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BAE 1084 VS. Neve 1084 Condenser Microphones
Old 19th May 2010
  #1
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BAE 1084 VS. Neve 1084

Title says it all. Which one do you prefer and why? I am sold on the BAE 2CR and I am researching which 1084 modules to invest in.
Old 19th May 2010
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic 59 View Post
Title says it all. Which one do you prefer and why? I am sold on the BAE 2CR and I am researching which 1084 modules to invest in.

Brent Averill is Top Shelf. Why? 'Cause they're building to original spec, brand new. Plus, you could spend a great deal of time searching for vintage pieces, and you're not going to find something "better" than you would get from them. You can't go wrong there...
Old 19th May 2010
  #3
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AMS Neve and never look back. I tried both and the AMS was much better IMO the bBrent was way too dark and much darker then the Vintage Neve I was using at the time
Old 19th May 2010
  #4
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Are you talking about vintage 1084's or the re-issue AMS units?

The BAE units are good. But, if you were going BAE, you should opt for the 1028 instead. It's like a 1084 with twice as many frequencies.
Old 19th May 2010
  #5
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Love the BAE stuff, and the people rock too. I buy direct, I just like dealing with them. Their staff, the build and audio quality all are top notch.

IME the BAE are not dark at all, as a matter of fact I get great clarity top to bottom from them at lower gain settings. I even like his old 1272s.

Try AMS and BAE both and let your ears decide.
Old 19th May 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
The BAE units are good. But, if you were going BAE, you should opt for the 1028 instead. It's like a 1084 with twice as many frequencies.
+1 I want me a pair of those sooooo bad...
Old 19th May 2010
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Are you talking about vintage 1084's or the re-issue AMS units?
Wow! Thank you all for the comments. I am brand new to this forum and all of the feedback is very much appreciated. thumbsup

I am sorry for not clarifying earlier however, I am comparing the BAE vs. AMS re-issues.
Old 25th December 2013
  #8
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From my personal experience the BAE units are missing some magic in the midrange and silk that the AMS units do. I tried EQing the mids back in but just couldn't get the BAE to do what the AMS was doing. It's most obvious on vocals and way less obvious on other sources but since I'm tracking vocals I cant live with that.

I dont think this is due to using the same boards same parts etc... There's something AMS is doing to their units that must be a secret or something because they do NOT sound the same.

I've been down this road before. I built 2 EZ1073s with the stock Carnhills and it ended up not sounding as good as my AMS units and wasn't doing the silky midrange, tight bottom end thing... But they did sound identical to my friends BAE's 1073's we used.

I ordered the TF12000 from AMS witch is their version of the Carhill LO1166, both made by the same company but AMS claims they are exclusive to them. After changing my output trannys I heard a subtle difference. Closer but not there yet. I will order the MIC input transformer from AMS next and see if thats where the extra midrange magic is coming from. Technically the BAE should sound identical to the AMS but they don't and I've wasted allot of money and about a year of research trying to figure out why.

Here's what my ears have gathered so far...
BAE - big sounding, slightly pillow like bottom end, squishy colored mids, un-hyped highs. slightly disconnected lows Still nice sound overall.
AMS - Extremely punchy low end with no "boominess" or pillow anywhere. Syrupy rock hard mids that punch through. crystal harmonic high end that even sounds more amazing with a touch of 20K
Old 26th December 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
From my personal experience the BAE units are missing some magic in the midrange and silk that the AMS units do.
Just for my curiosity: new ones or old ones ?
Old 26th December 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jupiter8 View Post
Just for my curiosity: new ones or old ones ?
There is no "old" AMS.
Old 26th December 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic 59 View Post
Title says it all. Which one do you prefer and why? I am sold on the BAE 2CR and I am researching which 1084 modules to invest in.
Neither.

