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Vintage 1073 vs. 1081... either better? Other Modular Audio Processors
Old 16th October 2013
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Vintage 1073 vs. 1081... either better?

So, what's the consensus on a vinatge Neve 1073 mic pre vs. a 1081? I will be tracking drums, bass, heavy guitars and vocals. Assuming they are working to spec.... I know either one will do the job well, but is either better? Or is it just a matter of opinion? What would the differences be?

Thanks!
Old 16th October 2013
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salbinti View Post
So, what's the consensus on a vinatge Neve 1073 mic pre vs. a 1081? I will be tracking drums, bass, heavy guitars and vocals. Assuming they are working to spec.... I know either one will do the job well, but is either better? Or is it just a matter of opinion? What would the differences be?

Thanks!
Hi

Methinks that's a rhetoric question to which the answer depends on the user, his requirement and his viewpoint.

To ask which is better you have to define better. Better sound, better facilities, etc., which is more important to be "better"?

If sound, maybe the 1073 unless you prefer the sound of the 1081....

There is no single correct answer to a question like that.... it's like which is better... a Mercedes or a BMW? But a Ford will still get you where you wanted to go!

Sent from my SAMSUNG Galaxy S4 Tapatalk
Old 16th October 2013
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Hi - thanks for the reply.

Your point of it's like which is better... a Mercedes or a BMW? is well taken... I guess I was just hoping for people's opinions on which they preferred and why.
Old 16th October 2013
  #4
If you used the search function, you'd find Preamp: Neve 1073 or 1081

We have 8x BAE 1084, FWIW.
Old 17th October 2013
  #5
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If I'm not mistaken the 1084 is supposed to be the best of both worlds with the class A 1073 preamp with the more comprehensive EQ of the 1081
Old 17th October 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
If I'm not mistaken the 1084 is supposed to be the best of both worlds with the class A 1073 preamp with the more comprehensive EQ of the 1081
But without the mids of the 1066. My favourite of the 3.
Old 17th October 2013
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless View Post
We have 8x BAE 1084, FWIW.
heyyy we all had to cut corners here and there to make it happen

btw: manifold = great place (nevertheless )
Old 17th October 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
If I'm not mistaken the 1084 is supposed to be the best of both worlds with the class A 1073 preamp with the more comprehensive EQ of the 1081
Hi

It's my favorite and we have an 8028 console full of them here at Aurora Audio / Grandmaster where we test our gear and compare.

It hasn't the range of EQ options of the 1081 but is the best of the 8.75" modules.

Sent from my SAMSUNG Galaxy S4
Old 17th October 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

It's my favorite and we have an 8028 console full of them here at Aurora Audio / Grandmaster where we test our gear and compare.

It hasn't the range of EQ options of the 1081 but is the best of the 8.75" modules.

Sent from my SAMSUNG Galaxy S4
The only other 8028 i know is in perth. I would prefer a this desk over any other neve
Old 17th October 2013
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
The only other 8028 i know is in perth. I would prefer a this desk over any other neve
Hi

They only made a few stock 8028 consoles but AIR recording studios had several custom versions made... photos on my site....

They were the last, all class A, 16T consoles Neve made as the 8038 and 8048 were intended to use 1081's and had Geoff Watt's class AB B208 cards in the routing units.

Lots of fuss made about the Sound City console but I was called there years ago by Joe Burisi who had problems in a session and was not over impressed.... I recall the tech earth connection was loose!

The Grandmaster console is the same type and still going strong.... I take care of it...

Sent from my SAMSUNG Galaxy S4
Old 10th November 2013
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by salbinti View Post
Hi - thanks for the reply.

Your point of it's like which is better... a Mercedes or a BMW? is well taken... I guess I was just hoping for people's opinions on which they preferred and why.
As a mix engineer the 1081 is a go to boosting EQ for all my mixes. 1073s are best for tracking in my experience better sounding pre as well as less eq options = faster results. Both are amazing so its really preference. 1081 is gods gift to a mixing lol.
Old 10th November 2013
  #12
Sonically? Entirely subjective.
Old 11th November 2013
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Sonically? Entirely subjective.
True, but sometimes consensus built amongst peers in our industry does lead to evidentiary findings. As individually arrived at opinions start agreeing en masse, we have to think "There might be something to this".

So let's give some creedance to the consensus. The consensus it that the 1073 has a superior preamp sound than the 1081 but that the 1081 has the superior EQ. Thus, claims that the 1084 - 1073 pre plus 1081 EQ is better seems to hold water, and I assert the same, IMHO.

Vintech makes a "1081" that combines the two also. And as Geoff T and others have said, the 1084 combination of the two is their benchmark.

