Future Friday – The Tonebone Classic V9

August 12th, 2016

The new Tonebone Classic V9 is essentially a new pedal. Yet its roots run deep. Tonebone began almost 40 years ago when Peter—a performing musician— met with an electronic technician with a passion for guitar tones. Over the years, the two have collaborated on hundreds of designs – many of which make up the Radial product catalog.

Peter recalls: “I remember the first time I plugged into the Classic… I immediately found myself closing my eyes and playing. You know… just sitting there and playing. Enjoying the moment and realized that we had come up with a combination of tone and feel that I had never experienced before with a pedal. It truly feels as if you are playing a big tube amp. When you turn down the volume on your guitar, it cleans up and when you dig deeper, the dynamics of the pick translates to the sound. It is truly amazing.”


The first generation Tonebone Classic distortion was a low-voltage 15V 12AX7 tube distortion that employed a unique dual gain distortion circuit along with a super-powerful EQ and true-bypass switching for ultra quiet operation. It was immediately adopted by many world-class guitarists including Tonemeister Eric Johnson. Eric was so impressed with the performance he not only endorsed it, he had us build a custom overdrive pedal to replace an aging relic. A few years later, we launched the Trimode™. This powerful tube distortion added a second channel for clean-rhythm-lead operation and a built-in effects loop for greater flexibility on stage. Iconic guitarist Steve ‘Luke’ Lukather became the unofficial spokesman for the Trimode which by many accounts is considered to be one of the finest distortion pedals of all time.

The proliferation of pedalboards, multi-pedal power supplies and the ever-increasing costs for extra baggage when traveling, created a vacuum whereby the original tube Classic no longer fit in (the original Tonebone Classic is large, requires 15 volts to drive the tube and this makes it cumbersome). Even the faithful were demanding standard 9V powering to use their power bricks instead of a wall wart and were asking for a smaller footprint to fit on their already jammed pedalboards. The Classic V9 comes to the rescue! (Cue the singing angels!)

The Classic V9 retains the character of the original Tonebone Classic, while adding innovative circuitry to replicate the tube-like tone that made the Classic so special. Like the original, it is responsive, dynamic, quiet and delivers a huge tonal range that is sure to excite the senses.

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