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Radial Reamp JCR

The Reamp JCR is a passive Reamper that allows you to take a prerecorded track and send it back to a guitar or bass amplifier and re-record it. The benefits are tremendous: instead of worrying about the sound of the track, you can focus your attention on getting the best musical performance. Once the magic has been captured, you can send the guitarist home and Reamp the track at will as you move the mics around the room, try various amplifiers or introduce effects. Best of all, you can Reamp the track later as the production develops.

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Category: Pro Audio:DI Boxes:Passive

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The Radial Reamp JCR is the latest version of the original Reamp that was designed and patented by John Cuniberti. It features a 100% passive design with John's original custom wound 'Made in the USA' transformer and circuit. The latest Radial version features separate XLR and " TRS input connectors, variable output level plus a three-position filter that lets you tame excessive highs, warm up the lows or simply bypass if you want to revert to the original circuit. An on-board mute function has also been added to allow you to shut off the signal going to the amps when making adjustments or moving mics around the studio.

With today's unlimited track capabilities, Reamping is now accessible to everyone. And Reamping is no longer just for guitars It is now common to Reamp bass, keyboards, drums, violin you name it. In fact, Reamping is the magic ingredient that has brought many of the most esteemed recordings to life.

Reamping Part 1:
Reamping usually starts by recording a dry clean track. The Radial J48 is an excellent choice for this as it presents the guitar with an ideal impedance for natural tone.

Reamping Part 2:
Once the dry track is recorded, send it back to the Reamp JCR where it can feed a guitar or bass amplifier. Mic the amp to capture the new tone. Move the mic around to find the sweet spot.

Reamping Part 3:
Take things one step further by introducing effects pedals into the mix. Try a wah pedal on kick drum, envelope on snare, distortion on a vocal track. Let your imagination run free!

The Reamp gives me the flexibility I need to tailor the energy of each song I mix. It's an elegant tool for sonic shaping and creative re-recording. Amazing!
Joel Hamilton Elvis Costello, Sparklehorse, Tom Waits, Jolie Holland and more

The Reamp is the recording guitar player's best friend. It works great with bass and keyboards too. There is no other device out there that can take a recorded DI performance and have the amp receive it exactly as it would if you were plugging your guitar, or, bass straight in the input.
Joe Satriani Guitar God

Musicians are discovering the creative possibilities of Reamping synthesizers, drum machines and even vocals! The Reamp saves you from having to commit to a sound during recording as you can take a track at any time and 'Reamp' it. The Reamp does the job in a high-quality fashion.
Craig Anderton Renowned Engineer and Editor EM Magazine

Product Features:
  • Lets you re-record tracks through a guitar or bass amp
  • Original Reamp circuit designed by John Cuniberti
  • Plug and play easy to use passive design
  • Improves productivity while expanding creative options
  • 1/4: TRS Input: connects from your recording workstation and is suitable for both lo-Z and hi-Z sources. Wired in parallel with the XLR.
  • Mute: silenced the output from the Reamp JCR going to the guitar bass amplifier
  • Level: used to control the signal level going from the Reamp JCR to the guitar or bass amplifier
  • Filter: three position switch with high-cut to warm overly bright amps; low-cut to clean up low end mud or bypass to go back to the original Reamp circuit
  • 1/4 Output: unbalanced instrument level output connects form the Reamp JCR to amps and effects. Transformer isolated to eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops
  • XLR Input: balance input, connets from the output of your recording system to the Reamp JCR
  • Ground Lift: disconnects ground at the input to eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops
  • 180 degree Phase Invert: flips the polarity at the output to compensate for amps or effects that invert the phase of the signal
  • No Slip Pad: Full bottom surface neoprene pad provides electrical isolation and mechanical insulation. Keeps the JCR Reamp from moving around
  • Radial Push Switched: road proven Radial switched feature extra durable metal outer casing. Rated at over 20,000 cycles for added durability
  • Transformer: Custom USA made, isolates and converts the impedance to properly feed the guitar amp.
  • Baked Enamel Finish: keeps your Radial JCR Reamp looking great for years
  • Steel Construction: Radial standard heavy-duty 14-guage steel construction for added durability and extra shielding against electromagnetic fields
  • Mil-Spec Ciruit Board: features double sided PCB and full ground plane to assure lowest noise and greater durability for years of trouble free performance.
  • Book End Design: creates protective zone around connectors, switched and potentiometers for added protection

Reamp JCR Development:
The original Reamp was developed and patented by John Cuniberti in 1994. In 2005, Radial began producing an active version called the X-Amp under license. In 2011, Radial purchased Reamp with a commitment to continue building the brand and legacy.

