Our preceding recording channels Track One and Channel One have already been successful units by combining fast and easy operation with high processing quality. These channel strips particularly benefit from previous developments for single processors: the DynaMaxx compressor/limiter delivered the essentials for the respective channel strip stage, the unique SPL De-Esser is also available as a single, dual-channel unit – and the preamplifier modules were also derived from existing products.
The development of new units in the last years inevitably evoked the wish to conceive a new channel strip which would benefit from our latest achievements.
Now the Frontliner comprises the same discrete, hybrid semiconductor/tube preamplifier design like the GoldMikeMK2. The compressor module is based upon the Kultube providing a full set of classic controls. We also integrated the Kultube's highlight, a signal-dependent automation of attack and release parameters which can still be influenced manually – with this option, manual and automatic control can be merged to always find the best settings.
The EQ section provides two semi-parametric filters for low and mid band as well as a bell filter delivering a silky and smooth top end. This filter set offers a perfect frequency first aid kit and is rounded off with a Tube Saturation control.
In contrast to semiconductors, a tube does not clip from a certain level, but approaches its limits by increasingly producing harmonic distortions. The sound effects from saturating a tube can often be used to improve the audio signal. The sound results resemble tape saturation effects and increase the density and perceived energy in a very pleasant way.
The task of a channel strip is relatively complex. There is not one specialized device for one job, but a unit that combines a lot of technology for the preamplification and processing of audio signals. That is why especially the Frontliner benefits very much from SPL’s innovations for targeted, efficient work. The SPL De-Esser, for example, performs a highly complex processing, but can simply be adjusted with one single knob.
The straight and clear front panel design also supports fast and safe operation.
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
Maximum output level: 21,5dBu
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
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
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
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
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/120V 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/ca. 12,57 lbs (w/o converter & I/O transformers)
Note: 0dBu = 0,775V. Specifications are subject to change without notice.