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Headbone FAQ


Will my tube amp blow up if it is not connected to a speaker?

Although unlikely, it is possible. If the amp head does not have a load, the transformer can heat up which in turn could cause the insulation in the transformer to breakdown. The load resistor inside the Headbone is used to protect the tube amp from this occurrence.

Why can't I use a regular ABY box to switch heads?

When switching high power amplifiers, you have to be safe. Switching heads without properly managing the load can result in damaging your amp. The Headbone combines opto-couplers, relays and resisters to do the switching and sequences the process with a computer chip.

When using the Headbone, can I use my digital delay on the effects loop in my amplifier?

You can, but you have to be careful. If you allow your delay to continuously echo for a long period after your amp is no longer connected to the speaker, the load resister inside the Headbone may heat up and fail. Without a load it could possibly cause damage to your amp. As we have no control over this situation, we cannot recommend this without disclosing the risk.

Can I use the Headbone like an AB box?

It certainly could be done, but you may encounter ground loop problems as the Headbone is not set-up for this function. Either the Switchbone or Twin City would be a better choice.

Can I use the Headbone with a MIDI foot controller?

Yes. Most MIDI switchers are equipped with a contact closure output jack. This would be connected to the Headbone's Slingshot input remote control.

If I do not want to use the Slingshot remote, how far from the amps and speaker can I be?

Try to keep your cables under 6 meters (20') in length. This will minimize the loss in the speaker cables and reduce noise caused by electromagnetic fields penetrating your guitar cables.

Can I use a 16V power supply with my Headbone?

Yes. The internal voltage regulator will dissipate the extra voltage into heat. Using a higher voltage supply will ultimately reduce the regulator's lifespan by a small amount. Make sure you properly match the polarity as this could cause the regulator to blow up.

Are there any multi-pedal power supply bricks made for Tonebones?

Yes; The Cioks DC10 and AC10 both have 15V outlets for Tonebone pedals.

I have a 200W amp. Can I still use the Headbone?

Yes, but you have to be careful. The impedance of your amp will actually determine the current capacity that can drive through the Headbone. See the Headbone manual for details.

With a Headbone, can I use different pedals on each amp?

Yes. Simply connect your guitar to the Headbone and then insert the effects pedals between the Headphone's guitar level outputs and your heads.

Can I use a speaker attenuator or load box with the Headbones?

Yes. It will act just like a speaker.

With a Headbone, can I play both heads at the same time?

No. The Headbone only lets you select and use one head at a time.

The Headbone only has one speaker output. How do I connect a stack?

Most speaker cabinets are equipped with parallel jacks. Therefore you would connect the Headbone to your first cabinet and from there, feed the signal to the second. You can also make up a combiner box that does the same. We do not recommend making a Y-cable as getting good quality heavy gauge speaker cables into the ¼" barrel will be almost impossible.

Can I run the output of a Headbone into the input of the Cabbone?

Yes. You can connect the output of the Headbone into the Cabbone and mix and match two heads with two speaker cabinets. This setup is awesome!

Is there a pause or break when switching channels?

Yes - the Headbone will mute for a very short period - approximately 20 milliseconds - as it disconnects one head and then reconnects the other.

I have a tube amp head and a digital modeling amp head. Which Headbone should I use to use one cab?

The Headbone TS is the one you need. The digital head is basically solid state.

Can I use the Headbone as a 'load box' with a tube amp?

No. The Headbone is NOT a load box.

Is there anything that can be done about the 20ms delay in switching on the head bone?

No. The delay is required to ensure the two heads are completely disconnected from the loudspeaker in order to prevent damage.

How do I choose the right model of Headbone for my amplifiers?

It is the output stage of the amplifier that designates which model of Headbone to choose. For instance, even if there is a tube employed in the pre-amp stage on the amplifiers, if the output stage is solid state (transistor based) of both amps you will need a Headbone SS. If you are using one amp with a tube output stage on one amp and a solid state output on the other amp, then you would need the Headbone TS. If both amplifiers have a tube output stage then the Headbone VT is the right choice.

Do I need to concern myself with the impedance of the load resistor when connected to the standby amp?

No. The load resistor is merely bleeding off excess residual power when the amp is on standby.