ISA 428 users........

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by therecordingart, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Hey guys,

    A buddy that works at a nameless gear store can get me a new ISA428 for $1500 out the door. My question this a "pro" preamp? Is it in the same class as the API, Great River, John Hardy...etc preamps?

    My goals are to get this unit to improve my drum/guitar tracks. I'm already using The Brick for vocals. Then later down the road I want to get the converter and pick up either an API 3124 or a 4 channel Seb to run into the in's on the 428. My goal is to build a solid front end to my DAW with:

    API 3124
    The Brick

    Would this be a killer setup? (I know the API and Brick would be f'ing awesome!) Does anyone have any samples of their recordings with the 428?
  2. Costy

    Costy Guest

    Hey Arthur,
    There is a discussion below under "Converters... ISA428" about
    the whole thing, not just the converters. It even came to Kurt's
    resurection at some point... after proper crucifiction, of course.
    However, it seems ISA 428 is a good quality piece of gear. I'm
    interested 'cause it could be a nice extention for Digi0002R via
    ADAT. Cheers,
  3. itchy

    itchy Guest

    i've really enjoyed what i've been able to use of the 428 so far. i am still waiting for the a/d converter to arrive at sam-ass.

    recently a friend brought over his brent averill api pre's and we recorded some drum and vocal tracks with both the api's and the 428. For vocals, I have to say that I liked the api pre's better. They have more headroom than the 428 pre's, and i didn't have to ride the gain as much to keep the vocals from overloading the pre's.

    however, on drums the isa 428 was the winner to both our ears, hands down. we didn't expect the api to be an amazing OH pre, and while it certainly was far from bad, the 428 had an amazing clarity but without the sterility my sytek pre's have.

    i'm all for those pre's. and i think i typed the word "pre" about 20 times in the last 5 minutes.

  4. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    I've been quite happy with my 428. It sits in a rack with a Great River MP-2NV, a Brick, a Peavey/AMR VMP-2 and, soon I hope, a Shadow Hills Industries GAMA.

    I've used the 428 for all kinds of stuff in the past but it usually sees duty as a pre for overheads, toms and ocassionally acoustic guitar. I have the converter card for it but haven't used it since I got rid of my old Roland VS recorder. Might find a use for it someday but I'm going into a Radar24 and its converters are just fine.

    I wouldn't be too concerned with whether or not someone else thinks the 428's are "pro" preamps. They're very versatile and sound great IMO. In my room it gets used as much as my Great River. Never owned an API or any BA pres so I can't speak to how it would stack up agains those. Still, it's another brush in the pallette. 1500 bucks for a new one is a pretty good price and I'd recommend trying it out. Make sure you can take it back if it doesn't suit you.
  5. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Home Page:
    I recorded the drum tracks on both tracks linked below on an isa 428.


    Give it a listen.

  6. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Aug 19, 2004
    Home Page:
    OK don't listen to the drums at this site, the song just got swiched to one where I used a drum machine. (geek love). However, i will say that all vocals and Keys were recorded throught the 428. Sorry for the confusion. :roll:
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    There's absolutly nothing wrong with the ISA series pres. FR uses SMT in these babies to save manufacturing costs but other than that the design and approach (Class A transformer balanced) is old school Rupert Neve.

    It is one of the few examples of a reasonable compromise between affordability and the high end.
  8. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002

    I received my ISA428 last monday (I got it off ebay from Alto Music, for even lower than the price you mentioned in the first post, and it's a brand new unit) and have used it the following day to record a classical concert for flute and piano duo: in a word it's a great unit, with a natural and clean sound (but not boring), versatile and tweakable to suit several needs; impedance setting lets you fine tune the mic's response and detail, and it's got all the thing a "pro" preamp (as you said) should have, like continuously variable HP filter, coarse and fine gain pots, phase inverter, a D.I. input on each channel, dual level gain...built like a tank and as Kurt said a great sounding value for the money; I plan to get the converter card for it as I have the 428 in my remote recording rig, I'd really want to get a 3124+ to put it in the additional 4 channels of conversion straight to my HD recorder, for 8 channels of different colors; I also have an Octopre (from FR) but the 428 is clearly a good 2 notches ahead.
    I also used a friend's of mine 428 to record a drum kit in his studio(used on toms) and the results were also great, with big sound but not hyped.

    Hope this helps


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