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Focusrite ISA 220

Hi all,

I'm debating picking up a Focusrite ISA 220 for $550. The only pre I currently have outside my PreSonus 16.4.2 is a GAP Pre73. There doesn't seem to be much out there regarding this pre, only some bad feedback regarding the converters. That doesn't bother me as I likely wouldn't use them, and I'm thinking this might be a good deal on an ISA based strip. Any thoughts? Has anybody used them?


pcrecord Thu, 08/14/2014 - 05:31
WHAT ?? 550$ ?? I'll take 4 of them.. seriouly!!! They run between 950$ and 1500$ these days.

If you don't buy it give me your lead, I will. I currently own a ISA two, which is about the same pre but without anything else and I'm going to buy a second one this week (to have 4 pre of them). Those pre are considered clean (with a tinny bit of coloration if you push them) and they have a ton of power (60db). They are very dynamic/punchy and the noise level is very low. If you want a clean, in your face sound it's the right choice.
Of course if you want a warm and very colored sound, you may want to check the LA-610 (which I also own) or some other tube channel strip or the vintech x73 or.... (there is actually too many choices and it depends on what kind of sound you are looking for...)

anonymous Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:05
Actually, PC...

The ISA 2's (not the 220's) are going for around $799 new here in The States these days... although I do recognize that you are in Canada, so the pricing may be bit higher up there - I haven't checked the exchange rate in quite some time, so I don't know what Canada's current rate of exchange is with the U.S. dollar, and how that works out for a purchase for something like this - and taking into account any possible duty/import taxes you may have to may very well be better off by purchasing in Canada? I don't know...You would have to do the math.

There was a time when you could buy something in the US from Canada, and then have the item shipped to a US address, and then have the item shipped to you in Canada as a gift ;) - thereby getting around the duty/excise taxes... but I'm not sure that this can still be done. My ex-wife ( who is Canadian) used to do this from time to time; her dad would order Craftsmen tools from Sears down here because they were cheaper than buying from Sears in Canada, and he would have them shipped to our house, at which point we would ship them up there to him, and declare them as a gift...and neither end paid any duty. But again, that was several years ago, so I don't know if they still allow that anymore.

Anyway... I just thought I'd let you know:

BTW, Rev...$550 seems like a very fair price for a used ISA 220... as long as it's in good shape. Do you have the opportunity to check it out first and make sure everything is okay?


pcrecord Thu, 08/14/2014 - 06:10
Hey Donny the 220 and the ISA TWO are two different beasts. The 220 is a channel strip and the 2 is 2 simple preamps (no eq or comp etc.. )
I think the 220 has been discontinued and replaced by the 430

Anyway you're right, the ISA Two is 950$ here in Canada!! :(
And it's pointless to order it from the states, exchange, shipping and custom charges makes it almost the same price..

Reverend Lucas Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:12
Thanks for the input, gents. It's a local Craig's List ad. I'm going to try to audition it in the next day or so. In doing some digging, it looks like the 220 is a slightly stripped down 430 that was discontinued. It lacks a gate/expander, which I'm not too concerned about. The 430 has an output right after the pre which this lacks, and would be nice to have. Not a deal breaker

moonbaby Mon, 08/18/2014 - 12:22
I have a 430 and use it with a Presonus 16.0. You will be fine with the ISA220. I do like the downward expander for VO work, but the preamp/comp/EQ will serve you well. BTW, I believe that the 220 was only made in the UK, unlike their newer "II" models that are made in China. that looks like a good deal, too.


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