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NAMM 2008 - The new Focusrite ISA One – a classic single-channel pre-amp

Published: Mon January 14, 2008  News Feed

NAMM 2008 sees the unveiling of Focusrite’s new ‘ISA One’ microphone pre-amplifier. ISA One delivers Focusrite's prestigious ISA transformer-based pre amp in a rugged and portable chassis, at a ground-breaking price.

ISA One features the classic vintage microphone pre-amplifier topology from the original ISA110 module, including the Lundahl L1538 transformer and bespoke zobel network. (The original 110 pre amp formed the cornerstone of each channel of Focusrite's legendary Forte console.)

The pre amp is complemented by a line input (XLR and TRS Jack) and an independent D.I. channel, complete with dedicated gain control, active or passive impedance switch, a TRS Jack output for routing to an amp and an independent XLR output on the rear. This flexible independent D.I. makes the ISA One ideal both for engineers wishing to blend a D.I.’d guitar signal with a mic’d guitar cabinet, and for demanding performers who require a single classic solution for both guitar and vocals.

A variable impedance circuit has been added, allowing the user to switch between four carefully selected input impedance settings. In addition to the original ISA110 impedance, three further impedance settings allow perfect matching, or creative mismatching of the pre amp with any microphone.

ISA One also features an insert point, should the need arise to place extra processing between the pre amp or D.I. and the optional converter. Phantom power, phase reverse and a 75Hz, 18dB/octave high-pass filter are also available from the angled front fascia.

Independent input metering for both channels is provided in the form of a moving coil VU meter with variable calibration to suit analogue and digital recording media, alongside two six-LED peak meters; inputs can be metered either pre- or post-insert. The meter calibrations utilise all the same reference points as Digidesign's Pro Tools HD system, allowing effortless line-up.

ISA One’s headphone output features a dedicated volume control, which delivers an external stereo cue mix, (a simple click track, or a stereo mix feed from an interface or a live console,) fed to the headphones via two TRS jack inputs on the rear of the unit.

An optional state-of-the-art stereo A-D converter is also available, embodying cutting-edge conversion technology seated within Focusrite’s custom analogue circuitry. This optional card can be retrofitted at any time and provides two channels of 24 bit/192kHz A-D conversion with a dynamic range of 119d

ISA One

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Focusrite ISA One Single-Channel Microphone Pre-Amp

The design for the ISA preamp goes right back to Focusrite's roots and the original Forte console made for AIR studios. Used on countless professional productions it remains one of the best microphone preamp designs of all time. That's why they haven't changed it, apart from the inclusion of the impedance control for easier use with the range of different…

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