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About the converters of the add-on card of Isa428

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Pgsmusic, May 30, 2005.

  1. Pgsmusic

    Pgsmusic Guest

    Hi, i want to know the real quality of the isa 428 converters, with wich other converters could it be compared to? Are they similar or better than the digidesign Hd Series? Please if anyone of you have used it let me know your opinion.
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Great point PgsMusic. I do not know the answer to your question. But your question is a good one. Also if anybody does know...
    ...If the converter's are awesome or industry standard or a certain type. Are they something that is easily upgraded? For instance, what if you compared the 428isa's converters to a Mackie SDR 24/96's converters?
    I guess I want to know, if you can just swap the "motors" so to speak. The motors being the converter's.
  3. itchy

    itchy Guest

    well, i'll be happy to let you guys know this....whenever they hell they decide to finally arrive at sam ash. i ordered them on april 6th, and they still have yet to arrive. focusrite says this week...so we'll see. i know they use the same converter chip as the motu and pt hd, but there's more to it than just that. honestly i didn't buy it for an increase in quality. it was necessary to increase the track count in my lynx l22 system.
  4. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    don't expect much! the converters for the octopre are below average and the isa is probably the same! for that price don't expect what you pay a few times more...
  5. PCM

    PCM Guest

    inLoco, with all due respect, I've come across a couple posts where you've talked down the ISA without offering any personal experience or sources for your opinion other than your logic that focusrite makes some low-end gear and thus the ISA must be the same.

    The ISA is a world class piece of gear. As are the converters. In fact, many users (where's doublehelix on this one???) have compared their converters favorably to apogee, etc.
  6. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    i've never said bad things about the isa! i believe it must be a good pre! but regarding the conversion don't talk to me about comparing it to apogee! that's just impossible! it's like comparing mp3 128kbs with 24bits 96! of course there is always someone, generally paid or whatever who says something compares to the best of it's kind! i love my motu and i've never tried a apogee but i'm sure it's way better than my motu! the conversion i'm sure it's something good for a live situation or for a quick help when you just need to record an ideia... but for profession use... if so i'd love my motu pres... why would i want something like the isa...
  7. PCM

    PCM Guest

    from EQ:

    Aside from its reference-quality sound (which is really all that matters), I like other 428 features, particularly the optional converter card. Sonically, it sounds as good as more expensive converters. Plus, if you’re using a digital input card for your DAW or hard disk recorder, it makes a great 8-channel front-end.

    from sound on sound:

    In terms of technical performance, the card at least equals — and in most cases out-performs — other comparable converters...I liked the ISA428 very much indeed. It looks good, sounds fantastic, is completely bombproof and is a joy to use. It's significantly cheaper in the UK than the Red 1, yet boasts a couple of unusual facilities and gives little if anything away in sonic quality.

    I could go on with more reviews and can add my own personal experiences...but I think you get the point (plus it's already been purchased). To be honest, I'd like one for myself to replace my RME AD and add 4 stellar pres.
  8. dudge

    dudge Active Member

    The converters are supposed to be the same as the ones in the Digidesign HD192.
  9. itchy

    itchy Guest

    agreed. as someone who has actually used this unit, i will say it is a vast improvement over stock interface pres, and a very valueable addition to my setup. the pres provide very good presence and clarity, with a nice musical touch. this is not some 'prosumer' alternative to the presonus/art/etc. also, the a/d card is not the same one that is in the octopre.

    it's easy to assume the quality of a unit by its brand or price, but really you have to hear what something can do before you can honestly judge it.
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Here's the thing .... ADAT lightpipe converters for the most part are pretty much the same other than the analog circuitry and the components in and out of the chip. This is because ALESIS manufacturs most of them. Kev knows a lot more about this than I do, so perhaps he will weigh in on this one.

    As far as the pres in the ISA .... they are a step up from the Platinum and Green ranges, basically the same design as the Red range and console pres they made .. (Neve designed) but are executed with robot stuffed SMT boards for a cost savings. I can't speak as to the long term viability of them but as far as how they sound, they are more than good enough.

    One thing I have heard ... that the 428 with the converter card can run pretty hot .... you might need to leave some space around it to allow for cooling.
  11. Pgsmusic

    Pgsmusic Guest

    Well, I have an Isa 430mk2 without the digital expansion, and i know the quality of the Isa range, i like it a lot, sounds superb!!
    but i´m thinking of buy an Isa 428 with the add-on card, thats way i can use it to conect the 430 and two TLa Audio VP1 that i have.
    I have and Octopre too, with the adat expansion and sounds nice, obviusly is not like apogee, mytek, etc. but when i have to record something live, it woks ok!
  12. itchy

    itchy Guest

    yeah i think i remember reading that the 428's pres are the exact same ones that are on the 430. but not the 220 for some reason. you'd probably know better than me on that one.

    if you gonna order that a/d card, do it now. you might get it around christmas.....

