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Neve 1073 vs 1272? Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 3rd May 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Neve 1073 vs 1272?

What is the difference between those two preamps? Do they sound different?

I can see that companies like Vintech offer replicas of both versions. What do you prefer?
Old 3rd May 2007
  #2
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vernier's Avatar
They react differently as one is more powerful.
Old 3rd May 2007
  #3
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by switch1 View Post
What is the difference between those two preamps? Do they sound different?

I can see that companies like Vintech offer replicas of both versions. What do you prefer?
Hi

The problem is that a 1272 is just a line amplifier with approx 39dB basic gain. It's a drop in module used as a bus amplifier in vintage Neve consoles.

It does not have a stepped gain knob... that role was reserved for the 1290 which is a 5.25" high microphone amplifier. The 1272 is a 5.25" high line amplifier.

Now, the world and his wife make knock offs of a 1272, or they use authentic 1272's and modify them. In each case you are NOT listening to a 1272... you are listening to an OEM company's interpretation of how to wire a Neve module... which isn't the same as Neve would do it ... because they didn't use it as a mic pre, except for talkback mic amps on consoles and even then they weren't wired the same way as the cloners.

So, what folk think a 1272 sounds like may not be what a 1272 really sounds like.

The 1290 is basically the same circuit path as the 1073 when the EQ is not selected. Up to about 50dB gain the clone 1272's may sound passably like a real 1272 but above 50dB gain it will sound like what it is.... and that isn't a 1073/1290.

Old 3rd May 2007
  #4
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Thebassist's Avatar
 

Been telling people for years that the 1272 isn't a mic pre. Thanks for the authoritative answer, Geoff!

FWIW, I still love my 1272 clone.

Old 3rd May 2007
  #5
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Haha, now I am REALLY confused:P

So this : : VINTECH AUDIO : : has the same sound as the preamp side of this : : VINTECH AUDIO : : ?
Old 3rd May 2007
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by switch1 View Post
Haha, now I am REALLY confused:P

So this : : VINTECH AUDIO : : has the same sound as the preamp side of this : : VINTECH AUDIO : : ?
No they aren't the same...the X73 is punchier and brighter than the Dual 72 (at any gain settings of either). There is no real 1272 preamp to compare a 1272 clone to, as Geoff said, they never existed as a mic preamp, so yes it's an interpretation of the circuit. Who cares though, good sound is good sound, I like that there is a variation on the theme to mix it up a bit.
Old 4th May 2007
  #7
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Fletcher's Avatar
The Vintage Design CA-73 is the best I've heard in "clone world"... but as always, YMMV.
Old 4th May 2007
  #8
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The Vintage Design CA-73 is the best I've heard in "clone world"... but as always, YMMV.
thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
Old 4th May 2007
  #9
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halfguard's Avatar
 

ive heard that the 1272 and 1073 have a similar build with very similar components? any truth to that....
Old 4th May 2007
  #10
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which cloners make 1290 ?
Old 4th May 2007
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000 View Post
which cloners make 1290 ?
Hi

Nobody, alas, which is a shame. JLM Audio make an adaptor kit to convert a 1272 into a 1290.

No connection with the firm, etc.

Geoff
Old 4th May 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfguard View Post
ive heard that the 1272 and 1073 have a similar build with very similar components? any truth to that....
Hi

Partly true as they both have the same mic transformer, BA283/AV amplifier, and LO1166 output transformer but the 1073 has an extra gain stage on the BA284, a stepped gain switch, and (obviously considering that it's a channel amp with EQ and the 1272 is a line amp) different circuitry.

I get a little tired of exaggerated claims of one module sounding like another because of similar components when the circuit diagrams are not similar. Neve never put a gain switch on a 1272... they created the 1290.

But, that being said, there are similarities in the sound, like two parallel lines that part as the gain rises and above 45/50dB gain, the sound will not be the same because the cloned versions don't use the same gain structure as the 1290/1073 and drive the pre stage practically up to open loop gain (minimal feedback) while leaving the second stage virtually idling.