Get the Heritage 8173.
(Link here)

The best EQ features of pretty much every classic Neve design in one package. Costs the same as a BAE 1073 clone, but with 24 selectable frequencies. More than any vintage Neve while being cheaper than the 1023 and 1028 by BAE. I would look into those and the BAE 1066D, a superior version of the 1066 with way more high frequency options (and it's $200 Cheaper than the BAE 1073 clone for some reason.), also it's a bit cheaper with more frequency points than the Heritage 6673 so I would pick BAE over Heritage in that case. Heritage makes a more fairly priced rack than the BAE, though BAE offer a new more expensive rack with built in summing too, etc. (I am not afraid to mix and match is what I'm getting at.)

If you want to save money and just get straight 1073 clones I think the AML EZ1073 is a steal, but to really get things to sing you'll need an attenuator of some kind (like a Little Labs Redcloud) to make up for the attenuators you get in the BAE / Heritage racks.

The vintage units all have aged electronics and a little...something "magic" to them insofar as the differences in transformers, but this is not something you can't solve with other elements in a good chain. Unlike Aaron above I didn't much care much for the AMS stuff, I thought it felt a bit "modern" by comparison...and whatever subtle differences between BAE / AML / Heritage, I think all three have standout units which I could easily mix and match depending on budget without any problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
I've been down this road before. I built 2 EZ1073s with the stock Carnhills and it ended up not sounding as good as my AMS units and wasn't doing the silky midrange, tight bottom end thing... But they did sound identical to my friends BAE's 1073's we used.
Did you use anything as a proper attenuator for your EZ1073's? I think they were pretty spot on.
Old 26th December 2013
  #12
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
Did you use anything as a proper attenuator for your EZ1073's? I think they were pretty spot on.

Hi,

there's really no reason to use a attenuator with the EZ1073s unless you're recording a jet take-off or something. 1073's to me at least, aren't really the kind of pre amps that sound good overdriven. There's already so much happening from the transformers just running signal through them.

I still wanted more than -10dB of attenuation with my units so I changed the value of R134 witch is a 5.1K resistor, all it's doing is choosing how much resistance before the signal escapes the path via ground thus reducing the output level the 7.5K resistor (R135) keeps the proper impedance and flat frequency response with the 10K pot before it hits the 3rd gain stage.

All you have to do is change the value of R134 to a lower value like 2K for allot more attenuation. or 0Ohms for a full fader... there is no point in buying a attenuator that does the same thing. The attenuator is wired the same exact way the AMS and BAE units are. its basically a fader insert that controls the level before it hits the LO1166, just like the vintage units work in a console.

A external attenuator would attenuate the final signal differently. at that point why not adjust your converter input? If it's still loud than you're not doing something right. A properly biased Neve can do around 28dB into a 600Ohm before clipping... My EZ1073s with the AMS TF12000 is getting about 30db. Well enough to fry a tape machine or any converter before the output clips on the Neve. Plus, the 1166 sounds nasty overdriven. If you want to clip the output stage just bias the output differently by cutting most of the current out of the 2N3055 you'll get some pretty bad sounding distortion. But Neve purposely biases the units to NOT clip.

I've heard the Heritage as well as all the other clones. They all sound the same to me, it's getting tiresome. Neve like but not like a real Neve. I have had the Vintage units in my studio countless times and the AMS units were indistinguishable from them.

So far AMS is the only company that has got it right. In the respect of being a real 1073 clone.

People that say the AMS are too bright have never heard a real Neve with the proper capacitor values. Allot of tech's stuff big 2200uf caps where a 470uf should be to filter the power more and keep crud from creeping in but most people don't realize this changes the tone. I know, Ive tried it. And allot of vintage units have wrong values stuffed in them

AMS is the only company that sticks to the stock values in that department, as well as the EZ1073 oddly enough... BAE does not.

However, even after trying different values and tinkering around wasting months of time trying things, and working with a Neve tech... they still do not sound like the AMS units. I really believe the secret lies in the transformers at this point but I'll find out soon enough.

