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Focusrite ISA 428 / other preamp opinions and suggestions?
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Author Focusrite ISA 428 / other preamp opinions and suggestions?
science
Anyone have one of these or any experience with it? I'm starting to shop around for a multi channel pre unit, and the feature set on this one sounds perfect. Any other suggestions for stuff with similar specs/features are welcome as well thumbs up
panda30y
Nothing in the price range. It's not going to knock your socks off, but it's better than a mbox or digi preamp.
science
I'm not really locked into that price range. I don't want to spend crazy amounts of money on something, but I could go higher for the right piece of gear.

I'm just starting to look, so any suggestions would be welcome.
Babaluma
do you have to have the a/d conversion? if not you could just go with 4 really high quality pres, something like the api 3124:

http://www.apiaudio.com/3124.html

or the sebatron vmp4000:

http://www.sebatron.com/product_detail.php?id=92

never been a big fan of focusrite gear, but have only tried the low end stuff.
science
I'm definitely not set on having the A/D conversion. It would just be nice to have, and it caught my eye when I saw the 428. I actually hadn't even considered having it in a preamp unit before I saw it on that one.

The API 3124 was another one I was interested in - the 3124M+ to be more specific. I think the extra ~$600 would be worth it to me to be able to use it as a preamp/DI setup as well as a really nice 1U stereo mixer.

One more thing I was considering is the new Radial Workhorse 5000, which I could load up with whatever modules I want, obviously not limited to preamps. That's the most appealing option to me, but I have no idea when those will be shipping.
b3nsf
the 3124MB + looks fun too with that effects send and stereo mixer bus!

http://www.apiaudio.com/3124mb.html

just need a pair of RE-201's Guinness ftw!

edit: science you beat me to it!
panda30y
If you are willing to jump up in price range then we are in a whole new ball park of quad preamps. I assume you would want four pre's in a single rack? Because if you say no, there are too many options to consider. They're all good, just different flavors.

The first three off of the top of my head is the following (forgive my links, I'm naturally slightly biased, and I'm used to the site):

API 3124MB is excellent, well built, and sounds damn good, an excellent unit to consider. The mastering bus I can see being extremely useful, and would probably give you better than average analog summing.
http://vintageking.com/API-3124MB

John Hardy M1 Mic preamp I feel are terribly overlooked, and they sound great with great fidelity to them. The build quality is rock solid, and you get a VU meter.
http://vintageking.com/John-Hardy-Co-M-1-Mic-Preamp-Four-Channel

Shadow Hills Quad Gama is probably the sexiest one of them all. I have warned against Shadow Hills in the past, but the past half year they seem to have straightened out all of their build issues and I would recommend their products. Option of 3 output transformers give you tonal options, and the design looks dead sexy, and the giant rotary switches feel great and have a cool clicking sound!
http://vintageking.com/Shadow-Hills-Quad-GAMA-4-Channel-Mic-Pre-w-Iron -Mod;jsessionid=0a0101421f437ceaebd1902e4cfeb1afb25889d8dc9d.e3eSc3iSa N0Le34Pa38Ta38Qc3n0

Now if space is an issue with any of these preamps, the shadow hills is the 2U rackmount and has a gigantic power supply that would crush a small child in a 3rd world country. The API and the John Hardy have built in power supplies with an IEC power port in the back. I could be wrong on the API though, but I do believe it has an internal power supply.
Cougar82
Check out the A-Designs Pacifica. It's colored the perfect amount.

http://www.gearorphanage.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products _id=765&zenid=uvduf5q7b77t48l1vcf31um390
NV
I'm not a huge fan of Focusrite. They make decent equipment, but even their higher priced offerings have always seemed "decent" to me, whereas you could find other things at similar or lower price ranges that were amazing.

I've personally never tinkered with the 428 before, but I know some who have and the general opinion was "meh." If you're looking for a 4-channel pre in a similar price range you may want to check out the Sebatron VMP-4000E. There's also the Daking Mic Pre IV, which isn't much more expensive than the 428 and has a very solid reputation. For a bit more you could spring for an API 3124+, although beyond that the price starts to jump considerably for units with similar features. Realistically you can't go wrong with API, so if your budget allows for it that would probably be your safest bet. Anything beyond that price range and you're really paying for personal preference rather than quality.

One option would be to go for a 500 series rack and fill it with four pres of your choice, which would allow for mixing and matching different flavors. Some places offer deals on 500 packages - Vintage King will throw in a free API Lunchbox 500 rack if you purchase 4 500-series modules which saves you $375, and Mercenary Audio discounts each 500 series module you buy with a 500-series rack by $50, so if you intend on buying 4 pre modules right away you can save a fair bit of change. Still an expensive date though.
timmah
Sebatron stuff is NICE. Recorded a fair bit using a VMP, great range of tones from clean to warm and mushy.
IvanC
I know this is kind of an old thread, but if you want a single channel of great mic pre the Daking Mic Pre One is hard to beat, especially for the price.

http://www.transaudiogroup.com/daking/mic-pre-one.shtml

Ivan
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