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Neve 1073DPX vs BAE 1073 vs Aurora GTQ2
Old 21st April 2020
  #1
Neve 1073DPX vs BAE 1073 vs Aurora GTQ2

Looking to get a dual channel pre/EQ in the 1073 style. Haven’t heard much about the new Neve version other than a YouTube demo (that sounded great). Haven’t heard anything of the Aurora, but it’s reputation is good. Of course the BAE is considered the best almost anywhere you look. But is it twice as good? If I went with the BAE I’d def get a single channel for now.

Basically wondering if the new Neve is the way to go. Seems like it’s a tad darker than the BAE, which I think I might like. I’d be using for synths, bass guitar, vocals, and drum machines. Thanks!
Old 21st April 2020
  #2
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargyro View Post
Looking to get a dual channel pre/EQ in the 1073 style. Haven’t heard much about the new Neve version other than a YouTube demo (that sounded great). Haven’t heard anything of the Aurora, but it’s reputation is good. Of course the BAE is considered the best almost anywhere you look. But is it twice as good? If I went with the BAE I’d def get a single channel for now.

Basically wondering if the new Neve is the way to go. Seems like it’s a tad darker than the BAE, which I think I might like. I’d be using for synths, bass guitar, vocals, and drum machines. Thanks!
Hello!
Plenty of threads on this topic, just do a search..

so my quick and dirty opinion...:

BAE or Avedis MA5 (in the 500 series) is the way to go.
Aurora is also a great piece and highly recommended (and you could actually get a full channelstrip with the gtqc), it has a more open topend (non harsh)..

I'd would not get anything else if you're after a neve-ish preamp.



Cheu
Old 21st April 2020
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Hello!
Plenty of threads on this topic, just do a search..

so my quick and dirty opinion...:

BAE or Avedis MA5 (in the 500 series) is the way to go.
Aurora is also a great piece and highly recommended (and you could actually get a full channelstrip with the gtqc), it has a more open topend (non harsh)..

I'd would not get anything else if you're after a neve-ish preamp.



Cheu
What is it about the BAE that makes it worth double the price tag? I def want a stereo channel as another option with my stereo CAPI VP28/BT50s. That being said, if the BAEs are that much better than the others I listed, I’m not totally opposed to buying them one at a time for now.

Haven’t checked out the Avedis stuff. But I’ll def want to get the EQs equivalent as well then? Would that be the E27?
Old 21st April 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargyro View Post
What is it about the BAE that makes it worth double the price tag?
I had a look inside my BAE 1073D pre/EQ and it is literally a work of art.

The wire craftsmanship is absolutely stunning, there has been zero compromise on component quality and handmade build time.

There's the cost right there.
Old 21st April 2020
  #5
Old 21st April 2020
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I was in your shoes long time ago and ended up buying Heritage Audio DMA73, im so happy with it!
Old 22nd April 2020
  #7
Gear Head
 

I have the AMS Neve DPX and love it. I never personally tested it against one of the clones, but it sounds amazing to me. I am sure many of the clones sound just as good and apparently some people prefer them. Blind tests seem to be mixed as you would expect. For me the decision came down to a couple of things:

- The Neve DPX is half the freakin cost of 2-channels of BAE 1073. Even better if you go used.
- The ergonomics are awesome. Front panel DI and XLR, really good and useful metering at input, EQ and output. Inserts.

It's been totally reliable is on 24/7 at my studio.

It's pretty easy to get sucked into the whole Gearslutz popularity contest with this stuff.

"It's not a real Neve because is uses surface mount components."
"The U87ai, M149, TLM anything sucks." (or any other Neumann mic less than 50 years old.)

I buy vintage, i buy clones, I buy modern. We're living in the golden age of affordable, high quality, good sounding audio gear. You'll be happy which ever way you go. Everyone wins!

