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Switchbone V2™ Using & Applications

The following page describes how to use the Radial Switchbone V2. For more details, feel free to download the full manual by clicking the icon at the left.

Making connections

Before making connections, always ensure the volume levels on your amps are turned off as this will avoid power-on and plug-in transients that could reduce the lifespan of your speakers and other sensitive components. Connect the included 15VDC power supply to the Switchbone V2. There is no power switch, as soon as power is connected you will see one of the LEDs illuminate and it will spring to life. The Switchbone V2 is equipped with a cable lock to secure the power supply into place. Simply loosen the hex screw and pass the power cable through the clamp in a compact loop.


Set all of the controls and switches to the start position:


Standard ABY setup

To test the signal path, connect your guitar to the INPUT and OUT-A to your main amp. Check to make sure the OUT-A LED is illuminated. Turn up your guitar and then turn up your amp slowly to ensure the signal is passing. You can now connect your second amp and test by toggling between the two amps using the middle AB footswitch. For fun, combine both amps using the BOTH footswitch.

You will note that when you hit the BOTH footswitch one of the LEDs will begin to flash. This TOGGLE mode function is designed to let you know in advance what will happen when you hit the BOTH footswitch again whereby the flashing LED will be the one that goes off. You can toggle the flashing LED by depressing the AB selector footswitch so that when you return to single amp playing, you can ensure the amp that you want on will be the one that is active.

Example:


  • When amp 1 is on, the channel A LED next to the TOGGLE switch will be lit.
  • Depress the BOTH switch and the 2nd channel is now activated. The new channel LED will flash.
  • Hit the TOGGLE footswitch and the flashing LED will toggle between the two channels.
  • To go back to single channel operation, depress the BOTH switch again and the flashing channel will go off.

 

When both amps are on, there are two things to watch for; the first is noise, the second is phase. If you hear noise, try depressing the ground lift switch on OUT-B. This works in conjunction with the isolation transformers to eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops. This lifts the audio ground, not the electrical safety ground.

When using two different amplifiers, these will often be out of phase whereby one amp will be pushing the speaker forward while the other will be pushing it backwards. This causes phase cancellation that is most noticeable in the low end and can make the amps sound distant. To test, face your two amps together (speaker to speaker) and listen. Try depressing the 180º polarity reverse switch on OUT-B to hear the difference.

Using a third amp

You can add a tuner to your setup using the dedicated TUNER out. This output is both buffered and transformer isolated to ensure clocking noise from the tuner is not audible in the guitar signal path. This also permits the tuner out to be reassigned as a third amp when required.

When the BOTH/OUT-C 'set & forget' switch is in the OUT position, the Switchbone V2 is configured like a typical ABY switcher. In this mode, the tuner output is always on. When the BOTH/OUT-C switch is pushed inwards, it changes the BOTH function to add OUT-C so that no signal will be present on TUNER/OUT-C unless the footswitch is depressed. When used for a third amp, you should check for noise and phase following the steps detailed above. Always use amp-A as the reference for phase.


Drag™ control load correction

Drag is used to set the load that is being applied on the pickup. We noticed early on that pickups sound quite different depending on the type of amp or buffering circuit to which they are connected. Drag lets you set the load to match your personal setup and deliver a tone to your amp that sounds as if you are connected directly. Set the DRAG control to 12 o'clock and then rotate the control using a guitar pick as a screwdriver. Turning the control clockwise will brighten the tone while turning it counter-clockwise will darken it. Adjust to suit.

It is important to note that Drag will only work when used with regular magnetic pickups and true-bypass pedals. In other words, the load that is applied to your pickup will be established by the first buffer in line. Once the signal is buffered, other buffers down the line will have little or no effect. The Bigshot EFX™ dual effects loop router provides a great cost effective solution if you would like to bypass pedals that don't feature true bypass themselves.


Baseline™ buffer

The Baseline buffers the signal, lowering noise by lowering the impedance. High impedance circuits are much more susceptible to picking up stray magnetic fields and radio frequencies. Once the signal is buffered, you can essentially drive the cable a much longer distance when using a quality coaxial cable.

