Aaah! This is cool! I have a Radial Pro-RMP reamping unit and I love it – very sturdy and useful. Nice to see the continued evolution of the design.
Radial announces the Reamp JCR™; a tradition has been updated!
Vancouver BC – Radial Engineering Ltd. is pleased to announce the latest generation Reamp® – a passive Reamper™ that follows the traditional design set out by inventor and patent holder John Cuniberti.
According to Radial president Peter Janis: “With over 10 years legacy and customers as diverse as Joe Satriani, Eddie Van Halen and the Rolling Stones, we were careful to retain the original circuit design that John created after we purchased the brand. We sourced the original custom made USA transformer and stayed true to John’s original circuit.”
“But as you all know, our team at Radial can never just leave well enough alone! The new JCR Reamp has been equipped with some fun extras that we think will set the Reamping bar another step higher! This includes a handy mute switch that enables the engineer to turn off the signal coming from the control room and allow him to move mics around the studio without the amp blasting away. We also added a switchable high-cut filter to help tame overly bright amps and a low-cut filter to reduce unwanted resonance.”
The new self-titled album by Birds of Tokyo – Ian Kenny (Karnivool), Adam Spark, Anthonny Jackson and Adam Weston – is a melodic, atmospheric, at times rocking, at times psychedelic affair which balances pop and indie song craft with ambient experimentation and a sombre edge. It’s a real light-and-shade album, with more melodically upbeat tracks like Plans balanced out by darker tracks like The Gap and The Saddest Thing I Know. I caught up with guitarist Adam Spark to talk about his role in the band.
What’s your background as a player?
Nothing fantastical, really, I just sort of learned to play at a late age. I didn’t pick it up until I was in year 12 in high school. Most of my friends played, but I wasn’t interested until that point in life. I was surfing until then! But I started there then I played and played and played, and I tried various things at uni, then ended up doing audio engineering and studying music. The only formal training I’ve had was doing WAAPA (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts), all the while just learning and playing.
What’s your approach to guitar, having started so late?
I guess I came from a funny perspective on it. I first picked up guitar when I was about 13 because a lot of my cousins would try to get me to play Metallica songs, but I never really took an interest until I was 17. But after about six months of playing I thought ‘I don’t really see the point of learning other peoples’ music.’ Of course, now I see the point in it! Because I probably would have developed a hell of a lot more finesse and technique. But I just started writing straight away. I don’t really approach guitar as a guitar player, to be truthful. We have a lot of guitars and a lot of gear, but …I’m really not that interested in it! And I don’t say that to be condescending of anything to people who are, but just for me, I see it as a songwriting tool. If I could carry around a piano I probably would! But guitar is the instrument that helps me express what we do.” That’s not to put down the guitar, but it’s kind of more about guitar being a supportive thing in our band. We have an ethos of ‘as little as necessary to get the point across.’ I never like people hearing what’s going on with the guitar, not that there’s nothing good going on but we’re a songwriting band. Even though we’re kind of like a pop band, it’s incorporating that sort of element into it.
So which players have influenced you?
It’s more music in general, to be honest. I’ve never really been interested in terms of guitar players with technical prowess. My interest is more in growing up watching people like Billy Corgan or My Bloody Valentine, where there doesn’t seem to be a massive emphasis on the playing itself but what’s coming out of the rig. I think My Bloody Valentine, with these crazy bent chords, delays on top of delays… or The Edge, hitting three notes, but what comes out is marvellous. I love the texture that comes out of guitar, rather than playing full-on solos.
How do you approach your tone live?
