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Focusrite ISA430?

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Re: Focusrite ISA430?

Postby jodaki » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:52 pm

Arpangel wrote:But I need stereo, I just looked at the Focusrite website, looks like the 430 has been discontinued anyway, so I was looking at the Two, but no built in compressor, an all in one channel strip kind of thing would be good, but even if the 430 was still available I'd have to link two of them, the best part of four grand!

The ISA 430 MKII is still being sold and has a couple of improvements over the MKI model.

https://pro.focusrite.com/category/legacy-products/item/isa-430-mkii

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/focusrite-isa430-mkii

You can link 2 of them with an unbalanced jack cable for stereo operation and in addition to having a pretty superb stereo mic/line/inst channel, you can use the compressors and eqs as stereo mix or mastering effects.

But yes, the downside is the price...
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Re: Focusrite ISA430?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:21 am

jodaki wrote:
Arpangel wrote:But I need stereo, I just looked at the Focusrite website, looks like the 430 has been discontinued anyway, so I was looking at the Two, but no built in compressor, an all in one channel strip kind of thing would be good, but even if the 430 was still available I'd have to link two of them, the best part of four grand!

The ISA 430 MKII is still being sold and has a couple of improvements over the MKI model.

https://pro.focusrite.com/category/legacy-products/item/isa-430-mkii

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/focusrite-isa430-mkii

You can link 2 of them with an unbalanced jack cable for stereo operation and in addition to having a pretty superb stereo mic/line/inst channel, you can use the compressors and eqs as stereo mix or mastering effects.

But yes, the downside is the price...

Thanks for that, yes, as always, price is the bottom line.
I can whole heartedly appreciate the quality that two if these would give me, but TBQH, it would be a waste of money as I don't use mic's enough to justify that type of spend, if it was my main thrust I'd say yes, definitely, but I'll probably get an ISA 2 just to cover what I've got, or as a back up.
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Re: Focusrite ISA430?

Postby jodaki » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:31 am

Arpangel wrote:TBQH, it would be a waste of money as I don't use mic's enough to justify that type of spend, if it was my main thrust I'd say yes, definitely, but I'll probably get an ISA 2 just to cover what I've got, or as a back up.

In that case TBQH I would do the same ;)
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Re: Focusrite ISA430?

Postby Jack Ruston » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:06 pm

I would EITHER...

Fix up the Skeet pre's and add a stereo compressor of some description. It's a good option because they're quiet and transparent, you already own them (!), they're going to be impossible to sell if they're not quite working perfectly, so you'll have to get them fixed if you want to replace them anyway, and you can add some colour on the compression side if you choose.

OR

Go for 500 series stuff, because although it's a significant outlay, it's a good way to get a dual mic amp AND a compressor, AND possibly eq or other things into a small and (relatively) economical form factor.

I would not buy a pair of ISA430's...They're nice BUT there are issues with a pair of them. Firstly, a lot of the controls are small and fiddly, which is going to be a factor when you try to match settings across the two units. They're a bit fussy in that respect. They're also quite 'soft'...the eq for example is very...lush. I don't know if that will suit you. The compressor is polite. I don't know if that will suit you. The mic amp is a great performer. You already have that. They're undoubtedly very high quality, at least the UK made ones were, but think the money might be better spent on a pair of nice compressors to hang off the mic amps you have.

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Re: Focusrite ISA430?

Postby Arpangel » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:43 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:I would EITHER...

Fix up the Skeet pre's and add a stereo compressor of some description. It's a good option because they're quiet and transparent, you already own them (!), they're going to be impossible to sell if they're not quite working perfectly, so you'll have to get them fixed if you want to replace them anyway, and you can add some colour on the compression side if you choose.

OR

Go for 500 series stuff, because although it's a significant outlay, it's a good way to get a dual mic amp AND a compressor, AND possibly eq or other things into a small and (relatively) economical form factor.

I would not buy a pair of ISA430's...They're nice BUT there are issues with a pair of them. Firstly, a lot of the controls are small and fiddly, which is going to be a factor when you try to match settings across the two units. They're a bit fussy in that respect. They're also quite 'soft'...the eq for example is very...lush. I don't know if that will suit you. The compressor is polite. I don't know if that will suit you. The mic amp is a great performer. You already have that. They're undoubtedly very high quality, at least the UK made ones were, but think the money might be better spent on a pair of nice compressors to hang off the mic amps you have.

Jack

Jack, thanks for your reply, you've said what I really think, deep down.
When Mike made those preamps, he made them up to a quality, not down to a price. They are only 60's text book circuits, but if built properly, sound amazing, most mixer manufacturers couldn't afford to build them, they'd have to cut corners to even get anywhere near making a profit.
Problem is Mike made them primarily for himself, and they are quite "primitive" with slot-in bread boards!
I'm going to take it apart and have a go myself, I know Mike will be looking over my shoulder, so I'll be OK "Come on boy! you can do it!"

:)
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Re: Focusrite ISA430?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:28 pm

I've obviously not seen your particular preamps, but I've seen several constructional designs he had published over the years and we discussed his 'Itza' designs on occasion. As I recall there was nothing unusual or exotic about them, so they should be fairly straightforward to fault-find.

What problems are you experiencing with them exactly?
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Re: Focusrite ISA430?

Postby Arpangel » Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:30 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:I've obviously not seen your particular preamps, but I've seen several constructional designs he had published over the years and we discussed his 'Itza' designs on occasion. As I recall there was nothing unusual or exotic about them, so they should be fairly straightforward to fault-find.

What problems are you experiencing with them exactly?

Thanks Hugh, I think it may be a PSU problem, sometimes they are just dead, and won't power up. Do you remember "The Box" by Tape Talk? a stereo field and phase meter? It has one of those attached to it and it gives strange readings sometimes, when everything should be OK I just get one red line straight up the middle, which means a mono signal, but sometimes it's fine, it's intermittent.
When SOS did an obituary on Mike, it featured a couple of surround processors that he built, his son gave these to me after he died. One has eight of his mic pre's in it, but as usual, nothing is labled! and it's a complex bit of kit, so I can't work out how to just use the preamps, also I don't have a PSU for it.
May be, at some point, we might meet up Hugh, and I'll show you these things, in the meantime, I'm going to open up the mic pre, and have a gentle poke around, I know Mike did say to me once that he had to re-seat the boards occasionally, so this may be the problem.
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