We've all been there - that "stage from hell" where we just can't hear our bass well, and we're just not confident that every note we are playing is in tune. Usually, our amp has enough volume onstage so that we can hear the notes, but sometimes there's just too much stage volume, too much slapback off the back wall, too much feedback, too much bass in the mix... Aaarrgh! Whatever the reason may be, it's not much fun to play a gig where you can't hear your own instrument; you spend the whole show second-guessing your sound and your intonation.
To solve this problem, we've long advocated the use of a small personal monitor, like the cool PAM-5A (at left - unfortunately these are no longer available from the manufacturer), which can be mounted on a mic stand and provide you with "more bass" without screwing up everyone else's mix (or the sound coming from the stage.) Small, effective, and affordable, this can be a very workable solution for many players.
But what if you want something smaller? We've been looking for an in-ear monitoring solution that works well - but doesn't cost an arm and a leg - for a long time. A while back, we checked out a headphone amp from another manufacturer, but it was an active unit, requiring a power adapter, and -- frankly -- the construction quality wasn't quite up to snuff.
So bring on the H-Amp, from our friends at Radial Engineering. They're well-known for solid, road-worthy, high-end audio devices -- we already carry several preamps, some killer DI boxes, and an input switcher pedal from them -- and they spent over a year prototyping and perfecting this nifty new device.
How It Works:
This fully PASSIVE (no batteries or power adapters needed!) device simply "taps" into your amplifier's speaker output, and uses a tiny percentage of the amp's power to feed the headphones through a pair of output jacks. You can use a spare speaker jack, or plug the H-Amp between the amp and your speaker (the H-Amp has a pass-through speaker output) if you only have one speaker output on your amp.
The H-Amp has two ¼" headphone output jacks, each with their own separate volume controls, so you can even share your bass monitoring with another player onstage. And there is also a 3.5mm (mini) headphone jack so you can use earbuds or other small headphones without needing a separate adaptor.
A special 3-position (Low Cut/Mid Cut/High Cut) EQ filter lets you alter the tone, to tailor it specifically to your needs.
Like all of Radial's professional-grade gear, the H-Amp is made from 14-gauge steel that will provide years of use without flexing. And with no separate "wall wart" or other power supply to carry around, it's convenient and doesn't require you to hunt for another outlet (or bring an extra power strip.)
Hey, you'll need a speaker cable and an in-ear monitor earbud (or other headphones) to actually use this thing, right? So we include a pair of nice, Premium Wooden Earbuds*, and a pro-grade speaker cable -- Speakon to Speakon, or Speakon to ¼", your choice. So you'll be able to use this as soon as it arrives, without going out shopping separately for necessary extras. Just choose which speaker cable you need, from the drop-down above, and add it to your cart -- we'll send you the whole package, no extra charge.
You can, of course, use your own studio headphones, fancy custom-fit in-ear monitors, or your personal stereo earbuds if you prefer. Note that even when using stereo headphones, the H-Amp will always provide monophonic output since it's only getting one channel of input. It will, however, provide sound to BOTH earpieces of a stereo headset or earbud set - they'll just be dual mono (both ears get the same signal).
* Currently, we're including a set of nice, retail-packaged wooden earbuds, which have an excellent set of specifications:
• Wooden construction • Metal hardware • Silicone ear tips for comfort • Drivers: 10mm • Sensitivity: 110dB • Frequency response: 80Hz-20kHz • Impedance: 16 ohms • Input power: 3.5mm gold planet stereo plug • Cable measures 47" L
They come with a 6-piece ear tips fit kit (small, medium and large). These are a very good choice (good sensitivity, and the wooden body is a nice touch!), but you can always use your personal headphones if you prefer.
We may have to substitute alternate, quality headphones based on availability, but we will always tell you if a substitution is necessary.
(and "Which Cable Should I Buy?")
- Acoustic Image Amps and Combos: Almost all Acoustic Image heads and combos feature a second speaker output on a Speakon jack - simply order the H-Amp with the Speakon-to-Speakon cable and plug the H-Amp into the "extra" output. Exceptions in the AI line might be some early models, such as the New Yorker. But all Series III and Series 4 amps have the second output.
- Euphonic Audio Heads: iAmps have two Speakon outputs, and you can simply get the Spk/Spk cable and connect to the "extra" jack. In the case of the Doubler or Micro, you can get the same Spk/Spk cable and connect the speaker output to the H-Amp, then run your usual speaker cable from the output of the H-Amp to your speaker.
- Genz Benz Heads and Combos: Most Genz-Benz amps feature dual Speakon outputs; in that case, simply order the H-Amp with the Speakon-to-Speakon cable and plug the H-Amp into the "extra" output. If there is only one speaker output, get the same Spk/Spk cable and connect the speaker output to the H-Amp, then run your usual speaker cable from the output of the H-Amp to your speaker.
- Almost all combinations of Heads/Speaker Cabinets: If your amp has an extra speaker output, you can plug the H-Amp into that output -- if it only has one output, plug the H-Amp into the amplifier's output and the speaker into the H-Amp's output. Look at your amplifier to determine whether it has a Speakon or ¼" Output.
- Most Combo Amplifiers, as long as they feature an accessible or extra output jack. Meaning, if your combo amp connects its components INSIDE the cabinet and does NOT have an "extension speaker" output, you probably cannot use the H-Amp. If you're not sure, feel free to call or email us with your amp's make and model and we'll help you figure it out!
- Circuit type: Passive, mono with variable level control
- Maximum input: 400 watts RMS
- Attenuation: -28dB with 40 Ohms headphone
- Input impedance: Varies with headphone impedance, 80 Ohms minimum
- Output impedance: 8 Ohms ~ 600 Ohms headphones
- Spk Input: Speakon NL4FC - full range speaker level
- Pin +1 = speaker positive / Pin -1 speaker negative
- Headphone outputs: ¼" Phone (x2); 3.5mm TRS
- LED indicators: Signal present & peak overload
- Filter: High, mid & low-cut fixed frequency filters
- Construction: 14 gauge chassis, outer shell, baked enamel finish
- Size: 3.3" x 5.0" x 2" (84 x 127 x 48mm)
- Weight: 1.55 lb (720g)
- Power Requirements: 100% passive, no power required
- Warranty: Transferable 3 year warranty