New to Focusrite's high-end ISA range is the ISA428 MKII - a four channel transformer-based mic pre - as found in their ever-so-expensive and desirable Forte console plus the option to add an eight-channel A-D converter upgrade, which converts signals from the preamps and an additional four line-level inputs to 24-bit digital data streams at sample rates of up to 192kHz. New to the ISA428 MkII is a switched-mode power supply, which lowers the internal noise and heat output of the unit, and greatly reduces its weight — ideal for touring companies and mobile recordists.
So What's the Difference?
The most noticeable difference is the removal of the large moving-coil peak meters of the ISA428. Metering duties on the MkII are handled by per-channel, six-step LED bargraph displays, which monitor the signal prior to the A-D stage, providing an accurate status of the preamp's output level. Also removed is the soft limiter feature of the ISA428. In light of this, precise calibration figures are supplied in the user manual, to enable accurate system setup.
Four ISA-series mic preamplifiers
Focusrite's flagship preamps, featuring per-channel phantom power, phase-reverse and insert control, and variable high-pass filtering.
Optional eight-channel A-D converter
Featuring the same 24-bit/192kHz A-D technology as the ISA828 preamp, boasting a dynamic range of 122dB.
Switchable input impedance
Lets you change the input impedance, allowing you to match your mic to the preamp Features the 'ISA110' setting to provide the sound of the Forte's ISA110 module.
Hi-Z instrument inputs on each channel
Jack sockets on the front panel allow you to connect instruments quickly.
Switchable balanced insert points
Allowing additional hardware to be linked into the signal chain.
Variable high-pass filter
Uses the same high-quality circuitry as found on the ISA110 to provide adjustable filtering of frequencies between 16Hz and 420Hz.
Accurate LED metering
Six-step metering for all input channels, including the four additional A-D inputs.
The ISA 428 MkII is expected to be available in late 2010, priced:
USA: $1799.99 MSRP / $1499.99 at dealers
UK: £1199.99 inc. VAT Suggested street price
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Compact, desktop, analog, semi-modular - whats not to like?