Colour Duo 2-Channel Colour Channel Strip Kit


The Colour Duo is the ultimate tool for adding analog color to your tracks. Each of the Duo's two channels is a full channel strip, with mic preamps, line inputs, and three Colour slots each.

You can purchase the Colour Duo kit on its own or with one of our Colour Bundles. The bundles contain stereo pairs of each Colour, so six Colours each. To learn more about each bundle, check out our Colour Format Page.

The ultimate Colour Palette

With the Duo we set out to make the Colour Palette of our dreams. Each channel features three Colour slots, with their own independent controls and bypass switches. 

New to the Colour section is the much-requested wet/dry mix control. The MIX knob allows for versatile parallel signal processing without making extra tracks in your project file. Push your Colour modules as hard as you’d like, and blend in the dry signal till you get exactly the sound you’re searching for.

The Colour Duo is the first Colour Palette that lets you swap Colours on the fly without any tools. Simply loosen the thumb screws on the front panel and the entire panel slides out, giving you immediate access to the Colours at any time.

World-class preamps

The Colour Duo features the same pristine mic preamps that made the CP5 our best-selling kit. With exceptionally low noise and 66dB of gain, this isn’t your interface’s built in preamp. Once you hear them at work, you won’t hesitate to record your most important sources with them.

The Colour Duo’s line input is an independent stage that bypasses the preamp completely. And since the line and mic inputs come in on separate jacks, you can keep both connected and just switch between them with the LINE/MIC button on the front panel. 

Versatile connectivity

We gave you all the connectivity we could think of. Why? Because we like you and we hate adapters as much as you do. We even equipped a power THRU jack so you can power multiple Colour Duo units from one supply.

Using the Duo

Two Channel Mic Preamp

Track your two most important sources or a stereo pair with the Duo's two world-class preamps. You can track clean to process later, or engage Colours for processing on the way in.

Dual Channel Strip

Use the two channels as line inserts to bring real hardware color to your tracks. Warm up a vocal with saturation or push a room mic to the extreme with a compressor.

Stereo Bus Processor

Add punch to a stereo drum bus or glue your entire mix together with tape and transformer saturation.

Full feature list

  • 21-detent stepped pots for easy recall and stereo operation
  • Easy Colour swapping
    • Front panel drawer slides out
    • Thumb screws require no tools to operate
    • Active switch mutes the signal to protect ears and speakers while swapping Colours
  • Power supply
    • Comes with an external, high-current (1.5A) power supply
    • Accepts 110-220v wall power
    • Regulated +/-16vDC and +48vDC outputs
    • Connects to case via 5-pin XLR jack
    • Can power up to four Colour Duos via the POWER THRU jack
  • Mic Input
    • 66dB of gain
    • +48V phantom power
    • 80Hz high-pass filter
    • Polarity
    • -20dB pad
  • Colour section
    • 3 Colour slots per channel
    • Individual bypass and Colour controls for each stage
    • Makeup gain/trim knob
    • Wet/Dry mix knob
  • Connectivity
    • 2 XLR mic inputs
    • 2 Combo XLR/TRS line inputs
    • 2 XLR line outputs
    • 2 TRS line outputs
  • 1U height 19” rack mount case
    • Anodized aluminum front panel
    • Powder-coated steel chassis
  • DIY kit
    • Comes with every part need to complete kit
    • Features our famous step-by-step photo instructions, interactive build map, and component sorting sheet

What the Pros are Saying

"So, do I like it? Hell yes, I like it! As I mentioned, I’m a long-time fan of DIYRE’s work and use their CP5 and EQP5 (preamps and EQs, respectively) all the time. I love the Colour Duo preamps for the same things I love the CP5 for: overheads that have all the depth and pinpoint definition of a beautiful drum kit, acoustic guitars that sound like they are right in front of the listener, and strings that need to shimmer through a mix. Combine these gorgeous sounding preamps with the options available in the Colour modules, and you can create almost any flavor of preamps you want. Not to mention, you’ll have a new processor for mix bus or track insert duties allowing you to add transformers, compressors, or EQ curves – the Colour world is deep and constantly evolving!"

-Don Gunn
TapeOp Magazine #144

Block Diagram

Audio enters the Duo through either the MIC IN or LINE IN. The MIC IN can amplify the mic signal up to 60dB, while the LINE IN has a fixed attenuation of -6dB. The MIC/LINE switch selects which input is sent to the rest of the unit.

