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Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre   

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Back in the mid-1980s, Sir George Martin commissioned console design legend Rupert Neve to build a series of new, ‘no compromise’ console modules for...Read More

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  • MSRP:
    $799.99
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  • On Sale Today:
    - $50.00
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  • Sale Price:
    $44999

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OVERVIEW

Classic vintage microphone preamplifier at a groundbreaking price.

Back in the mid-1980s, Sir George Martin commissioned console design legend Rupert Neve to build a series of new, ‘no compromise’ console modules for AIR studios. They were an enormous hit and formed the basis of the Focusrite Studio Console, widely regarded as the best-sounding analogue recording console of all time. Today, the descendants of those modules are used in leading studios around the world, and their sought-after Focusrite Heritage Sound lies behind hundreds of hit records. Today’s ISA Range from Focusrite puts the classic sound of Focusrite into your own studio or live performance.

Featuring a rugged, portable all-metal enclosure, the ISA One combines the classic Focusrite microphone preamp with a flexible, independent DI channel and optional 192kHz precision A/D conversion.

At the heart of the ISA range is the microphone preamplifier with its Lundahl input transformer – essentially the same circuit, based on the original ISA110, that has been used for 30 years in successive Focusrite designs. The input transformer imparts a special character to the sound that can’t be truly emulated in any other way: inseparable from the microphone itself, the transformer input stage is ideal for use with classic microphones. But this mic pre has a twist the original didn’t have, which makes it far more versatile: four carefully-selected impedances allow you to match microphone to input in different ways. Bring out the character of a classic mic or emphasise a special feature, or go for a totally transparent, modern sound – it’s up to you.

Whether you’re an artist, engineer or producer, you’ll appreciate the versatility of the ISA One, with its front-panel DI input. The DI includes low/high impedance switching and an amplifier output, and its own feed to the optional A/D converter and separate rear-panel XLR output.

FEATURES
  • ISA Series Transformer-based Preamplifier
  • Flexible Independent DI Channel
  • Switchable Impedance
  • Headphone Output with Volume Control
  • Dedicated Insert Point
  • Optional stereo 192kHz A-D converter
  • Lundahl LL1538 Input Transformer

Now you can afford to go high end in your studio. Order today.

SPECIFICATIONS

ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre

  • Mic Input Response
  • Gain range: 0dB to 60dB in 10dB steps + 20 dB of variable gain
  • Input Impedance, variable as follows:-
  • (Switched Impedance setting Equivalent Input Impedance at 1kHz)
  • Low: 600 Ohms
  • ISA110: 1400 Ohms
  • Med: 2400 Ohms
  • High: 6800 Ohms
  • EIN (equivalent input noise): -126dB measured at 60dB of gain with 150 Ohm terminating impedance and 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • Noise at main output with gain at unity (0dB): -97dBu measured with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • Signal to noise ratio relative to max headroom (9dBu): 106dB
  • THD at medium gain (30dB): 0.0009% measured with a 1kHz -20dBu input signal and with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • Frequency response at minimum gain (0dB): -0.5dB down at 10Hz and -3dB down at 125kHz
  • Frequency response at maximum gain (60dB): -3dB down at 16Hz and -3dB down 118kHz
  • CMRR=98dB (Channel 1, 1kHz, maximum gain with +24 dBu input)
  • Crosstalk Channel to Channel: with 10dB@1kHz input to chA, chB output:104dBrA. With 10dB@10kHz input to chA, chB output: 84dBrA
  • Line Input Response:
  • Gain range: -20dB to +10dB in 10dB steps + 20 dB of variable gain
  • Input Impedance: 10kΩ from 10Hz to 200kHz
  • Noise at main output with gain at unity (0dB): -96dBu measured with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • Signal to noise ratio relative to max headroom (24dBu)=120dB
  • Signal to noise ratio relative to 0dBFS (+22dBu): 118dB\
  • THD at unity gain (0dB): 0.001% measured with a 0dBu input signal and with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • Frequency Response at unity gain (0dB): -0.3dB down at 10Hz and -3dB down at 200kHz
  • Instrument Input Response
  • Gain range: 10dB to 40dB continuously variable
  • Input Impedance:
  • High: greater than1MΩ
  • Low:greater than 300kΩ
  • Noise at minimum gain (+10dB): -92dBu measured with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • Noise at maximum gain (+40dB): -62dBu measured with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • THD at minimum gain (+10dB): 0.001% measured with a 10dBu input signal and with a 22Hz/22kHz band-pass filter
  • Frequency Response at 10dB gain with -10dB input: 10Hz-100kHz +/- 0.6dB
  • Frequency Response at 40dB gain with -40dB input: -2.5dB down at 10Hz and 0dB at 100kHz
  • High Pass Filter
  • Roll off: 18dB per octave 3 pole filter
  • Fixed Frequency 75Hz measured at the 3dB down point
  • Meters
  • Moving coil (MC) meter is factory calibrated to 0VU: +4dBu with 1kHz sinewave. With the VU Cal button pressed the meter can be adjusted on the rear panel to allow 0VU to equal +10dBu to +26dBu with the centre detent being equal to +22dBu.
  • Peak LED meters calibrated in the detent position for 0dBFS: +22dBu, calibration is adjustable on the rear panel to allow 0dBFS to equal +10dBu to +26dBu
  • Routing for MC and Peak1 meter is after the HPF, pre insert send or switched post insert return. Peak2 is always pre ADC channel 2, which can be fed by external input or Instrument input.
  • LED levels are as follows when peak calibration is set to center detent on the rear panel. (This is when using the internal ADC).
  • 0: +22dBu
  • -2: +20dBu
  • -6: +16dBu
  • -12: +10dBu
  • -18: +4dBu
  • -42: -20dBu
  • FRONT AND REAR CONNECTIVITY:
  • Analog Channel Inputs:
  • Mic input: XLR x 1
  • Line input: XLR x 1 and TRS x1
  • Instrument input TRS Jack: XLR x 1
  • External ADC input: TRS Jack x 1
  • Return: TRS Jack x 1
  • Analog Channel Outputs:
  • Send: TRS Jack x 1
  • Balanced line output: XLR x 1
  • DI output: XLR x 1
  • DI through: TS Jack x 1
  • Analog Channel Additional I/O:
  • Cue mix left input: TRS Jack x 1
  • Cue mix right input: TRS Jack x 1
  • Headphones output: ¼" TRS Jack x 1
  • Weight
  • 8.6 Ib. (3.9 kg)
  • Dimensions(H x W x D)
  • 8.66" x 4.1" x 10" - 11.4", (220mm x 104mm x 254 - 290mm)
  • Related Products
  • ISA Stereo ADC (compatible with ISA 430 MKII and ISA One)ISA Stereo ADC (compatible with ISA 430 MKII and ISA One)
Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
FocusriteISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre
 