Chris
Old 22nd April 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgardnerma View Post
I have the AMS Neve DPX and love it. I never personally tested it against one of the clones, but it sounds amazing to me. I am sure many of the clones sound just as good and apparently some people prefer them. Blind tests seem to be mixed as you would expect. For me the decision came down to a couple of things:

- The Neve DPX is half the freakin cost of 2-channels of BAE 1073. Even better if you go used.
- The ergonomics are awesome. Front panel DI and XLR, really good and useful metering at input, EQ and output. Inserts.

It's been totally reliable is on 24/7 at my studio.

It's pretty easy to get sucked into the whole Gearslutz popularity contest with this stuff.

"It's not a real Neve because is uses surface mount components."
"The U87ai, M149, TLM anything sucks." (or any other Neumann mic less than 50 years old.)

I buy vintage, i buy clones, I buy modern. We're living in the golden age of affordable, high quality, good sounding audio gear. You'll be happy which ever way you go. Everyone wins!

Chris
Thanks! Money spent isn’t my #1 concern. I heard a demo of the Neve and thought it sounded great! Every clone I heard has that annoying extra top end that is so prevalent in modern gear. Not a huge deal. You can always roll some off, but I don’t really like that sound.

And yeah...I can get a stereo pair for half the cost. Thanks for confirming my gut feeling.
Old 23rd April 2020
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

I used to have a gtq2.. loved it. Sold it.. then went bae 1073 love it. Bought an aurora sidecar.. love it.

Honestly they are both solid and one or the other won’t prevent you from making great records. If your after a vintage 1073 the bae is probably as close as you’d get. The Aurora has a little more open top I feel like
Old 23rd April 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargyro View Post
What is it about the BAE that makes it worth double the price tag? I def want a stereo channel as another option with my stereo CAPI VP28/BT50s. That being said, if the BAEs are that much better than the others I listed, I’m not totally opposed to buying them one at a time for now.

Haven’t checked out the Avedis stuff. But I’ll def want to get the EQs equivalent as well then? Would that be the E27?
I’d suggest to test the units you’re interested in, since budget appears to not be a problem. So you can form your own opinion.

Avedis stuff is second to none, very high quality, extreme high headroom (in the 500 series, yes, that exceed most 19” rack units). The MA5 is an incredible piece imho.
The E27 is a stellar eq, although it’s not a neve-ish eq..it share its “muscular” nature.. it sounds sublime, it’s gyrator based to start with (which are a “high quality” version, so to say, of the inductors, they are more expensive). There’s a psp plugin that might give you a rough idea of what the e27 can do.. (the hw is better, but the plug is well made).
Everything you pass through the E27 sounds “better”..

Also his new E12G, is a gyrator based version of an api graphic eq (560) with more frequencies and sounds really good.. better than the cool ic based workhorse api’s, incredibly musical, has a lowend to die for imho. I wonder why there’s no more talk about it.

The cost of building something like the dpx is way lower due to the smd board used, thin pcb and traces and ribbon cables. It’s mostly made by a machine, so it’s faster and require much less manual work.

Some manufacturers build their stuff in china with very different wages and labor conditions.
Although AMS claims they make them in the UK (at least in the case of the dpx) but I don’t know/it’s not clear/stated if they assemble them in the UK (getting the motherboard premade overseas and then mounting/finishing it in the uk) or if they produce them there with pcb’s and components soldered from machines (smd), also their lump line pwr supply is probably not made in the UK, I guess).

When something break (and with the time it will), instead of repairing, they simply swap the whole motherboard and throw away the other one. Sometimes are cold solder joints or other relatively simple issues, but it’s faster, less time consuming (time is money), than having somebody go through it. That also tells you how non expensive is to produce that way, and how disposable it is.

I do think that other units sounds better, but this is not the (only) reason I’d not buy an ams.

I like to support small shops, that can fix this stuff in 2 minutes if needed. (In the last 12 years of owning MA5’s, E27’s, GTQ2’s, I never had a failure, and afaik there’s not a single MA5 that have failed, which says a lot of the build quality).

It’s entirely built by hand with discrete components and not machines.. and in the US, so this is what are you paying for.
Also our planet can’t afford the disposable way of living/buying that our society “established” in the last 20-30 years. This is my opinion of course, but this is another (good) reason to avoid this type of business.

