The flagship channel strip.
The Frontliner has all tools on board to record vocals and instruments in perfect quality: it merges a preamp, a de-esser, an EQ, a compressor and tube saturation.
Thanks to it's individual analog I/Os, all these powerful, hi-end analog processors can be use not only while recording but also during mixing. The Frontliner is therefore not reduced to a front-end device. Especially DAW based studios can integrate high-grade analog processing at any stage of the audio production process.
- Three separate, individually optimized inputs for microphones, line signals and instruments.
- Discrete transistors/tube hybrid preamplifier to combine the advantages – high dynamic range and low noise operation of semiconductors with the musical qualities of tube sounds (appealing top end, beautiful spacial impression).
- 250 volts tube circuits in the preamplifier and for tube saturation stages.
- High-grade operational amplifiers from Burr-Brown at critical positions.
- The De-Esser applies SPL's method of phase cancellation for reducing sibilants. This innovative approach works much more neutral than traditional compression methods – a unique method for unobtrusive results and extremely fast operation.
- The compressor is operated by SPL’s double VCA drive circuitry. A differential stage eliminates side effects and the half load per VCA dramatically reduces THD.
- The operational amplifiers for the compressor circuitry meet military specifications. Therefore the regulating voltages are extremely precise – a precondition for high signal processing quality.
- Selected condensers for the EQ filters with pleasant sound characteristics. Especially with vocals, amplified frequencies are not sounding too bright, and on the other hand reductions can tame harsh sounds without sounding dull.
- Central star ground wiring scheme minimizes influences that could affect the ground paths. The audio ground is separated from the ground of the remaining equipment. This leads, in the truest sense of the word ”clean”, to considerably improved tonal quality.
- The power supply is built around two toroidal transformers, one for the audio voltages and one for the other supply voltages (tube heating, LEDs, micro controller etc.) Mutual interferences are excluded and lavishly over-dimensioned capacities ensure absolutely stable supplies for all audio circuitries.
- Options include 24/192 AD converter and in/output transformers by Lundahl
- Made in Germany
Maximum input level
- Microphone input @ 13dB gain: +9dBu
- Line input: +22dBu
- Instrument input: +11,5dBu
- De-Esser input: +21dBu
- Compressor input: +21dBu
- EQ-/Tube Saturation input: +21dBu
Gain control ranges
- Microphone input: +13dB to +68dB
- Line input: -20dB to +10dB
- Instrument input: +6dB to +43dB
Frequency range (-3dB)
- Channel strip: 10Hz to 50kHz
- Microphone preamplifier: ‹10Hz to 50kHz
- Line preamplifier: ‹10Hz to 50kHz
- Instrument preamplifier: ‹10Hz to 50kHz
- De-Esser: ‹10Hz to 140kHz
- Compressor: ‹10Hz to 180kHz
- Equalizer/Tube Saturation: ‹10Hz to 60kHz
Common mode rejection
(@ 1kHz, 0dBu input level and unity gain)
- Microphone preamplifier: ›80dB
- Line preamplifier: ›75dB
- Instrument preamplifier: ›75dB
- De-Esser: ›75dB
- Compressor: ›75dB
- Equalizer/Tube Saturation line: ›75dB
Total harmonic distortion
(in %, @ 1kHz, 0dBu input level and unity gain)
- Channel strip: 0.03
- Microphone preamplifier: 0.03
- Line preamplifier: 0.03
- Instrument preamplifier: 0.03
- De-Esser: 0.002
- Compressor: 0.007
- Equalizer/Tube Saturation Line: 0.01
Signal to noise ratio (A-weighted)
- Microphone preamplifier (VU=30dB): -91.5dB
- Line preamplifier: -94.7dB
- Instrument preamplifier: -95.5dB
- De-Esser: -97dB
- Compressor: -97dB
- Equalizer/Tube Saturation Line: -91dB
Dynamic range (unweighted)
- Channel strip: 110dB (microphone input › main outputs, @ 30dB)
- Channel strip: 112dB (line input › main outputs)
- Channel strip: 112dB (instrument input › main outputs)
- Microphone preamplifier (@ 30dB): 110dB
- Line preamplifier: 114dB
- Instrument preamplifier: 105dB
- De-Esser: 115dB
- Compressor: 115dB
- Equalizer/Tube Saturation Line: 112dB
E.I.N. microphone preamplifier: -127dBu
(@ 68dB gain, Rs=150Ohms, 20-22kHz)
- Two toroidal transformers
- Audio transformer: 20VA
- Transformer other currents: 15VA
- Fuses: 230V AC, 50Hz: 315mA/115V AC, 60Hz: 630mA
- Voltage selector: 115V/230V
- Power consumption: 29W
Dimensions and weight
- Housing (W x H x D): 482 x 88 x 261mm (Depth with controls and sockets)
- Weight: 5,7kg/12,57 lbs (w/o converter & I/O transformers)