4.7

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (5)
  • Professional functions (4)
  • Versatile (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Professional recording (4)
  • Amateur recording (3)
  • Home studio (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great sound pre

Great value for the money. Excellent on vocals and string instruments.
I did add ad card and the adat capability is just perfect.
I love the product and many applications possible .

Great value for the money. Excellent on vocals and string instruments.
I did add ad card and the adat capability is just perfect.
I love the product and many applications possible .

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

NOT A PRO PRODUCT

I did buy this product based on the favorable reviews.
I guess the reviews are to be taken with a grain of salt. When one buys a product he/she will compare...Read complete review

I did buy this product based on the favorable reviews.
I guess the reviews are to be taken with a grain of salt. When one buys a product he/she will compare it to what one has or uses.
I compared it to the preamps on my Studiolive mixer. This preamp is not on the same level.

It looks great and has many functions, but the quality is at amateur level.

Reviewed by 13 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Lots of clean gain goodness!

By 

from Brooklyn, New York

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Professional Functions

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

    I have owned this item for a while now so it's time to give it a professional thumbs up. This preamp is much cleaner than those found on most swiss army knife audio interfaces. What do I use it on? Mainly vocal tracks, lead guitar tracks, snare and kick drum anything that I require extra headroom for...sometimes every single track in a project goes through this.
    You will find the impedance switch extremely useful and the headphone jack, coupled with insert loop, excellent for tracking.
    There is an optional A/D conversion card you can buy which will basically make this a high-end single channel interface.
    I cannot recommend this solid piece of gear enough. Money well spent.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    ISA 1

    By 

    from NY, Chicago

    About Me Professional Musician

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Professional Functions
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

      I primarily use the ISA 1 in conjunction with Tube microphones when I want a clean full smooth sound.
      I also use the Universal Audio 610 solo for TLM types or very bright microphones to warm them up a bit. I suppose I could use the ISA for that also but I most times I prefer the ISA for Ribbon and tube microphones as they seem to compliment each other nicely (That is just my personal preference). In any event this unit is clean and has a variety of tone combinations available by changing either input output or Impedance settings. I also use the loop to insert an ART Pro VLA for leveling. As a side note it has more than enough gain for my needs and it has many more uses. I have recorded up to 192 kHz and this unit is pristine. So far it has never sounded bad on anything and I have not needed service in two years.
      JA

      Comment on this review

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great sound pre

      By 

      from Snellville, ga

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Clean Sound
      • Clear Sound
      • Easy To Use
      • Professional Functions
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Acoustic Strings
        • Professional Recording
        • Vocals

        Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

        Great value for the money. Excellent on vocals and string instruments.
        I did add ad card and the adat capability is just perfect.
        I love the product and many applications possible .

