Focusrite ISA Two - Microphone Preamp

Focusrite ISA Two - Microphone Preamp

Focusrite ISA Two - Microphone Preamp

Focusrite ISA Two - Microphone Preamp

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Expected availability: 7-14 business days

Product Highlights

  • Dual Mono
  • Transformer Based Microphone Inputs
  • Variable Input Impedance
  • Front Panel Instrument Inputs
  • Rear Panel Line Inputs
  • Per Channel Insert Points
  • Per Channel High-Pass Filters
  • Phantom Power
  • Phase Reverse Switches
  • User-Calibrated Metering
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Focusrite ISA Two overview

  • 1Description

The ISA Two from Focusrite is a dual mono microphone preamp featuring transformer based microphone inputs with variable input impedance. Based on the legendary designs found in the Focusrite Forte and Studio consoles, the preamps provides up to 80 dB of gain, while two front panel instrument inputs allow for immediate access to two transparent DIs.

The microphone inputs feature a pair of Lundahl LL1538 transformers with a 3-section winding that results in very low leakage inductance, along with an extended frequency response. To shield them from stray magnetism, each is encapsulated in mu-metal cans. Each channel has a fully-balanced insert point, activated using a front-panel button, making it easy to insert a choice of outboard EQ, a compressor, or limiter.

Microphone Input Transformer
  • Includes Lundahl LL1538 input transformers, originally chosen by Rupert Neve for the ISA 110 and one of the best microphone input transformers available
  • Zobel network in the ISA circuit (perfected by Rupert Neve) allows the microphone preamp to maintain an extremely flat frequency response across a very wide bandwidth
  • Offers up to 80 dB of clean, distortion-free gain
  • ISA topology ensures low-noise even at the highest gain levels
  • The transformer supplies 20 dB of gain, while the ISA's input stage offers up to 60 dB of additional gain on the microphone input
Variable Input Impedance
  • Four choices of input impedance, including the original ISA 110 value, allow for matching the preamp to a different microphones, even a vintage type, for the best possible sound
  • Impedance is selected using a switch on the front panel
  • Impedance choice is remembered even when the unit is switched off and back on
User-Calibrated Metering
  • Each channel has an eight-LED array to clearly display the level of the two signals
  • Line up the analog levels with digital converters or a DAW by using the calibration knob on the rear panel
  • Calibration avoids clipping on input
Instrument and Line Inputs
  • Two 1/4" TS connectors on the front panel provide access to a transparent DI input
  • TRS line inputs are available on the rear panel and a front panel switch allows for stepping through them to instantly select required input
Variable High-Pass Filter
  • Smooth-sounding, built-in 18 dB/octave high-pass filter per channel
  • Same design as the original ISA 110 module
  • Ideal for cutting out rumble, thumps and other unwanted low-frequency sounds using the 16 Hz to 420 Hz range
  • Easily accessed with a large knob and illuminated button
Balanced Inserts
  • Each channel has its own balanced insert point via 1/4" TRS send and receive connectors
  • Allows for a choice of signal processor to be connected and switched in and out using the illuminated switch on the front panel
UPC: 815301005148
In the Box
Focusrite ISA Two - Microphone Preamp
  • AC Power Cable
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Focusrite ISA Two specs

