The other day, I saw a post on MusicRadar.com about their five favorite distortion boxes. I’m always interested in these types of posts to see if I can learn of anything new, or get reminded of something I forgot about. Their list of the five favorites consisted of the following:
1. Radial Bones London Distortion
2. Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Mayhem
3. ProTone Skumstortion
4. Roger Mayer Metalloid
5. MXR Fullbore Metal
Number one being the Radial Bones (R800-7105) London Distortion. I’ve heard about Radial Bones (out of Canada) but never gave them a closer look. Figured this would be a good time. This pedal is a solid-state version of the Tonebone pedal which tries to emulate the high-gain Plexi-style amps.
Here is the official description:
The London ‘Bone’ from Radial Engineering is a solid-state version of the popular Tonebone Hot British distortion pedal. Inside is a multi-stage drive circuit that produces rich, fat tones reminiscent of the latest high-gain Plexi-style tube amplifiers. This unique circuitry retains note clarity even when driven to extremes.
The Bones London pedal has variable drive that lets you dial-in the perfect amount of distortion, a powerful dual-band equalizer with Radial’s distinctive passive-interactive tone circuit, a 3-position ‘Kick’ switch to add extra mid-range drive or fatten up single coil pickups, plus a 3-position ‘Bite’ control that can compensate for overly bright amps or add extra cut and sizzle to your tone.
The Radial distortion pedal employs a unique high-performance buffering circuit with preset load correction that retains the performance of ‘true bypass’ connectivity while lowering the impedance and susceptibility to noise. This enables the London pedal to efficiently drive the guitar signal when using longer cables and lets it employ Radial’s own EIS — Electronic Impulse Switching — for outstanding durability without the challenges of mechanical switches.
For maximum on-stage efficiency, the Bones London is configured for ‘clean, rhythm & lead’ playability whereby in bypass mode, you get the natural clean sound of your guitar. When the distortion pedal is activated, you can choose between two output drive circuits using the toggle footswitch. Each is equipped with a variable level control ( so that Level-1 can be set for rhythm while Level-2 can be driven at a higher level for lead. To increase sustain and cut for solos, the second drive circuit is augmented in the mid-range. Bright, easy to see LEDs deliver on-stage switching cues so you know exactly where you are at all times.
As most players employ pedalboards, the London features standard ‘Boss style’ 9V powering that will adapt to most multi-pedal power supplies. The ultra-compact design with top mounted i/o connections allow effects pedals to be placed close together for those wishing maximum pedalboard density.
I did find a video by GearWire where they talk to Radial Engineering at Winter NAMM 2009 about this pedal.
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