The Frontliner from SPL is their flagship recording channel strip. It boasts a well rounded feature set including comprehensive dynamics processing with a compressor, limiter and de-esser. The EQ section has a two bands of parametric equalisation, a selectable air band, and tube saturation. The Frontliner is equally as useful recording as it is mixing, with discrete stages of the channel strip boasting input and output connectivity. This offers flexibility especially for DAW users wanting to incorporate analog processing into their workflow.
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
SPL Frontliner Specifications:
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 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)
Power supply 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)
Note: 0dBu = 0.775V. Subject to change without notice.