The Radial JCR John Cuniberti Reamp is a testament to John's vision. It is sonically identical to the original while introducing a few extra features that we felt would be beneficial. For instance we added a 3 position filter switch to allow the engineer to tailor the tone for added warmth or extra detail while still enabling one to set it to bypass to regain the original signal path. We also added a convenient mute function. This lets the engineer go into the studio and mute the amp to allow him to change amp settings or move microphones around without having to alter any of the controls. We also replaced the combo connector with separate XLR and " jacks. These tend to provide greater dependability while also enabling one to split off the signal to drive a second Reamp using the " TRS as a throughput.

Mechanically, the Radial version follows the book-end design which provides a protective zone around each of the connector and control panels. A full bottom no-slip pad provides plenty of grip while improving electrical isolation to allow the Reamp to be safely placed on top of an amp. The 14 gauge steel enclosure also improves magnetic shielding, further protecting the sensitive transformer against electro-magnetic waves.

Reamp History:
Prior to 1994 anyone wanting to re-amplify a previously recorded audio track from a professional tape recorder had only a few options. The most common technique was to drop the gain of the tape recorder's output to a modest 30 or more and feed it into the back end of a passive direct box's XLR connector. Then connect the direct box's " input jack to the guitar amp's input. The result was disappointing at best for a number of technical and practical reasons so the process of Reamping never really caught on in a big way.

In 1993 John Cuniberti was working on a live record for guitarist Joe Satriani. The sound of the two bass tracks recorded live, one a DI and the other an amplifier, was not what he wanted when they got to the mixing stage. The DI was too clean and the amp was too distorted. The only solution was to take the DI track and feed it back into a bass rig with a better adjusted sound and re-record it to a separate track for mixing later. They tried the reverse DI trick mentioned above but it did not produce the results they were looking for which was to make it sound like the bass player was plugged directly into the amp. Knowing this was a simple interface problem John set out to solve it once and for all. With the help of audio tech James Ganwer they built a box with off-the-shelf parts for the purpose of Reamping. When they brought the new 'invention' back to the studio Joe was blown away by how much better it sounded. It sounded like Joe's bass player was plugged in and playing right there in the studio kind of a spooky feeling.

Over the course of the next six months Cuniberti experimented with different transformers and continued to tweak the circuit to get the best sound for both guitar and bass Reamping. Once satisfied, he built five boxes and called them Re-amps. These boxes with their huge transformers also allowed the user to flip a switch and use it as a great sounding DI. Not knowing if anyone would ever want to pay for one, John decided to stick his neck out and build fifty at a cost of around $5000 in parts alone. To lower the price, John opted for a smaller less expensive transformer that omitted the DI feature and switched to a smaller more compact red anodized box fashioned after the Countryman DI. Each one was built one at a time, by hand. John recounts: "I started passing them around to other recording engineers to see if they too would find it useful. At first, the reaction was lukewarm and I was sure I had made a huge mistake building so many. It took almost six months to sell the fifty and I was skeptical about building anymore."

It is important to know that in the mid 90's most records were being made in studios using analog equipment. Digital recording had not taken over yet and the home studio was only a place to make demos. Many successful recording engineers had developed habits, both good and bad, and weren't necessarily open to changing the way they did things. One famous recording engineer in LA returned a Re-Amp that was sent to him with a note saying, "Thanks John, but I don't know what to do with this box. I get my guitar sound right the first time." Regardless, a buzz about Reamping was beginning to spread and the orders started coming in slowly via a simple web site and word of mouth. Over the next ten years home-recording studios proliferated and digital recording was becoming the norm everywhere. The guys that got it right the first time were no longer making all the records. It was now people in home or in budget studios making records and the methods of making records were changing as well.

John originally built the first Reamp to re-amplify a bass DI track but as soon as other engineers got a hold of it they started re-amplifying guitars, keyboards, drums and even vocals. Adding stomp box effects to already recorded tracks was new but today, it is now common place. In the fall of 2010, John Cuniberti felt that it had become too difficult to build a small scale product economically and decided to sell the company. Radial Engineering Ltd. purchased the assets and in June 2011 began shipping a Radial version of the original.

Over the years the color and design of the Reamp has evolved:
  • 1994-95 Red anodized box with silk-screen Re-Amp logo / UTC transformer / Connectors on both ends / toggle switch / rubber feet.
  • 1995-99 Painted box in Prince purple, Neve grey or black, new logo / Custom transformer / Rocker switch.
  • 2000-03 Power coated box in green, black or dark blue / Laser etched logo / Connectors were moved to one end.
  • 2004 10th Anniversary model in dark grey only / Combo jack
  • 2005 Black only
  • 2006-07 V.2 Red only / New transformer design / Ferrite filtering / Rubber bottom pad / Recyclable packaging.
  • 2008 Red V2 with internal phase switch added.
  • 2011 Radial Reamp JCR named in honor of the inventor John Cuniberti employs the same circuit and custom wound transformer as the "V.2" model. New all steel enclosure follow radial product line. Filter and mute switch are added.

