The Radial Headlight™
compact amp switcher.

The Radial Gold Digger™
featuring radio-style switching.

Drag™ Control Load correction
retains your natural tone.

Transformers on the amp outputs
help eliminate buzz and hum from
ground loops.

HEADLIGHT™ DEVELOPMENT

Today’s more innovative guitarists are always searching to either optimize their tone or trying to find new ways to spur on creativity. For some, merely switching between different amplifiers and effects can trigger a shift on the fretboard which can lead to a new scale or chord arrangement. Then there are those that record using multiple amps in the studio, either playing each on its own or several in combination. Although Radial offers a number of head and amp switchers under the Tonebone umbrella, none have addressed the need to bring the power of controlling up to four amps to the pedalboard.

Size does matter!

With pedalboards, being small is huge! Musicians are traveling as light as possible in order to cut transportation costs and improve set-up efficiency. The first goal with the Headlight was to keep the footprint as small as possible. Instead of having four switches to select between amps, we borrowed a trick that we developed in the Radial Gold Digger™ that switches one device on as it switches the other off. Think of an old-fashioned car radio where you push in the switch and it changes radio stations. We modified the design so that in this case, depressing the select footswitch will turn-off one output and turn on the next. By incorporating switching jacks on the outputs, the Headlight selector switch only rotates through the outputs that are connected. This, for instance, enables two or three amps to be used, while ignoring the last output. Once we got this figured out, we then decided to add a 'set & forget' switch that can change the left hand footswitch from mute to all on. This enables the Headlight to be used as an ABY or allow as many amps to be on at the same time as you would like. Internal jumpers are used to set specific configurations.

Great tone and low noise

Tonebone is legendary for its quality construction and relentless pursuit of a quiet, noise-free signal path. When using multiple amplifiers, the best way to eliminate stage noise is to isolate each amp from the other using transformers. By first carefully buffering the signal to ensure optimal signal quality and then adding Drag™ control load correction, you can be sure that the signal path will be as natural sounding as if connected directly using a cable. Inserting a transformer into the signal path allows us to add a ground lift switch and 180° polarity reverse. This means that when you connect all those amps together, the Headlight will eliminate the dreaded hum and buzz that seems to always be present when all of your amps are on at the same time. Using the polarity reverse switches, they can all be set to the same relative phase.

Performance enhancements

There is no room for mistakes on a busy stage. To help reduce confusion, five full-size LED indicators – all with different colors - provide instant visual feedback showing the active output or mute function. One glance and you will quickly know which output is active or that you can quietly tune without aggravating the audience. As with many Tonebone pedals, a dedicated tuner output is always on for quick on-the-fly adjustments. You can also set the left-hand footswitch to mute all of the amp outputs for quiet on-stage tuning. Finally, with more and more pedalboards now using power bricks, it only made sense that the Headlight employ standard 9V powering. This makes it easy to integrate the Headlight into a pedalboard without having to use a dedicated supply. (Note the power supply is not included!)