Phoenix Audio The DRS-1 Description
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Following on from the huge success of the DRS-2, 2 channel microphone pre-amplifier/DI, Phoenix Audio have released the single channel, half rack-width, mono Pre/DI
The DRS-1 Mic-Pre/DI uses our well proven and loved Class A output stage (DSOP-2), but also has our latest breakthrough in transformerless Class A, Discrete Mic Input Technology which gives a "valve-like" sound. It also incorporates our high input impedance DI circuitry.
Phoenix Audio The DRS-1 Specifications
- 1U half rack space unit: With 240V/110V mains voltage input selector switch
- Class A (TF1) Output specs. Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz +- 0.5dB, Maximum Output = +26dBu @ 1kHz, Noise = -90dB @ 20Hz to 20kHz.
- Output connections: XLR's and TSR 1/4" Jack on rear
- Phoenix Audios unique Class A, transformerless, True balanced Mic input stage.
Microphone inputs: XLR's on Front and Rear Panels
- Individual Earth Lift: Push-button Switches
- Gain Range (Mic input): -30 to -70 in 5dB steps With 10dB more available on the fader.
- Gain reduction: -20dB pad push-button switch (Mic input)
- High Input Impedance DI: Mono 1/4" Jack on front panel
- Gain Meter: LED Metering. (Green = 0dB, Red= +8dB, corresponding to 4 and 6 on a PPM Meter).
- Phantom Power: Switchable phantom on Push-button Switche
- High Pass Filter: on Push-button Switch
- Phase Reverse: on Push-button Switch
- Frequency Response Mic Input Stage: -0.4dB @ 40Hz, -0.3dB @ 25kHz
- Frequency Response: DI Input Stage: -0.3dB @ 40Hz, - 0.5dB @ 25kHz
- Typical Headroom: +24dB on Mic-Pre stage
- DI Stage gain: Maximum of 20dB
Phoenix Audio DRS-1 Review /
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OK I feel like I must be running a candy store when I talk about DRS series preamps from Phoenix Audio (UK) because when describing them I just keep using the word “sweet”. I don’t mean that as in “awesome”, I mean it literally has a way of delivering a sweetened version of your source every time. The DRS series is a transformerless input design, and transformer coupled output (DSOP-2 output) which seems to combine detail and presence with size and syrup-y smoothness. They feature +70dB of gain, -20dB pads, DI input, earth lift, and here’s a unique feature: XLR mic inputs on the front & rear of the unit! I think that’s great, if you’re in the control room and need to patch a mic in real quick, pop it right into the face of the unit and go. Phoenix Audio DRS preamps are designed in the UK by guys who started out as Neve console techs, and now built in the USA.
The DRS-1 is a tone monster, and gives you many staging options. You can turn the output fader (small knob) up all the way and hit the input amp stage a bit lighter for a cleaner sound, or you can turn the output down and get some drive happening and push it for some harmonic distortion. Drums can really benefit from this, giving a slight break up to say a snare drum, giving it an intense sort of edge that isn’t brittle but more ‘splat’. The depth and dimension delivered is very 3D, imaging just pops right out of the monitors. There is a sort of controlled sound going on that has a nice outline to it, while sounding like it’s dipped in a little bit of sonic syrup. I’m not talking about some kind of super character that saturates your tracks, it’s just that added goodness and tone wrapped around the tracks. The DI is big and rich with harmonic content as well, more sweet stuff. This is also a great “two-for” preamp in that I highly recommend running line level mixes through the DRS series to pick up on that DSOP-2 output section. If you mix in the box but need some goodness, trust me it’s a unique reach that you can milk for tonal character.
Conclusion: One of the more useful preamps on the market, and one of the more unique offerings all around. Phoenix Audio has a very unique output section that it seems anything can benefit from by running through it.