Focusrite Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre

Red 1 500 Series

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.

Red 1 500 Series Mic Pre – Focusrite’s signature sound in a popular, versatile form factor.

Key Features

Original Red circuit topology and components

Red 1 500 recreates the original Red 1 mic pre, made in England with the original circuitry and components (where commercially available) for that legendary signature sound.

500 Series "Lunchbox" format

For the first time, a Focusrite product is available in this popular portable rack format

Lundahl LL1538 Input Transformer

The original mix transformer used in the riginal Red modules helps to provide the unique sound and performance of this groundbreaking design.

Carnhill custom output transformer

An important contributor to the sound, the output transformer also allows Red 1 500 to drive long lines, ideal for remote and mobile applications for which the Lunchbox format was originally intended.

Grayhill gold-plated mil-grade gain switch

The switched gain structure of the Red 1 500 means accurate setting and recall, and with a solid, super-reliable, gold-plated selector switch you know you'll get repeatable results.

Suitable for virtually any microphone

With gain from -6 to +60dB in 6dB steps and a carefully chosen input impedance, Red 1 500 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, repeatable results, with calibration to ensure your levels are always spot on.

Polarity invert and +48V phantom power

Maximum microphone flexibility in the studio or on location.

Specifications

Tech Specs

Maximum Output +25.5dBu (20Hz–20kHz)
Maximum Input >+28dBu (200Hz–13kHz), >26dBu (160Hz-20kHz)
Mic Preamp Input Impedance >1.1kΩ (Nominal)
Frequency Response 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