Re-Amp prototype, circa 1993.

Reamp-DI box, circa 1994.

First production Reamp circa 1994.

The "V.2" re-design added a custom wound transformer, ferrite filtering and enclosure enhancements, circa 2007.

The latest Reamp by Radial using the V.2 design and the same custom wound transformer, circa 2011.

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 ¼" jacks. These tend to provide greater dependability while also enabling one to split off the signal to drive a second Reamp using the ¼" 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 ¼" 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.

"I am honored that engineers and recording artists from all over the world used the Reamp on their recordings. To be honest, I thought it was a good idea in 1993 but never dreamed it would be this popular today." —John Cuniberti

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.