GuitarSystems Tony's BenderTool review

Tone Bender-style stompbox

  • £265
  • €294
The Active/Passive side switch really helps sculpt your respective guitar tone

MusicRadar Verdict

Authentic ToneBender sound in a pedal made to suit any system.


  • +

    Faithful transistor setup. Solid build. Tonal versatility.


  • -

    Not much.

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Apart from the larger housing, knobs and footswitch, GuitarSystems' Tony's BenderTool has one prominent addition to the previously-reviewed Junior version: a black rocker switch on the side that selects Active or Passive modes.

Basically, it's an impedance-conversion interface designed to convert an active input signal to a signal that is more suitable for the pedal, enabling it to retain the character of the effect.

"It features three selected and matched NOS Germanium transistors, matching the setup of the 60s original"

It certainly works well - our Strat with EMGs sounded overly brittle on the passive setting, but switching to active put it right into the correct tonal zone.

Otherwise the pedal is still very much based around the same sought-after vintage fuzz, the Sola Sound Tone Bender, and features three selected and matched NOS Germanium transistors, matching the setup of the 60s original. This gives it a slightly different tone to the aforementioned Junior - there's hardly anything in it, but we think it felt a little smoother.

If having a Tone Bender appeals, this will give you the authentic sound and extra versatility where you can use it, thanks to the TMF (Treble Middle Full) EQ knob and impedance switch.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.