Close Up: Radial Engineering


Three Decades of Innovative Sound Solutions: Founded in 1992, British Columbia-based Radial Engineering has developed a longstanding rep for bringing reliable and ultra-durable problem solving tools and systems to concert stages and studios worldwide. As the creator of state-of-the-art pro audio gear—including revolutionary direct boxes, splitters, switchers, guitar pedals and audio interfacing devices—Radial’s products have been used by everyone from Rush, U2 and Bruce Springsteen to AC/DC, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney and legendary engineer-producers Elliot Scheiner and Al Schmitt, among others. One of the company’s swag items was a T-shirt listing 150 bands who used their products.

Breakthrough and Growth: Fascinated by the sonic possibilities of Jensen Transformers and the way he had observed techs using scrap aluminum to build homemade direct boxes, Janis began manufacturing off-the-shelf products in this arena. Radial’s first direct box, the JDI remains one of the most popular DI boxes of all time. Radial boasts in-house research and development, and engineering and production departments where all the products are Canadian-made. An extensive network of dealers and distributors makes Radial products available throughout the world.

The JDI and the J48: Radial Engineering is responsible for what are arguably two of the best direct boxes on the market, the JDI and the J48. The Radial JDI is a passive direct box designed to handle extreme signal levels without distortion of any kind. It employs the world-class Jensen JT-DC-EPC audio transformer, which delivers a smooth and warm sounding Bessell curve, reminiscent of the finest vintage gear, resulting in the pure natural sound of the instrument. The J48 is a high performance active direct box for live concert touring and pro recording studio applications, able to handle extreme transients without distortion while delivering the natural sound of the instrument. It uses a unique switching power supply that raises the internal rail voltage, resulting in improved signal handling and greater headroom.

The HDI: Radial Engineering Product Manager Jay Porter calls their latest product the HDI “the most premium direct box we’ve ever built, able to be very clean and not affecting the sound while turning up the color and drive to offer a full amplifier-like sound.” The HDI has an elegant set of controls that allows users to dial up a record-ready sound with a minimal amount of tweaking. The Level control drives the inputs of the HDI with instant visual feedback from the responsive front panel meter, while the Color knob provides seamless blending between an ultra-clean tone and amp-style distortion and saturation.

Other Products: Beyond their famed direct boxes, Radial Engineering offers a dynamic array of state-of-the-art audio products, including splitters, interfaces, reamp, studio tools, isolators, power conditioners, switchers, instrument preamps, load box and amp sims, effect pedals and their 500 series racks and modules.

Contact Radial Engineering, 604-942-1001