Radial Engineering Trimode

Trimode, Other guitar saturation effect from Radial Engineering in the Tonebone series.

nickname009 08/29/2011

Radial Engineering Trimode : nickname009's user review


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True Bypass Clean Mode
Dynamic Rhythm Distortion Mode
Dynamic Lead Distortion Mode
12ax7 tube for natural overdrive tone
Effects loop on lead channel

Individual controls: Level, Drive, Midboost
Shared controls: Filter, High, Low, Top End, Drive Gain

FX loop is quite cool for the lead channel, you're able to hook up a set of pedals that you'd use for your leads like a delay as most players do.

This is a 2 channel distortion pedal that has a tube in it and is thus a 'hybrid' distortion pedal. The overall features are good but they aren't 2 completely seperate channels as most of the important controls are shared. It's more like 1 and a half channels to be honest. Which might be all one needs? Or maybe not. Depends on the player and how they use it. I used to own two of these at one time just to make sure I had everything covered.


The manual does help if ones needs it however it's all pretty simple to me. The mini switches are preset EQs so that you can't adjust them except for the preset positions that are provided. Most, if not all the controls are active, meaning they are very sensitive and don't require extreme settings to have tonal changes, even the most subtle turn will change a lot.

The FX loop is also pretty self explanatory, you do need an 'insert' cable though to get this working properly, refer to the manual for more info.

This lets you kick in to the lead channel and turn on your effects in one stomp. Very usable.


I like the sound but it's not my preferred sound. Yes it is very dynamic and sounds great with almost any guitar, especially if it's plugged into a tube amp. If you plug this into a solidstate amp your results will definitely vary. I believe the Trimode is meant to be plugged into a clean amp, being that the Trimode would be the pedal to provide all your distortion needs.

The sound is very scooped to my ears. A very american modern overdrive sound, if you will. There is a lot of clarity and presence and the lead channel is a tad sharper sounding as well. I like it but bear in mind this is not a high gain box, though it does provide quite a bit of overdrive, you will not get a nice heavy metal modern sound out of this pedal without some help from the amp or other pedals combined.

Maybe for lead it can sound great, for high gain metal rhythm I don't believe this will do the trick. Other than that, it's a great sounding pedal! Very tube like and tweakable!


I think this is a great pedal for that american overdrive, bluesy type sound. Maybe a bit of classic rock sounds too. Although it has enough gain on tap to do anything, I personally think it's more suited for lower to medium gain applications. Paired with a good tube amp you can't go wrong with this pedal! The power supply is very unique on it's own though, which means extra space on your board cause it's hard to find power supplies that would work with such a device. I don't even know if one exists at this moment.

The quality of the pedal is great, it's really well-made of course as is all Radial stuff. So it's definitely a good american overdrive/distortion pedal, but it's not the magic box for ALL my distortion needs.