Signal is then sent to the Colours in series. Each Colour contains a bypass switch, and a dual-gang potentiometer which controls gain before the Colour and attenuation after. The Colours feed a gain/trim stage to make up for the gain or loss from the Colours. This signal then feeds the wet/dry mix stage, where it is summed with the dry signal from before the Colour section. The COLOUR switch selects between the output from the mix stage or the output from the MIC/LINE switch. This feeds the balanced output which provides +6dB gain.


Line Input

Input Impedance 24kΩ 
Max Input Level 27.5dBu
Distortion 0.008% at 1kHz

Mic Preamp

Input Impedance 3.6kΩ with pad out, 7.2kΩ with pad in
Gain 20 to 66dB
Pad Attenuation 20dB

Line Output

Output Impedance 50Ω
Max Output Level +22dBu


Colour Controls Gain Range -6 to +12dB
Trim Control Gain Range -14 to +10dB (unity at center)
Distortion 0.005% at 1kHz with Colour section bypassed, 0.008% with Colour section engaged
Frequency Response ±0.2dB 20Hz to 20kHz rel. 1kHz
Power Rails ±16vDC, +48vDC
Power Input 100-240VAC, ~50/60Hz 2.5A

Customer Reviews

Based on 22 reviews
Diwas Gurung
Amazing unit, exceptional customer service

I have had the Colour Duo for almost a year now and it has become an indispensable part of my mixing/production rig. I am currently using the 15 ips, the CTX and the LTL Hitmaker module. The ease with which you can get that 'real' tangible - intangible texture on instruments and on the mix bus through this unit is pretty amazing.

The build it self was a bit involved for a novice builder like my self but I was able to make it work. However, a few months ago I began having issues with one of the channel's output where it would intermittently become much quieter in volume.

This is where I have to hand it the the folks at DIYRE, Peterson was patient and extremely communicative in trying to troubleshoot the issue with me. When all else failed I was able to send to them for repair. Turns out it was a few cold solder joints ( my fault! ).

Now I am happy to be reunited with my beloved Color Duo, thanks DIYRE for designing this amazing unit!

David (Scotland)
Full marks to DIYRE

Such a cool concept, incredibly well designed and executed, sound quality exceeded already high expectations. Fun to build but an absolute delight to use in studio. Support for one small (self inflicted) glitch during build was outstanding also. DIYRE fan for life - 11/10

Blair Hall
Soooo good

Got the Duo with 70's Character Colour bundle. Also purchased a pair of Royal Blues, an Implode, and a few others that haven't been built yet.
Pretty straight forward build. I've built a pile of pedals and some preamps and some DIYRE boxes, and other than it being a longer build than I'm used to, it was not difficult at all. Finally got to fire it up in the studio today and it is already delivering.
I loaded up a finished mix and replaced saturation and tape emu plugins on the 2-bus with a send to the Duo. Dialed lots of the 15ips, and a bit of the DOA and TM79 for some subtle grit and wow... the mix opened up and got that "3D" quality to it immediately. Next step was to swap out the TM79 for a pair of Royal Blues, so the chain is Royal Blue > DOA > 15ips. The Royal Blue really colours the sound... the mix took on a very different character, it changed how the mids were coming through... I ran that about halfway, and then a bit of DOA for some grime and again lots of 15ips for tape goodness... all dialed back slightly with the Mix knob. Sounds amazing. I still have to A/B between plugins and the Duo, and I have yet to try individual tracks or using it for tracking, but even just on the 2-bus this thing is a winner.

Sandra Selig
birthday present

My partner was thrilled to receive this for his birthday!

Amazing Instructions. Fun Build. Great Sound.

This was my first DIY build and I probably bit off a bit more than I could chew. That said, the amazingly clear build instructions quickly gave me a sense of confidence that allowed me to actually enjoy myself - more so than I expected. I would put on audio book in the evening and do some peaceful soldering. It was very satisfying and the whole thing took me about a week to build at a leisurely pace.

I screwed up some of the daughter boards by initially soldering header pins to the wrong side of the board. Even though this was clearly my fault, Peterson sent me two new boards and I was on my way again.

Then of course there's the most important question: how does it sound? I got the primary colours bundle and used it right away on an indie rock mix. JFT and CTX on the bass guitar for some grit and fatness, JFT and 15ips on the drum bus and then 15ips on the mix bus. It was sweet! I need to experiment a lot more but the 15ips on the mix bus adds that bit of saturation mojo that I'm looking for. It kind of fills in the gaps and thickens things in a good a way. I think a bit will always make a good mix better.

I'm seriously considering a second one.

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