    (still waiting) :?

    i love the sound of my 428, but tbh, the only reason i chose those pres is because they're the only high end pres with a digital expansion that i know of. i do wish more companies that made nicer pres would make built in a/d converters as well. that's a very handy feature.
  13. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Hey inloco you said you never said anything bad about the ISA. you said "don't expect much" and "don't expect what you pay" to me those are fairly negative. and really if you don't have experience with the piece of equipment don't comment on it.
  14. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    you pay 600 dollars for something! for that price you can look at rme, motu and so on products! are you telling me that the isa card will be better than a rme product? don't think so!
    i've never tried it but i've had friends say that the conversion is weak for a recording studio! of course that if you're live you can look at it for recording! it will do the work! but for above average to professional use (the isa pre is aimed at quality recordings not homerecordings, that's what i'm talking about) i think it won't do the work!

    regarding the post about magazines i think it's patetic... i read recording, eq and sound on sound and it's preatty difficult to see a bad review! they all say that want to keep the stuff and son on... i wouldn't take that seriously the articles... keep them as a tool for knowing products and what they do... just my 2 cents
  15. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    HEY! Here's an idea....

    If you have never used a piece of equipment, then don't comment on it...

    BTW: I have the digital card in my Octopre, and even though certain moderators here hate the mere fact the product even exists, it works great....good enough for 2 indie releases, film audio production and post production, and thousands of hours of advertising in Texas (big state if you haven't heard), Oklahoma, N Dakota, S Dakota, New Mexico, California, Florida...not to mention a great deal of central and south America...

    Jeezus do I get tired of people bashing products...I've never tasted brocolli, don't intend to (its not high end enough for my studio), but I don't go around telling the world how it tastes like ass...seems to me intellegence is proven by saying only positive things, and letting the negatives speak for themselves....
  16. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Perhaps you missed this ...

    This goes for RME as well as others except perhaps (I'm not sure) Apogee and other high end manufacturers.

    When you say you've heard other say the converters in the ISA are sub standard, you are not taking into consideration how they are being used ... what's clocking them etc. ...

    Most reports I have read say these converters are perfectly fine.

    I have heard the Octopre and I think it sounds pretty much like ass .. when compared to my MP2NV, Sebatron, JLM TMP8, 9098s, Millennia and other I have used in the past like APIs and Neve pres .. The Platinum Range of the focusrite stable is ok for what it is but it it does not represent the pinnacle of mic pre design or performance. I'm happy you like yours, that's all that really matters but I wouldn't recommend them to others who are looking. As such, I will continue to bash them if I wish.
  17. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Kurt...a couple of quick replies, then ban me if you wish....

    1. Anyone even remotely involved in the audio process should know that Platinum Focusrites are not comprable to Mercury, Telefunkens, API, etc...but they get the job done...if i can coax a damn good sound out of a Focusrite, then perhaps I know a little more about things than I am being credited.

    2. When I referred to people slamming equipment they have never used, at what point did I specifically name you? Don't bother looking, it ain't there (unless we are going to have posts edited again...) I was speaking to/about the fellow who has mseemingly made a career out of bashing ISA level stuff.

    3. Moderators are not Gods anywhere outside of their respective websites...they are not THE definative source of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong....and are subject to opinions, just as everyone is... As I said before, having an opinion is fine - cramming it down people's throats is not...

    4. In my eyes, the mark of a true professional is supported by the idea that they don't pretend to know everything...and don't have a compelling need to be so quick to prove the world wrong...They have a sense of humor...they know when to say "enough" and know how to keep a conversation going instead of stifling it to a screaching halt....that's my opinion.

    5. Kurt my friend, I had left these forums 18 months or so ago over a dispute between you and a well respected salesperson of audio treatment devices...I passively sat by and watched all this transpire until I realized the debate had turned into a full frontal slamfest...when I interjected an opinion (there's that word again...) I checked back the next day and found my post had been edited by someone other than me...I asked the moderators of the forum if they had edited my post, which met with negative replies...that did it for me....I came back because I had been assured my some newer mods here (and some of the old timers at RO) that things had settled down considerably...It appears this was erroneous information.

    Look, man, I really don't care what you do or don't do...if you don't like my posts, my opinions, or my hairstyle, then ban me...but I'll ask you to at least have the courtesy I demand from children to not offer an insult whenever one presents itself...I come here to interact with professional and otherwise engineers...not to have the absolutely inane discussion about which is better, Octopre or APIs...I personally have yet to hear a lot of things....but one thing remains clear: a good engineer can sound wonderful with a radio shack mic and Audio Buddy preamp...THAT is what should be the focal point - not your insistance on slamming that which you don't care for.

    If you would like to continue this discussion offline, I would appreciate the opportunity...if you wish to give me nothing more than a bum's rush out the door, then by all means, do so...
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Since you attacked me in public, I will defend my self in the same.

