Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion

Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode DistortionRadial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion

As the name suggests, the Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion has three modes of operation: True Bypass, which is designed to keep your signal clean and uncompromised on its way to the amplifier; Rhythm, where you can adjust the distortion, mid range, and output levels; and Solo, which optimizes your sound with increased control and sustain. Both overdrive modes make use of the built-in 12AX7 tube for that British overdrive tone, blending solid state gain stages for modern levels of saturation with the 12AX7 for vintage warmth. Each section has its own Level and Drive control as well as its own three-position Mid Boost switch. Continue reading “Radial Engineering Tonebone TriMode Distortion”

What is the difference between overdrive and distortion?

best guitar distortionLearn the technical differences between overdrive and distortion, and the role that each plays in your guitar tone.

In discussing the differences between distortion and overdrive, what creates them, and how they’re used, we’ll begin with the relationship between a device’s maximum signal level and its threshold.

Every device in your guitar rig, or your home recording studio, has been designed to accept a maximum signal level. The maximum signal level that a device can accept is called that device’s threshold. If you introduce a signal to a device that exceeds the threshold, the parts of the signal that exceed it will get “clipped” (like tall grass), in various ways. Often, when a signal gets clipped, additional frequencies get created and added to the signal, as a sort of by-product of the clipping. These additional frequencies are known as overtones and harmonics.

Sometimes, the way a signal gets clipped sounds musical, natural, and warm, while at other times it sounds harsh, brittle, and as though there was something wrong with your equipment. Clipping the signal adds a “buzzy/crunchy” character to the tone, and that buzz is what we call distortion. Distortion is everywhere — on TV, in radio, etc. and it is rarely a good thing. Luckily, however, guitar players have found a way to make it work for them.

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The Fulltone OCD – In Search of the Holy Grail

Fulltone OCDAn incredible palate of overdrive sounds in one little pedal.

One of the things that seems to be particularly high on the list of priorities for guitarists is how to achieve the perfect driven sound. There are so many overdrive / distortion pedals out there. You could spend all day and night just trying them all out, to see which one sounds best. Although guitars, amps and even pickups are often candidates for “Best of the Best” ranking among guitarists, the overdrive pedal seems to hold a special place in our hearts, as a critical component to our sound and an item that we keep ourselves in an unrelenting search for.
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MXR M78 Custom Badass ’78 Distortion

MXR M78 Custom Badass '78 DistortionMXR’s new ’78 Bad Ass is a dammed good distortion pedal that offers true bypass and a warm sound, at a very reasonable price.

OK, this thing is pretty good. The kicker is that it retails for under $100. At that price range, true bypass and warm analog distortion is definitely a feature set that should impress anyone. Of course this is all very subjective. You have to factor in your setup, taste, and playing style. That said, all things considered, it’s a strong pedal.  I’m not too sure what the ’78 stands for. I guess I don’t really care, but I am curious.
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Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer – Still Going Strong After 30 Years

Ibanez TS9 Tube ScreamerStarting with the TS-808, these little green monsters — known as “tube screamers” — have been gracing the pedal boards of guitarists for more than 30 years.

Over the years, the shade of green and look of the pedal have morphed a bit, but the popularity has never waned.

I remember these pedals being quite popular back in the late ’70s, but I think most would agree that it was Stevie Ray Vaughan who played a pretty big role in the TS9’s surge in popularity. Eric Johnson was also a fan and known to use one to a large degree. What’s amazing is that over all these years, and through all the reissues, the overall design has never really changed. This is most likely due to the fact that Ibanez had no reason to fix what was not broken. Many guitarists love the Tube Screamer, and many have loved it just the way it is.
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