Eric Johnson
Tonebone Classic
Tonebone Hollywood


Several years ago, Eric Johnson called the Radial office. He had tried the Tonebone Classic at a friend's place and liked it so much, that he ordered six of them. When asked why so many... he said that manufacturers tend to change their designs and he wanted to make sure he had several for his various pedalboards for live and studio use. Since then, the Tonebone Classic has gone down in history as one of the world's most popular tube distortion of all times.

The Classic is truly unique in that when you turn down the level on your guitar or play lightly, the tone cleans up like a real tube amp. The dynamic response lets you dig in yet retain a sense of character that shines through. A few years after the Classic was launched, it was followed by the Trimode which gained notoriety after Steve Lukather made it his pedal of choice. The problem with both the Classic and the Trimode is that they are quite large and require a special 15 volt – 400 milliamp power supply to heat up the tube. This goes against the trend of having a wide array of pedals on a compact pedalboard.

The Hollywood was conceived as a solid state version of the Classic. We retained the gain structure yet eliminated the tube to enable it to be powered by a standard 9V adaptor. To reduce the physical size, we distilled the feature set and simplified the control panel while retaining the essential controls. We then added a second channel to emulate the Tonebone Trimode's functionality so that you can quickly transition from rhythm to lead for a more seamless performance.

The Hollywood is particularly cool in that it straddles the world between an overdrive pedal and a distortion. Overdrives are often used to add extra sustain to crunchy amp tones while distortion pedals tend to produce full on saturation for solos or chunky rhythms. The Hollywood quietly lives in between where you can use it to add sustain or slight break-up as if playing through a small amp on 10.

The Hollywood moniker is in honor of Leo Fender – the man that started it all. Leo happened to live a short drive away from Los Angeles in Fullerton... and in our mind, Leo deserves a star on Hollywood Boulevard!