You probably know by now from reading this blog that Radial Engineering is one of my favorite audio companies. Every month it seems to come out with a new product that really fills a need in the market. I’ve featured those products many times here on New Music Gear Mondays, and probably could have many more times except for the fact that I started to feel like I was giving too much coverage to just one company. Now comes the news that Mike Belitz, President and CEO of Ultimate Support Systems, has acquired Radial as of the recent NAMM show.
Outgoing President and CEO, Peter Janis started Radial in 1991, but didn’t seem to come into its own until the release of the company’s JDI direct box in 1995 (which is still one of the best that you can buy even today and a favorite of studio and live engineers everywhere). The company took the do-it-yourself design by Dean Jensen (who’s transformer was the key component) and turned it into a bulletproof commercial product and Radial was off and running.
Through the years the company has acquired a wide variety of acclaimed manufacturers, including Primacoustic, Tonebone, Reamp, Hafler, Dynaco, Iso-Max and Jensen Transformers, in some cases keeping an iconic brand alive. In all cases, it has treated the new companies with respect (unlike a few other companies that we all know) and even introduced new products that still feel like the original company, not an easy thing to do.
My hope here is that the new owner show that same respect for Radial going forward. This is a great company, and it would be a shame to have it’s spirit change.