Test them in your place (not with internet clips or forum opinions).. maybe you’ll still like the ams better, the good thing is that you’ll have your own (invaluable) first hand experience.

I hope this helps,

good luck



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 29th April 2020 at 10:18 AM..
Old 23rd April 2020
  #11
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the fxs's Avatar
 

500 series or 19" rack ?
Old 23rd April 2020
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
500 series or 19" rack ?
Leaning 19” as I have a strange grounding issue that affects my 500 stuff more often than the rack.
Old 23rd April 2020
  #13
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the fxs's Avatar
 

could also be the 500 series rack you're using, but that's for another discussion.

regarding Neve type 19" units, you might want to check these out, too:

http://www.audiomaintenance.com/acat...nded_info.html

http://www.thedonclassics.com/#rack-kits

the Don Classics are offered as a DIY kit or assembled.
Old 23rd April 2020
  #14
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toledo3's Avatar
 

The link I provided above explains how the BAE does not have the full amount of gain stages.

This leads to different amount of THD and different tone at some of the input gain positions vs the actual original circuit. With a design like this you have a different impedance at each input position, and the way it couples with mics can sometimes be slightly quirky. And with the originals, when you are go from a setting where another gain stage kicks in vs the one lower, you can find some interesting tone differences. This isn’t quite happening the same way with the BAE, or at least some of them...I am not sure they offer an actual 1:1 recreation.

That is not to say it doesn’t have the sound, and isn’t great quality. I think the BAE stuff is excellent. It is just something to consider when people say one brand is exactly like the original vs another. Most if not all have some changes.

One side of the SMD thing is that it can bring noise down quite a bit when implemented well.
Old 23rd April 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargyro View Post
Looking to get a dual channel pre/EQ in the 1073 style. Haven’t heard much about the new Neve version other than a YouTube demo (that sounded great). Haven’t heard anything of the Aurora, but it’s reputation is good. Of course the BAE is considered the best almost anywhere you look. But is it twice as good? If I went with the BAE I’d def get a single channel for now.

Basically wondering if the new Neve is the way to go. Seems like it’s a tad darker than the BAE, which I think I might like. I’d be using for synths, bass guitar, vocals, and drum machines. Thanks!
I had all of them and I sold the Neve DPD, BAE 1073 mpg and GTQC, then I got a Aurora Stinger and Chandler REDD pre and I'm good. The Aurora is amazing in my opinion.

BAE : Too soft and wooly
Neve DPX : Too tight, sharp and clean
Aurora: Very tight bass, no sharpness, added high end frequencies.
Old 23rd April 2020
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellohead View Post
I had all of them and I sold the Neve DPD, BAE 1073 mpg and GTQC, then I got a Aurora Stinger and Chandler REDD pre and I'm good. The Aurora is amazing in my opinion.

BAE : Too soft and wooly
Neve DPX : Too tight, sharp and clean
Aurora: Very tight bass, no sharpness, added high end frequencies.
Hmm. I wasn’t aware that the new Neve was built in China. That makes the Aurora all the more impressive. It did have a but of the top end, but again, nothing a nudge down probably wouldn’t do away with.

I also like the idea of Geoff having been Neve royalty. Thanks for all the responses.
Old 24th April 2020
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Don't overlook my eq's, the EQ-2NV, topologically based on the old Neve stuff, but different just the same. Musical, quiet, don't do anything nasty, and built in Minnesota, just like those f'ing pillows.
Old 24th April 2020
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post

The cost of building something like the dpx is way lower due to the smd board used, thin pcb and traces and ribbon cables. It’s mostly made by a machine, so it’s faster and require much less manual work, also built in china with very different wages and labor conditions.
Yes SMT can be less expensive to manufacture. And thru-hole is definitely much easier to repair making it less disposable as you say. (Edited to say what I meant which was agreeing with cheu78 on repair issues. Typing without proof reading.)

On the other hand, the DPX is made in the UK, not China. You're just wrong there.

