level could damage
the input of the pedal.
Q: Can I use the Tonebone between the pre-amp
output and power amp input on my guitar amplifier?
A: Once again,
it depends on the way the manufacturer built the
amplifier. If the signals are 'guitar level' then
you will not have any problems. Check the amp
manufacturer's owner's manual to be sure.
Q: Is there any advantage
of using the Tonebone in an effect loop?
A: It depends.
As far as sound quality it should not make any
difference. On the other hand, if you are using
a brand of pedals that does not have true bypass,
then it is nice to get these out of the loop when
not being used.
Q: Can I record straight off the Tonebone's output?
A: Yes, just
plug the 'Bone into a line level mixer input.
Frank Gambale (of Chick Corea's band) reports
that recording right off the Tonebone worked
beautifully for him.
Can I use the Tonebone directly into a computer?
A: Yes -
But it will not sound the same as through an amplifier.
You will have to try to simulate the way your
amplifier and speaker sound by rolling off high
end and then maybe adding some compression.
Can I use Tonebone with any and all guitar amps?
A: Yes, Tonebone's
tone controls and circuitry have been designed
to work with all guitar amps, either tube or solid-state.
Q: How can I get more sustain with my tone?
is created by combining distortion and mid range.
Engaging the Hot British MID BOOST and FAT voicing
switches will add tons of sustain!
Q: Do you plan to make
a dual-channel Hot British pedal?
A: We already
did! It's called the PLEXITUBE.
Q: What is the difference
between the Hot British and the Classic distortion
A: The Classic
employs two gain stages while the Hot British
employs three gain stages. This allows the Classic
to clean up like a real tube amp while the Hot
British will produce more harmonics and saturation.
Q: What were the
amplifiers used in developing and testing Tonebones?
A: As most
guitarists know, the mother of all amplifiers
is the Fender® Bassman™. Tonebones were
optimized using the vintage tube amps as a starting
point and then each was refined based on where
we wanted the sound to go. The Marshall JCM800
was our model for the Hot-British (and Plexitube)
and a vintage Fender was our model for the Classic
Q: What made you select
the EQ points that you did?
years of working with musicians and then applying
facts such as where 12" drivers work and
how popular amps such as Marshall and Fender work,
we found that these frequencies seemed to fit
very well in the scheme of things.
Q: When did you first start
making distortion pedals?
A: The first
distortion pedal made was a custom solid-state
device in 1975. The first tube distortion was
tested around 1978. We made dozens of prototypes
in order to get us to where we are today!
Q: The current Tonebone
looks different from the original one from years
ago. Has the sound changed?
A: No. The
sound is exactly the same. We improved the graphics,
moved the LED, and added a extra filtering on
the power side. Same 'Bone sound, same 'Bone channel.