Radial Headload Prodigy User Guide
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Speaker Cable Chart

Speaker Cable Chart Guide

Using The Headload Prodigy™

This page describes how to quickly set up and use the Headload Prodigy™. For complete details, feel free to download the manual by clicking the icon at left.

Connections

Before making any connections, make sure your guitar amp is turned off and the audio system is either turned down or volume levels turned off. This will protect sensitive components such as tweeters and speakers from turn on or connection transients. If you are connecting to a preamp or mixer, make sure the 48V phantom power is turned off as it is not required. Always use heavy 14-gauge speaker wires (or larger if possible) to ensure optimal signal flow from the head to the speaker cabinet.

Set the Prodigy controls to the start position with the tone controls at 12 o'clock, the two level controls to off (7 o'clock), and the ground lift and polarity reverse switches in the outward position.

The Prodigy may be used in three ways:

  1. Simple Direct Box

    Used this way, the Prodigy acts as an interface that lets you send the sound of your amp using the Radial JDX™ balanced output. It has no audible effect to your amp sound.

    1. Connect the output from your amp to the Prodigy FROM AMP ¼" input.
    2. Connect the 100% output from the Prodigy to your speaker cabinet.
    3. Connect the XLR output from the Prodigy to the PA mixer or recording preamp.
    4. Connect the power adaptor to the Prodigy to turn it on – there is no power switch.
    5. Power up your amp and slowly increase the volume.
  2. Send 50% or 25% of the amp output to the speaker cabinet

    Used this way, the Prodigy will reduce the output level on your amp, producing less volume on stage or in the studio. This lets you drive the power amp section of your amp harder to optimize the tone.

    1. Connect the output from your amp to the Prodigy FROM AMP ¼" input.
    2. Connect the 50% - 25% output from the Prodigy to your speaker cabinet.
    3. Set the output switch to either 50% or 25%.
    4. Connect the power adaptor to the Prodigy to turn it on – there is no power switch.
    5. Power up your amp and slowly increase the volume.
  3. Silent performance

    This setting turns off your guitar amp's speaker cabinet completely for silent performance. This works great for gigs where you do not want to bring a speaker cabinet or for quiet recording in the studio.

    1. Connect the output from your amp to the Prodigy FROM AMP ¼" input.
    2. Do not connect the output from the Prodigy to your speaker cabinet.
    3. Connect the XLR output from the Prodigy to the PA mixer or recording preamp.
    4. Connect the power adaptor to the Prodigy to turn it on – there is no power switch.
    5. Power up your amp and slowly increase the volume.

When testing, it is good practice to keep the volume level down low to ensure proper connections have been made before turning up. This can prevent connection spikes from damaging sensitive components.

The JDX™ Balanced Output

The Prodigy's JDX balanced output is designed to simulate the sound of a 4 x 12 half stack. This lets you capture your sound 'direct' without having to use a microphone. The benefits to performing and recording this way are numerous. Moving a microphone ever so slightly will change the sound. So getting it exactly the same every night or for every session is practically impossible. Further, each time you change venues, resonant frequencies caused by the stage and room acoustics vary, which means that EQ'ing the tone to get it right has to be redone every time. Finally, pollution from other instruments on stage such as bass or drums entering the mic makes it difficult to solo the instrument. With the Prodigy direct out, all of these problems simply go away. You get consistency night after night; gig after gig; and from one recording to the next.

The JDX output is mic level in order to match up with other mics on stage. In fact many engineers enjoy combining the Prodigy's direct sound with a mic and mixing the two together. You can add the Phazer™ to bring your tone to another level. The output can feed a traditional snake or mic splitter which in turn can feed the PA, wedge monitors and in-ear monitors.

The Prodigy is equipped with a two band equalizer that allows the artist to fine tune the JDX output so that they can adjust the tone to suit their ears. Start with the EQ settings at 12 o'clock and adjust as you see fit.

There are also two switches on the Prodigy that are tied to the JDX:

  • Polarity Reverse
    This reverses pin-2 and pin-3 on the XLR output to invert the relative phase. This can be used to compensate for acoustic peaks and valleys on stage due to the interaction of the amp, monitors and PA. It can also be used to better phase align the direct JDX output when also using a mic. Simply depress in and out to find the setting that sounds best.
  • Ground Lift
    This is used to help eliminate hum and buzz caused by ground loops. Ground loops are created when multiple pieces of powered equipment are connected together. Lifting the pin1- ground on the XLR can often help. If you hear hum, push the switch inward.

The Two Auxiliary Outputs

There are two additional ¼" unbalanced outputs on the rear panel. These provide you with more connectivity options that can open the door to new sounds or creative ideas.

  • Pre EQ
    This takes the original sound from your guitar amp head and attenuates it so that it can be used to drive another guitar amp, effects pedals, or maybe a JDI direct box so that you can then process the sound in your digital workstation or Reamp it in the future.
  • Post EQ
    This parallel output produces the same signal as the JDX – only here it is unbalanced. This means that the front panel EQ will also affect the output. It can be used to feed effects pedals or maybe a JDI™ direct box so that you can then save your performance for a live recording.