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Radial ToneBone DI/pre-amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MikeBass, Sep 23, 2008.

Radial ToneBone....

Poll closed Oct 3, 2008.
  1. Tone that gives me Bone!!!

  2. Radial Tone-Suck

  3. Carrots taste great, and good for you too!!!

  1. Thoughts???
    Thinking about picking one up.
    Tried it for a few and thought it was pretty nice, but didn't spend enough time with it to really tell.

    I don't know how to edit my poll but this is about the BassBone

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Mike, I have been using one for years. It is extremely quiet and no matter what amp you use it with, it will make an already sounding amp sound even better.

    I keep one in my gig bag and on a gig it is the only DI I will use and when I pull it out it usually puts a smile on the sound mans face.

    A good % of studio work that I do, I use it as well.
  3. Thanks Jauqo!
    Now just hit the little button in the poll! ;)

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    Yes sir :)
  5. idealtracks


    Dec 18, 2001
    Hey. I had one for a few months. I thought it was a great switching device, and was very transparent for such a device--it didn't seem to "add" anything to the sound (other than additional EQ'ing ability!) When the EQ was set flat, I couldn't tell it was in the loop.
    To my ear, the device did not add any discernable noise to the signal. It is very, very clean! The DI is very clean as well.

    I did not need the switching capabilites, so I sold it, otherwise I would still own it as I believe it is a high-quality bit of gear. All that being said, there were some things I did NOT like about it:

    1. It's power requirements. You can't operate it from batteries, and it requires it's own proprietary-type of AC adapter. This was a big hassle to me.

    2. Using a high-output active bass, with the Tonebone EQ settings flat, I had to have the Tonebone volume knob fully on at the maximum setting to maintain the same gain level. This really wasn't an issue for me sound-wise, but I did find the setting anoying and strange.

    Said another way, I found it odd that for settings to be "neutral", I had to have the volume on full (+), but EQ in the center positions. From that point I could add or subtract EQ, but only subtract gain, not add to it (without changing the sound using additive EQ.) This just struck me as being counter-intuitive for a device speciallizing in leveling the outputs from instruments of varying output levels. YMMV.

  6. Great details.
  7. CraigG


    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I don't use my bassbone largely for it's tone control, although that feature is handy. For me the feature that makes it worthwhile is that I can use two different basses with separate settings for each. I also appreciate that the sound is clean because I want a clean signal coming from a DI. If I want something more I would prefer to get it from an effects pedal.

    It's biggest drawback IMO is that it requires a proprietary AC adapater. Fortunately I don't use many pedals, so I don't need a pedal board. However, If I did, it would be with a built in power supply to run my other pedals and the thought of having to utilize a separate power supply for the bone would not be appreciated at all.

    Also, if the power supply on my bone ever decides to flake out on me, it's not a simple matter of making a quick trip to a local Radio Shack or music store to get a replacement. That is a HUGE negative IMO.
  8. Joeykun

    Joeykun pronounced ジョーイくん

    Jun 22, 2007
    Shirley, MA
    I got the BassBone so I could switch between my 4 string and 5 banger.
    However, I am really just using my 5 string these days.
    I strickly use the BassBone in recording now which is great.
    Ch. 1 set flat has no coloring effect on the bass. Clean & Quiet!
    Ch. 2 has a nice EQ that you can tweak to either cut or boost frequencies.
    I have had great success with just plugging in to the BassBone and straight
    to the board and getting the tone of my bass without any coloration. Nice!
  9. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    Probably one of the best pieces of gear I have ever bought. In general I use two basses on live gigs and the switching feature is, as stated above, extremely quiet and non-obtrusive. The EQ on the 2nd channel is quite flexible and really helps to level things out when switching between active & passive basses :)

    The DI is great in studio settings .... haven't ever had any issues with it yet. I personally don't care that the unit has no battery feature.

