Focusrite ISA Two

2-channel Mic/Instrument Preamp with 80dB of Gain, Switchable Phantom Power, Variable Hi-pass Filters, and Variable Input Impedance
Focusrite ISA Two image 1
Focusrite ISA Two image 1
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Focusrite ISA Two
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Transparency + Warmth = ISA Two

The Focusrite ISA Two mic preamp gives you the sonic essence of the legendary Forte and Studio consoles in a single rack unit chassis. You get two channels, with inputs for microphone, line-level, and direct instrument-level sources. A variable impedance selector also lets you dial in the warmth you want without sacrificing clarity. The ISA Two's DI and microphone inputs run in parallel, so you can blend the direct signal of the instrument with the sound of the miked up amplifier - a killer trick for getting bass sounds that are both fat and punchy. If warmth, transparency, and useful features are on your preamp wishlist, check out the Focusrite ISA Two.

Focusrite ISA Two Dual-mono Mic Preamp at a Glance:
  • The Focusrite magic: warmth plus transparency
  • Engineering it right
  • The Neve connection
The Focusrite magic: warmth plus transparency

Focusrite's ISA Two mic preamp has a distinguished heritage. Since its 1985 introduction, the transformer-based Focusrite pre amp has become something of a legend - and a benchmark for transparency. But there's something else going on. That something is a subtle warmth, courtesy of transformer core saturation. It's this apparent contradiction of warmth plus transparently open and unrestricted high frequencies, that identifies the Focusrite "sound" that continues to be in demand in top studios worldwide.

Engineering it right

The Focusrite ISA Two has some innovative thinking under its bonnet. Just what engineering innovations contribute to a superior-sounding mic preamp? For one thing, to eliminate the audible rolloff exhibited by preamps limited to the audible bandwidth, Focusrite ISA pres operate over a much greater range (10Hz-135kHz, in the case of the ISA Two). There's also the ISA topology that gives you up to 80dB of undistorted gain. How about variable input impedance, which lets you fine-tune the amount of "character" in your signal - from pristine transparency, to vintage warmth.

The Neve connection

Rupert Neve selected the Lundahl LL1538 as the input transformer for the legendary Focusrite ISA 110, and it's still the best microphone input transformer available - Focusrite specifies it in every one of their ISA Series mic pres. Mr. Neve also perfected the Zobel network (found in Focusrite's ISA circuit), which is responsible for the broad-bandwidth, ruler-flat frequency response exhibited by ISA preamps.

Focusrite ISA Two Dual-mono Mic Preamp Features:
  • Two channels of Focusrite goodness in a rackspace!
  • Lundahl LL1538 mic input transformer
  • Up to 80dB of gain
  • Variable input impedance
  • User-calibrated metering
  • Front-panel instrument and rear panel line inputs
  • Variable cut-off highpass filter
  • Rear panel balanced inserts
Your studio needs a pair of superb preamps - get 'em in the Focusrite ISA Two!

Additional Media

ISA Two User Manual
Studio Preamp Buying Guide
Price Drop: Focusrite ISA Two
Two Channels of Legendary Focusrite Warmth and Transparency
MESSE: Focusrite ISA Two

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Solid State
Number of Channels 2
Frequency Response 10Hz-135kHz
Phantom Power Yes
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TS (inst), 2 x TRS (line), 2 x TRS (Return)
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS (Send)
Rack Spaces 1U
Height 1.75"
Depth 11"
Width 19"
Weight 8.16 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number ISA Two

Customer Reviews

Based on 20 reviews
Write your review

Worth Every Penny

It lived up to all the Hype. I read a million reviews and couldn't decide on this or the BEAST by Warm Audio. I still want the Warm Audio Model but this is probably the best choice for beginners( even though more money ) because of the quality,Ease of use ( not a lot of knobs ) and most importantly to me at least was the transparency. It still has the ability to break up a guitar or over drive a dynamic mic if you want so you do have a lot of wiggle room if you want a more defined sound.I love the connections. I can either use my patch bay or my direct MIC inputs. I love this for mix downs and fast recording options.The knobs feel nice . I still need to adjust my meter setting in the back of the unit ( I already racked it ) and I'm hoping it fixes the one issue I have, the Meter. Its almost of no use to me but the sound quality ( to me ) makes up for it.With a little experimenting I was able to reach a comfortable understanding of how hot this pre amp can drive a condenser mic.I still gave it 5 stars because I love it THAT much. after I get the Warm Pre amp ( The Beast ) I hope one day to afford another ISA 2. 4 Channels of this would be insane for mixdowns,recordings ect.

Great Clean Pre

One of the biggest things I was looking for in a preamp was a nice clean sound that didn't distort. All I wanted was warmth, not necessarily color. This preamp delivers. I primarily deal with classical instrumental and vocal cliental. This makes the recordings sound great. Paired with a stereo pair of Shure KSM 141's you cannot go wrong. Great sound overall. Plus, when we do want the color, you have the option to really pop the gain up on the preamp and get that nice 110 sound. Just an awesome piece of gear really.
Music background: Classical Singer, Semi-Professional Recording Engineer, Student, Musician, Composer,

ISA Two is the One!

I owned the ISA One first and was so impressed by the quality and value ratio of the product. (clean & quiet.), that I decided to add two more channels of quality preamps....hence, the ISA Two. Love these preamps. Great service, too. As always.
Music background: Musician

Constantly usable, nice to set up.

I was using a multiple-unit interface and wanted to go to next level in sound quality. I met Sweetwater for first time and Tyler Berggren was the sales engineer. He took my experience and needs and made this suggestion. What a good choice! There is a lot of subtlety in sound work, and this unit has helped me understand and train and hear what everybody talks about. I can trust that any of my mics will sound their best, with some experimentation of course. There is a place for all kinds different equipment, but there is a lot to be said for solid units at each level and then concentrate on performance and technique and room sound! This unit is solid.
Music background: Percussion, voice, bass, field recording, lot of years.


my drums came alive , super sound warm, tone , all amazing
Music background: recording studio

Sweetwater Advice

Mickey Cushing

I used a lot of mic preamps during my decade-long career as a recording engineer in Chicago. Years ago, when I wanted to expand my sonic palette, ISA Two delivered everything I could ask for. The best part is the variable impedance selection. This section lets me completely reshape the sound of my dynamic mics. Buying an ISA Two felt like I'd doubled my mic locker! There's also plenty of clean gain onboard. Everything I run through this pre, from vocal mics to direct bass, sounds great.
See also: Focusrite, Focusrite Preamps