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Tonebender pedals - The most expensive pedal on the fewest boards?

Messages
2,567
For 35 years I've bought Tonebender pedals for fun, but never once used one live, or put on a board. It's interesting that there are 50 or maybe even 100 companies who make their take on these pedals, and they usually go for premium prices even when they have easy to source parts: $300, $400, $800, yet for the money invested they seem to be sparsely used in real applications. I've played thousands of shows over the years and I can't recall ever seeing one on a real, gigging pedalboard. Plenty of muffs a few fuzzfaces, but I can't recall ever seeing a Tonebender on a gigging board. I don't say this to imply they don't exist at all, and to see picks of your board that has one. It's not a challenge, but it is true. Very rare to see on a gigging board.

It's kind of remarkable the fascination guitarists have with these pedals, but then only use them for fun, or maybe to record a part here and there, or maybe just a trophy toy in their studio.

No knock on the legendary Tonebender, I own a few on the shelf here.

Just an observation. Carry on.
 

Dirty Tony

Member
Messages
3,223
TBs got me the most radio intercept (the worst was the DAM I had years ago), strangely never had issue from muffs and rarely with FFs.

PS: dont have lots of experience with fuzz pedals, their use is too limited for me, I only sparely use fuzz Jimmy Page style on some specific song and not often at all
 

dpgreek

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,731
Closest and usable Ive found is the BA Scarab Deluxe. Second would be the RambleFX Twinbender V3. Relatively affordable, versatile and sound great. Are they exact? Nope... but for sure in the ballpark. Not temperamental either. I think this is a great thread and point. It all depends on what what you want to spend, and how you want to use. Im more into muff circuits, but even those need help live. If youre straight up using it in its original form, most likey it will get buried without a mid push by a boost or eq. So even there, why spend hundreds if its not sentiment, collectors or something youve figured how to use well
 
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Mtt02263

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
486
I've spent an embarrassing amount of money on handwired replicas and boutique copies of almost every original Tonebender circuit. Despite this, the fuzzes that get most of my use are modern interpretations, having the ability to add treble, cut bass, and shape the tone with a bias is absolutely essential to me. There's a mystique about the originals and they can be so much fun to play and channel your inner Page with, but when it comes to actually using them, they're temperamental at the best of times. Probably the most usable vintage fuzz to me is a higher gain silicon Fuzz Face, other than that, it's a crap shoot in my experience, the wrong room can make a lot of fuzzes absolutely unusable.
 

pulse.

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,344


Here's one of my older boards, 5 or so years ago. Since I downsized my board my Jerms MkI is my no 1 fuzz for my band's board
and during lockdown I built the following one that I hope to use live when gigs start happening here in Greece.

 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,341


Here's one of my older boards, 5 or so years ago. Since I downsized my board my Jerms MkI is my no 1 fuzz for my band's board
and during lockdown I built the following one that I hope to use live when gigs start happening here in Greece.

Does anyone else find it hilarious that you've got a $2k Klon and a $700 TB on a board with a $100 Soundtank delay? Well, played my friend, well played!
 

fishleehooker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,330
Some great recorded stuff came out of tonebenders. Live rigs are a whole 'notherr thing and the nuance of a TB seems less important. On a recording I feel the opposite way. I feel like a few tonebenders are very very usable. I thought Doyle Bramhall was using a Zonk live and loving it? That is a tb basically. MK I based. Doyle might be one of the top guys out there in live rock guitar playing and sound. Def a player. You don't see many on pedal boards though because of the size. You see smaller TB ones though. Like Analogman and others.
 

truckin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,425
I had a pig dog professional MKII that I just did not like the sound of. I don't think tone benders are for me, some have success with them but I dunno.
 




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