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neve 1073 good first preamp? Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 17th August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

neve 1073 good first preamp?

hello,

i'm in the process of producing an emo/alt. rock album and it's time to upgrade an essential part of my equipment; the preamp. As of now i'm using the preamps of my fireface 800 which do the job, but are very clean and sterile. I have a Neumann U87 from the 70's which will be the mic for vocals and maybe some acoustic guitars.

I've been reading a lot lately on these forums and it's very confusing... The overall opinion seems to be that the 1073 is a great preamp for almost everything. But it has so little features in comparison to the millenia stt1, API 7600 or the Chandler LTD...

Is it wise to spend my budget on a 2 ch preamp with no eq or compression? Or should i buy a true ch. strip?

aaah! The choices are just too much!

advice anyone?
Old 17th August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 

if you "know" the 1073 sound and have had experience with it and you like the tone then yes. Buy one. heh

If you're unfamiliar with the sound then try a few models.
The A Designs Pacifica and Neve Portico come to mind.

Good Luck
Old 17th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty cooper View Post
hello,

i'm in the process of producing an emo/alt. rock album and it's time to upgrade an essential part of my equipment; the preamp. As of now i'm using the preamps of my fireface 800 which do the job, but are very clean and sterile. I have a Neumann U87 from the 70's which will be the mic for vocals and maybe some acoustic guitars.

I've been reading a lot lately on these forums and it's very confusing... The overall opinion seems to be that the 1073 is a great preamp for almost everything. But it has so little features in comparison to the millenia stt1, API 7600 or the Chandler LTD...

Is it wise to spend my budget on a 2 ch preamp with no eq or compression? Or should i buy a true ch. strip?

aaah! The choices are just too much!

advice anyone?
While the Gearslutz snobbery can be, shall we say "influential" to confusing... don't let it scare you.

Even though a true Neve 1073 is a nice pre, it isn't the best bang for the buck when you're building your earliest stages of a recording studio/set-up... the difference between some of the best 1073 "clone" type pres and an actual 1073 is VERY small in the big picture. (Here at Gearslutz, people love to argue otherwise)

Yes, a 1073 pre would be a great first or early pre, but you are right, go for something that also offers EQ, peraps try the Vintech X73 (1073), a pair of those and their EQ is darn good, BrentAverill, the same...

Just don't fall into the hype. Once you have ALL your bases covered, pres, comps, EQ, board, converters, monitors, room, etc.... THEN start worrying about the TINY difference between a new Neve or a vintage Neve, a vintech or Brent Averill, etc.

My two cents. Get more bang or your buck!

-andrews

Hope that helps.
Old 17th August 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
ToddF's Avatar
You might be confused when you say a 1073 has no features.

A Neve 1073 is a Preamp and EQ.
Keep in mind you will need a rackmount and power supply to use it.

Unless you are talking about the new Neve/AMS 1073DPA then nevermind.

Peace, Todd
Old 17th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
FossilTooth's Avatar
 

The 1073 is a good LAST preamp as well.
Old 17th August 2007
  #6
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
you gotta rent /borrow the stuff and hear it for youself.
I myself am partial to the Neve sound.own many channels.
if in the end you decide you like it and want to save some money..
then maybe look at the averill 1073/84's or Chandler LTD-1's.great stuff.
Old 17th August 2007
  #7
Gear Nut
 
MarkJ's Avatar
 

I would say that it would be better to get a lesser 2ch pair of chan strips if your just starting out. I have a few vintage neve strips and I love em to crap but if I was doing some rock (which I dont so I may be wrong) I might want a few different choices of sounds as tracking everything through a single 1073 might be a bit big/dark for all the tracks and every track would have the same characteristics of that 1073. maybe try a couple clones and some api stuff or some such setup of more choices for the same price.

but yeah the 1073's are bomb. I've had some clones and could tell the difference but then there is also a difference to me between my vintages and new 1073s. they all sound good though. wouldnt go all gearslutty and think you need to have a 1073 to sound good.
Old 17th August 2007
  #8
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neilio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
The 1073 is a good LAST preamp as well.