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        CLEAN, Versatile single channel PRE

        By 

        from Los Angeles, CA

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Awesome Pre Under 500
        • Clear Sound
        • Powerful
        • Professional Functions
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

          I have used this pre amp for a few years on vocals with condenser and dynamic mics (no tube mics).
          This is an excellent mic pre. Powerful (80 dB gain...go ahead and top that), as well as the ability route a di instrument as well as an XLR input at the SAME time via different output channels(R, L). Remember, though, this is a SINGLE channel pre regarding XLR inputs.

          Reading different reviews, some people say this pre is colored. Yes, it does have a very slight 'sheen' regarding the top end, but having said that, IMHO for all intents and purposes, this is NOT, nor should this belong to 'colored preamps'. If you are looking for a character/colored pre, LOOK ELSEWHERE !

          Comment on this review

          (0 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          NOT A PRO PRODUCT

          By 

          from long island, ny

          About Me Professional Musician

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Poor Quality Duplicates

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording

            Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

            I did buy this product based on the favorable reviews.
            I guess the reviews are to be taken with a grain of salt. When one buys a product he/she will compare it to what one has or uses.
            I compared it to the preamps on my Studiolive mixer. This preamp is not on the same level.

            It looks great and has many functions, but the quality is at amateur level.

            Comment on this review

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Love it.

            By 

            from Ca

            Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

            I compared the UA Solo 610 and the Focusrite ISA One and found that the ISA One suited my needs better.
            For the Price and options!

            Comment on this review

            (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Focus on Focusrite

            Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

            Bought the ISA One from Musicians Friend after months, weel, years of research. The less-than-stellar mic pre's in my firewire interface were the weak link in my chain. Using the ISA One pre with Rode NT2-A's & a MacPro running GarageBand & Logic. After a week of burn-in, tried it on the wife's vocals and was amazed. Plenty of gain. Could hear every sound in my surroundings that never could be heard through the system before. Low noise (none I could hear), no coloration, great set of ins & outs. Wish it had a TRS out instead of only XLR, but an adaptor solved that problem.This is the real deal if you want pristine sound, tons of gain (just turn off the AC & muzzle the dog!). Closest thing to the proverbial straight wire with gain. Only complaint is that I couldn't register online. Seems a common thing for a great manufacturer to have a crappy website, but American law says all you need to get warranty is the proof of purchase. Now my mic pre is the strongest link in my chain, so here goes another round of upgrades. Is there no end?

            Comment on this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            This is the HEART of my music

            By 

            from L.A., CA

            Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

            This preamp has served as the very core for my album. I'm running this with a 003 and occasionally a UA LA610. I also have the digital card, which I HIGHLY recommend. Let me tell you how this fits in my work flow. Bass: I go into the DI on the ISA One, back out into the LA610, record both of those. The 610 gives an amazing tone to a DI signal, the Focusrite's DI is transparent. I later during a reamp session run out the DI from the ISA out to an amp and record it with the ISA's mic pre. Acoustic Guitars - I record both the guitar's electronics in case I want to reamp it later or get a fleetwood mac sound, and use the mic pre for the main track. Electric - similar to bass minus the 610. And everything else I think you can guess I just use the mic pre. This pre does sound good, its very... "bright". Its pretty accurate, very clean. But above its sound is its function, this thing is so versatile, for the money I promise you will not find something better. And what in the world would I do without its latency free cue mix? I'd have to go through a mixer... yuck. Or spend thousands on Pro Tools HD or something... even yuckier.

            Comment on this review

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            A Great Product

            By 

            from Newark, DE

            Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

            A friend of mine recomended this to me and i wasn't sure how to use it. I took a whole day playing with it and i got it, now my sound is very professional, I compared it to people who are using the big expensive programs and can barely tell the difference. I would def recomend this mic pre to people starting out a studio. Then im going to work my way up to the 4 channel version of this. I FINALLY HAVE THE SOUND I WAS STRIVING FOR GREAT JOB FOCUSRITE!

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            isa-one is the only 1 !!

            By 

            from newport, rhode island

            Comments about Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre:

            i purchased this tool in april and have no complaints what so ever, i use it with a summit audio tla-50, and a summit audio feq-50, for the ultimate analogue front end. and oh yeah almost forgot the mojave audio ma-200 tube mic is the mic that brings it all together.

            Comment on this review

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