"Neve" is a defined colour in our sonic palette, and the 1084 might just be the most beautiful hue.
Old 11th November 2013
  #14
Gear Addict
 

1081s are great for kick and bass. 1073s are great on bass too.
Old 11th November 2013
  #15
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Avening's Avatar
 

I sometimes track out of a room with an 8036 full of 1081's, and a few 1064's. The 1081 has a great sound, but I find them a little thinner and a little "quicker" than the 1073. It's not a negative thing at all. Great for percussion. Great for anything really, but that room is mainly used for drum tracking so that's where most of my subjective opinion stems from.
Old 11th November 2013
  #16
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syra's Avatar
As most mentioned above there is no "better". 1081s more upper mids and 1073s more bass and high end air.

Here are two short samples (with a 1064) - please excuse the non-drummer friend and buzzy drums...
Attached Files

U47 1081.wav (370.4 KB, 6091 views)

U47 1064.wav (370.4 KB, 6174 views)

Old 11th November 2013
  #17
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
i sometimes run the 1073 into the 1081 line input to use the slightly phatter 1073 amp into the 1081 EQ ... pretty cool sound imho ...

1081 - huge kick drum ... as someone mentioned the 1081 seems a little faster ... helps my bass as well

1073 - gooey goodness

geoff - a console full of 1084's - nice ..

cheers

john
Old 7th July 2017
  #18
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

can someone up a 1073 vs 1081 vocal sound, trying to pick one of these for a project studio I'm building for a client.
Old 7th July 2017
  #19
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PAST's Avatar
 

Technically these two Neve modules are quite different

I suppose that you 'could' say that the 1073 is a Microphone Amplifier with EQ whereas the 1081 is more of a versatile and comprehensive EQ unit with a mic amp

It is very much 'horses for courses'

The 1073 is full and round sounding but not as versatile as the 1081

Perhaps the 1081 would therefore be better for drums and mixing and the 1073 better for tracking although there are no rules and if there are rules, then they are there for breaking

Construction wise and electronically these two vintage Neve modules are very different

The 1073 is based on exactly the same building blocks as the 1272 Bus Amplifiers and other modules used in the earlier Neve consoles

Plug in PCB cards contain most of the components which are hand wired via back connectors to the front panel controls, transformers and back connector

This module was so outstanding that it was re-introduced with the 8058, 8066 and 8068 consoles in order to retain that famous 'Neve Sound'

These modules use quality input and output transformers and class A amplifiers

The 1073 has a 3-Band EQ with Hi-Pass filter but the HF band has only one fixed frequency

The 1081 is a later design from 1972 also with transformer input and output but the amplifiers are class A/B

It has a very different construction with a motherboard mounted on aluminuim rails housing the passive EQ and other while the active amplifier boards plug in to sockets on this large circuit board

It has four band EQ with selectable High frequencies, both High Pass and Low Pass filters selectable peaking or shelving for the top and bottom bands and HiQ switches for both the upper and lower mid bands

In short the 1073 is the famous mic amplifier for tracking and the 1081 an early version and very close match to the later 31105 modules that were fitted to consoles such as the Neve 8078 which is still viewed as the ultimate Neve console for mixing as well as tracking

So, you are lucky

You have choice

Ferrari or Rolls Royce
Old 7th July 2017
  #20
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jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IkennaFuNkEn View Post
can someone up a 1073 vs 1081 vocal sound, trying to pick one of these for a project studio I'm building for a client.
hi,

the best way is to do this at your own studio or you will never understand the differences .. talking about and listening to someone elses recordings .. it is not what you need ...

you need to have them in your hands and play with them ... Rent !!! you are in NYC ..

i could record you a vocal with both pre's but my voice, the mic, etc .. are all going to be subjective ..

sorry, if this is not what you want to hear but i think it is solid advise .. from someone that owns them both !!!

cheers john
Old 7th July 2017
  #21
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
hi,

the best way is to do this at your own studio or you will never understand the differences .. talking about and listening to someone elses recordings .. it is not what you need ...

you need to have them in your hands and play with them ... Rent !!! you are in NYC ..

i could record you a vocal with both pre's but my voice, the mic, etc .. are all going to be subjective ..

sorry, if this is not what you want to hear but i think it is solid advise .. from someone that owns them both !!!

cheers john
True you're 100% right. At the end of the day though it is gearslutz, and everyone would appreciate that upload. It seems to be a frequently asked question. Let's have a little fun wit it. Eq disengaged.
Old 7th July 2017
  #22
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IkennaFuNkEn View Post
True you're 100% right. At the end of the day though it is gearslutz, and everyone would appreciate that upload. It seems to be a frequently asked question. Let's have a little fun wit it. Eq disengaged.
hi, i will let someone else do that .. note: if you are off by a Db on your gain staging someone here will shoot it down and say it was not exactly the same .. and then some gearslut here is going to come by and say this is not a legit test ..