Using and Applications:
Reamping is a two-part process. One typically begins by recording a dry track using a direct box and then plays it back via the Radial JCR Reamp. The Reamp does the work of converting the balanced signal to unbalanced, sets the level and introduces transformer isolation to eliminate any hum and buzz that may be encountered when mixing balanced professional studio gear with unbalanced guitar amplifiers. As with all audio equipment, make sure all levels are turned down and audio components turned off before making any connections. This helps avoid plug in transients that could damage sensitive electronics or blow speakers.

Recording Process:
Connect your guitar to the input of the Radial J48 direct box or other. The 'thru' put is then connected to the guitar amplifier. This enables the guitarist to play his guitar and hear his amp under normal performance conditions. We recommend placing a mic in front of the guitar amp so that you can record the wet signal. This can be used to play back the track to the guitarist to review the performance. While this is happening, take the balanced low-Z out from the direct box and send this 'dry track' to a preamp. This should then be recorded on a second track and saved for later Reamping. You will find that editing flubbed notes, moving things around or adjusting pitch is much easier when the track is dry (clean) as opposed to wet (distorted). If you are satisfied with the performance, you can now send the guitarist home. You are now ready to start Reamping.

Reamping Process:
Take the dry track from your recording system and send it to the Reamp. The Reamp is equipped with both XLR and " input jacks that make it easy to adapt to most recorders. Connect the " guitar output from the Reamp to the guitar amplifier. Hit play then bring up the level on your recorder and then slowly raise the level on the Reamp until you have reached a comfortable listening level. If you like, try interfacing some pedals in between the Reamp and your amp to hear their effect. Once you get comfortable with the effect, we suggest you go back and test the levels by first connecting the guitar directly into your amp and then comparing the loudness when you are feeding the track from your recorder. You should take note of the signal levels on both your workstation and the Reamp so that these can be repeated.

Using the EQ Switch: The JCR Reamp is equipped with a three-way toggle switch that introduces two types of filters or may simply be bypassed to revert back to the original Reamp circuit. The down position is bypass. Moving the switch to the middle position turns on a high-pass filter that reduces the low frequency content of the signal. This can be helpful when trying to clean up the sound of a guitar track that is sounding too muddy. This can be particularly effective with heavily distorted tones.

Using the Mute Switch: The Radial JCR Reamp is equipped with a super handy mute feature. This is designed to allow the musicians in the studio to temporarily turn off (I.e., mute) the incoming track without changing any of the guitar amp or Reamp level settings. In other words, the amp levels may be excessive and you may need to discuss a mic placement with your assistant. You can have the recording system playing back a loop and simply mute the Reamp to allow you to converse as you move things around without having to go back into the control room to stop the track.

Using the 180 Polarity Reverse: There are several benefits to having a polarity reverse switch on hand. The most obvious is when using two Reamps together on two amps - you may find that one is out of phase with the other. By depressing the 180 polarity reverse, you can bring the relative phase in line. The easiest way to test if you are in or out of phase is to face both amps together up close and play bass notes. If the notes disappear, you are out of phase. The other is when Reamping with a couple of mics in the room. Switching the polarity will actually move the hot spots (room modes) which can sometimes eliminate troublesome resonance. Simply depress the switch and listen. Choose whatever setting sounds best.

Using the Ground Lift Switch: The very fact that the Reamp JCR is transformer based means that you will immediately enjoy the benefits of 100% isolation. This being said, there is still a common ground that connects the input to the output. This ground connection can be broken by depressing the ground lift switch. This lifts the pin-1 on the XLR. If you encounter hum and buzz, it is most likely being caused by a ground loop. Often, lifting the ground will alleviate the problem.

Product Specifications:
The Reamp JCR is the latest rendition of the original Reamp V.2 that was developed by John Cuniberti. Careful attention has been paid to ensure the sound and performance is faithful to the original. The heart of the beast is a custom made audio transformer that unbalances the signal and shifts the impedance. Key specifications are, of course, the frequency curve and phase response. For reference, we have also provided a comparison between the original Reamp and the new Radial JCR.
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz (+/- 0.2dB)
  • Total harmonic distortion: 0.05% @ 20Hz, 0.006% @ 1kHz
  • Input: +4dB balanced line-level, 600-Ohms
  • Maximum input level: +21dBu @ 20Hz
  • Output: Instrument-level (variable), unbalanced, 5k Ohms
  • Power requirement: Passive (no power needed to operate)
  • Size: 3.5" wide, 2" high, 5.5" deep (89mm x 51mm x 140mm)
  • Weight: 1 kg or 2.2 lbs
  • Warranty: Transferable 3 year warranty