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Rating and Reviews: Focusrite ISA One Preamp

Give that microphone (and DI guitar or bass) tons of clean, transparent gain with this preamp, then add subtle character with its variable input impedances.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"The most versatile ore under $1000?" submitted July 25, 2011

By a customer from msn.com
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Features
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Value
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Musical Background: Recording Engineer, Semi-Pro Musician
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Sound: Clean and clear but can add some warmth if pushed. Very versatile and the multi-impedance settings allow for a wide range of custom tailoring of your mics. Feature: It has a very versatile preamp section and a separate and simultaneously usable DI section that includes re-amping capabilities. The variable impedance and extremely wide gain range make it a very usable and versatile pre amp that can make any mic sound really, really good. Ease of Use: Easy as can be! Quality: The knobs and buttons while requiring little force still manage to offer a distinct and positive feel and when the small buttons are pressed, they engage with a solid click.
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Focusrite ISA One - clarity is The Word" submitted August 7, 2009

By a customer from a-lehdet.fi
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Musical Background: Active musician, relative newbie behind the studio desk
Music Style: Folkrock
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Sound: ISA One sounds very clear and transparent. If you're looking for "warm" sound for vocals, this is not your preamp. But the clarity provided by ISA One was for me an eye-opener. Now my vocals sit in the mix so much better than with some tube pre's I've tried. Feature: The DI is great, so are the monitoring options and adjustable input impedance. But it has only one channel (I drool over the possibility to use two of these things and track a good acoustic guitar in stereo). And it's only a preamp, what with all the channel strips out there to be had for a pittance. Ease of Use: It's quite versatile, but the basic functions are straightforward enough. Quality: So it's manufactured in China, it's still top quality. Value: I paid 500 for this thing. The only alternative, price-wise, would have been the GAP Pre-73 (250 ), which is great but seems to have been sold out everywhere. Manufacturer Support: I took advantage of the "Forte4Free" offer and contacted Focusrite's offices in Germany. Very friendly and helpful people. Focusrite's website could use some redesigning, though. The Wow Factor: ISA One looks a lot like the device us Finns use for picking lingonberries in the woods. How's that for "sex appeal"? Overall: Now I'm able to track like a pro (gear-wise, that is). If I want a certain sound, I'll choose the right mic for the job. I don't dial more "Tube Warmth" from the cheap but feature-laden mic pre of yore.
26 of 30 people (86.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great preamp" submitted May 11, 2014

By Jonathan C in Myrtle Beach, SC
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Musical Background: Professional guitarist for 15 years
Music Style: Rock, Country, Blues, etc...
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Overall: I can't recommend this preamp enough. I wanted to get a preamp that was clean, but not too clean, and that's exactly what this is. This preamp has really improved the sound of my recordings. The DI is great as well. I bought this as a Blemished product, but can't find a flaw anywhere.
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"Fantastic Product @ a great price." submitted December 20, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: At home, 20+ years
Music Style: country, bluegrass
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Sound: Great sounding unit, professional grade stuff for sure. It's really nice to be able to adjust the impedence to tweak the sound. Feature: I like the vu meter and the knobs are nice. Ease of Use: You don't have to work very hard to get a great sound out of this unit. Quality: Very high quality for the price. Value: I think it's worth the price. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to deal with the company. The Wow Factor: I can't imagine finding a unit as good or better at this price point. Overall: I'll have this for a long time.
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"If You Want Professional Vocals, Get This Preamp!" submitted August 21, 2011

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Musical Background: Recording Engineer, Producer, Advisor
Music Style: Rap, Gospel, Christian,
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Sound: Beautiful,u can get different sounds with the impedance switch, from clean to character. Feature: Great features,can use mic pre and di at the same time. Meters are great! Ease of Use: No problems. Quality: Great solid build. Case is metal and leather strap is nice. Knobs are sturdy, but the plastic buttons feel a little cheap. Value: Man.....Get it! You will not be disappointed! This is a preamp channel out of a legendary $4 million dollar mixing board, for way under $1000, you can't go wrong! Manufacturer Support: Haven't dealt with them yet, but ive never had a problem with my other focusrite equipment. The Wow Factor: Beautiful and unique design, sexy analog vu meters and lights, not to mention the leather strap. Overall: My number one go to preamp! Would definitely buy again!
2 of 3 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Focusrite ISA One Preamp Customer Review submitted October 25, 2011

By a customer from aim.com
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Musical Background: Studio Owner/Mixing Engineer
Music Style: Hip-Hop
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Sound: Upgraded from a Trackmaster Pro to this. WOW. that's all I can say. I use it with a bluebird and a DBX166 and it's so clean Clients are satisfied with dry recordings. Feature: I mean it's a preamp. what more do you want? Very solid build? Ease of Use: Two gain knobs. Broad gain stages...and then a fine gain stage. Really opens up the possibility with how loud it can get. Quality: everything is WELL built. even the buttons feel Solid. Value: I'ma still a gear newbie. I'd need to compare it to other Pre's in it's price range Manufacturer Support: I don't know. Haven't needed em yet.
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