Focusrite’s ISA range is based around the original ‘no compromise’ designs that recording console design legend Rupert Neve built for Sir George Martin back in the mid-1980s, and every unit delivers the sought-after Focusrite Heritage Sound that lies behind thousands of top class recordings made over the intervening years in the world’s leading studios. With the ISA Range, you can put that sound at the heart of your own work – and the ISA 430 is the most sophisticated of them all: a complete channel strip in which every element can be used independently or patched in virtually any order – including a classic mic pre, versatile EQ, VCA/optical compressor, expander/gate and de-esser.
Here are the differences between the MK I and MK II:
The 430 and 430 MkII are sonically very similar. The pre-amp, compressor, EQ, gate and de-esser circuits use the same designs. The elements in the MkII which will give a different sonic result are the vintage opto compressor or VCA limiter modes (instead of VCA compressor) and the switchable input impedance (between high, med, ISA 110 (same as 430 Mk1), and low). Additional differences between the 430 and 430 MkII can be found below:
Mic and line coarse gain on rotary switch instead of pots
'Air' switch which induces inductor circuit for an open sounding high end
VU meter calibration switchable between +4dBu and +18dBu
Compressor 'Blend' control allowing you to mix between compressed and uncompressed signal
Extra insert point, allowing EQ and dynamics to be split
The ISA 430 MkI uses the same digital card as the ISA 220 and it is still available in the shops. For the 430 MkII a new digital card was designed and it will not work with the MkI.
The MkI digital board outputs AES on a balanced XLR connector and S/PDIF on an RCA phono jack and also on an optical connector.
The MkII card supports 176.4 and 192KHz sampling rate which the original card did not and the jitter figure and noise performance are slightly improved. The outputs are different too: a 9 pin D-sub connector outputs either AES or S/PIDIF and allows you to route a digital signal to a maximum of four different places. There is also ADAT 8 channel optical out and S/PDIF 2 channel optical out. Both cards have word clock in and out connectors and support Digidesign 256x superclock.
Pro Tools HD M149 Focusrite ISA 430 Mk1.....I for one prefer it over a 1073 for certain things hittt
The Amek 9098 pre is AWESOME. It's untouchable. I have API, Avedis, Millennia HV3D, Focusrite ISA 430, Avalon M5 and 737s, BA 1073, and none of those pre's do what the 9008 can do in a mix. It's one of those rare pre's that hit the spot, and no one knows anything about them....
At the time ISA 430 Mk1 was introduced to the market I could not afford it so for me it's a small comfort that it was better. Nevertheless I have some other Focusrite products: ISA 428 MkII, Liquid 4pre and I used to own Voicemaster Pro before and I was glad with all of...
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