Neve talkback amps, that ran at 70dB gain, had the gain equally split between the preamp and the output amp.

Still, even a miswired Neve module sounds better than some correctly wired other pres... it's just that if you want identical sound to a 1073... get a 1290.

Old 4th May 2007
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000 View Post
which cloners make 1290 ?
I believe that's the idea behind the SOUND of pieces like the Vintech 273 and the AMS Neve DPA.
Old 4th May 2007
  #14
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how about the seventh circle ?
Old 4th May 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000 View Post
how about the seventh circle ?
Hi

Well, they don't use the three stage set up like the 1290 and the 1073 but they do use the "balance the gain across both stages" system that Neve used when using the 1272 as a talkback mic amp so, in my humble opinion, this eliminates the issue with the over stressed pre amp on the other clones and would work better.

A 1290 it isn't, a nice pre it is.

Seventh Circle Audio

No connection with the firm, etc. (but, on my site's Ask Geoff Neve questions forum, that system is how I recommend folk to wire their 1272s. The system most cloners use is based on a circuit posted on the internet by a non-Neve understanding soul some years back).

Old 6th May 2007
  #16
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Drumsound's Avatar
This looks pretty cool and well thought out.

The Awesome Switch
Old 6th May 2007
  #17
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MarkJ's Avatar
 

I've got a couple chan. of bae 1272's now and I got a couple chan. of vintage 1073's and a couple chan. of new 1073's on the way and will happily give my thoughts and maybe some battle royal sound clips...I'm expecting the new and old 10's to sound pretty much the same myself.
Old 6th May 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
This looks pretty cool and well thought out.

The Awesome Switch
Hmmmmm.....

Interesting little diatribe about Neve modules and their cloners! heh

Personally, in my very humble opinion, if you are going to bother to design a custom circuit board to fit inside a 1272, in the desire to make it sound like a 1290 or 1073, you might just as well bung the extra components on that pcb to make up the circuitry on the BA284 and be done with it.

e.g. JLM 1272 Switch Kit

But if you want to go through the bother of modifying it so that it'll only do 50dB of gain but achieve it properly (one hopes, I've not seen the circuit) then this will do the task. It will certainly be less expensive.

Bottom line is that all three of us agree that the way most cloners wire them is wrong!

Re the diatribe...

Neve applied the 1272 as a line amp for make-up gain on a passive mix buss and while it is a fact that the module was used as a "line amp", there is more beneath the surface which many people who claim the 1272 is "just a line amp" seem to overlook. The buss impedance used on these consoles was somewhat unique in that it was set at an impedance close to the output of a microphone. So while symantics will tell us that Neve used a "line amp" for their makeup gain on the mix buss, when you look at a schematic you'll see that the "line amp" is set for 150ohm input impedance. Thats a mic pre. The mic input impedance on a 1073 is typically set for 150 ohms, same as a 1272. The console requires a mic pre for the buss make up gain, and thats exactly what they used, a mic pre at a fixed gain with a fader for trim. They labeled it "1272".

With respect, that's nonsense! The bus levels and impedance were a product of the number of sources to the mix bus. It was never aimed to be the same as a microphone... this could not be further from our thoughts! Generally the level worked out in the -35 to -40dBu region which was just dandy for the 1272 (or 3405/3415) to amplify it back up to line levels.

On smaller consoles one had to watch that the bus impedance didn't rise too high such that it was a poor matching impedance into the 10468 transformer and, in these circumstances, we'd shunt the transformer with a parallel resistor to bring the level and impedances down.

What we NEVER did, as far as I can recall, is use the 1272 on a bus bar with a 300 ohm paralleled primary because this would mismatch the bus impedance and create a whole new can of worms.

It was me, back around 1972, that started the system of adding tables onto console circuit diagrams that listed the numbers of feeds, what their bus resistor was, what the resultant bus impedance was, and what level this produced when a source fed one of those bus resistors. This enabled me, as the Head of the Electrical Drawing Office, to check the sums and make sure that they were correct and that the line amps had the correct amount of gain make up.

