Phoenix Audio DRS-2 Mic Pre / DI
Stereo Mic Pre With Direct Interface For Instruments.
What we think:
The DRS-2 is an excellent solid state preamp for recording clear and full bodied acoustic instruments, "in your face" electric guitars, dazzling drum overheads, punchy percussion, and rich, warm vocals. Additionally it's ability to accept line level signals means you can run instrument busses or even your entire mix through it to impart a warm analog tone and prevent the infamous "digital sterility" from infecting your mix.
About the Phoenix Audio Preamp:
I feel like there are so many pieces of gear out there described as a “desert island _____”, which is why I tried to stray far away from the phrase when coming up with an accurate description for the Phoenix Audio preamp. That said, there’s really no better phrase to describe it - so what the hell - IT’S THE DESERT ISLAND PREAMP!
The Phoenix Audio preamp shares some lineage with the vintage Neve 1073, but it’s far from just another clone - think of it as being more of a modern twist on that classic design. While featuring a transformerless input, the source of the Phoenix’s tone comes from its transformer balanced output stage which adds color, roundness, and additional depth when driven. After using the Phoenix on just about every studio application we could think of, there wasn’t a single case where it’s color didn’t enhance the source material in a positive way. For examples be sure to check out the 50+ videos we’ve shot using the Phoenix to get outstanding results on everything from jazzy female vocals to drums and a Rhodes keyboard to acoustic and electric guitars to country male vocals.
Additionally because of it’s dual gain control of both the input and output stage, if your recording application doesn’t require additional coloration there’s plenty of clean gain on the input to allow your output stage (color control) to be set very low, resulting in a cleaner and more pristine image of the instrument. Of course there’s a tremendous middle-ground on it’s color spectrum, which is why it’s so flexible. One final tonal option is to drive the transformerless input to the point of distortion, producing a more heavy-handed crunchy distortion that can be perfect for an effect heavy section or instrument. Again, the tonal possibilities with this preamp are gigantic.
Phoenix has gone to great lengths to ensure that all of their preamp models provide an identical sound to one another, so regardless of if you go with the 8 Channel DRS-8
, the DRS-Q4M
(pre with EQ) or DRS-1
(single channel pre), 2 Channel DRS-Q4
(stereo pre with EQ), or even the 500 Series DRS-1R
you’ll be getting 100% of Phoenix’s unique and exciting tone. Every model comes standard with a practical feature set all great preamps should have, including a hi-pass filter and phase reverse - the DRS-8 and DRS-1R also include "Mute" buttons. It can also accept line level signals for warming up previously recorded instrument tracks or even running a stereo bus through for added analog punch and coloration.
As mentioned, the Phoenix preamp shares lineage with the venerable Neve 1073 however it’s not a clone, so if you’re specifically after that tone we would recommend the Vintech X73i
. If you’re looking for an incredibly flexible solid state preamp with a rich and inspiring tone at an excellent price, look no further than the Phoenix Audio preamp line.
Stereo Class A Microphone pre-amplifier/DI
Phoenix Audio is dedicated to the development of Class A discrete technology used within high build-quality equipment designed for both the professional and the home studio environment.The DRS-2 Mic-Pre/DI uses our well proven and loved Class A output stage (DSOP-2) coupled with our custom wound output transformer, 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.The DRS-2 is the culmination of over 40 years experience designing Class A circuitry within the Audio Recording Industry.
The DRS-2 was the first bespoke product to be launched by Phoenix Audio in November 1999, and has enjoyed an almost “cult” following ever since. The Class A output stage (TF1) was originally designed by David Rees, the designer of the famous Neve 2253 Limiter and 2254 Limiter/compressor (amongst many other designs), as a retrofit for Neve modules, and the TF1 has now been superseded by the DSOP2 output stage
.The Class A, discrete, truly balanced, transformerless microphone input stage was designed to out-perform any transformer input for frequency response, yet has all the characteristics expected in a high quality Class A design, while the discrete, Class A, high input-impedance DI stage delivers a clearer, stronger and more defined and open sound that captures all the nuances and subtleties of your instrument.