The Baseline buffer circuit inside the Switchbone V2 is the very same one used in our top-of-the-line Radial JD7 Injector™. This is not made using integrated circuits with thousands of transistors and huge amounts of negative feedback to compensate. Instead, individual (discrete) transistors are carefully deployed in a Class-A configuration to deliver a precise gain stage while eliminating as much negative feedback in the circuit as possible. The resulting tone is pure, clean and natural sounding.

A selector switch allows the Switchbone V2 buffer to be set to unity gain when in the bottom PRE-SET position or it may be adjusted to suit when pushed up to the VARIABLE position. This Baseline setting can be used to drive the front end of your amp harder for extra kick. This is particularly effective when using older vintage amps that often do not have sensitivity and drive controls.

Start by listening to the pre-set Baseline level. This is set to unity gain to deliver the same output level as whatever guitar signal is sent in. Move the slider switch to ADJUST and start by setting the Baseline fully counter-clockwise. Try increasing the level by slowly turning using a guitar pick as a screwdriver. You will notice your amp will break up a little sooner. The Baseline is able to drive your amp with an extra +12dB of gain, so be careful… too much of a good thing may lead to unwanted distortion!


Power booster

Having a power booster at the end of your signal chain lets you turn any setting on your pedalboard into solo mode. You could be playing rhythm with slight crunch, a chorus and a delay and then, with a single foot stomp, elevate the output for a lead passage.

The Switchbone V2 power booster is activated by depressing the right BOOST footswitch. This works in conjunction with a 3-position footswitch SELECT switch, a variable clean boost control and a mid boost control. To use the clean boost, set the 3-position switch in the bottom to GAIN and adjust the boost level to suit. This is able to deliver up to +18dB of pure, Class-A clean gain. Setting the select to the top +MID position lets you then add more mid-range to your solos. This is particularly effective at increasing sustain or fattening up single coil pickups.

When the SELECT switch is moved to the middle MUTE position, the two boost circuits are disabled and the boost footswitch will mute the amplifier outputs for quiet on-stage tuning. It should be noted that the tuner output is always on. This allows quick checks in between songs.

  • + MID: Mid boost and gain boost. This is the most often used setting. This allows both gain and mid to be boosted as needed. Simply adjust the boost level and away you go.
  • MUTE: Disengages the boost function and turns this into a mute switch. This allows you to monitor the tuner output without having any sound pass through to the output of the Switchbone V2. Be careful! This is usually the first place to look if you are not getting any sound out of your Switchbone V2!
  • GAIN: This bypasses the MID function and directs the signal through a GAIN boost. The gain boost is used to increase sustain for soloing.

Slingshot remote

The idea behind the Slingshot™ remote system was to cause something extra to happen simultaneously when making a setup change. For example, to switch from amp-A to amp-B with a single foot action, maybe change an effects processor. Another example could be switching from one channel to another on a vintage Twin Reverb®, and having the reverb go on or off automatically. Slingshot is basically a contact closure whereby when a connection is made using a standard ¼" guitar cable, a remote action can be triggered. With Slingshot™ equipped devices like the Headbone™ or Cabbone™, you can remotely toggle heads, cabinets or even move pedalboards around using the Twinline™.

Connecting is as simple as plugging in a guitar. There are two selector switches that let you configure the circuit. The CONTACT lets you determine if the circuit is normally open or normally closed. This would, for instance, turn the remote device on or off depending on where it is set. The CIRCUIT switch lets you set the Slingshot in a LATCH mode for old school amps, or PULSE mode for newer amps. Simply discuss the setup options with your dealer or the manufacturer to find out what setting would work best with your intended setup.

The Slingshot remote output may be activated using either the BOOST footswitch or the AB TOGGLE footswitch. This is determined by using a recessed 'set & forget' switch adjacent to the BOOST footswitch. When set in the outwards position to BOOST, depressing the BOOST footswitch will cause the Slingshot to trigger. When set inwards to TOGGLE, when you toggle between amps A and B, it will fire. Hitting the BOOST or the TOGGLE footswitch again will cause the Slingshot to return to normal or off.