    Number of Channels 2
    Multi Function No
    Inputs 2 x 1/4" TS phone Instrument (front panel)
    2 x XLR Microphone (rear panel)
    2 x 1/4" TRS phone Line (rear panel)
    2 x 1/4" TRS phone Return (rear panel)
    Input Impedance Mic (@ 1 kHz): Low = 600Ω, ISA 110 = 1.4Ω, Medium = 2.4Ω, High = 6.8 kΩ
    Line: 10 kΩ from 10 Hz to 200 kHz
    Instrument: >2 MΩ
    Maximum Input Level Mic: +7 dBu with a THD+N <0.7% at 1 kHz measured at 0 dB of gain with 150Ω source impedance and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter
    Outputs 2 x XLR
    2 x 1/4" TRS phone Send
    Maximum Output Level +24 dBu with a THD+N <0.01% at 1 kHz measured with 150Ω source impedance and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter
    Phantom Power +48V, individually switchable
    Gain Range Mic: 0 dB to +60 dB in 10 dB steps, plus 0 dB to +20 dB continuously variable trim
    Line: -20 dB to +10 dB in 10 dB steps, plus 0 dB to +20 dB continuously variable trim
    Instrument: +10 dB to +40 dB continuously variable trim
    Frequency Response Mic @ minimum gain (0 dB): 10 Hz to 135 kHz, -0.5/1 dB
    Mic @ +60 dB gain: 10 Hz to 115 kHz, -6/-1 dB
    Line @ unity gain (0 dB): 10 Hz to 80 Hz, -0.3/-1 dB
    Instrument @ minimum gain (+10 dB): 10 Hz to 115 kHz, -0.1/1 dB
    Instrument @ maximum gain (+40 dB): 10 Hz to 110 kHz, -2.5/1 dB wwrcwdyzcureuzyff

    Relative to 1 kHz

    EIN -127 dB (60 dB of gain with 150Ω source impedance and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter)
    Noise Mic: -97 dBu @ output with unity gain (0 dB) and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter
    Line: -97 dBu @ output with unity gain (0 dB), measured with 50Ω source impedance and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter
    Instrument: -95 dBu, minimum gain (+10 dB) with 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter
    Signal to Noise Ratio Mic: 121 dB, with +24 dB maximum output (150Ω source impedance and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter)
    Line: 121 dB, with +24 dB maximum output (50Ω source impedance and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter)
    THD + N Mic: <0.0007% @ 1 kHz (-20 dBu input signal with +30 dB gain and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter)
    Line: <0.002% @ 1 kHz (0 dBu input signal with +10 dB gain and 22 Hz to 22 kHz band-pass filter)
    CMRR Mic Input @ 60 Hz: -94 dB, with +24 dBu maximum output
    Mic Input @ 10 kHz: -91 dB, with +24 dBu maximum output
    Crosstalk Mic: -85 dB (I/P = 0 dBu, gain = 0 dB @ 1 kHz input to channel A, channel B output)
    Line: -91 dB (I/P = 0 dBu, gain = 0dB @ 1 kHz input to channel A, channel B output)
    Power Requirements 100~240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
    Dimensions (WxDxH) 19 x 11 x 1.7" (480 x 280 x 44 mm)
    Weight 8.2 lb (3.7 kg)
    Specialties 18 dB per octave (3-pole) high-pass filter, continuously variable from 16 Hz to 420 Hz (-3 dB)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 12.0 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 25.8 x 14.8 x 5.2"

    Focusrite ISA Two reviews

    ISA Two - Microphone Preamp is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A smooth, expensive sound Three words came to mind when I first heard my voice through this preamp. Grit, grain, and growl. That was just talking, and when I sang through it an A/B comparison between the ISA Two and what I'd been using revealed to me its professional-sounding character. In an hour or so I experienced the sound of front end transformers, and found some sweet spots where I could play with it like an instrument. Signal chain was TLM49 into the ISA, then line level into my Liquid Saffire 56. Without this preamp in the middle, things aren't as finished sounding. The Liquid preamps are good, they're just not as reactive as this genuine design. I like the chiclet transilluminated buttons for the functions. The big knobs are great, and overall build quality is fantastic. With the TRS send and return, this thing is ready to drop into your studio. It worked for me. A condenser microphone doesn't seem to care about the variable impedance. A dynamic or ribbon can be coaxed to change its frequency response to tailor it to a source, and here I was able to make use of this feature. You can starve the highs or make them crisp. But then I'm used to the MD441, where a twist of the collar will do the same. The high pass filter is great. We don't have eq's on the way in typically with DAWs, so rolling off the lows in a gentle way while tracking makes sense for a lot of instruments to get rid of the low clutter. It felt good to whack this puzzle piece home. It was the sound I was looking for, didn't cost all that much, and gave me a pair of quiet preamps I can use for stereo that's a cut above for location work. No A/D conversion option here. Look to the ISA One or the 4 or 8 version if you need that.
    Date published: 2015-06-19
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