Phoenix Audio Ascent Two Microphone Preamp with EQ

Product Category
Preamps & Channel Strips
Phoenix Audio
Sweetwater Purchase Link
Detailed Information

The Phoenix Audio Ascent Two EQ is a two-channel mic preamp/DI/EQ that takes a decidedly modern approach to Class A circuit design to serve up a broad tonal palette while retaining its vintage vibe. The 4-band Gyrator EQ circuit, designed to emulate the active inductor equalizer circuitry used in legendary vintage large-format recording consoles, is ideal for a range of tasks that include high-headroom mix buss tone shaping, deep frequency sculpting, and creamy Class A saturation. Featuring an electronically balanced, transformerless input circuit and discrete, transformer-balanced output stage, the Ascent Two EQ’s superior sonics, operational ease, versatility, and tonal dexterity have made it a favorite at Sweetwater — and it’s no mystery why. From audiophile clean to classic British punch, the Phoenix Ascent Two EQ does it all with poise and panache.

Hi-fidelity transformerless mic input stage

Phoenix Audio’s proprietary electronically balanced, transformerless mic input circuits handle fast transients while maintaining the smooth, warm, creamy characteristics that endear Class A mic preamps to recording engineers. Handily outperforming transformer-coupled designs in both frequency response and slew rate, the Phoenix Ascent Two EQ captures articulate, full-bodied, and punchy input signals, allowing you to drive the output stage for an immense range of pure Class A tone, from modern audiophile clarity to vintage-flavored warmth — and everything in-between.

The high-impedance DI circuit

The Phoenix Ascent Two EQ includes per-channel DI circuits with a very high 10 Mohm input impedance that notably features no field effect transistors. This design does not load guitar and bass pickups and allows the natural sound of both vintage and modern instruments to shine, while actually enhancing the tone with glimmer and growl as if you were plugged into your favorite amp. Synthesizers, drum machines, and even computer audio outputs can likewise be sweetened by the Ascent Two EQ’s direct inputs.

Easy, intuitive operation in the studio or on the road

Because you’re starting with an immaculate and robust electronically balanced input signal, the Ascent Two EQ makes it easy, quick, and intuitive to dial in the perfect sound for any source. The stepped input gain controls give you reliable settings recall, and with 70db of gain on tap, you can use your low-output ribbon mics on quiet sources. The variable output fader provides an additional 10dB of gain, simplifying your gain structure so you can zero in on the right sounds without getting tied up in complex gain staging. Drive the versatile DSOP-2 output stage to taste, dialing in vintage flavor as desired. Modern or vintage — with the Phoenix Audio Ascent Two EQ mic preamp/DI, you’ve got the best of both worlds.

Shape Your Sound with Gyrator EQ

The Phoenix Audio Ascent Two EQ employs the Gyrator EQ circuitry originally developed in the 1970s — a decade many engineers consider to be the golden age of solid-state audio electronics design. Designed to emulate the active inductor equalizer circuits used in legendary large-format recording consoles of the era in a quieter, cooler-running, and more cost-effective design; sweet-sounding and musical Gyrator EQ is ideal for a range of tasks that include high-headroom mix buss tone shaping, deep frequency sculpting, and creamy Class A saturation. The EQ circuit is a 4-band affair with an 80Hz highpass filter that can be deployed (à la Pultec) against bass boosts for an added palette of unique EQ curves. The Phoenix Audio Ascent Two EQ s as powerful as it is rewarding to use.

Four bands of Gyration for your tracks and masters

Under the hood, Gyrator EQ uses an ingenious aggregate of amplifier, resistors, and capacitors to achieve deliciously smooth and musical frequency modification. On the face plate, the Phoenix DRS Gyrator EQ gives you eleven bands divided into High, High-Mid, Low-Mid, and Low-frequency; each notched to battle-tested frequencies that range from a sparkling 15kHz down to a girthy 40Hz. A highpass filter is provided at 80Hz. Even at extreme boost/cut settings, the Ascent Two EQ’s highly musical filters behave with composure, maintaining the sonic essence of your original signal and allowing you to make bold EQ moves that never sound harsh, slurred, or phase-challenged. Used judiciously, these four filters deliver the highly coherent tone shaping you need for full mixes and mastering.

Versatile, intuitive EQ; session after session

The Phoenix Ascent Two EQ is a powerfully versatile, high-quality studio tool. Unlike many Class A EQs that have their way with your signal due to fundamental distortion characteristics, DRS Gyrator EQ preserves the purity of the input signal, so you can keep sounds transparent or saturate them to taste. And, doing so is easy and intuitive due to the Gyrator’s intelligent design and unerring musicality. For many engineers, the Ascent Two EQ equalizer section is their go-to EQ — used session after session on an endless variety of instruments, voices, and full mixes.

Masterful transformer-balanced output stage

Phoenix Audio couples their custom-wound DB694 output transformer to a fully discrete, proprietary DSOP-2 output amplifier, itself a direct descendant of the renowned TF1 amp that Phoenix chief designer David Rees developed as an upgrade for vintage Neve 80 Series console modules. Outperforming the TF1, the DSOP-2 represents a pinnacle of Class A output circuit design, offering a seamless tonal range from ultra-clean to gorgeously saturated. This output stage sounds so good, in fact, you may well find yourself using the Ascent Two EQ completely flat in order to enhance your signal with the punchy musicality of Phoenix Audio’s outstanding proprietary amplifier circuit.

Phoenix Audio Ascent Two EQ 2-channel Mic Preamp/DI/EQ Features:

  • Class A, transformerless, electronically balanced mic input stage
  • Transformer-coupled discrete DSOP-2 Class A output stage with custom-wound DB694 output transformer
  • Wired with mil-spec, silver-plated PTFE cable
  • Front- and rear-panel XLR mic inputs
  • 70dB of mic gain; additional 10dB of output gain
  • Switchable 48V phantom power
  • Polarity reverse switch
  • 15dB input pad
  • 10 Mohm Class A DI with 30dB of gain
  • Gyrator EQ with 16dB of boost/cut per band, HF and LF shelving, and bell-curve mid frequencies
  • Fixed highpass filter at 80Hz
  • EQ bands stepped to 21 detents for easy recall and stereo mastering or mix bus operations
  • LED gain metering