Review: Lovepedal Bonetender
The Bonetender is a germanium-voiced fuzz box that stays true to Lovepedal designer Sean Michael’s commitment to quality and “less is more” approach to pedal building. A take on the classic 3-transistor fuzz circuit that defined the sounds of the British invasion, this MKII style fuzz features two knobs, a micro enclosure and plenty of gain and output.
Housed an understated black texture box and adorned with sharp-but-modest graphics, the Bonetender looks as good as it sounds. The 1590A style mini enclosure also makes it a perfect fit for that tight spot on your pedalboard, like the empty space above your volume or wah pedal.
But don’t be fooled — even with just two knobs, there are plenty of killer tones packed into this small pedal.
At unity volume with humbuckers and the gain dialed back to 9:00, the Bonetender will have you playing through your favorite Led Zeppelin riffs in no time. Wind it up past noon with single coils and you may just get the itch to jam out a couple Wolfmother hits. And if you crank it up all the way, prepare to consider finding a stopwatch to see just how long the sustain will last.
Arguably the best part of this pedal though, is just how responsive it is to the changes of your guitar’s volume knob. In live situations, it’s easily possible to use this one pedal as a full-scale fuzz assault. Set it for your highest desired gain setting and then back off the volume in varying degrees for a pleasing variety of low to medium gain textures.
And as tempting as that may be, it is worth noting that the Bonetender gets along quite nicely with other pedals as well — especially when it’s being pushed by a good boost or overdrive.
Word to the Wise
According to Sean, with the gain increased, you’ll hear a shift in the EQ that allows you to get some half-cocked wah tones as you dial back the volume knob on your guitar [also possible by rolling the tone all the way off with the neck pickup] — and while that’s cool and all, you may find that this pedal doesn’t sit quite right with your particular guitar, amp or ear. And while certain sacrifices are to be expected with a pedal this size, an added tone control might help in some situations.
The Bonetender is a winner. While originally on the higher end of the price spectrum in its category, it shouldn’t be overlooked by people looking for great vintage fuzz tones in a small package.
Note: This review was originally featured in Tone Report Weekly