Radial Engineering Tonebone Classic V9 is a new, updated version of the Tonebone Classic pedal. Built in Canada, the V9 is smaller and can run off of a single 9V battery. It is, however, missing some important aspects of the original pedal.
The new Tonebone Classic V9 has the same three preset switches and four knobs to control the tone. Yes, it is smaller. Okay, it will run off a battery now. But – and it’s a big one – where’s the tube gone? Or, for that matter, the filter knob?
I had the original Tonebone Classic and used it for a few years alongside other tube-based drive pedals, meaning that I had lots to compare it to. It was solidly made and sounded pretty ‘Marshall-like’ in tone. It didn’t have much character of its own compared to my Mesa V-Twin pedal or my Marshall JMP rack, for example. Yet it always sounded a bit nicer after it – and that little 12AX7 vacuum tube – had warmed up.
I am surprised that Radial have dropped the tube for the sake of adding battery power. It almost feels like a step backwards. But Radial have made some great pedals in the past, so I will wait until I actually get to hear one in the flesh, judging it without at least trying one out would be unfair. I really hope it sounds the same as – or even better than – the originals. Us guitarists love our valves and it would be a shame if the V9 doesn’t sound as good as the old one…
RRP USD 169.99
Full details on the new ToneBone Classic V9 can be found here