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A couple of question for ISA428 MkII owners Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 24th September 2010
Gear Nut
herrvlad's Avatar

A couple of question for ISA428 MkII owners

Hi all,

I'm thinking of buying a Focusrite ISA428 MkII preamp.

However, I'd like to know a couple of things before I do so.

First of all, have you encountered any build quality issues (I understood that the units are made in China)?

And do the new 482 run as hot as the older one?

Old 24th September 2010
Lives for gear
tapehiss's Avatar
The reason for the MKII was to correct these questionable factors in the build quality.

The new units are said to have corrected the heat issue, which was a main factor.

When you consider the price, it's a great deal..... especially if you need to add A/D.

I had the original 428 (the one with VU meters) and it was a great pre.... The MKII is the same, but with some corrections and cost cutting.
Old 24th September 2010
Lives for gear
BradLyons's Avatar

I'm been a huge fan of Focusrite dating back to late 1990's---both as a USER/OWNER and on the sales side of things. I've sold more Focusrite products in that time than most anyone else and the main reason was conviction in the product and company itself. When it came to the ISA range in recent years I've sold countless units and rarely did I ever receive anything resembling a negative feedback. Sure, there were a small few that just didn't like it but for the vast majority everyone was impressed and very happy. This range of users went to those with budding and high-end home studios to major recording artists and studios. Over the years I've owned (3) ISA428's and an ISA828 (not to mention many other of their products) without as much as a hiccup.

The ISA's get HOT, VERY HOT due to the transformer design---there's no way around that. BUT in the ADC option, that was a big issue for many that it would overheat and lose clocking. This has been resolved in the mkII design, but frankly the real reason for the mkII design was to re-align the product to be more affordable both to build AND to bring to market. They found that removing certain items...such as the VU meters really didn't affect the useability, but it sure brought the price down. This is just one example.

Yes, the products are built in China---but what isn't today? There's a difference between just having a manufacturer build the product and setting up your own manufacturing systems in China---and China has both. I saw a fair amount of "B-stock" Focusrite ISA products in my time---but that's also because the ratio of Focusrite ISA range of products compared to other manufacturers was significantly larger. There are those that do not like or even despise Focusrite, but it's a good product!
Old 24th September 2010
Gear Nut
herrvlad's Avatar

Thank you both for your replies!

Especially Brad's reply was the kind of one I needed, I'll quite surely buy that 428 now. :-)

Damn, you must be hell of a good salesman too! ;-)
Old 24th September 2010
Gear Nut
Rupert Limehouse's Avatar

A couple of question for ISA428 MkII owners

I've had 5 ISA 428s for about 3 years and am very happy with them - very clean with just enough colour not to be bland but they stack really well when you have a lot of channels going (I have a Liquid 4Pre if I want to dial in more colour). In that time one channel of one unit has gone down - the only annoyance is that the indicators on the knob caps seem to get out of alignment very easily - time to get the glue gun out!
Old 24th September 2010
Gear Addict
ScottTunes's Avatar

Originally Posted by herrvlad View Post
I'm thinking of buying a Focusrite ISA428 MkII preamp.
Another Focusrite ISA428 fan here!

I think, based upon my experience, you will like it very much! As mentioned, it stacks well, and tends toward the "cleaner," less colored end... The A/D converter is quite handy, and works well. I use the extra 4 inputs for some ancient Ampex pre-amps to complete the picture for me.

As far as heat being a problem, I haven't noticed... However, I have used an external clock source, maybe that's why I haven't noticed...
Old 24th September 2010
Gear Addict
Fabi's Avatar

WE have the old version here and although I really like it its been broken countless times.
I hope the new one is better in that regard.
Old 24th September 2010
Gear Nut
Jan1973's Avatar
Are there any plans for an 828 MK II ?
Old 25th September 2010
Gear Addict

Congrats on your decision, the 428 is a true all-around workhorse, and I highly recommend the AD card - excellent conversion at any price. My older 428 used to get pretty hot but I took off the hood and now it's fine.
Old 25th September 2010
Gear Nut
herrvlad's Avatar

I have read a lot of Focusrite bashing here, but after all it seems that there's quite a few fans too!
Old 8th March 2016
Here for the gear

ISA428 MKII Insert Sends Query

I have a query about this preamp...

Will a copy of the output signal still be present at the insert send ports if the 'insert' button is not selected? If this is the case then the insert sends could be used an additional auxiliary output for each channel.

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