If a bus impedance was 150 ohms (and that would have been a big console) then this was the product of the sources onto the bus. It should be noted that this 150 ohm impedance included the 1200 ohms of the bus amp input transformer. It was not just set to the "output of a microphone"! heh

Anyway, a 1272 is a line amplifier. You can turn it into a mic preamp with a few modifications but it was designed, specifically, as a line amplifier. The 1290 was the (non-EQ) mic preamp.

Steps off soapbox and wanders away....

Old 6th May 2007
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfguard View Post
ive heard that the 1272 and 1073 have a similar build with very similar components? any truth to that....
Yeah, they're both Neve.

The certainly have similar components, but the 1272 is not a preamp only version of a 1073 as many people seem to believe.
Old 20th January 2015
  #20
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

.....in sound..... Lol
Old 21st January 2015
  #21
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
This looks pretty cool and well thought out.

The Awesome Switch
Yes, that type switch is what turned my 1272's into 1290's. I am happy with 50db of gain.......
Old 21st January 2015
  #22
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintageidiot View Post
Yes, that type switch is what turned my 1272's into 1290's. I am happy with 50db of gain.......
Can you elaborate some more? Which 1272s do you own? What changes did you hear?

I've listen to my 1272s, along with 1073s, and thought they sounded a lot more alike, than different, but they were not exactly the same.
Old 21st January 2015
  #23
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
I had vintage 1272's recapped and wired with stepped pots/resistors, like THE SWITCH, by NorCal tech James Gangwer. Being recapped, they sound superb, not sure I can compare them to a standard 1272 modded. There are so many variables that it would be hard to pinpoint the source of any differences usually, the switch/circuitry being the most important, as noted by guru Geoff a few posts back.....
Old 1st February 2015
  #24
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Addition of this type of switch to a 1272 is considered the proper avenue to a 1290 preamp.

Custom Electronics
Old 1st February 2015
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hmmmmm.....

Anyway, a 1272 is a line amplifier. You can turn it into a mic preamp with a few modifications but it was designed, specifically, as a line amplifier. The 1290 was the (non-EQ) mic preamp.

Steps off soapbox and wanders away....

My Goodness Geoff.......How you survive the Minutia is totally beyond me especially with NEVE variants! So far......JLM, yourself and AMS have all been great gear partners! I know the tedium.....though keep on writing the wrongs!
Cheers
TLB
Old 1st February 2015
  #26
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I think you mean "righting the wrongs." Writing the wrongs is different! I subscribe to the theory of if it sounds good, it is good.
Old 1st February 2015
  #27
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Ari-M.'s Avatar
 

Completely different gain staging....single vs dual range....add an amplifier in the circuit path ....different impedance characteristics....etc etc etc

a quick look at a schematic should lend some insight
Old 3rd February 2015
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Laborer View Post
I think you mean "righting the wrongs." Writing the wrongs is different! I subscribe to the theory of if it sounds good, it is good.
No.....Geoff on this forum Literally "Writes peoples wrongs" and corrects the Neve minutia, most of which I have no clue about, I.e the number of times the Carnhill, St Ives, Belclare or (Insert Trafo) has been wound and by what length, the lamination, the core, the.......Insert Geoff's knowledge!
Old 8th June 2015
  #29
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
Let us not forget that the venerable Telefunken V72 is not a mic pre either, yet it has enjoyed a wonderful life modded as one.....
Old 8th June 2015
  #30
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Tone Laborer's Avatar
NS10s weren't meant as studio monitors. FET 47s weren't intended as kick mics. Distortion wasn't intended. The recording world is full of these stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastByte View Post
No.....Geoff on this forum Literally "Writes peoples wrongs" and corrects the Neve minutia, most of which I have no clue about, I.e the number of times the Carnhill, St Ives, Belclare or (Insert Trafo) has been wound and by what length, the lamination, the core, the.......Insert Geoff's knowledge!
A screw ball way to turn the phrase, but I hear what you're trying to say.
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