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Radial JX44 Air Control

February 25, 2011

THE JX44 ($1,499 STREET) IS LIKE THE Marvel Comics villain Galactus—allknowing and all-powerful. As a guitar “distribution center,” it’s a routing dervish, offering control over six amps (four outputs/two stereo), four guitars (one active at a time), two effects loops (one with an onboard interface that handles long cable runs with no signal loss), a direct box, reamping, and a tuner. The JX44 can be used onstage and in the studio, but as I carry just one amp to gigs, I tested the device solely in the studio, utilizing its abundant routing options in the service of dialing in myriad tonal options.

Obviously, it takes some time to plug in all the amps, pedalboards, and guitars, and then route the numerous outputs to the mixing board, but once that’s done, you can audition, say, a Les Paul, a Strat, a Danelectro, and a Gretsch through Marshall, Vox, Mesa/Boogie, Orange, Fender, and Egnater combos and stacks with simple button pushes, or via the optional JR-5 floor remote ($249 street). The JX44 added no audible hiss or hum to the amp sounds, and I loved not having to leave my seat to reposition mics or switch out amps. It’s a pricey beast, but the JX44 is an awesome tool for those who appreciate focusing on tone crafting, rather than gear shuffling.


KUDOS Sterling audio. Plentiful signal-routing options.

CONCERNS Expensive.


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