Attenuators with transformer preamps, a good idea ??

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by pcrecord, Mar 19, 2019.

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  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    The 511 seems a very good choice for someone already having a lunchbox. I don't think Focusrite offers the ISA in that format, but if you could find a used Red per.. this could be interesting too !
    Very different beasts, the texture and silk option of the 511 seems to be appealling. I know you often aim for some mojo sounding gear.
    I remember you telling me about the LA-610 and how you would push everything to maximum to see how it sounds.. eh eh eh ! ;)
    I'm changing the tubes on one of them in a few weeks, I'll probably do a video on it too.. Stay tuned for that !

    But this experience with the attenuator re-confirmed to me that the ISA is all about Clean sound, no noise, no distortion.. but still offers this nice transformer sound.
     
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  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    My tastes have evolved some over the years.

    Oh yeeeeeaaaaaa

    Totally. From what i understand they chose the lundhal xformer, specifically because it's one of the cleanest xformers available. Plus if you consider the isa was made for a console, with eq and compressor, it makes sense that its cleaner with tons of headroom. The ISA is one of those pres that just sounds right imho.

    I would be curious to hear the attenuator in series, just to hear how the isa saturates.
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    Sufficient attenuation between the output of a pre-amp and a following ADC allows the ADC to capture either the effect of transformer saturation or the onset of clipping, whichever is appropriate for the pre-amp's output architecture.

    I've done a bit more digging in the Focusrite literature, and, from what I can tell, the ISA One, Two, 428 and 828 are based on a common design that has input transformers only and no output transformers. The information is well hidden, but with these models, it looks as though the output will clip.
     
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