beat me to it.
Old 17th August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
you gotta rent /borrow the stuff and hear it for youself.I myself am partial to the Neve sound.own many channels.
thumbsup

Quote:
if in the end you decide you like it and want to save some money..then maybe look at the averill 1073/84's or Chandler LTD-1's.great stuff.
brent averill also makes 1272s which are the same sound (unless you need more than 50db) - no EQ though. have four original 1272s racked by him, but they say his '1272s' sound the same. haven't heard them. could be a good place to start.

i'll tell you one thing though, if you do get a real 1073 everytime you look at it you'll get a wam fuzzy feeling. something about the old stuff sittin' in the rack...
Old 17th August 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
TheGetDown's Avatar
 

I agree w/ whats being said. You could do MUCH better, bang-for-the-buck wise. and personally, I'm all about BFTB. Yes, I just coined a new internet acronysm
Old 17th August 2007
  #11
Gear Addict
 

I am probably at similar stage in my gear development as you are, I need a pre upgrade bad. I have used 1073's alot-but if I were in you shoes (which it sounds like I am) I would n't break the bank on a single 1073. I would acquire a pair of 1073's (or perhaps 1081's instead) a little further down the line.

I am one of those guys who believes you should start a record by tracking a live off the floor performance including vocals and add overdubs as needed- I just find it better emotionally. So I need more 'alright' channels than fewer 'awesome' channels. I have never even considered buying a 1073 as a starter piece, even though I am fond of them.

bang for buck deals for those in our boat:

-Aurora audio 8ch pre - $5000
-seventh circle N72 neve clone 8ch pre- around $3000 if you build them yourself
-daking 4ch or hardy 4ch + wunder 4ch around $5000 give or take $500
- 500 series rack loaded mainly with v design m581, and I have considered -pairs of littlelabs lmno or millenia TD1's.
-I have never considered the API 4ch unit but I have considered the ATI 8mx2.

These are my considerations, and although I have heard, used, and exploited 1073's. I have not heard any of the pre's listed above, so I am not 'recommending' them, I am just saying there are lot of practical options for 1073 lovers, which I myself am wanting to take a road trip to hear/use these products before I blow 5K-6k on mic amps.

...as for needing 8ch- it is just the way I operate, If you are happy (or only need) to record 1 ch at a time-then perhaps my advice is not relevant.

Cheers

Oh! but I will say this a vintage u87 into vinatge 1073 = f****in magic. I did'nt even like 87's until I heard one through a 1073- seriously, it's an awesome combo. throw in a little 1176 and it sounds like a record.
Old 17th August 2007
  #12
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

1073 is a excellent pre
Old 17th August 2007
  #13
Gear Head
 

ok ok,

thnx so far for the replies! to get some confusing out of the way: i am talking about the 1073 DPA...

anyway, i'm still a bit puzzled; how much difference does an outboard compressor make when compared to some good plugins?

I'm getting the amount of compression with the sound i want with plugins now, but then again, the only outboard comp i've ever used was a distressor for a couple of days, so i wouldn't really know...

Same for the eq, how much difference does it make?

For the preamp i know how much diference it makes, and how important it is.

So basically, the battle is: very highend 2ch preamp like 1073 dpa (around 2400 euros where i live) or slightly "less" 1 ch preamp with eq and comp like API 7600 (2800 euros).
Old 17th August 2007
  #14
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
... tracking everything through a single 1073 might be a bit big/dark for all the tracks and every track would have the same characteristics of that 1073.


God forbid someone would actually track a whole record through a console full of 1073's.,
texture wise[bright/dark,etc]..i think its more about mic choices.
I've been tracking through an early 70's Neve 5315 lately and it sounds great.
most the outboard pre's aren't even getting turned on .[V-76's aside]
Old 17th August 2007
  #15
Gear Nut
 
starfightstudio's Avatar
 

My 2 Aurora GTQ2's do a great job for the price, and include a pretty nice EQ...Would love to hear the Aurora 8ch that someone suggested... 8ch's of "nice" neve style pres for around $5000, not too bad of a price.(less if you can find one used, may be hard though) Anyone have experience with one?

I also second, the api 3124, and daking 4 ch for other great solutions.....

