Phoenix Audio began as a UK based company with a history in Neve console repair. These guys know Neve and more significantly, they know VINTAGE Neve. Fortunately though, they decided to bring us something new rather than regurgitate audio products that had already been heard and used. The Phoenix DRS-1R takes inspiration from classic Neve designs, but provides a new spin on the classic sound.
Perhaps the biggest departure is that the phoenix preamp does not have an input transformer, but instead is electronically balanced. What does that mean sonically? The phoenix has clean gain available in its input section. When you need a track to have sharper edges and cut through a mix more easily with less low-end baggage to carry with it, the phoenix can be an excellent choice. It's got more focus and punch than classic neve designs.
Its output control DOES still have a real vibey transformer on it, and there's quite a lot of gain to be had at the output. When you want to round off the edges, push a track a little further back in the mix and thicken it up, just pull the input gain down and make up for it with more output. We've never been able to distort the phoenix preamp when boosting the output gain, and that's where its color comes from. With the phoenix preamp, you'll never be walking that tight-rope of pushing the preamp as hard as you can while trying to avoid clipping the input section and introducing audible distortion... No, with the phoenix, you can crank its output wide open for maximum color and never fear the clipping that you'd get from other preamps.
Available in mono (1/2RU or 500-series), stereo (1RU) or in 8-channels (2RU), the Phoenix DRS Mic Preamp/DIs take a modern approach to Class-A circuit design that delivers a wide range of tones without sacrificing the beloved vibe of true Class-A design. The unique DRS circuit can go from ultra-clean sounds suitable for audiophile recordings all the way to the warm, saturated tones reminiscent of the UK's most heralded vintage designs. Versatility and superior sound have made the DRS Preamp/DI a top-tier choice for engineers around the world and a modern day classic.
Our exclusive electronically-balanced, transformerless mic input circuit delivers fast transients and the full frequency spectrum (from sub-bass to the highest air band), while still delivering the full, warm and smooth characteristics that make engineers love Class-A mic preamps. Boldly outperforming transformer-based designs in both the frequency response and slew rate, the DRS delivers articulate, punchy and full-bodied input signals, allowing you to drive the output stage for a vast range of pure Class-A tones—from bold clarity to vintage warmth, and everything in-between.
Our custom-wound DB694 output transformer is coupled to Phoenix's proprietary, fully discrete DSOP-2 output amplifier. The DSOP-2 is a direct descendent of the venerable TF1 amp which Phoenix's head-designer, David Rees, developed as an upgrade for vintage Neve modules. Going beyond the TF1, the DSOP2 is the pinnacle of Class-A output circuit design, offering up a smooth transition from ultra-clean to beautifully saturated tones.
The DRS-1, DRS-2, DRS-8 and DRS1R-500 include very high input impedance DI circuits (10Mohm)—remarkably featuring no FETs—on every channel. This design means that guitar and bass pickups are not loaded, allowing the natural sound of both modern and vintage instruments to shine and actually enhancing the sound, sparkle and growl as if they were plugged into your favorite amp. Synths, drum machines, and even laptops can likewise be sweetened by the DRS's DI.
Because you're working with a clean, robust, electronically-balanced input signal, the DRS Mic Preamp/DI makes dialing in your exact sound easy, intuitive and quick. By working the familiar stepped input gain control (up to 70db alone) and the -30dB pad against the variable output fader (which provides an additional 10dB of gain), you can dial in your preferred tones without having to consider an overly complex gain architecture. It's all about driving the versatile DSOP-2 output stage to your exacting tastes, whatever they may be in any given moment. Like so many other engineers, you'll find yourself reaching for the DRS Mic Preamp/DI over and over again to reliably deliver a vast array of outstanding sounds for any instrument or voice you're recording.