Radial Engineering has introduced the Radial J33, a combination RIAA phono-turntable preamp and stereo direct box designed to allow a 33.3 long-play vinyl albums to be played directly through a professional microphone preamp or mixing console.
According to company President, Peter Janis: “When we introduced the Radial JPC PC sound card direct box, we visited many customers showing them the product and how it could facilitate interfacing consumer audio products such as PC sound cards and CD players with professional mixing consoles for live performance. Invariably, when the guys in the DJ department looked at it, they unanimously asked if they could connect turntables to their consoles without having to go through the typical DJ mixer. We soon realized that there was nothing on the market that could address this need. Thus the concept for a phono-DI emerged.”
“We then ventured into the recording world and found a whole host of challenges that could be resolved with a high quality phono preamp: the Radial J33 could be used to record and sample snippets and loops, and faithfully capture DJ scratching, an effect popularized by hip-hop music and dance tracks. With the J33, the ‘scratching’ can go directly into a tube mic-pre and be pampered with all of the cool studios tools used on voice or instrument. What a concept! It then occurred to us that another important application would be archiving old recordings for museums and collectors. This then led us to thinking that recording studios could also use the J33 to convert album collections into CDs or MP3 files to allow these older recordings to be enjoyed on today’s digital media, thus opening the door to a new niche business opportunity for the savvy studio owner. Since we had gone this far, we figured we might as well make sure this new box could also be used as a turntable preamp for the audiophile whose new 5.1 surround system may not be phono-friendly.”
Using the Radial J33 is easy: The turntable connects to the J33 via a pair of RCA jacks and ground lug. The inputs are equalized following the exact RIAA curve specifications. Outputs include a series of -10dB consumer line level connections including stereo RCA, 3.5 mini and 1/4″ TRS that combine to offer quick and easy interface to virtually any consumer device or PC sound card. On the opposite end, two balanced outputs are standard 600-ohm mic level and are designed to feed a mic-preamp or mixing console. For high sound pressure environments such as concert touring and nightclubs, a built-in rumble filter reduces low the ‘low-end feedback’ that can often be problematic. The Radial J33 is effortlessly powered with choice 48V phantom through the XLRs or by way of the 15VDC supply that comes along with the unit. An auto sensor automatically selects whichever power supply is present.
The Radial J33 employs a steel housing with internal I-beam construction to reduce opportunity for PC board distortion. This reduces stress on the PC board and any opportunity for the unit to develop cold solder joints; the most notorious cause of electronic equipment failure. As an added measure, a protective zone around the switches and jacks guards against damage and a full-bottom no-slip pad ensures the J33 will not slide around even when subjected to sub-bass rumble.
For more information, visit the Radial site.