TJ
STARFIGHT STUDIO
Old 17th August 2007
  #16
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
When we were in development of the Great River MP-2NV one of the main design goals was to get the "thickness" of the 1073 [etc... as in an amplifier based around the Neve "B283/B284 amplifier sound] without the "haze" than can occur when you have 16 or more tracks going through that amplifier [as is common wiht modern production techniques].

Neve desks of yesteryear certainly have their own sonic imprint on things... some are better than others, some great, others not so great. Taking the 1073 module out of a desk certainly has a sound of it's own... but in the scheme of the way I work it's certainly not a "be all / end all" by any stretch of the imagination.

As always, YMMV.

Peace.
Old 17th August 2007
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Dusty,

May I suggest the Chameleon Labs 7602 Mic pre Eq's $1400.00 pair including power supply. I use mine everyday. My fav. on kick. Of course Neve stuff is wonderful but the prices are so inflated now that unless you are a huge money making producer what's the point of spending the dough? If you have the money great they will last you forever and never need to upgrade. I have the Chameleon labs stuff and Vintech and I don't feel I am missing a real 1073 anymore.
Old 18th August 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Marjan's Avatar
 

All your budget on a 2 ch preamp?
I woundn't do that dusty.

If you are into producing, there's an endless list of equipment you'll want to own as time goes by, so to me, spending all your money on something (whatever it is) when there's so much stuff that costs considerably less and sounds equally fantastic doesn't make sense. Besides, you'll eventually find out what preamps work best for you, regardless of hype... and it might not be the 1073. So why spending all your money now on something you don't even know?
Get back to this thread in two or three years time, whatever you choose to do now.

As for brands, I wouldn't go Millenia for emo/alt. rock; if that was your only option I'm sure you'd be able to make it sound great and win a grammy.
But if you're considering spending money, I'd get something else like Chandler, Great River, Brent Averill, API... more mojo... (oh yeah, Neve would do as well... I love the haze ).
Old 18th August 2007
  #19
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Marjan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
God forbid someone would actually track a whole record through a console full of 1073's.
loool... are you jocking or what?

Two minutes ago I said to myself I'd never participate in a 1073 related thread again...
Old 18th August 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
IMHFO don't fool yourself with magic numbers.
If you didn't work for years (means not addicted to) with it.

Contact several dealers to check prices (yes difference might be quite big) and take Great River + Germanium pre for less than 1073 (last time it was around so, if I'm not wrong). You'll get way more usefull, first class gamma of sounds for beginner or the most advanced engineer/producer or whatever you like to use it.

I sold 1073 years ago. Didn't work for me to be simple.
Old 18th August 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Another vote here for Great River MP2NV. Beautiful in every way.
Old 18th August 2007
  #22
Here for the gear
 
fishface's Avatar
 

I was in a similar position recently, wanting to get a really good pre to make a big impact on my recordings. I tried 1073 dpd, API a2d, Pacifica etc.

I would say that you can make a great track with any pre past a certain quality level, but I do also think that the character differences between pres are big not small. At the end of the day, if you want that 1073 sound, you've gotta get a 1073. If you don't know what sound you want, spend some time with the units.

In the end I went for 1073 because it has "that" sound and I couldn't get it another way. The other pres were also fabulous, and given enough cash I would get them all. However, it was not as waste for me to spend a large chunk on a unit like the dpa rather than getting a couple of different units for the same money. Ask yourself if you had all the pres in your rack, what would get the most use. I reckon I would use the 1073 70%, Pacifica 15%, API 5%, other 10%. In that case it wouldn't be worth me getting the Pacifica and the API over the one Neve (even if I could have - it would have cost more).

P.S. If you go 1073, think about the DPD as the coverters are good, way better than my MOTU.
Old 18th August 2007
  #23
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

you won't be disapointed with a GR or a Chandler LTD1 if you're looking for that kinda sound. a safer buy (sans collectablilty) and just as good if not better value.
Old 19th August 2007
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty cooper View Post

i'm in the process of producing a
Is it wise to spend my budget on a 2 ch preamp with no eq or compression? Or should i buy a true ch. strip?
the 1073 sounds excellent, it's a classic, it will flatter everything you put trough it.
You will keep it forever, wether you end up with a $10,000 or $10 million studio.