To anyone that's interested, Neve does sell their transformers to the public if you email them. The price is allot higher than ordering the blue Carnhill cans everyone else gets but at this point I've done everything except change the input TX. So this is the last thing to wire out besides trying some gain boost connections and other minor stuff. Feedback is a big part of the Neve tone that I also think clones are not doing properly.

But again this is allot more subjective to some people. I'm allot more obsessed with the sound of Neve than probably most people around here.
Old 26th December 2013
  #13
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McPhaul's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
AMS - Extremely punchy low end with no "boominess" or pillow anywhere. Syrupy rock hard mids that punch through. crystal harmonic high end that even sounds more amazing with a touch of 20K
There is no 20K on the AMS Neve 1084.
Old 26th December 2013
  #14
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by McPhaul View Post
There is no 20K on the AMS Neve 1084.
Yes I know that, obviously.

Im talking about with another EQ. Even a plug in EQ like Equality has been working really well for me in the air area.

I modified my EZ1073 Shelf for 20K instead of 12K... On the AP the boost is so broad with 12K that it starts boosting at 800HZ with the stock values... on drums sure, but on vocals not so much.

Here's my frankenstein EZ1073 unit I use for bench testing and modding
Attached Thumbnails
BAE 1084 VS. Neve 1084-photo.jpg   BAE 1084 VS. Neve 1084-photo-1-.jpg  
Old 26th December 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VibeFactory View Post
There is no "old" AMS.


Yeah,there's that of course.
Old 26th December 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
Hi,

there's really no reason to use a attenuator with the EZ1073s unless you're recording a jet take-off or something. 1073's to me at least, aren't really the kind of pre amps that sound good over-driven. There's already so much happening from the transformers just running signal through them.
Except that when you track on an 80's series console, there is a FADER after the first gain stage to do just that. You don't have to saturate to complete distortion, but it's designed with a full 2nd gain stage for a reason.

Also all of all three of the 8 channel rack designs by Heritage and BAE have attenuation knobs for each channel, as well as the 19" versions of these designs down to the 1272 style preamps without EQ, and the 500 series single channel versions without EQ.

Generally, these kinds of preamps start to break up in a great way at around 40-50dB of gain and having a fader / 2nd gain stage / attenuation knob, etc. (SOMETHING) to trim or push as needed is generally beneficial.

When I push or trim the AML we have here with the REDCLOUD it does feel closer to "right" like a full channel strip in a console. This goes for tracking or for reamping a signal in line mode.

The AML is really well designed for what it is, but like the Heritage 3 Slot 500 series design, it seems they couldn't fit an attenuation stage in there as well, so they left it like a full channel strip clone, which usually has to be put into a rack that would have it, or back into a console with a Fader/2nd gain stage in line.

Not to burst your bubble, but there's a reason we like faders, they are a part of how we gain-stage. Attenuation knobs are an outboard solution to this issue, but they're still handy Aaron.

Lastly, I would argue that all Class A neve preamp designs are made to be pushed hard, and do in fact open up the harder you can push things close to the edge. This makes the transformers work harder, and gives you a bit more of a 3D sound coming out of the speakers, but without something to trim your level and keep it from blowing up you can't ever truly achieve this. There's always an appropriate level to taste for every source, but generally the gain when tracking most sources for me winds up between 40dB and 55dB 90% of the time. (Pretty darn hot pre attenuation.)
Old 26th December 2013
  #17
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Used to own a vintage pair of 1073's.
BAE 1084's replaced them and not looking back at all. Same sound to me and brand new. Heard many quality control stories about the AMS ones.
Old 26th December 2013
  #18
The more I read about preamps, and the more I use them, the more I am feeling that the best way to use outboard preamps is with a console. Mics into the preamps. Preamps into the line inputs of a great console and have complete control of the entire signal chain before going to PT (or some other DAW). Console EQ is then an option, and the channel inserts allow you to plug in an EQ then Comp or Comp then EQ or multiple comps... sum channels together etc. Now in this forum, this is all rudimentary for users but it just makes me wonder why we are all (myself included) hung up on console features in our preamp modules.
Old 26th December 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ward Pike View Post
The more I read about preamps, and the more I use them, the more I am feeling that the best way to use outboard preamps is with a console. Mics into the preamps. Preamps into the line inputs of a great console and have complete control of the entire signal chain before going to PT (or some other DAW). Console EQ is then an option, and the channel inserts allow you to plug in an EQ then Comp or Comp then EQ or multiple comps... sum channels together etc. Now in this forum, this is all rudimentary for users but it just makes me wonder why we are all (myself included) hung up on console features in our preamp modules.
Well...portability is one issue. Having these kinds of features in something that can travel well can be useful at times. Also I like being able to have a mix of a few different flavors at times. Not countless choices, but a couple different nice ones. I think at that point, picking preamps which give me close to console-like response and control is key, and if I have to grab an attenuator to make it work it's not a big deal, so therefore it's worth the extra effort, etc.

