The Focusrite ISA 828 is an 8-channel preamp featuring the original ISA design from Focusrite's critically acclaimed Forté console, Lundahl LL1538 input transformers, switchable input impedance including the classic ISA 110 setting, variable high-pass filter, instrument and line inputs, and LED peak meters.
The Focusrite ISA 828 gives you eight channels of the console preamps originally designed for George Martin’s AIR Studios, with modern performance enhancements. Offering the Focusrite signature sound at its lowest cost per channel to date, the ISA 828 features the same classic microphone preamplifier design as the original ISA 110 module from Focusrite's critically acclaimed Forté console. Its Lundahl LL1538 input transformer and custom Zobel network impart a special character to the sound that can't be truly emulated in any other way. Whereas the original ISA input impedance was calculated to suit the microphones of the day, today's model makes one small change, adding three additional input impedances to the classic ISA 110 setting, allowing you to match any microphone, vintage or modern, and access a wide range of sounds. The ISA 828 offers both instrument and line inputs, eight XLR outputs, switchable insert point, variable high-pass filter, phase reverse, phantom power, and an optional A-D card with up to 24-bit/192kHz sampling via ADAT or AES3. Most of all, it provides stunning sound with a touch of AIR.
Focusrite ISA 828—Just the Facts:
- Classic ISA mic preamp design featuring Lundahl LL1538 input transformer
- Front-panel instrument inputs to the first four channels
- Line inputs with dedicated input connectors and front-panel switch
- Switchable input impedance including classic ISA 110 setting
- High-pass filters
- Switchable insert points when used with A-D card
- Per-channel six-segment LED peak-level meters
- Optional A-D card with up to 24-bit/192kHz sampling via ADAT or AES3
Focusrite ISA 828—Under the Hood
Each mic pre has the option of mic, line or the front-panel instrument input, with variable input impedance to ensure you are getting the best performance from the source. Up to 60dB of gain is available on the four-position rotary and gain range switches, with a further +20dB of continuously variable trim, meaning a huge 80dB of gain is available should it be required. The high-pass filter features variable cut-off frequency between 16 and 420Hz. An array of 6-segment LED meters show peak signal level for the four mic pres, in addition to the four direct inputs to the optional A-D card. Switchable rear-panel insert points allow the use of inline processors such as compression.
ISA 828 I/O
The ISA preamps are complemented by eight line inputs, eight line outputs and an optional eight-channel 192kHz A-D converter boasting a dynamic range of 122dB. Thanks to its convenient 25-pin D-Type connectors, the ISA 828 also integrates quickly and seamlessly with Pro Tools | HD, as well as other popular hard disc recorders and mixing desks.
Variable input impedance
The microphone input stage additionally includes a variable impedance circuit, allowing the user to switch between four carefully selected input impedance settings. The original ISA 110 setting is supplemented by three further impedance settings to either perfectly match the preamp with any microphone, thus maximizing level, or to use different settings creatively to shape the sound of the microphone being used.
The four front-panel instrument inputs also feature high- and low-impedance options to provide a comprehensive and accessible DI solution. Insert switches are also featured on every channel, should the need arise to place extra processing between the preamp and converter. Vintage design 75Hz/18dB per octave high-pass filters are also provided on every channel, ensuring unwanted low frequencies are effectively eliminated.
LED input meters
Finally, every channel features a six-LED input meter, complete with precise global meter trim. Metering has been designed to use the same reference points as Avid’s Pro Tools HD™ system and provides clear and accurate input metering, independent of the DAW.
PAD—For the Record: Prior to founding Focusrite Ltd., Rupert Neve was contracted by George Martin to build 16 additional input channels for the Neve console at AIR Studios. With a directive to spare no expense, the ISA 110/130 modules were the result, and later formed the basis for Focusrite Ltd.’s products. In 1988, after unrelenting customer demand for Neve to build full consoles, the company built two no-compromise ISA-based consoles, named the Focusrite Forte (still considered by many the best sounding console ever made). The idea was to build the highest-possible quality console sparing no expense. One was delivered to Master Rock Studios in London, the other to Electric Lady Studios in New York. However, building the consoles put the company in financial jeopardy. In 1989, Phil Dudderidge, founder of Soundcraft, bought Focusrite and inherited the designs. Using the same ISA 110/130 signal path as the Forte, Dudderidge found a way to streamline the console and reduce costs. Dudderidge released 10 Focusrite Studio consoles before they nearly bankrupted Focusrite a second time.
If you’ve been wanting to get the sound of Rupert Neve into your racks, but couldn’t afford the price of admission, the Focusrite ISA 828 makes it possible. Order yours today. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Consultant.
- Gain Range: 0dB to 60dB in 10dB steps
- Input Impedance: 600 ohm, 1.4k ohm, 2.4k ohm, 6.8k ohm
- Noise at main output (unity gain, 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): 0.0008 (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 110kHz
- Frequency response at maximum gain (60dB): –3dB down at 16Hz and –3dB down 85kHz
- CMRR: 91.8dB (Channel 1, 1kHz maximum gain)
- Input impedance: 10k ohm from 10Hz to 200kHz
- Gain range: -20dB to 10dB in 10dB steps
- 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: 120dB
- Signal-to-noise-ratio relative to 0dBFS ( 22dBu): 118dB
- THD at unity gain (0dB): 0.001 measured with a 0dBu input signal and 22Hz - 22kHz band-pass filter
- Frequency response at unity gain (0dB): 0.3dB down at 10Hz and –3dB down at 122kHz
- Gain range: 10dB to 40dB (continuously variable)
- Input impedance: 1M ohm or 300k ohm
- Noise at minimum gain (10 dB): -90dBu 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): 0.002 measured with a 10dBu input signal and 22Hz - 22kHz band-pass filter
- Frequency response at 10dB gain with -10dB input: 10Hz - 200kHz /- 0.6dB
- Frequency response at 40dB gain with -40dB input: -2.5dB down at 10Hz and 0dB at 200kHz
- Roll-off: 18dB per-octave 3-pole filter
- Frequency: Fixed 75Hz measured at the 3dB down point
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 19" x 3-3/8" x 12" x / 484 x 85 x 305 mm (13-6/8" / 350 mm depth with heat sink)
- Weight: 19.5 lb. (8.84 kg)