Go for it.

There is no use spending valuable time obsessing whether some other pre-amp could suit your current situation a hair better.

It will do the job excellent, and it will always continue to do so.

And I say this as a owner of virtually every flavour of pre-amps there is.

I wish I could have just bought a whole lot more of ONE kind, wheter it would have been a ****load more of 1073s, V72s, APIs, Studers, Massenburgs, Ampexes, Chandler TGs or even MCIs.

Making a choice, ANY choice and sticking to it instead of obsessing is the way to go.

Buy the 1073.
Old 19th August 2007
  #25
Gear Addict
 
lostinmusic's Avatar
 

As someone who owns a Great River and a 1073dpa and has an Aurora on demo I can tell you they all sound different. And that's the problem with pres..! Do you buy loads with different sounds or just get one good brand and focus on mics/eq/compression etc?

After having spent arguably too much time demoing/buying/ebaying I've found a combination that works for me. The Great River is IMO a modern classic - no question. It combines a bit of that neve sound with clarity and the best DI I've yet heard. It's not perfect for everything but then nothing is - you have to go that last mile sometimes with the other gear you have.

When it comes to vocals however, or occasions when you want to deliberately colour and round off the sound I've found nothing better than the 1073dpa (never heard the original). All of the other neve inspired designs seem to 'improve' on the top end and thereby lose what is to me one of the very things you want from a 1073. The Great River doesn't attempt to copy - it just does it's own thing very well.

The rest I think you can do with mics etc (I love having many different mics but too many preamp choices just seems to get annoying). FWIW I've also used a Germanium (great for some things but odd on others), UA610 (can get grainy), Sebatron (very sweet but rather dark), Liquid Channel (well balanced, unhyped sound but a bit 2D), Focusrite 430 (sounds ok but nothing special whan you've heard the GR), Avalon 737 (pretty box! sees off any nasty highs - not very detailed which I guess is why it does well on vocals).... and I'm sure there are a few others.

So for vocals with a vintage U87 I'd say a 1073dpa would be a very safe bet but check out the GR too for an alternative.

Old 19th August 2007
  #26
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alexstringer's Avatar
 

Get the Brent Averill 1073! thumbsup
It IS a 1073 that cost almost 1/2 the price of an authentic Neve.
Old 20th August 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
I'm probably in the minority here but if I needed a good all around preamp for drums, guitars, bass, & vocals then I'd probably go with the API before the Neve.
Old 20th August 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty cooper View Post
So basically, the battle is: very highend 2ch preamp like 1073 dpa (around 2400 euros where i live) or slightly "less" 1 ch preamp with eq and comp like API 7600 (2800 euros).
i'll try to answer your question specifically. i have both API and Neve pres and wouldn't want to sell either. APIs usually for drms, Neve for pretty much anything else.

if i had to use either pre for everything it would be fine. the APIs get fatter as you push them harder, something you could do with the 7600 as you also have output gain.

the two main points are:

do you need a good AD converter? the Neve unit has it, the API doesn't. do think you need EQ and compression? the API unit has that but no AD. a more comparable product would be the API A2D. 2 pres and ADs. it boils down to what features you need and of course which type of sound you find more useful.

i would try to listen to API and Neve pres (they don't have to be those units specifically) and when you've decided the tone issue then you can decide on what feature set you need most.
Old 21st August 2007
  #29
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insomnio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty cooper View Post

Is it wise to spend my budget on a 2 ch preamp with no eq or compression? Or should i buy a true ch. strip?
You should buy mics! Don't mind the preamp hype. You want a step up? The secret is in the mics.
Get a nice pre a nice comp and several mics.

Get a Pacifica + Distressor + SM7 + AK47 and M16 or P12 and 22 47LE
That will make you smile for years.
Old 21st August 2007
  #30
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doug_hti's Avatar
 

If I could only have one Pre, it would easily be a 1073, and I would choose that over any other pre/eq. I haven't tried any of the clones.

If I didn't have access to the EQ, I may have to rethink things.
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