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Bla B173 comparison with GA pre73 & bla b12a
Old 12th January 2014
  #1
Bla B173 comparison with GA pre73 & bla b12a

I decided to post some examples of my new Black Lion Audio B173 preamp. I also own a Golden age pre 73 mk1 and some black lion audio b12a preamps. The comparisons are different takes so take it with a grain of salt. I have to say all three preamps are great and have their strengths.

I also posted a mix of the song I was working on which features the B173 on vox and electric guitar. You can really hear the b173 preamp growl on the 2nd chorus vocals. The preamp drives very easily.

Vox Chain : (treated room) Neumann tlm49>preamp>apogee ensemble
guitar Chain : anderson cobra>ZT extortion>mesa lonestar>heil pr30>preamp>apogee ensemble
Attached Files

b12a vox.mp3 (1.98 MB, 14219 views)

pre73 vox.mp3 (1.98 MB, 14517 views)

b173 vox.mp3 (1.98 MB, 14744 views)

Evidence of life mix snippet b173a.mp3 (4.84 MB, 12609 views)

b12a guitar.mp3 (1.76 MB, 11972 views)

b173 guitar.mp3 (1.76 MB, 12555 views)

pre73 guitar.mp3 (1.76 MB, 12207 views)

Old 13th January 2014
  #2
Lives for gear
 
DR Music's Avatar
Thanks for the Sound Clips!!!!
Old 13th January 2014
  #3
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DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribedescribe View Post
I decided to post some examples of my new Black Lion Audio B173 preamp. I also own a Golden age pre 73 mk1 and some black lion audio b12a preamps. The comparisons are different takes so take it with a grain of salt. I have to say all three preamps are great and have their strengths.

I also posted a mix of the song I was working on which features the B173 on vox and electric guitar. You can really hear the b173 preamp growl on the 2nd chorus vocals. The preamp drives very easily.

Vox Chain : (treated room) Neumann tlm49>preamp>apogee ensemble
guitar Chain : anderson cobra>ZT extortion>mesa lonestar>heil pr30>preamp>apogee ensemble
The B173 sounds very good to my ears...
Old 13th January 2014
  #4
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janjaal's Avatar
b173 surely sounds the best
but i'm now very interested in the b12a also...
thanx for sharing these clips
Old 13th January 2014
  #5
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DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by janjaal View Post
b173 surely sounds the best
but i'm now very interested in the b12a also...
thanx for sharing these clips
B12 did sound good as well. But the API vs BLA12 comparison in my own a/b was clearly in API's favor
Old 18th January 2014
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the clips.

Wondering if the b173 can drive a sm7b?
Old 19th January 2014
  #7
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is there a mod for this yet?
Old 26th January 2014
  #8
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mikeyman's Avatar
 

I was kind of disappointed after Matt had finished the build and we all follow it on Facebook and he got all of us interested in the custom design and special componets he was using ,the other guys change the design after he sold the company...Why??
Having said that I have the B173 and recorded 2 rythum guitars with some crunch thru the DI and they came out nice.Kind of smooth to the ear creamy kind of sound.
Old 28th January 2014
  #9
Here for the gear
i dont think it was becasue of BLA i think it had something to do with dizenoff
Old 28th January 2014
  #10
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mikeyman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cserrano View Post
Yeah. I would like to know what changes they did to the design and why. It sounded like Matt's design was going to be very special.
yea no **** cserrano...we were very close to something special
Old 5th February 2014
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Flexable's Avatar
Wondering if the b173 can drive a sm7b?

Quote:
Originally Posted by statixx View Post
Thanks for the clips.

Wondering if the b173 can drive a sm7b?
Good question. Anyone?
Old 12th February 2014
  #12
Here for the gear
The b173 has 80 db of gain, so I would think that it can drive the sm7b, or anything else, just fine. And by the way, it sounds great.
Old 30th July 2014
  #13
Gear Addict
 
a2dpapi's Avatar
 

I like this little design bit

Received this from Neil Ziesing, a BLA advocate which I thought was pretty cool:

"We had an technical exchange with our German Distributor and a German Magazine editor yesterday.

They had an inquiry about the B173 which I found very interesting.

Specifically they had a question about the stepped gain pot on the B173.

It starts at +12dB, two steps (each 10,5 db?) until 33 dB, two steps (each 5,5 dB?) until 44, two steps (each 4 dB?) until 52, two steps (each 5 dB?) until 62 and so on…

As you can see this is neither linear, nor logarithmic.

So off to Jesus Ortiz, our lead design engineer for an explanation.

The gain steps are set up for different gain uses. In testing we noticed that it was uncommon for guys to use the lowest settings so precision with smaller steps seemed less neccessary. As you get into the middle, that's when we found that guys were needing finer steps. The higher settings go back to the higher steps because it seemed like most guys weren't using too much above the 73dB point."
Old 31st July 2014
  #14
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spambot_2's Avatar
I liked the body of the pre73 and the (apparently, to me) "faithfulness" of the 173.
Were I to choose, I'd get the pre73 for most stuff.

Thank you very much for the time you took to compare them three, TS!
Old 12th September 2014
  #15
Gear Nut
 

B173 with mix

Nice song/production. I can hear it in a James Bond movie or something. Oh, the B173 sounds great. Thx for posting.
Old 28th September 2014
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Tommyswami's Avatar
I've seen these around nice work love cool audio also if your looking for color try the Pacifica by a designs it sounds great it's focused has it's own blend of color nothing like anything else the Avalon obviously if your not looking for Color it's nice to hear people that care about audio!
Old 29th August 2016
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Bump.
Anyone crack the b173 open for me and let me know what edcor output tyranny they used? I have a couple of ga pre 73's that I'm going to experiment with. I'm going to put carnhills in one and the cinemag/ edcor combo the b173 uses in the other and see what I come out with.
Links and audio clips to follow

Last edited by ThePanaceum; 29th August 2016 at 01:46 PM.. Reason: Spelling / grammar
Old 14th February 2018
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePanaceum View Post
Bump.
Anyone crack the b173 open for me and let me know what edcor output tyranny they used? I have a couple of ga pre 73's that I'm going to experiment with. I'm going to put carnhills in one and the cinemag/ edcor combo the b173 uses in the other and see what I come out with.
Links and audio clips to follow
DId you change it finally?
Old 7th March 2019
  #19
Here for the gear
 

I love the soud of bla 12
Old 26th June 2019
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Bla 12 sounded best to me on vocals. Less sibilance than the Pre73 and just a bit more natural than the B173. I liked the Pre73 most on electric guitar. I thought the B173 was clipping and not in a pretty way on the electric. Overall the Bla12 was the most well-rounded in my opinion, and the Pre73 surprised me as being brighter than I usually think of it. I just listened to a Pre73 Premier vs AMS Neve DPA thread and came away with a similar conclusion.
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