Last edited by cgardnerma; 2nd May 2020 at 11:56 AM.. Reason: Made a mistake
Old 24th April 2020
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargyro View Post
Looking to get a dual channel pre/EQ in the 1073 style. Haven’t heard much about the new Neve version other than a YouTube demo (that sounded great). Haven’t heard anything of the Aurora, but it’s reputation is good. Of course the BAE is considered the best almost anywhere you look. But is it twice as good? If I went with the BAE I’d def get a single channel for now.

Basically wondering if the new Neve is the way to go. Seems like it’s a tad darker than the BAE, which I think I might like. I’d be using for synths, bass guitar, vocals, and drum machines. Thanks!
If you really want 2 channels, the Aurora is a great piece. Personally, I'd prefer 2 channels and would (if I were going for the Neve thing) get the GTQ2. I had to sell mine, for non audio reasons. You get them used for around $2300. Its a great deal.
Old 24th April 2020
  #20
Lives for gear
 

These comparison threads are so subjective, I sometimes can't believe I'm reading about the gear I own.

When I demoed 1073's, most to my ear (and especially the AMS Neve) sounded very vanilla, the stand out for me in character and tone was the BAE.

To hear it described here as soft and woolly just makes me think someone's BAE must be broken!

I only used mine yesturday on a lead vocal and it was just stunning in every way, soft and woolly are literally words I could never use to describe the muscular solid detailed rock and roll tone emanating from my BAE 1073. Go figure.
Old 24th April 2020
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
These comparison threads are so subjective, I sometimes can't believe I'm reading about the gear I own.

When I demoed 1073's, most to my ear (and especially the AMS Neve) sounded very vanilla, the stand out for me in character and tone was the BAE.

To hear it described here as soft and woolly just makes me think someone's BAE must be broken!

I only used mine yesturday on a lead vocal and it was just stunning in every way, soft and woolly are literally words I could never use to describe the muscular solid detailed rock and roll tone emanating from my BAE 1073. Go figure.
What model do you have ?
Old 24th April 2020
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisleberger View Post
what model do you have ?
bae 1073d
Old 24th April 2020
  #23
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Kronos147's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
If you really want 2 channels, the Aurora is a great piece. Personally, I'd prefer 2 channels and would (if I were going for the Neve thing) get the GTQ2. I had to sell mine, for non audio reasons. You get them used for around $2300. Its a great deal.
What Neve did you find the GTQ2 sounds like?

The GTQ2 Mk II, Mk III, and GTP8 I have don't sound like my Neve 3104's or my Brent Averill 1272's, at all.
Old 25th April 2020
  #24
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Cucaio75's Avatar
 

We had 2 vintage 1066, ams and bae 1073, chandler ltd1, a neve genesys and now a Neve custom series 75.
The most close to vintage 1066 are the heritage audio 1073 and 1084 with ha custom carnhill transformers and custom ha film and electrolytic capacitors.
They are entirely made in EU, extremely high end in every aspect and are the less costly of all hi end neve clones.
Old 25th April 2020
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
What Neve did you find the GTQ2 sounds like?

The GTQ2 Mk II, Mk III, and GTP8 I have don't sound like my Neve 3104's or my Brent Averill 1272's, at all.
I was speaking in generalities. The GTQ2 mkIII I had would/should be compared to the 10XX series, and that was what Geoff Tanner was using as a starting point. He calls it an "evolved 1073." It does the transformer heft thing oft associated with the 10XX series. Just running audio through it, you can hear the effects of the transformers. You can drive the input and compensate with the output to add various levels of saturation. The EQ, is simple, but effective. Its a very high quality piece sonically worth every penny.
Old 25th April 2020
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Kronos147's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Just running audio through it, you can hear the effects of the transformers.
I thought the same as you until I really tried it.

I ran 20 channels of audio through the GT preamps; 2 GTP8's and the two GTQ2's, as a test to see how much of an effect they have. All as balanced inserts on my console. Drums, bass, guitars, electric and acoustic, vocals.