I like having a modular group of preamps, EQ's and compressors because then I can mix and match things around...but I also like having a console setup to mix on as well. I think I shy away from completely channel strips because I prefer treating each stage like a plugin. (Maybe that's also why I buy in pairs, fours, or eights generally.)

I just see it all a tool box honestly, but when mixing a console workflow really is hard to beat, even ITB I'll find myself mimicking it Ward.
Old 26th December 2013
  #20
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
Except that when you track on an 80's series console, there is a FADER after the first gain stage to do just that. You don't have to saturate to complete distortion, but it's designed with a full 2nd gain stage for a reason.
Attenuation is obviously nice to have thats why I built more than -10dB into mine. If you go to the GroupDIY thread Colin and I were talking about this... However there is no fader insert between the first and second gain stage on a 80 Series console. The fade insert is in between the 2nd and 3rd gain stage. Its the "EXT LINK" between pins K and L on the original schematic and its the same in the EZ1073 schematic. Unless you're talking about the 500 series witch uses no fader and uses a DC to DC converter to get 24V, not sure witch version you are talking about here. I have the 19' version witch is a complete copy of a vintage unit on a circuit board. the 500 Series is different and that would make since to have attenuation for if you like to run it red hot.

That's fine if you like to push your 1073's into submission but don't spread false information about a schematic you clearly don't understand.


There has NEVER been a fader insert between the 1st and 2nd gain stage of a 1073 or 1084, ever. Not sure why you think that. The AMS and Vintage king racks are also fader inserts between the 2nd and 3rd gain stage.

The 2nd gain stage was not designed for distorting, it was designed for ribbon and dynamic mics that required high level of gain. In fact if you look at most clones these days they only go up to 70dB of gain, the AML 500 only goes to 65.
Attached Thumbnails
BAE 1084 VS. Neve 1084-photo.jpg  
Old 26th December 2013
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
Attenuation is obviously nice to have thats why I built more than -10dB into mine. If you go to the GroupDIY thread Colin and I were talking about this... However there is no fader insert between the first and second gain stage on a 80 Series console. The fade insert is in between the 2nd and 3rd gain stage. Its the "EXT LINK" between pins K and L on the original schematic and its the same in the EZ1073 schematic. Unless you're talking about the 500 series witch uses no fader and uses a DC to DC converter to get 24V, not sure witch version you are talking about here. I have the 19' version witch is a complete copy of a vintage unit on a circuit board. the 500 Series is different and that would make since to have attenuation for if you like to run it red hot.

That's fine if you like to push your 1073's into submission but don't spread false information about a schematic you clearly don't understand.


There has NEVER been a fader insert between the 1st and 2nd gain stage of a 1073 or 1084, ever. Not sure why you think that. The AMS and Vintage king racks are also fader inserts between the 2nd and 3rd gain stage.

