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Phoenix Audio DRS-Q4

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Davedog, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I bought one of these used a few months back from Vintage King. It had some problems so I sent it back to them under their quite good warranty. It came back with other issues so it got sent to Phoenix Audio for a rebuild/repair. All of this covered under warranty from Vintage King. EXCELLENT customer service and communication. I can't recommend them enough! Now to the gear itself.

    Phoenix Audio got their start as a repair and up-date service company for Neve consoles in the UK. The two primary circuit designers are Shawn Leveque and David Rees who designed the Neve 2254 compressor.

    They have some great designs including summing boxes, EQ's, and mic pres/DI's. No compressors as of yet.

    The DRS-Q4 is a two channel mic pre/DI with a selectable 4 band EQ that is similar to inductor type EQ's. Theirs is called Gyratory EQ and has 11 settings to choose from on 4 bands. This is all Class A discreet with a very high impedance input and a transformer output. The way the input is handled results in an input you simply cannot overload. The mic input will take line level sources without a problem. When using the mic inputs, you have both an input pad and an output control as well as the stepped gain. You can drive this into a very nice overloaded sound which retains its high-end sonics and frequency response. The EQ points are very usable and are centers you usually look for when using a parametric EQ. Theres a HPF, phase switch, a selector for the mic input or line level, and even a ground lift for each channel plus the phantom power switch. The EQ is (of course) switchable in or out of circuit and its available to the DI input. The mic pad is not but the output gain stage is also available to the DI.

    Thats a lot of options in a 1U box. Everything has an indicator light letting you know whats hooked up.

    This is a truly high-fidelity box with a huge soundfield. Its clean and clear even when driven. The basic sound is not unlike a Neve in a lot of ways, and the EQ can put things right in your face ala API. For an all-around box this one is really special. The EQ is one of the most musical and usable EQ's I've ever used. It simply sounds GREAT when you kick it in. You can dial a bass guitar to a prefect spot with this and it doesnt colapse when you really hit it hard with an active instrument. There are no cloudy mids or lows. It punches hard and true but the highs are still sweet and you can get a delicate lilt to acoustic instruments. On vocals, with the input detented pad and the output, you can get that distinctive balance of drive and grit with smooth and clear resolution. You can hear the words with this thing! Everything is bigger through this piece!

    If you have a project or home studio and you want ONE great preamp to do everything with, this is one that needs serious consideration. They also make this in a mono unit w/EQ, as well as simply the outstanding preamp in mono, dual, and a great 8 channel model. They also are the folks who bring the Nicerizer summing amp in 8 and 16 channels. A new piece is the EQ section in a 500 series format as well as the mic pre.

    I used this on my overheads on my last project and even when it wasnt quite working properly( a couple of internal cables gone bad, it wouldnt let the eq be used on one side is all) it sounded fantastic. Now that its working properly, its all I could have asked for.
  2. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    Nice to hear this review. I almost bought an eq of theirs. I'd be excited if they put out a 500 series comp.
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Hey Paul. Yeah you'd think that a company headed by the guy who designed the Neve 2254 compressor would have one but this isnt the case. Mic pres, EQ, DI's and summing boxes.

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