Radial Engineering Tonebone Regency review

A pedal that can stand up to hard knocks

  • £163
  • €192
  • $169

MusicRadar Verdict

A very practical pedal that can fulfil a number of functions, not least giving you three instantly accessible levels of drive.


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    Very few.

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Radial Engineering’s Tonebone pedals are engineered to take hard stage use with 14-gauge steel casings protecting their military-grade circuit boards. 

The Regency is a pedal designed to push amps harder courtesy of two independently footswitchable sections that can be used separately or together. 

One section houses the Pre-Drive circuit, not unlike a standard overdrive pedal with Level and Drive knobs plus tonal options, while the second section is a straight-up clean boost that can deliver up to 23dB extra and sports a send/return loop so you can add in one or more extra pedals that will also come in when you hit the boost. 

The Pre-Drive has a three-position Low-Mid switch to set a low-end that best matches your amp, and a Tone knob that subtly brightens or darkens, but its main feature is the various levels of gritty boost and drive you can achieve by juxtaposition of the Level and Drive knobs. 

Used with a clean amp, this can give you that extra dirty channel

Used with a clean amp, this can give you that extra dirty channel, but if you already have a dirty or full-on high-gain amp, there’s a lot of nuanced emphasis that you can feed into the front-end of your amp to add extra harmonics and sustain, pushing things further. Add in the Boost section and you’ll get another level of that. 

The Boost section by itself has as much as you’ll ever need to drive a valve amp harder. With our clean-set small wattage Fender, we hear a nice shift into edgier realms without too much travel on the Gain knob, while at max our amp was singing with natural overdrive. 

Putting a delay pedal in the send/return loop and setting the right amount of extra gain can give you just what you need to kick in for playing leads. Also, the fact that there is no shift in the sound with the Gain knob set to zero gives the boost section a secondary function as a remote switcher if you don’t require any boost. 

With the Regency situated at the front of your ’board, you can take advantage of the send/return loop to switch a larger unit - such as a tape delay or rackmount processor that’s sitting next to your amp. This is also useful for pedals that are situated at the back of your pedalboard where it’s difficult to access their own footswitches.

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.