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Loopbone FAQ


What is a 'true bypass' pedal?

The term 'true bypass' means that when a pedal is turned off, the guitar signal will pass without it being buffered or affected by the pedal in any way. Guitarists often prefer the sound of true-bypass pedals over active or buffered pedals. This has to do with the quality and design of the buffer being used.

Are there different types of buffers?

Yes. Most pedal manufacturers employ ICs or integrated circuits to buffer the guitar signal. These low-cost chips are designed to produce lots of level without noise, and make it easy to manufacture at a lower price. The down side is they tend to sound harsh. This is why most guitarists hate the sound of buffers. The Loopbone is different. It employs 100% discrete (full –size) electronics and features a class-A circuit for optimal signal flow. This is taken a step further with Drag Control load correction.

What is a class-A circuit?

A class-A circuit is an old school circuit design that employs a single gain stage to amplify the full wave. Class AB circuits are newer, more efficient circuits that employ a different gain stage for each half wave. This introduces anomalies such as zero-cross distortion and off order harmonics. Audiophiles prefer the sound of Class-A circuits as they do not exhibit these problems.

Can you explain Drag™ control?

When a guitar is connected directly to an amplifier, the guitar pickup and the amplifier form a circuit. It is the relationship between the amp and the way that it loads down the pickup that creates its distinct sound. With buffered circuits, you are essentially inserting a pre-amplifier in between the pickup and the amp and this compromises the natural relationship between the pickup and the guitar amp. Drag control allows the guitarist to reintroduce a corrective load into the signal path and bring back the natural relationship (tone & feel) that would otherwise be lost.

How many effects can I drive in each effects loop?

Since the Loopbone buffers the signal to drive the pedals, you can use as many pedals as you like. The only issue is noise. The more pedals you put in a chain, the more susceptible to noise your pedal chain will be.

Why does the Loopbone use photocells instead of relays?

Relays are a good solution as they are, in fact, remotely controlled mechanical switches. The problem with a mechanical switch, however, is the transient switch noise caused by the contacts arcing as they make electrical contact. Photocells are basically optical coupling devices that ramp up the connection gradually to eliminate the turn on transient. These are more expensive, but do not introduce clicking or popping.

Can the Loopbone be used as an ABY for my amp?

Not really. To properly perform ABY switching, one should have some type of isolation such as built into the Radial Switchbone. Keep in mind that amplifiers can often be floating several hundred volts around their circuitry and if not connected properly, can lead to an electric shock or introduce severe ground hum & noise.

Can I use the tuner out to drive an amplifier or another effect device?

You could, but there is no control over the signal – thus it is always on.

Can I use the tuner out for Reamping a clean track?

Yes. Simply connect the tuner output to a direct box like the Radial ProDI and you are set to go!

Can I drive long cables from the Loopbone to my amp?

Yes. The Loopbone incorporates a low-impedance Class-A buffering circuit, therefore you can drive much longer cable runs with less noise than if you are connected directly from the guitar to the amp. We recommend a maximum distance of 50 feet.

Will the Slingshot™ remote switch work on all amplifiers?

Most amplifiers will work with the Slingshot as it is equipped with both latching and pulse outputs. But there are surely some amp designs that do not follow convention. If you are not sure, consult your dealer or have a technician look at your amp to see if it can be adapted.

How do I know if my amp will be Slingshot™ compatible?

If your amp employs a footswitch with a ¼" jack, it will likely be compatible. If it employs some type of multi-pin connector or telephone style jack, it probably will require a custom made adaptor cable.

Is there a way to set the Loopbone up so that it can mute for tuning?

Yes. Insert a simple on-off footswitch like the BigShot i/o into one of the loops – then when you want to tune, hit the switch before you activate the loop.

Does the power booster affect both loops?

Yes! The power booster in the Loopbone will boost the guitar signal passing through both loops. This makes it ideal for soloing.

Can the Loopbone be used in the effects send & return of my amp?

Yes. Most guitar amp effects loops are designed for use with pedals. Simply check the amplifier owner's manual to be sure. If it says you can use guitar effects - you are good to go.

Will the Loopbone work for bass?

Yes! The Loopbone will work well on bass! And the class-A buffer will deliver the full sound without cutting off the low end.

Can I use one of the loops as a DI send to split the signal between my amp and the PA?

Yes. Simply connect a DI like the Radial ProDI to loop-1 and the thru from the DI as the return. This would enable you to 'turn on' a signal to the PA system whenever that loop is selected. If you do not want to hear the on-stage amp, then do not connect the thru cable. This will cut the signal path off so that it only will be heard going to the DI and PA system. This works great for acoustic guitars!

Why does the Loopbone require 15V?

Because it employs a class-A buffering circuit. This requires more power to get the desired headroom, but ends up sounding so much better!

Are there any manufacturers that make multi-power supply bricks for Tonebones?

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

Can I use the 16V or 18V output on my power brick?

Yes, but this will cause the Loopbone's internal regulator to heat up which will shorten the lifespan. This may for instance reduce the life from 20 years to 15, but this is impossible to predict as it depends on daily usage, power fluctuations and other possible unknowns.