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HomepageMic Preamps500 Series Preamps › Focusrite Red 1 - 500
Focusrite Red 1 - 500

Focusrite's sought-after 1993 Red Range mic preamp returns, in the popular 500 series 'lunchbox' format.

The Focusrite Heritage - in a new format
Focusrite's Red Range was a direct development of Rupert Neve's designs created for Sir George Martin's AIR studios in 1985. The range rapidly gained legendary status following its release in 1993 and the Red 1 soon became a sought-after mic preamp in the world's top studios, thanks to its ability to get the best from almost any microphone and its unique, signature Focusrite sound.

Featuring the same circuit topology and components (where available) as the original transformer-based 1985 mic pre designs for AIR Studios, and made in England, the Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre offers the same performance as the original Focusrite Red microphone preamplifier - but in an increasingly popular format: the 500 Series, or "Lunchbox" portable modular system. It's ideal for mobile/location use as well as in the studio.

If you love the Lunchbox format and you want to bring that special Focusrite Heritage Sound into your studio, then Red 1 500, with its signature red anodised aluminium front panel, is for you.

Focusrite Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre
Red 1 500 offers a compact interface to digital recording systems or for location recordings as well as convenient access in any control room, with a Lundahl LL1538 input transformer, just as in the original; switchable phantom power; polarity invert; and an illuminated classic porthole VU meter. The output stage of Red 1 500, with its custom Carnhill transformer, will easily drive long cable runs without loss of quality - ideal for remote recordings. Mic gain is switched (with a Grayhill gold-plated military-grade switch) in 6dB steps from -6 to +60dB, for accurate, precise channel matching and recall.

The unique Focusrite mic preamp topology provides superb common mode rejection, excellent overload margin and, with its shared gain structure, (14dB from the transformer and up to 46dB from the amplifier) a very low noise floor, combined with the traditional wide bandwidth of the original Red series (10Hz to 140kHz). This exceptional level of performance is maintained over a wide range of impedances applied to the input, making the Red 1 500 suitable for almost any microphone - ribbon, dynamic or condenser.
  • Classic Red circuit topology & components A mono mic preamp that uses the same circuit design and components as the original Red mic pre - the Red 1
  • 500-series 'Lunchbox' format For the first time, a Focusrite product is available in this popular portable format.
  • Original input & output transformers Features the same Lundahl LL1538 input transformer and custom Carnhill output transformer as the original Focusrite Red 1 and Red 8 microphone preamps. The use of these very high quality transformers gives the Red Series its transparent and expensive-sounding character.
  • Grayhill gold-plated military-grade gain switch The switched gain structure of the Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre means you can accurately recall preamp settings and, with a solid, super-reliable, gold-plated selector switch, you know you'll get repeatable results.
  • Suitable for virtually any microphone With a gain range of 66dB and a carefullychosen input impedance, the Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre is perfect for almost any microphone, be it ribbon, dynamic or condenser.
  • Backlit VU meter with switchable calibration The built-in VU meter helps gain accurate results, with calibration to ensure your levels are always spot-on.
  • Specifications
  • Maximum Output: +25.5dBu (20Hz-20kHz)
  • Maximum Input: >+28dBu (200Hz-13kHz), >26dBu (160Hz-20kHz)
  • Mic Preamp Input Impedance: >1.1k (Nominal)
  • Deviation at 30dB gain (20Hz-20kHz): ±0.1dB
  • Bandwidth (-3dB) at 30dB gain: 103 kHz
  • Range at 60dB gain (-0.5dB): 125Hz-24kHz
  • Bandwidth (-3dB) at 60dB gain: 32Hz-75kHz
  • Output Noise (min gain): -104.5dBu CCIR-RMS, -107dBu A-wgt
  • Harmonic Distortion: (30 dB gain, -30 dBu input)
  • Third Harmonic: -101dB (0.0009%)
  • Second Harmonic: -88.5dB (0.0038%)
  • THD+N (20 kHz bandwidth): -88dB (0.0039%)
  • CMRR (24dB gain, -4dBu input, 1kHz) Common mode test: 102dB
  • IEC 60268-3:2000 test: 89dB
  • Reviews
    Free shipping in Canada. Conditions
    Additional information
    For more information about the Red 1 - 500, please visit the website of Focusrite
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