Radial Engineering JDV MK3, JDX, Phazer and X-Amp
Radial Engineering, radialeng.com
JDV, $550.00; JDX, $220.00; Phazer, $350.00; X-Amp, $220.00
Originally published in Guitar World, April 2009
Sometimes working in the studio can be as confusing as taking lunch orders at the United Nations. Even to perform simple applications you often have to manage all kinds of seemingly incompatible high- and low- impedance signals that have trouble communicating with each other. Advanced techniques, like re-amping or splitting the signal from an electric guitar to run several amps at once, are almost impossible to perform without specialized equipment.
Fortunately, Radial Engineering makes a variety of “magic” boxes that let you transform various input and output voltages and impedances to optimum levels. Radial’s JDV MK3 Super DI, JDX Amplifier DI, Phazer Class-A Phase Adjuster and X-Amp Amp Driver are helpful, powerful tools for recording guitarists that can greatly expand your creative options in the studio and eliminate common compatibility problems.
Each device is housed in a heavy-duty 14-gauge steel chassis and features welded I-beam frame construction that protects the internal components from stress and torque. The units are active to provide optimum sound quality and include external DC power supplies to minimize noise.
The JDV MK3 Super DI is sort of a sonic Swiss army knife that offers two instrument inputs, four amplifier outputs and a unity-gain line output, allowing you to record massive wall-of-sound rhythm tracks through up to four amps at once and send a direct guitar signal to your recorder, where it can be processed with amp-emulation software or preserved for re-amping later. Pro features include a Drag control that lets you correct pickup load to maintain natural tone and responsiveness even when driving several amps at once, high- and low-pass filters, a speaker interface with a -30dB input pad, and polarity reverse.
The JDX Amplifier DI connects between an amp’s speaker output and speaker, providing a direct signal that captures the character of your guitar amp. Speaker-emulation filters and a reactive load design enable the direct signal to provide the natural, responsive tone of a miked cabinet without the hassle. Other features include polarity reverse and ground-lift switches.
Not to be confused with a phase shifter pedal, the Phazer Phase Adjuster allows you to align two sound signals capturing the same source instrument (such as two mics on a snare drum, distance and close mics on a guitar amp or direct and mic signals) to place the fundamentals of the waveforms in sync. Features include a Phase Shift control, Phase Invert switch (for special out-of-phase effects), bypass, an adjustable low-pass filter, ground-lift switch and XLR and 1/4-inch inputs and outputs.
The X-Amp Amp Driver is a re-amping device that transforms a pre-recorded guitar track from line level to the proper impedance and level to drive a guitar amp or effect pedal, allowing you to experiment with different amp tones and effects after you’ve recorded a performance. X-Amp features include an XLR line-level input, two 1/4-inch outputs for driving up to two amps or effects at once, an output level control, ground-lift switch and a polarity-reverse switch.
All four Radial products deliver professional-quality sound and dead-quiet noise-free performance. The JDV MK3 is essential for anyone who wants to capture tight, layered rhythm tones by stacking up to four individual amp tracks in one pass. Its DI feature delivers stellar sound quality with any variety of guitar pickup signals, from humbuckers to piezos. The JDX provides any amp with line-out capabilities without any modifications—ideal for use with vintage amps that you want to keep stock. Using the JDX to combine the direct guitar amp output with the miked speaker cabinet (and the Phazer to keep the signals in phase), you can create mammoth, expressive tones and enjoy greater control over the final sound than you could with a miked signal alone.
The Phazer is exceptionally easy to use and provides more natural sound than simply aligning waveforms with digital audio software or by using a delay. Re-amping a direct signal with the X-Amp sounds indistinguishable from an original performance, maintaining all of its critical expressive nuances.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Radial's direct boxes and re-amping tools are essential for modern recording applications. These devices allow even “old-school” players to enjoy the same creative benefits offered by amp-emulation software while using classic vintage amps and effects.
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