Radial Engineering Headbone VT
Radial Engineering Headbone VT

Headbone VT, Pedal/Controller from Radial Engineering in the Tonebone series.

loudfunk 03/25/2011

Radial Engineering Headbone VT : loudfunk's user review

« Want to switch 2 amps into one cab...this is what you want... »

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The easiest way to describe it as an A/B box after two amps to switch them into the same cab.
It's the size of two stomp boxes.
You have one speaker out, 2 1/4 inch amplifier inputs off the amps speaker tap, 2 audio inputs to the amp, also 1/4 inch, two inputs for the guitar (one buffered, the other not buffered), and a 1/4 inch jack for remote switching the box. And of course the jack for the power supply.
The hook-up for the first time, although explained well in the manual can be a bit overwhelming the first time.
It goes something like this....
Guitar plugged into the input of course, send two guitar cables two amp 1 and 2 respectively. Return from the amp's speaker out to the Headbone via speaker cables, and then one more speaker cable to the cab.
Now the box has a switch and that is great, the down side is that if you have it on your pedal board you will have to have long cable runs two the 2 amps, as well as long cable runs back from the amps and to the cab.
Having it on the backline and using the footswitch jack makes life a lot easier. The downside is that you have no indicato which amp is on. The best set-up I've found for this was when I used it with the programmable relay switches in the TC Electronic G-system. This way the amps were switched via preset and/or one of the assignable switches on the g-system.

The other thing I found a bit disconcerting was that when switching between vintage amps you were running "balls out". The transformer of the head that was running in the load did not sound too happy. I'm used to loaded head's transformers "singing" along when you actually can hear the head (for example when the cab is in another room, or using an iso cab, etc) but I've never come across it with no signal going through amps unless there was a ground loop issue. Which reminds me, as always vintage Marshalls are going to want to squeal like a bath room duck when they run on a common ground with a second amp, luckily the Headbone does have a ground lift.