The 2nd gain stage was not designed for distorting, it was designed for ribbon and dynamic mics that required high level of gain. In fact if you look at most clones these days they only go up to 70dB of gain, the AML 500 only goes to 65.
(Thanks for that post BTW I just copied it over to a word file to study it a bit deeper),

To clarify, I'm not saying it's designed for distorting. I'm saying it's designed for control. Even if I don't understand the precise mechanics to the same level you do, I still the value of having that design work like it's part of a console when tracking via outboard. Because that's a part of it's function to begin with, you set your gain, AND THEN you use your fader / attenuator / whatever.

I think you're taking what I'm saying as confrontational, it's more of a basic mechanics kind of point. I don't see how you can get the full picture of what one of these preamps can do without that kind of fine degree of control. End of the day it will affect the overall tone, and it will contribute to the tone of what you're capturing.

Usually I use an attenuator or 2nd gain stage to trim if anything so I can one "click" louder than I would without it via my stepped gain knob, so to reiterate, we're not talking about slamming things into distortion Aaron. We're talking about adding a bit more total harmonic distortion via saturation, which adds a bit of body to the signal.

The reason I take the time to spell this out, is because there are many people on this board who don't really understand terms like attenuation or gain-staging, who are ready to drop thousands of dollars on equipment they don't really know how to use. Maybe they think they need it to make the music they want to make, but what's the point if they don't have a clue as to how to implement these tools effectively?
Old 26th December 2013
  #22
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
(Thanks for that post BTW I just copied it over to a word file to study it a bit deeper),

To clarify, I'm not saying it's designed for distorting. I'm saying it's designed for control. Even if I don't understand the precise mechanics to the same level you do, I still the value of having that design work like it's part of a console when tracking via outboard. Because that's a part of it's function to begin with, you set your gain, AND THEN you use your fader / attenuator / whatever.

I think you're taking what I'm saying as confrontational, it's more of a basic mechanics kind of point. I don't see how you can get the full picture of what one of these preamps can do without that kind of fine degree of control. End of the day it will affect the overall tone, and it will contribute to the tone of what you're capturing.

Usually I use an attenuator or 2nd gain stage to trim if anything so I can one "click" louder than I would without it via my stepped gain knob, so to reiterate, we're not talking about slamming things into distortion Aaron. We're talking about adding a bit more total harmonic distortion via saturation, which adds a bit of body to the signal.

The reason I take the time to spell this out, is because there are many people on this board who don't really understand terms like attenuation or gain-staging, who are ready to drop thousands of dollars on equipment they don't really know how to use. Maybe they think they need it to make the music they want to make, but what's the point if they don't have a clue as to how to implement these tools effectively?

That I can definitely agree with. When I first started using Neves around 10 years ago I ran them all extremely hot, It does have a sound.

They only thing I was stating is the attenuator (Fader) aspect.

Colin alos has the EZ1073 schematic up on his AML site if you want to check it out.

Do you have the 19" or the 500 series?
Old 26th December 2013
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
That I can definitely agree with. When I first started using Neves around 10 years ago I ran them all extremely hot, It does have a sound.

They only thing I was stating is the attenuator (Fader) aspect.

Colin alos has the EZ1073 schematic up on his AML site if you want to check it out.

Do you have the 19" or the 500 series?
I grabbed a used 500 series one to try, I was extremely impressed. I'm very intimate with that sort of tone, at this point I've got about 8 years of using them on me, it's really well made. I have a Redcloud around so I just used that as the output attenuator.

Does the rackmout have output control?
Old 26th December 2013
  #24
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I grabbed a used 500 series one to try, I was extremely impressed. I'm very intimate with that sort of tone, at this point I've got about 8 years of using them on me, it's really well made. I have a Redcloud around so I just used that as the output attenuator.

Does the rackmout have output control?
Nice!

That's part of the attenuator confusion then. Yes the 19" version I have is the same thing AMS and BAE sell. The only difference is that it's on a circuit board. The fader is built in but Colin only had it set up for -10dB in the schematic so I changed it to full fader just like a 80 series console or the AMS/BAE rack.

