SPL Sound Performance Lab FRONTLINER
Channel Strip, Model 2800


With the finest ingredients from SPL...
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Our Price: $2,699.00
List Price: $2,999.00
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SPL Sound Performance Lab FRONTLINER
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With the finest ingredients from SPL, the FRONTLINER is the flagship of SPL's channel strips and establishes the basis for world-class recordings – and each of its particular processing stages can be inserted into studio environments or DAWs like analog plug-ins!

The FRONTLINER has all tools on board to record vocals and instruments in perfect quality. It merges preamp, de-esser, EQ and compressor. The hybrid preamp with discrete transistor stage and separate tube stage combines high performance and neutrality with the option for sound coloration by enhancing the harmonic content with the switchable tube drive.

The unique one-knob de-esser employs a phase cancelling technique to reduce sibilants. With three bands, the EQ section covers the complete frequency spectrum efficiently, and a tube saturation control allows to apply distortion to any signal from subtle to reckless levels.
The compressor offers all classic parameters and a controllable automation of attack and release which adjusts the setting of time constants to the input signal – pretty much like a cruise control.

Thanks to the individual analog I/Os, all these powerful, hi-end analog processors can be inserted into any studio by the Frontliner pilot, i. e. to use them also during mixing and mastering. Thus it appears that the FRONTLINER is not reduced to a frontend device – especially DAW based studios get the chance to 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 semiconductor/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). Discrete construction is based upon single transistors instead of integrated circuits (ICs) from industrial production and ensures a higher level of optimization.
  • 250 volts tube circuits in the preamplifier and for tube saturation stages.
  • High-grade operational amplifiers from Burr-Brown at critical positions.
  • The SPL De-Esser applies the 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.


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/120V AC, 60Hz: 630mA
Voltage selector: 115V/230V
Power consumption: 29W

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