and how are you splitting the two pres at the same time to have an apples to apples comparison .. ??? transformer splitter ?? this will color one side of the test ..

microphone, voice, instrument, etc .. the pre is not the only factor ... say i do the test and you do not use the same other gear in the chain i do !! waste of time ..

if you just want someone to do this Willy Nilly .. well, like i said, maybe someone else can do that for you ..

not being a prick at all .. and i think you understand where i am coming from ..

sorry i am a broken record (CD- haha) but they rent really cheap .. too cheap imho !!! haha ...

what part of NYC are you in ?? manhattan, brooklyn, other .. maybe we can find a place for you to rent from .. like Jim Flynn or ???

cheers john
Old 7th July 2017
  #23
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IkennaFuNkEn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
hi, i will let someone else do that .. note: if you are off by a Db on your gain staging someone here will shoot it down and say it was not exactly the same .. and then some gearslut here is going to come by and say this is not a legit test ..

and how are you splitting the two pres at the same time to have an apples to apples comparison .. ??? transformer splitter ?? this will color one side of the test ..

microphone, voice, instrument, etc .. the pre is not the only factor ... say i do the test and you do not use the same other gear in the chain i do !! waste of time ..

if you just want someone to do this Willy Nilly .. well, like i said, maybe someone else can do that for you ..

not being a prick at all .. and i think you understand where i am coming from ..

sorry i am a broken record (CD- haha) but they rent really cheap .. too cheap imho !!! haha ...

what part of NYC are you in ?? manhattan, brooklyn, other .. maybe we can find a place for you to rent from .. like Jim Flynn or ???

cheers john
Don't be scared of the scientists and then null testers. Lol! Of course it's not scientific. Jim is cool. I've rented some stuff from him in the past. Thanks
Old 7th July 2017
  #24
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IkennaFuNkEn View Post
Don't be scared of the scientists and then null testers. Lol! Of course it's not scientific. Jim is cool. I've rented some stuff from him in the past. Thanks
haha .. right on with Jim .. scared, haha, just do not want to waste my time or yours .. someone will indulge you i am sure ...

you will hear both sides of the conversation (argument) and still be at a crossroads or decision ..

but i have said my piece, ad nauseam .. they are both great pieces of kit ..

cheers john
Old 1st October 2018
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Hi, I'm late, aha.I bought an AMS NEVE 1081, and then I learned that its input/output transformer was very bad, and then learned that it was class AB output.Oh my god.So I would like to ask the masters here, can I change the input/output transformer to improve some sound quality?Can I transform this 1081 into the Microphone Preamps of Class A?
Old 1st October 2018
  #26
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Geoff_T's Avatar
 

Hi

What was wrong with the sound of the input and output transformers to be very bad?


Quote:
Originally Posted by wang View Post
Hi, I'm late, aha.I bought an AMS NEVE 1081, and then I learned that its input/output transformer was very bad, and then learned that it was class AB output.Oh my god.So I would like to ask the masters here, can I change the input/output transformer to improve some sound quality?Can I transform this 1081 into the Microphone Preamps of Class A?
Old 1st October 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wang View Post
Hi, I'm late, aha.I bought an AMS NEVE 1081, and then I learned that its input/output transformer was very bad, and then learned that it was class AB output.Oh my god.So I would like to ask the masters here, can I change the input/output transformer to improve some sound quality?Can I transform this 1081 into the Microphone Preamps of Class A?
If what you want is a 1073/1084 vibe, sell the 1081 and buy one. It makes little sense to start messing around with expensive units like that.
Old 12th October 2018
  #28
Gear Nut
 
PAST's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wang View Post
Hi, I'm late, aha.I bought an AMS NEVE 1081, and then I learned that its input/output transformer was very bad, and then learned that it was class AB output.Oh my god.So I would like to ask the masters here, can I change the input/output transformer to improve some sound quality?Can I transform this 1081 into the Microphone Preamps of Class A?
Yes, you can trade in your Ferrari and buy a Rolls Royce....but don't try to put a Rolls Royce engine in your Ferrari!
Old 13th October 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
As most mentioned above there is no "better". 1081s more upper mids and 1073s more bass and high end air.

Here are two short samples (with a 1064) - please excuse the non-drummer friend and buzzy drums...
I couldn't hear the difference. Thanks for posting Syra.
Topic:
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