The ToneBone Plexitube is well known for being the ultimate choice for a Marshal in a box. The Plexitube is an extention of the Radial Hot British overdrive pedal, and provides two channels of tube powered (12AX7) distortion. Channel 1 is optimised for chunky rhythm tones, while channel 2 is optimised to produce sustaining and smooth lead tones. A true bypass feature is also included when the pedal is not engaged.
I came across the ToneBone Plexitube when searching for a typical 80’s sounding guitar tone. The ToneBone met my expectations and more. It’s utilized by some great guitar players including Kirk Hammet, Neal Schon and Daryl Stuermer.
The Plexitube initially caught my attention because it produces much more gain than a standard TubeScreamer, making it the perfect choice for more shred-style guitar playing. With a wide array of tonal options, you’ll be able to dial in the sound that’s in your head as accurately as possible.
One of my favourite features of the Plexitube is the integrated effects loop for channel 2. This allows you to automatically engage a delay pedal when changing to your lead channel, so that you don’t have to tap dance trying to hit 2 pedals simultaneously. Another great positive point is it’s literally built like a tank. I’ve owned a Plexitube for a number of years now, and it’s received a fair amount of knocks along way, yet my pedal is still as good as new. When it comes to sound, the PlexiTube is also incredibly responsive. It responds like a real tube to the volume control on your guitar, allowing you to reduce the amount of gain as you would on the drive channel of an amp.
With that being said, there are also one or two things I don’t like. Because of the integrated 12AX7 tube, the pedal requires 15-volts of power and therefore cannot be powered from a standard 9-volt outlet found on a pedal board. The Plexitube also contains a ton of tonal shaping options, resulting in this pedal being no one-trick-pony. You’re going to need to be prepared to put in some work to find the tone you’re after. Another negative aspect is the price. At $300, the Plexitube may be a little bit out of some peoples price range.
With that being said, if you’re looking for a great high-gain pedal, the ToneBone Plexitube is definitely worth considering. It’s taken up a permanent spot in my pedalboard, and I don’t see myself retiring it any time soon. For anyone who’s new to the Plexitube, my recommendation is that you watch this video where Peter Janis from Radial Engineering explains the pedal.
About the Author
Dean Hailstone has been playing guitar for over 15 years, and is currently performing with a variety of different live acts. He writes for PlayGuitarLive.com, a blog dedicated to providing insightful information for guitarists that play live. Dean also takes an active interest in guitar tone and the latest gear.