The DRS-Q4M is a tremendously flexible single source recording platform. Combine Phoenix's versatile Class A preamp (featuring access to both cleaner and more saturated tones) with a 4-band gyrator EQ and you get a channel strip capable of producing rich and warm vocals, shimmering clean guitars, punchy drums, and much much more. 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 , the DRS-Q4M (pre with EQ) or (single channel pre), (stereo pre with EQ), or even the 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 or . 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.