A Re-amp box is a useful and indispensable piece of equipment to have when recording electric guitars. I think that the assumption is that they allow to to have clean backups of your guitar recording, or allow you more options, or make edits of guitar parts easier to make your playing better, but they have a different value and much better purpose to me.
If you are like me then you often times are recording alone. That means that you are responsible for every role in the recording process. You have to keep track of amplifier settings, microphone placement, mic gain, cuing up the song you are playing along with, that’s not even mentioning actually trying to get a good recording take. I find that if I have less to worry about then I can focus as much energy on my guitar playing and my recordings and performances turn out better in the end.
Cue the re-amp box. Now I can plug my guitar through a DI straight into a computer, dial up some tone that is close and focus on getting the best recording possible. Then afterwards I can put on my recording engineer hat and play back the recorded take, focusing solely on setting up the amplifier and microphones.
The more attention you can give to each step of recording the better each step will be.
There are many options for re-amp boxes in many different price ranges, but for only $50 I figured that giving the L2A passive re-amping box by DIYRE was worth a shot.
This article and video are not sponsored or affiliated with DIYRE in anyway. If you are interested in picking up the same re-amp box you can get it here:
The build was fairly straight forward and only took me 17 minutes to put together. Some DIY projects trade dollars for hours of time that you could have spent recording or playing music. But 17 minutes is something that I am willing to give up for the cheaper price of this unit.
Now it might be tempting to want to compare this re-amp box to others but I really don’t see the value in that. I am much more interested in how this re-amp box compares to the original setup. I went through two iterations of testing and I think that the second test was about as scientific as I could be. I plugged the guitar into a Samson MDA1 direct box. The thru output I sent to my amplifier, a vintage mysterious Fender blackface clone that I restored and built an enclosure for.
I then mic-ed the amp with a Shure Sm57 and recorded both the DI signal and microphone into Cubase. Then I could play the DI signal back out of my interface through the Re-amp box and into the same amplifier with the same settings, mic placement, everything.
To my hears there is the slightest of differences in the low mid and highs of the re-amp take. The band that seems affected to me is so narrow for both that it really just feels like two notes or two frequencies are barely different. Looking at the wave-forms from RME’s DigiCheck program it confirms what I think I am hearing. I really wouldn’t say either way whether the re-amped or direct sound was better or not, and I think that in a full band context you would never be able to hear the difference.
Overall I am happy with the box and it will definetly be a nice tool to have and use to make recording guitars a little bit easier.
Watch the build and sound demo here: