Friday, January 05, 2007

Tone Sweet Tone

Here's another gear-centric post, so those not interested, please skip down a few posts.

While on the Aerosmith tour for two short weeks, I ordered and received a Radial Engineering Bassbone pedal for bassist David Hull. The fine folks at Radial - Peter Janis and Denis Rozon - were kind enough to hand-deliver it to us at a gig. I first heard the Bassbone in the rig of Zev Katz, who played the Hall and Oates Christmas tour when regular bassist T-Bone Wolk played guitar.

I had heard and used Radial's DI boxes for years, and briefly owned a JD7 (which I sold due to getting out of the commercial studio business). A few months ago, I saw two Radial Tonebone distortion boxes for sale at Dave's Guitar Shop. He had the Classic and the Hot British for less than half their normal new price, so I bought them both. I had only a few days to play with them before I left for the Aerosmith gig. Now that I am home, I have had a chance to delve a little deeper.


This is the Classic, a tube-driven pedal that cops the California tube amp sound in spades. I have a decent collection of overdrive/distortion stompboxes and have heard and used dozens more. The Classic has a different feel than your typical pedal. It is extremely quiet even at the highest gain settings. It cleans up nicely when you turn your guitar volume down and sounds great with single coil and humbucking pickups. I brought my vintage Ibanez Fat Cat into my studio and A/B'ed it with the Classic, until I got the Classic to emulate the fat sound of the Ibanez. The Classic has enough EQ power to get the sound of a Fulltone Fulldrive, a Tube Screamer, a ProCo Rat and most any other standard stompbox favorite. Nice


The Hot British Tonebone adds a third gain stage and goes the next step in copping the sound of Voxes and Marshalls. All I can say is that this pedal turns my Deluxe Reverb into a full stack. It's not the sound I usually go for these days, but when I need a blazing Marshall Plexi sound, this is the place to get it. Scorching.


This is the Bassbone that I used with Zev and David. Great tone, flexible switching, built like a tank.

Peter and Denis promised to have an Acoustic Guitar Tonebone out his year, something that I am anxiously awaiting. Here in Nashville, every body plays acoustic and having a top-quality DI for your instrument can make or break a gig. I'm sure it will sound as amazing as the rest of the line.

3 Comments:

Anonymous driver said...

ToneBone, eh? I knew discovering your site was going to get expensive.

I've been a fan of Hall and Oates since the early 70s--I've probably seen them live more than any other artists, although not in a very long time. That must have been a great gig.

8/1/07 08:05  
Anonymous j.charles said...

Thanks for the review - I've been eyeballing the ToneBone stuff for a while, but now that I got the VoodooLabs Switchbox, I can run 1 Deluxe Reverb, 2 Deluxe Reverbs, and then go over the top and add in the 50W Marshall halfstack to join the party, tickled by the Hermida Zendrive - keep up the tone blogging!

8/1/07 17:58  
Blogger Barry Pike said...

Yes! Radial makes excellent products, from the little ProDI's on up.

It is really gratifying that some gear manufacturers have as their goal to be the BEST in their chosen areas of endeavor. They are not interested in being the cheapest or moving the most units this quarter - their goal is to be the best.

As both a dealer and a user, they are a one of my product favorite lines, and very nice people to deal with, too.

8/1/07 20:32  

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