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Focusrite ISA One Classic Single Channel Mic Pre  

Item #: 
1275425410395
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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 AIR studios. They were an enormous hit and formed ... Click To Read More About This Product

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Overview

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'e 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
Specifications
  • 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: º" 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)
Warranty
MANUFACTURER'S WARRANTY
All Focusrite products are built to the highest standards and should provide reliable performance for many years, subject to reasonable care, use, transportation and storage.

In the event of a Manufacturing Defect becoming evident within 12 months from date of purchase Focusrite undertakes that the product will be repaired or replaced free of charge if the product is returned to the authorised dealer from whom it was purchased. In these circumstances, or if you need an out-of-warranty repair to your Focusrite product, please contact your local Focusrite distributor in your country of residence or business : Find your local distributor here and you will be advised of the correct return procedure.

Alternatively contact the Focusrite Reseller from which you purchased the product. If you purchase a Focusrite product outside your country of residence or business you will not be entitled to ask your local Focusrite Distributor to honour this Limited Warranty, although you may request a chargeable repair.

Alternatively, the unit may be returned at your cost to the dealer you purchased the unit from so that they can organise a Warranty repair with their Focusrite Distributor.

This Warranty does not include cost of shipping to and from the authorised dealer from whom it was purchased. In every case it will be necessary to provide the original invoice or store receipt to accompany the defective product to the supplying dealer. This Limited Warranty is offered solely to the first purchaser of the product from an Authorised Focusrite Reseller (defined as a reseller which has purchased the Product directly from Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. in the UK or its Authorised Distributors outside the U.K,) and is not transferable.

This Warranty is in addition to your Statutory Rights in the country of purchase.

Please note: A Manufacturing Defect is defined as a defect in the performance of the product which may be expected from a reasonable interpretation of the published description and performance specifications as published by Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd. This does not include damage caused by post-purchase transportation, storage or careless handling, nor damage caused by misuse.

A significant proportion of products returned under Warranty (which are very few in number compared to numbers sold) are found not to exhibit any fault at all. Please check that the mains voltage is correctly set for your local supply and that your connecting cables are in good order and correctly connected.

If in doubt about the product functions please read the user guide and if necessary contact your dealer for advice before returning the product to the supplying dealer. You can also contact the Focusrite Tech Support team at the Focusrite Answerbase for general advice.


GUITAR CENTER'S PRO COVERAGE
Pro Coverage gives you added warranty protection for your new gear. Stepping in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" coverage ends, our Pro Coverage program offers you upgraded coverage if your product ever fails Read More.

Pro Coverage includes
  • Accidental damage protection (new gear only)
  • Expedited repair
  • Free shipping (for returns or repairs)
  • 100% coverage for commercial use
  • Extended return period
  • Extended price protection
  • No lemon guarantee
  • Free transfer of coverage to a new owner
  • Repair costs covered for up to three years from date of purchase
  • Repair authorization-toll-free by phone or via the web
  • Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
 
4.8

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 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

 

Transparent with a hint of...

This thing is great, just gotta throw that out. It has a character you can't mistake. Because of the lundhall transformers, you get this sort of sizzle that you have to hear to...Read complete review

This thing is great, just gotta throw that out. It has a character you can't mistake. Because of the lundhall transformers, you get this sort of sizzle that you have to hear to understand. When ABed with some less expensive preamps you will notice the effects immediately. I also enjoy the fact that you can use it as a latency free piece. During a session, the singer was having trouble singing through pro tools and my latency. I didn't want to sacrafice plug's to improve latency, so we ran it through the ISA. This really is the centerpiece of my pro tools rig. I find myself running everything through it. I would say it is a great value that can stand up to all the other big name pre's.

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 21 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Pre

By Austin

from Salt Lake

Site Member

Awesome Preamp! I've had this for about 2 years now and I've never been disapointed. Also just added the a/d card to optimize performance. Sweet unit.

 
5.0

Lots of clean gain goodness!

By TheSparky

from Brooklyn, New York

About Me Professional Musician

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Professional Functions

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    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.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    SIMPLY GREAT

    By Mark Westphal

    from Centreville, Virginia

    What a great pre-amp! I've been dealing with a lot of cheap ones that sound ok, but when I connected this ISA ONE to my Shure SM7b, it was like the clouds rolled away, and all was great. Absolutely no noise, and this holds true for all of my mic locker...condensers, ribbons, etc. I can't recommend this enough, and talk with your Guitar Center pro audio guy, and he will probably give you a nice break on the price. Focusrite...you got it right.

     
    5.0

    ISA 1

    By John A

    from NY, Chicago

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Professional Functions
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Professional Recording

      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

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      ISA One ome Recording dual channel preamp

      By ronald riekena

      from Dallas Texas

      I dont do a lot of reviews but this unit is special. Its built well, it has TWO CHANNELS, which many miss that point. The most important fact is the great tone. I was ready to return it if it didnt improve my HR setup, but not only did it improve the sound, the ease of use and ability to plug in a Bass DI, or a SM7 (dynamic) mics into the main channel was why I give it a 5 star rating. I plug its outputs straight into my Recording Interface Line In and there is such a high quality sound without adding anything is amazing and makes it a solid piece to own and enjoy.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great sound pre

      By Fmp

      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

        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 .

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        CLEAN, Versatile single channel PRE

        By Rol123

        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

          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 !

          (0 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          NOT A PRO PRODUCT

          By Gino-

          from long island, ny

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Poor Quality Duplicates

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording

            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.

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Love it.

            By ricky C

            from Ca

            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!

            (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Wow, what a smart buy.

            By RUBEN CARRILLO

            from Bakersfield, CA

            I use an AKG C414 XLS, and I wanted a good tube preamp to compliment the clarity of my AKG. I had done lots of comparisons of other preamps, but they were in the $1,000+ price range. I was reluctant to buy the ISA One because I thought it was ugly, but I decided that the price I bought it for was worth trying out. I was so surprised and pleased with how my mic sounded after using it. So much clarity and smoothness. It felt fuller and warm. I did some sound comparisons without it, just to see if it was my head playing tricks on me. Nope, the signal was fatter, the sound was full and smooth, and the artifact noises were diminished. I just wish it looked more modern.

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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