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Focusrite ISA428 MkII Reviews

4.5 stars based on 5 customer reviews
Questions about the Focusrite ISA428 MkII?

Questions about the Focusrite ISA428 MkII?

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  • from Fredericksburg, VA May 9, 2013Music Background:
    Multi-instrumentalist, recording and mix engineer, studio owner

    The Go to Preamp

    I got this preamp based on it's versatility and a several hours of use during my training. I almost always go to this guy for overheads and hihat sounds, the filter is useful and has great phasing. The impedance settings really allowed me to squeeze a lot sounds out of my good but modest mic collection. I recommend this pre for anyone in need of unit that will deliver multiple sounds from fewer sources. The only reason for the 4.5 is I have not tried older focusrite units, or the channel strip to compare.

  • from Missoula, MT. May 25, 2012Music Background:

    Works for everything

    I gave this 4.5 stars because it sounds great with anything plugged into it from any sound source or instrument. As a full time studio owner having a pre that you know will perform time and time again is extremely important. The ISA428II fills this need exceptionally well. Stacking track after track is a joy and the switchable impedance is a must have. 50 ohm mics sound great on vocals with the 600ohm setting. Too much loading for your 200ohm mics, just switch to a higher input impedance. I have other great pre's but this Rupert Neve, transformer coupled pre-amp sounds as great, and sometimes better, than a lot of others and for a great price.

  • from NJ April 23, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, songwriter, engineer

    One of the best values on the market

    The first thing I recorded with this guy was a drum track. 2 overheads, kick and snare were all run through the isa. Previously, i was using UA 610 pre's which sound fantastic, but never gave me the wow factor on a kit. As soon as I hit playback I knew I had a winner. Big without being over colored, but not dull by any stretch. Very punchy, and balanced throughout the frequency range. Tracks i record with this take eq and compression extremely well, and it essentially makes my job much easier and enjoyable in the studio. The stepped gain knobs are pretty hot too. At this pricepoint it's a no brainer.

  • from Santa Barbara, CA November 8, 2011Music Background:
    Local Pro Musician and recording hobbyist

    sounds awesome, miss the VUs

    I would give this a 5 star since it is my favorite preamp of all time for just about anything except for the fact that this new MKii version took away one of my favorite features of my other older ISA428s and that is the big VU meters. Bring them back, and I'll give it 5 stars. If you don't care about the VUs, then you will find this to be the most awesome preamp for anything you can throw at it. Vocals, saxes, guitars, drums, etc...all amazing. Big but tight and controlled low end, perfect mids, awesome space and clarity in the highs. The features are good too with the filter, insert, variable impedance, etc.

  • from Melbourne, FL June 4, 2016


    So I've had this preamp for about two years. It is clean and accurate. I wouldn't say it imparts any major "sound". It just seems to take an accurate snapshot of what you're recording. But, I don't usually drive it very hard. Where this preamp really excels, IMO, it at the extremes of the spectrum. It gets the highs really well. And it has the best bass DI i have ever heard. It is tight an punchy and I record most bass players with a DI box directly into the 428. Some preamps tend to smear the low end a little bit. But, while the 428 loses nothing in the way of body, it never lacks definition in the low end. Its no slouch in the mid range either, but it is exceptional in the highs and lows. What is best about this preamp is all the features you get. Multiple impedince setting. High pass filter. Tons of gain etc. etc. It's like a commuter car. It may not be the most expensive car on the road. But it wins because it always gets you where you need to be. Good buy.

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