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Warm Audio WA73-EQ vs Heritage Elite HA73EQ
Old 3rd April 2018
  #1
Arrow Warm Audio WA73-EQ vs Heritage Elite HA73EQ

A fellow gearslut and myself got to do a quick shootout between these two budget Neve preamp clones last weekend. Tom from Tidepool Audio in Portland was kind enough to lend us the two units from his stock. First we recorded electric guitar. I had him arrange his song to include both clean and dirty tones. I carefully positioned two SM57's centered on the cone on his amp and ran each one into its respective pre and then straight into ProTools 12 via an AVID HD I/O. Then we overdubbed vocals. For this I selected the Neumann SM69FET microphone. I had both capsules facing forward and set to cardioid pattern. I positioned the mic so he was aiming at the middle between the two capsules. For the bass tracks, I simply had no way to record a pass through both preamps simultaneously, so they are in fact different performances. But you will still clearly hear the big difference between the two units.

All audio was recorded in 48/24 and not processed in any way. I matched levels as best I could on the way down. The EQ was not engaged for any of these tracks. For the guitars and vocals, I pushed the gain until I heard not nice breakup and then backed the gain down one step, and used the attenuator to leave ample headroom for the convertor and to match the levels of each unit. The gain setting was the same numerical amount for both the guitar and vocal tracks. For the bass DI, the Warm needed a good bit more gain (10 or 15db if I recall) to get the same level as the Heritage.

Here you can download the 48/24bit WAV files HERE into your DAW to listen. I have already posted my conclusions in another thread and I won't repost them in here. I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.
Attached Thumbnails
Warm Audio WA73-EQ vs Heritage Elite HA73EQ-dde980b1-f3be-4bba-9992-a254ca98c1be.jpg   Warm Audio WA73-EQ vs Heritage Elite HA73EQ-44ccc6c6-4b78-4887-bd18-87f80fbddea7.jpg   Warm Audio WA73-EQ vs Heritage Elite HA73EQ-7566f4f3-12de-4d90-a94c-abe4817f3017.jpg   Warm Audio WA73-EQ vs Heritage Elite HA73EQ-f7209989-9510-4636-b117-1046c0dbff0c.jpg  
Old 3rd April 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
They both sound usable to me. I prefer the Warm because it's a little "Warmer" haha. I've grown not to be a big fan of zingy tops, which I'm hearing more in the Heritage here. The Warm sounds closer to how I would want a final track to sound without any mixing being done at all.
Old 3rd April 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
After listening to loads clips and comparisons online I personally prefer the Warm TB12 so far. I’ve also heard a clip of the Warm with one of the opamps upgraded to a Hardy 990+c and I preferred it even more.
I think I’ll end up getting a TB12 and upgrade both opamps.
Old 4th April 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
ROCKER STUDIOS's Avatar
The reason they don't sound good is because you're using a capo on an electric guitar hahaha
Old 4th April 2018
  #5
Here for the gear
Heritage is deeper on the bottom end and has a bit more clarity along with harder sound in the upper midrange. In this comparison I preferred it to the warm which was cloudy, hazy and not as deep. Some people may prefer that but I'd rather have the choice to add the haze.. Thanks for your comparison.
Old 13th April 2018
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I think we all spend way too much time obsessing about the .05% difference between preamps. Both sound great. I know the previous Heritage 1073 clones and they're very nice, seems like the Warm ones are great too. I still want one (or the other) but got a great deal on some WA12s recently, so maybe next year...
Old 3rd May 2018
  #7
here is my point of view (I have two AML1073, which is a reference in 1073 clones):

1073 signature is a big smiley curve, with extended low and highs, a compressed sound with silky high freqs. I find the lows and low mids in the HE73 but not the hi-mids, these freqs are raised here (and in a bad way). It's too bad because highs are good too and in 1073 spirit.

WA73 doesn't have the 1073 sound. Lack of lows and highs, too much mids for a 1073. Closer to classic SS preamps.

faceplate of HE73 is great.

Conclusion: I prefer HE73, but this bad high mid rise is a drawback.
Old 15th August 2018
  #8
Deleted 4373f97
Guest
the warm sounds more like a bae. the heritage sounds like a heritage, which is good in its own right.
Old 13th October 2019
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosynth View Post
here is my point of view (I have two AML1073, which is a reference in 1073 clones):

1073 signature is a big smiley curve, with extended low and highs, a compressed sound with silky high freqs. I find the lows and low mids in the HE73 but not the hi-mids, these freqs are raised here (and in a bad way). It's too bad because highs are good too and in 1073 spirit.

WA73 doesn't have the 1073 sound. Lack of lows and highs, too much mids for a 1073. Closer to classic SS preamps.

faceplate of HE73 is great.

Conclusion: I prefer HE73, but this bad high mid rise is a drawback.
I’ve never heard any 1073 described as a bit smiley curve in my life. To me, this would be an inaccurate description, especially without engaging the EQ.
Old 13th October 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by YRLK View Post
I’ve never heard any 1073 described as a bit smiley curve in my life. To me, this would be an inaccurate description, especially without engaging the EQ.
That’s my words. Compare with others preamps and maybe you will understand.
Old 13th October 2019
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biosynth View Post
That’s my words. Compare with others preamps and maybe you will understand.
I’m not sure of your experiences—and I don’t say that condescendingly; simply as a fact.

I only know that I’ve done extensive tests with many vastly different preamps, and I’ve never heard any variety of Neve (1073, 1066, 1073LB, Vintech, Aurora, Avedis, BAE) that has even remotely reminded me of a smiley face.

As one example, would you say that an Aurora GT sounds noticeably more “smiley faced” than the ISA Two in this test?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8obsgwfxot...T%20A.zip?dl=0

Because I can think of a few preamps that have a slight presence lift to them, but even the more modern, more open “Neve” signature of an Aurora pre doesn’t sound smiley faced to me.

And the traditional Neve (to my ears) is so thick that it can quickly become tubby on the wrong source sans eq.

Just my 2 cents.
Old 13th October 2019
  #12
Make a vocal take with a neve pre (1272 like) , it’s perfect. Make the same take with a modern focusrite preamp for instance, you will have to make at least mid freq adjustments because of too rich mid freq (not musical).
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