The Sling Shot Concept

When we introduced the Slingshot concept, a new approach to amp and pedal switching came to be. Using the tried and true switching systems that guitar amps have employed for years, Slingshot combines the simplicity of regular ¼" guitar cable interconnect with on-off functionality of a basic MIDI system – albeit without the pre-required electronic degree.

From a controller like the Tonebone Loopbone, all of a sudden you can engage several effects pedals and change channels on your amp with a single foot stomp. With the Headbone in tow, you could remotely switch heads with any footswitch. With Cabbone, you could switch amp channels and speaker cabinets with one tap.

The SW2 Switchbone represents a natural evolution by providing a compact remote control with two footswitches that now lets you control either Tonebones or amps from a single device. And by adding the latch function, now multiple devices can 'snap' into action with a single foot stomp.

Obviously, to do all of these tricks, the SW2 is not just a simple low-cost mechanical foot switch. Beneath the surface, complex electronics are employed to make the SW2's seemingly simple functions look easy. This is why the SW2

can be used as a stand-alone device and needs to be powered with a 9V supply to perform its tasks. But for those that want the power of a custom made switcher, the BigShot SW2 provides incredible value.

BigShot SW2™ Development

The Radial SW2 was originally developed as a means to provide Slingshot equipped devices like the Headbone and Cabbone with some sort of remote control. But as we looked into what features would be needed to develop an effective remote control, we decided to push the envelope by adding greater functionality so that it could be used in a variety of applications.

We started by setting out a series of criteria:

  1. It had to be compact to fit on pedalboards
  2. Powering had to be compatible with Boss style 9V pedals
  3. Both older and newer guitar amps had to be supported
  4. It had to work with the various switching circuits
  5. It had to work with the various switching circuits
  6. It had to do more than folks would expect (... it is a Radial product after all)

To make it compact, we decided to squeeze the circuit into the BigShot format. And making it 9V compatible meant that it could be powered by one of the many power-bricks on the market.

Older guitar amps generally use a contact closure to make the amp switch channels or turn a reverb on. This means that the SW2 needed to have an internal relay that when powered, would 'look' like a latching footswitch when connected to an older amp. We also wanted to make it so that it could be used with today's newer amps. These employ a pulse that basically sends a 'beep' to the amp to cause it to change status. A selector switch on the top panel would allow the user to select between signal types.

The next challenge (as we found out) was that some companies use one polarity, while others are reversed. This meant that we had to provide a polarity reverse function to accommodate.

We then decided that it would be really cool to have two functions in one pedal. This would add value to the player as it would enable him or her to switch two devices with a smaller footprint. To add icing on the cake, we thought it would be really neat if we could then arrange it so that two actions could be set into motion using a single foot stomp. The link function basically opened this door. With the link 'on' – you can for instance change channels and turn the reverb on at the same time.

Since the BigShot SW2 has been released, it has found a place with some of the most demanding artists in the world including bassist Roscoe Beck with Leonard Cohen's band and Tony Levin, most known for his stick bass playing with Peter Gabriel.