I’m always changing my setup. I tried a rack system and that didn’t work for me, and now I have a pedalboard with a switching system. I always have all these pedals but then I look down and think ‘Wow, all I’m really using is a distortion and a delay.’ Just a couple of cool little delays like maybe an old Electro-Harmonix thing and maybe a newer kind of one, and a couple of distortions. I find it really interesting and fascinating that people can pull off having so many different and unique pedals. I can never get it to sound good live. It’s a real funny one. As for amps, we’ve got this cool Reeves head. It’s kind of like a Hiwatt. I really like the sound of it. Everywhere we’ve travelled recently I’ve been hunting and hunting for new distortion pedals. I always find myself attracted to ones no-one else uses, and I think, ‘Am I on the right path here?’ For the record we had a little Expandora pedal going into the Reeves head, and we also had a mid-80s ProCo Rat held together by pliers! But they don’t work live, so I’ve got this Radial pedal – I think it’s the Trimode. It’s got stickers and shit all over it now for all the tech stuff and it’s covered up the title for a while! But they’re really cool. My big thing with distortion pedals is getting that midrange and the balance of all the bands in a way that you like them. It’s easy to turn it on and you’ve got tone or volume, but sometimes if you’re stepping on your biggest channel – and I generally run a clean, a lightly dirty, a dirty and one which is called ‘Boom’ on the pedal switcher – and to have it so those gain stages all work and sound relative to each other. If you have all different distortion pedals, sometimes you’ll find one of them that sounds really good but the bottom end’s completely gone in it. With the Radial you can really tailor it because you can screw around with it so much that it really creamily bites your head off.
I’ve been travelling with a few Fender Telecasters at the moment. We’ve tried a lot of guitars but I’ve found myself coming back to these ’72 Tele reissues all the time. So mostly those, but I’m going to bring out a Gibson 335, a Les Paul, a Fender Stratocaster. I just bought a Fender Stratocaster just the other day – I wanted to get something with a bit more of a modern feel but there’s a certain type of body and neck I like. So I bought the Billy Corgan signature model, which for me is perfect. You’ve got the fixed bridge on there and more modern DiMarzio pickups. I’m really excited about that, actually.
Birds Of Tokyo’s new self-titled album is out now on EMI.
LINK: Birds Of Tokyo
Wow, this is a cool idea. Radial Engineering’s new H-Amp allows you to take a headphone feed off the signal that goes to a speaker. If your drummer is like Alex Van Halen and they only want guitar in their headphones, this is an easy way of providing it. Or you can take a feed off the monitor so you can wear huge headphones on stage like Paul Gilbert (I know he does that because he damaged his hearing, but I just think it looks cool too).
Here’s the press release:
Radial Engineering Presents Radial H-Amp Speaker to Headphone Driver
January 13, 2009
Radial Engineering Ltd. announces the release of the Radial H-Amp, a unique passive interface that lets you take any speaker signal and convert it to a headphone source.
Designed for live stages, the Radial H-amp is the perfect interface to allow a drummer to get a monitor feed from any loudspeaker! Using the ‘through’ connection from a wedge monitor or side fill, the H-Amp is equipped with a Neutrik Speakon connector input and converts the high level speaker signal to a mono feed for headphones. It features a variable level control, high pass filter to remove excess low-end, a variable tone control to smooth out the highs plus a selector switch to enable various headphone types with wide ranging impedance and in-ear monitors to be connected. A second Speakon provides a throughput to feed a second H-Amp opening the door for applications such as in the studio or on concert stages where multiple members of the orchestra may need a headphone feed.
The Radial H-Amp is 100% passive. Because it only taps a small portion of the signal, it will not affect the amplifier’s impedance or load making it easy to use without any system reconfiguration. All you do is plug and play! It also works great with a power amplifier.
As with all Radial products, the H-Amp is designed to handle the rigors of professional touring. It features a 14-gauge steel welded internal I-beam frame with an outer book-end design that provides a protective zone around the connectors, switches and potentiometers plus the full-bottom no-slip pad helps keep the H-Amp on the drum riser even after a 20 minute drum solo!
For more information, contact Radial Engineering: 1588 Kebet Way, Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 5M5. Tel: 604-942-1001 Fax 604-942-1010
$220 US Retail
For more information, visit their web site at www.radialeng.com.