Re-amp boxes allow you to send a recorded DI back out to an amplifier which you can then take back into the computer.
It’s considered a good practice because if you’re neck-deep in mixing and find that your guitar tone simply isn’t working well, you can take your DI’s and re-amp them through something else.
And although it is mostly used for electric guitar, the re-amping technique can also be used for bass guitar and keyboards.
So what is a re-amp box?
A re-amp box is often confused with a DI box, but in addition to recording the DI, a re-amp box allows you to take that DI and send it back through a guitar amp or a pedal chain.
A DI box converts an unbalanced instrument-level signal to a balanced mic-level signal for an audio interface and mixing console, but a re-amp box will convert a balanced line-level signal to an unbalanced instrument-level signal.
In short, a re-amp box is an audio converter that also can send your signal back out to an amplifier, instead of just taking a DI into the computer.
What are the best re-amp boxes?
There are a lot of different re-amp boxes, from active to passive, to 2-in-1 DI/Re-amp boxes.
In this article, we are going to cover the 5 best re-amp boxes from various price points that you can find in 2022, so you’ll be able to make an informed choice on which re-amp box is best for you.
Here are our top 5 picks for the best re-amp boxes available in 2022:
The Little Labs Redeye 3D is designed to be the ultimate DI and a re-amp box, and it’s packed with a bunch of smart features that put this product way ahead of the curve when compared to other traditional reamp boxes.
But surprisingly, it is packed with so many features that make simultaneous direct box and re-amping possible.
First looking at the re-amping features, Little Labs Redeye 3D has a unique monitoring feature where you can listen through the whole recording chain, starting from the DI to mic pre to DAW, to Redeye 3D and your guitar amp.
Radial X-Amp comes at a slightly higher price point than the previous Radial ProRMP, but this slight price increase is warranted as it has upgraded features and more creative uses.
With the same 14-gauge steel chassis they say it’s “impossible to torque the PC board”. I’m not too sure in what scenario a reamp box would be subjected to such abuse, but just in case you were so deeply unhappy with your guitar tone you wanted to launch it across your studio, it’s built to survive it.
Re-amp boxes and DI boxes are often confused with one another. After all, at first glance it seems like their functions are identical.
But like we mentioned in the beginning, their functionality is different and they work in opposite directions.
DI boxes are way more common and they are usually used for a wider range of instruments from guitars, keyboards, synthesizers, and basses, to vocals.
Even though re-amp boxes can also work for keyboards and basses, reamp boxes are mostly used for electric guitars.
Another big difference is that for the ideal re-amping process, you will need both the DI and the reamp box. So at the end of the day, DI boxes are more common and are an essential tool with or without the reamp box.
Can you use a DI to re-amp?
For the ideal re-amping process, you will need both a reamp box and a DI box. But technically, re-amping is still possible with just a DI box.
Re-amping with a DI box is more complicated and requires a passive DI box to do this as you need to reverse the inputs and outputs of a passive box.
But using a passive DI box to reamp will give your signal an unintentional boost.
Having an extra signal boost is something to take into consideration, and you will need to set the levels on your DAW and your amp accordingly.
So if you are attempting to use a passive DI box to reamp your guitar, make sure you are patient and take time to experiment with your passive DI box, your audio interface, and your preferred DAW to ensure everything is gain staged properly.
In this article, we looked at what re-amp boxes are and what they are used for. Plus we took an in-depth look into some of the best reamp boxes that are available in the market.
All five re-amp boxes have slightly different uses, so make sure to fully consider what instruments and sounds you are going to be re-amping, and then choose your re-amp box accordingly.