    The unit is rugged and well built, as well as being extremely user friendly. It's a bit pricey, but well worth it to me ... :cool:
  10. tom5string


    Jul 14, 2006
    It's one of the fixed pieces on my floor board. Using it for almost 1.5 years - so it cannot be really bad ;-)

    Ok, let me add to the posts above:

    1) Sometimes mine has "switching-hickup" means you have to switch forth and back to get a full signal on the second channel. Might be dirt might be .. don't know.

    2) The output of my EUB is too high for the unit to handle. I have to reduce the output on the bass a bit to achieve a clean signal.

    Despite these - a very useful piece of gear. I haven't found something similar yet that allows me to switch between EUB and Zon with such possibilities to fine-tune the channels. And a big plus: the Gain-boost/cut-Switch - which I'm using to adjust the volume differences between arco and pizzicato on the EUB.

  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    not sure where the sour grapes 'tone suck' stuff originated - I've done side by side, straight into ProTools tests with it and unless you mess with the EQ - it's pretty much transparent.

    The lack of gain isn't really an issue for me. Max it out for the quiet bass and then adjust for the loud bass. Far as counter intuitive goes... well sometimes you have to RTFM ...

    I keep mine on a small rectangle of 3/4 " ply sprayed black. There is a shallow two gang outlet with 2 wall warts zip tied down, a short 1 ft power cable, the BB and a Korg DT-10 - it's the thing I can throw in a gig bag and just carry an extension cord and I'm good to go and jack in somewhere.

    I would prefer a standard power supply but then agaon it will run off a generic radio shack supply so it's not like a killer if it dies off. Try Apex or Trace Elliot if you want odd ball ...

    I have found the BassBone to be a very useful device.
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I bought mine used a few years ago. It arrived with a similar issue. Turns out that Radial had received a bad batch of stomp switches. They repalced mine under waranty. I'm pretty close by, 12 hours drive south but it left here on a Monday and returned the following Monday - they had to be pretty fast to get that done. You might want to contact them about that switch.
  13. tom5string


    Jul 14, 2006
    Hey, didn't know that - I might give it a try, thanks for the hint.

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.

    I agree and I have never had that problem.

    Yes it is. A very well thought out product.
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Is this the ToneBone or BAssBone we're talking about?
    I am going to 2 basses and may need a switching/volume control devise for my active 5 and passive 4 fretless.
  16. As for the "tone suck", I've heard it mentioned before, so I'd at least throw it in there.
    A few guys have checked that option as well, but they haven't posted as to why they think that way, so IMO, it's a write off with all bets going to the "tone that gives me a bone" side of things.

    I currently use my GT Ditto Box tube DI, but I'm looking for something a bit more portable.

    I have a Fulltone Fat boost and a Demeter EQ pedal, so when I do switch basses, I can set either to have equal levels. But that means more pedals and stuff.

    The only pedals that are a "must have" everytime I play are my Dementer Compulator and Peterson tuner.
    Then I lug my Ditto box- which sound stinkin' amazing, but it's not small. About the size of 4 or 5 ToneBones.

    Sounds like the TB can in one swoop eliminate the EQ pedal and the FatBoost (although, they will live on my pedal board) for quick gigs where I don't want to take a bunch of stuff.
    Plus it fits in a gigbag!

    Now, I just need to find a new place in town that has one so I check it out myself.
  17. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    So, does the ToneBone give the "tubey" effect same as, say a SansAmp BDDI?

    When I hear "no tone coloration" that makes me think the answer is no, but I am curious. I.e., is the ToneBone another manufacturer's attempt at capturing SansAmp users, or is it strictly an input switching/DI device with EQ control but no tube emulation?

    I'm interested in this because I am a committed SansAmp user but I may be adding a 2nd bass to my onstage lineup so the input switching would be great to have.
  18. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I've only used it on a couple gigs. Transparent if I want it to be. I certainly wouldn't use "tubey goodness" to describe it, but in all honesty wasn't looking to dial in that tone.

    Tuner out and effects out is a great idea. Only wish it had a mute switch.
  19. tom5string


    Jul 14, 2006
    Plus FX send. Plus boost. Plus tuner-out ...
  20. This is the BassBone that is the topic of the moment!:D

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