    1.) I don't know where you get that stuff. No I am not going to ban you ... and I don't have any problems with you at all. You're entitled to your opinion and I enjoy your contributions. I suspect you have been influenced by some of the guys in the G.O.B.C. over at PSW or GS, you know those guys who said 4 years ago, that RO would die within six months and the who said 3 years ago that I was bad for RO ..... yet look at us now ... at the top of the heap, with more hits and page views than ever, being recognized as one of the top ten internet resources by EM magazine this month ... . Those guys hate it when I throw a monkey wrench in the works that screws up the lives of the retailers and manufacturers of mid level sub standard gear.

    But let me say here again and now for the final time I hope, I have never edited another persons post ... that's not my style, actually it's more like that other person if it's who I think you are referring to, (the "well respected salesperson of audio treatment devices"). That's why he isn't a mod here any longer. Perhaps that's what happend in that case.

    If I really have a problem, I will delete a post or thread but that's usually because someone has said something so out of line or objectionable there's absolutely no reason to leave it. If your posts were edited and changed, it wasn't me who did it.

    2.) I don't pretend to know everything. There are lots of things I do know but on the other hand there are lots of things I don't know. I do know what sounds good though ... and it ain't no Focusrite Platinum Range, Joe Meek, RNP, or PreSonus pre. You seem to feel a bit defensive on the subject of the Octopre. Perhaps you think that I have attacked your sensibilities. If you want to try to bring me up in front of the inquisitor for heresy ... well, lots of people already have tried. Go ahead and crucify me ... I can take it. I have been resurected many times after such onslaughts because the truth is on my side and the people who read these BBs know that.

    On the other hand, especially now that there is finally a cost effective alternative available to cheap, flat sounding pre amps that can't handle a proper bass wave or provide decent phase response... I am even more opposed to this mid level gear. I try to temper my remarks and I really don't think your anger towards me is justified. I did not attack you, I responded to your post as you have mine. That's what this is all about dude.

    Now insead of arguing about you or me , let's get back on topic ... the ISA 428 with the converter card. I don't know why you would even mention the Platinum Octopre in the same thread with the ISA Range or pres ... the only thing in common is the name "Focusrite" ... and that's what they are exploiting. :D
  19. PCM

    PCM Guest

    yes. I own RME products. MOTU stuff is certainly nothing to write home about. And as Kurt said...much of the quality regarding converters has to do with the analog signal path...the ISA (being a pre) gets a head start...all you do essentially is plug in the converter unit to complete the circuit.

    So 600 dollars for an add-on versus 600 for a full blown converter box is comparing apples to oranges.

    I would happily trade my RME for the ISA conversion anyday (and i'd LOVE TO FREE UP THE RACK SPACE).

    And as for mentioning those articles...I figured people might respect a published opinion a bit more than mine (some random guy on a forum). But if you want it...here's my opinion...the ISA sounds great as do the converters. Period. NOw, as for calling my reference to published articles pathetic..I think your comment regarding a piece of gear you've never used is a bit more deserving of that label.
  20. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Kurt, the only reason i brought it up at all was the similarities between the ISA/Platinum pre and conversion systems and their close if not exact resemblance to Digidesign equipment...The Control24 had 16 Platinum pres integrated into the system...etc etc etc

    I have asked the question before my own self - are the newer FR converter cards digidesign cards or not...I suspect there are very few who know the true answer, and they ain't talking.

    As far as FR marketing, that's what it is...marketing. Just as their reissued 110s are similar in appearance to the originals but sound totally different...and the LP...etc...there's a really small niche out there, and I don't blame them for going for what they can get...a little more straightforwardness on everybody's part would not be a bad thing.

    Yeas, I do get defensive when gear that I use and get great results is jumped on...and for the record, the Octos have been semi retired to being line ins and converters...not because of their 'poor' sound, but because they have been just replaced by OSAs, APIs,, etc...We all have our own levels of snobbery, so no one can fault you for that....Defensive...not really...just experienced enough to know what the gear in question works with, and what it doesn't work with.

    I regret bringing up events from times past - and will take you on your word that you are innocent of any post editing...not that it makes any difference in 2005, anyway...life's too short to worry about that crap.

    As to influences: There are 4 things that influence me and my opinions... my personal brand of Faith, my personal morals and values, my immediate family, and my desire/quest to provide the very best I can provide with the tools I have available to me, be it a pre, a mic, a hammer, or a set of spoons. Not that it matters, but please note that nowhere on the influence list are any internet sites...For every 10 sites available, I visit perhaps 1, so lets not pretend to go that route.

    Kurt , I have no real personal issue with you (or anyone else - like I said, life is too short for that crap)....But when I feel like my skills are being slammed based on gear chosen, I view that as a strike...in every sense of the word.

    Congrats on being recognized for your hit counts...

    I'm offering you a peace pipe, all you gotta do is light it...

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