The 500 series doesn't have enough room for a fader that's why it makes since in your case to have the RedCloud. SOrry for the confusion.

I'm glad you are digging the tone of the 500 series unit. My 19" sounds good but sadly not as good as my AMS units yet but they sound pretty identical to my friends BAE units. That's the only reason I'm starting to suspect that AMS uses different TX on their repro's than the standard ones BAE and all the other cloners get.
Old 26th December 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
Nice!

That's part of the attenuator confusion then. Yes the 19" version I have is the same thing AMS and BAE sell. The only difference is that it's on a circuit board. The fader is built in but Colin only had it set up for -10dB in the schematic so I changed it to full fader just like a 80 series console or the AMS/BAE rack.

The 500 series doesn't have enough room for a fader that's why it makes since in your case to have the RedCloud. SOrry for the confusion.

I'm glad you are digging the tone of the 500 series unit. My 19" sounds good but sadly not as good as my AMS units yet but they sound pretty identical to my friends BAE units. That's the only reason I'm starting to suspect that AMS uses different TX on their repro's than the standard ones BAE and all the other cloners get.
Hrmn....interesting.
Old 27th December 2013
  #26
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Many of Aaron Rash's comments above should seriously be made a sticky. It would save many people a lot of time and money, and eliminate the need for 90% of Neve clone threads.

Very interesting the component swapping experiment you've been undertaking, Aaron, to figure out why everyone else but Neve fails to get the Neve sound.

Your descriptions are so right on. The "disconnected lows" of BAE is exactly what I hear - I find it disturbing.
Old 27th December 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Many of Aaron Rash's comments above should seriously be made a sticky. It would save many people a lot of time and money, and eliminate the need for 90% of Neve clone threads.

Very interesting the component swapping experiment you've been undertaking, Aaron, to figure out why everyone else but Neve fails to get the Neve sound.

Your descriptions are so right on. The "disconnected lows" of BAE is exactly what I hear - I find it disturbing.
Thanks Rubba,

I'm not really sure why allot of people aren't hearing it. I wouldn't have spent so much time and money on components from Neve if I didn't hear a difference, and it's not a little one.

My tech whos name I won't mention due to privacy respect says he has lots of BAE units that come in biased completely wrong and also was surprised to hear the terms I described the BAE sounding mushy and disconnected, was spot on with what he thought... and are terms only his most experienced cleints use to describe the BAE It's something allot of people complain to him about and have him fix. It's just surprising nobody talks about it on here.

I know people like Geoff know but is not going to give any secrets away. He's actually said it on another thread here on GS that there are Neve kept secrets to the sound that only Neve know.

He is absolutely 100% correct... and if you watch any videos with Robin Porter he states in almost any video that they are the only company with the original data sheets and specs that nobody elese has. It just sucks that I've had to spend thoiusands of dollars and close to a year now figuring out what those specs are and at this point, it's pretty much down to the input TX.
Old 15th February 2014
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
I really believe the secret lies in the transformers at this point but I'll find out soon enough.

To anyone that's interested, Neve does sell their transformers to the public if you email them. The price is allot higher than ordering the blue Carnhill cans everyone else gets but at this point I've done everything except change the input TX. So this is the last thing to wire out besides trying some gain boost connections and other minor stuff.
Following your logic about the transformers being the secret ingredient, shouldn't the 1073lb sound identical to the 1073dpa ?
I'm not contesting your conclusion. I'm equally interested since I lack the same weight and smothness from virtually any clone I've heard so far.

Did you change the input xformer ?
Old 15th February 2014
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordnielson View Post
Following your logic about the transformers being the secret ingredient, shouldn't the 1073lb sound identical to the 1073dpa ?
I'm not contesting your conclusion. I'm equally interested since I lack the same weight and smothness from virtually any clone I've heard so far.

Did you change the input xformer ?
He said neve not ams
Old 15th February 2014
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
He said neve not ams
He buys components from Ams-Neve. I'm sure there's a connection in there somewhere.
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