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Using the Trimode

The Tonebone Trimode Classic is like having two Tonebone Classic tube distortion units in one pedal – only better. Your amp's 'clean' setting will be pristine and pure in 'TRUE BYPASS' mode because there is nothing between your guitar and the amp.

Trimode lets you click in and switch between one of two available tube distortion tones, each with it's own tone sculpting, drive and level controls. Change from one great tone to the other and back with a simple click of the 'TOGGLE' footswitch. The controls make it easy to match output levels for smooth, professional transition between tones.

Use the built-in FX loop to insert your favorite pedals into the signal path of the 'solo' channel. Access and remove effects from the signal path with one simple footswitch click. You'll wonder how you ever got along without this amazingly versatile tube distortion pedal!


Trimode Audio Path

Following the block diagram from left to right, the Trimode is designed to provide the serious tone devotee true bypass performance whereby when the Trimode is disengaged, the guitar signal will pass directly to the amp, even when the Trimode's power adaptor is disconnected.

The Trimode's overdrive begins with a 3-position selector switch that allows the player to select the desired distortion range. Low distortion will give you the effect of a small amp driven hard while the high position will produce a Santana-style sustain with tons of even harmonics. Most players begin using the MED position and adjust the drive levels for the rhythm and lead channels to suit.

The selector switch is situated between the 1st and 2nd drive stages. This way, each channel may be adjusted as needed. The Rhythm channel is augmented with a unique Interstage™ drive gain control, labeled CH-1 INTERMEDIATE DRIVE, that is factory set at 12 o'clock. Interstage control allows you to fine-tune the gain on the rhythm channel to achieve the perfect balance between the rhythm and lead modes. This control is recessed to prevent unwanted accidental adjustment and is accessible through a port on the side adjacent to the DRIVE-1 control.

Because some players will use the Trimode for two different solo settings, both the rhythm and lead channels are equipped with a 3- position mid-range boost switch. These let you add mild or intense mid-boost to your signal for added definition and sustain.

For equalization, the Trimode is equipped with three rotary potentiometers. The bass and treble controls employ Radial's unique 'passive-interactive' circuit design that combines musicality with extreme range to let you dial in a wide array of tones. A high-frequency roll-off control works like an 'anti-presence' and is used to offset overly bright amplifiers that can sound 'shrill' when driven at high levels. Finally, there is a 3-position master voicing switch that lets you select between dark, normal and bright to shift the overall character of the Trimode to suit your amp setup and playing style.

These features, when combined, give you the control you need to toggle between classic 60's overdriven amps to today's ultra-thick saturated tones.

Using the Trimode

The following segment is just a glimpse that will show you some of the features and functions of the Trimode and explain how you would use them. Although the Trimode is extremely versatile, it is also very easy to use. As with any pedals, make sure your amp is turned off while making connections. Should you decide to give yourself a Trimode, be sure to read the complete manual as this will yield the best results. To get started, we recommend setting the Trimode knobs as follows:

Note that the tone controls and filter here are set to 12 o‘clock in what is commonly known as ‘flat’. Begin by setting the gain range to the middle position and set channel-1's input drive to 9 o’clock and channel-2's drive to 3 o’clock. With this setting, the rhythm and solo channels will sound quite different. Now adjust the output of each channel to a comfortable level. You are now ready to start experimenting with the dials and functions.

Keep in mind that the controls on the Trimode are very sensitive and all interact together. This means that when you add bass or treble, the perceived loudness will be different – the Trimode is designed to allow you to create a distinct tone by working the controls together. Because of the Trimode’s amazing passive-interactive EQ, it is almost impossible to find a bad or unusable tone. Take your time, listen and test the extremes. This can lead to all kinds of fun settings. It's useful to record your settings on the 'user settings' tone chart in the manual so that you can access them again. There are so many possibilities – have fun and experiment!

As previously mentioned, the Trimode’s rhythm and solo channels have been voiced differently to maximize their effectiveness. This is supplemented with separate mid-boost controls for each channel as well as the Interstage™ gain on the rhythm channel. By adding saturation and mid-frequencies to your tone, you will enjoy greater sustain without necessarily overpowering the rest of the band. This is one of the most important and beneficial functions available on the Trimode.

There are several controls that affect the overall tone and distortion on the Trimode. These include the input drive range, the EQ, the filter, and the voicing control. The drive range is set with the LOW, MED and HIGH drive gain switch. This control works in conjunction with each channel's drive gain. If you plan to have the rhythm channel set with just a little bit of grind, then you would set this to LOW drive gain. There is sufficient range on the channel drive controls to get a lot of saturation even when this setting is on low. You would, of course, use the channel output levels to provide the gain required and set the Interstage drive control to balance the rhythm and lead.

The master voicing control, labeled TOP END, has three switch settings labeled DARK, FLAT and BRIGHT. Start with FLAT, play with the Trimode’s powerful EQ and then experiment with the TOP END switch settings. You will find that if you have an overly bright amp, you may end up using the DARK setting. On the other hand, if you are looking for that big ‘scooped’ chunky tone, you might increase the BASS control to 5 o’clock and set the TOP END switch to bright. There are no rules… just use your ears!

One of the really cool features on the Trimode is the insert jack. This lets you insert effects into the solo channel so that when you go from clean to solo or rhythm to solo you can have an effect, such as a delay that turns on automatically as part of the solo tone. Best of all, when you are not in solo mode, you can turn effects on or off to prepare your solo tone for a certain passage and with a single foot stomp, kick in the effect. This is way cool!

Insert Cable - You'll need one of these for the effects loop.

FX Loop Connections
How to connect your effects using the insert cable.