I didn't hear it much of an impact. Maybe it's my ears...

I find Geoff's preamps very transparent. Great preamps, but not as colorful as one would think reading some of the GS comments.
Old 25th April 2020
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
I thought the same as you until I really tried it.

I ran 20 channels of audio through the GT preamps; 2 GTP8's and the two GTQ2's, as a test to see how much of an effect they have. All as balanced inserts on my console. Drums, bass, guitars, electric and acoustic, vocals.

I didn't hear it much of an impact. Maybe it's my ears...

I find Geoff's preamps very transparent. Great preamps, but not as colorful as one would think reading some of the GS comments.
The very first thing I did the night I installed my GTQ2 I was just running things at line level into it. I A/B with a friend present. If you didn't hear a difference doing that I don't know what to tell you. My buddy and I both did. Its not a night and day thing, but its there for sure. The low mids filled out, and the high end had a slightly different, more pleasant presentation. This is before applying EQ, before touching the gain.
Old 29th April 2020
  #28
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgardnerma View Post
On the other hand, the DPX is made in the UK, not China. You're just wrong there.
I corrected my post, although I don’t know if they assemble them there or produce from scratch there. Have you more insight?

Are you working for AMS or have a business relation/interest? if so, please, put that information in your signature, these are the forum rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cgardnerma View Post
Yes SMT can be less expensive to manufacture. And it is definitely much easier to repair making it less disposable as you say.
This is NOT what I meant. It’s not particularly easier to repair..
Trashing the whole board and REPLACING it with a new one (because a component has gone bad or a cold solder joint) is NOT repairing, and as said it’s a disposable practice that our world no longer can afford.

Plus some components might be too close to others and with thin pcb traces and the lower temperature needed to solder smd components you might get colder solder joints.. (like also some ams customers, and I imagine others manufactuers as well, experienced in some units).
So I’d not call this easier to repair.
It’s cheaper, because it requires less time and since the board is smd made and not expensive, then it’s a “viable” solution from en economic point of view.

It’s a similar “thinking” as in most consumer electronics.. like tv’s and such.. they place condensers close to heat sources, so they know that they’ll have a limited lifespan, so in 5yrs it’s cheaper to buy a new one and trash the old one for a condenser gone bad that was intentionally placed there, this is plain stupid (I’m not saying that ams is placing components to reduce their life span, I’m just making the analogy in building cheap and trashing the whole board because of costs/time advantages).



Cheu
Old 29th April 2020
  #29
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Stephen Bennett's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I corrected my post, although I don’t know if they assemble them there or produce from scratch there. Have you more insight?
From the AMS site

The quality is legendary. Designed and built in England, the modern-day 1073®DPX is produced to the exact specifications of the original with matched components to ensure the sound remains true.

Stephen
Old 29th April 2020
  #30
Gear Nut
 
Husky Squad's Avatar
You're absolutely right. And don't forget about luxury wall wart power supply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
I corrected my post, although I don’t know if they assemble them there or produce from scratch there. Have you more insight?

This is NOT what I meant. It’s not particularly easier to repair..
Trashing the whole board and REPLACING it with a new one (because a component has gone bad or a cold solder joint) is NOT repairing, and as said it’s a disposable practice that our world no longer can afford.

Plus some components might be too close to others and with thin pcb traces and the lower temperature needed to solder smd components you might get colder solder joints.. (like also some ams customers, and I imagine others manufactuers as well, experienced in some units).
So I’d not call this easier to repair.
It’s cheaper, because it requires less time and since the board is smd made and not expensive, then it’s a “viable” solution from en economic point of view.

It’s a similar “thinking” as in most consumer electronics.. like tv’s and such.. they place condensers close to heat sources, so they know that they’ll have a limited lifespan, so in 5yrs it’s cheaper to buy a new one and trash the old one for a condenser gone bad that was intentionally placed there, this is plain stupid (I’m not saying that ams is placing components to reduce their life span, I’m just making the analogy in building cheap and trashing the whole board because of costs/time advantages).



Cheu
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