Gearslutz (
-   Reviews (
-   -   PRE Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKII (

trashdinner 22nd March 2012 01:31 AM

Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKII
After reading a lot of reviews and watching all the videos I could find on the web about the GAP Pre-73 MKII, I decided to invest my week pay and get this amazing unit.

The first thing I did when I recieved the preamp, was to open a Cubase session and A/B it with my Presonus Firestudio Project preamps. I spent 4 hours recording guitars, vocals, bass and yukulele and I must say that I was really impressed by the clear mids and tight bass I was getting from it.

It's a little cleaner than the original 1073 and the low are not as fat but in my opinion, the difference isn't worth 4000$. This preamp has everything you need, lot's of gain, 48v, DI input, insert and even a phase buton. The only thing it lacks is a better output meter. The 4 led meter on the Pre-73 is not bad, but sometimes it's hard to work with only a -10, 0, +10 and a clip led reference.

the casing is made of metal wich makes it feel robust and the red color and overall style makes it feel like a real vintage Preamp.

In conclusion, this unit is really a bang for the buck as it sound really close to the original 1073 for a tenth of the price. I'll probably buy another one soon and I suggest it to everyone that wants a good vintage style transfo preamp and that doesn't want to pay for the real thing.

peeping tom 7th September 2013 12:44 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I wanted to make myself a great New Year`s gift this year, so I gave it a thought- what did my home studio need? :) So far I had a Mackie Satellite base station interface and Presonus Tube Pre, this much I knew for preamps.
I really wanted vintage sound, the one that has real Mojo in it, so I surfed the Net. What I found great reviews for, was the GAP 73 MKII, for it met my budget and it promised to bring vintage punchy sound.
I watched several demos and what they all said was that the GAP 73 MKII is a must-have preamp to give your sound different flavour. They didn`t say it was best on vocals or guitar, which was my main concern- if it would be better than the ones I already had. It`s said to be very suitable for ribbons or mics like shure sm7b, but I didn`t have any of them.

Anyway, after the inner struggle, I bought it. jummpp

What I can say for the pros and cons is:
1. Gives real vintage and punchy sound
2. Good vintage respectful outlook, unlike the chinese replicas
3. Features insert jack, that is very useful when you use a compressor or eq
4. Unlike my previous gear, this one includes DI, which sounds very good on bass (that`s what I use it for)
5. Allows you to overdrive the gain stage and then refine the output level separately for punchier or cleaner sound.

1. Wish there were several more levels under -10 on the LED level meter
2. Wish there was a 80 Hz high pass filter, like the more pricy version
3. What can be sometimes called a disadvantage for the sound is that it is very difficult to achieve transparency of sound ( I`ve heard that certain modes can change that)

In order to give you a chance to decide for yourselves, I want to offer you two sound samples, one of which I recorded with the GAP 73 MKII, and the other one with my built-in Onyx preamps in my Mackie interface. Ì didn`t use any eq or compression for the demos, only the high pass filter on my shure ksm27 condensor mic and pop filter for the voice. The guitar is Guild CO-2, recorded with the same mic. Recorded on 96kHz sample rate.
For those of you who prefer direct streaming here are links to the files: (mackie onyx pre) (GAP 73 MKII)

amir30213 25th April 2017 11:18 PM

The Golden Age Pre-73 MK2 is a horrible mic pre amp in it's stock form. The truth is...a lot of companies want you to believe that you can get this "Neve" sound for a cheap price. I am here to tell everyone the truth. The truth is you might as well stick to the cheap pre amp that comes in your audio interface rather than go out and buy this unless you are planning on getting it modded like me. I got this thing for about $250 from MusiciansFriend when a sale was going on. I got lucky. Golden Age wants about $350-400 for this thing.

I got this amp with a plan in mind to get it modded so I knew that I needed to wait for the right sale to grab this. There was no way I was going to pay $400 for a piece of crap pre amp.

As with all cheap pre amps, this pre amp degrades the sound. It makes the source sound thin and harsh. I do admit that it does have the option to color the sound if you so choose by pushing the pre amp and that does make somewhat of a difference to the sound. However, it doesn't change the fact that this pre amp still sounds like a cheap piece of crap.

It probably holds it's title of "Best of the Crap" but it's still crap.

You can also use this thing with instruments such as guitars and such but again, it wont make much difference to the sound in stock form and if it does, it will probably harm it more than anything. It is nice to have that feature though.

Also, if you thought that this would be a good enough pre amp to drive the Shure SM7B or any other recording dynamic mic, you are sadly mistaken. This thing is noisy and that will show when using dynamic mics for sure. Even on cheap ones like the Shure SM58.

I do somewhat like how it changes the sound of the SM58 when you use it's colorful side. The thin and harsh sound does not go away but the SM58 does sound a little smoother.

Of course, you can use this with the right condenser mic just fine and not have noise if you have a condenser mic that isn't noisy. That won't fix the issue of it making the source sound harsh and thin but it is a way around the noise issue.

I am currently getting this thing modded by John Bonell and it should be done this week or the next. I will make sure to let everyone know how the mod turns out.

DO NOT BUY THIS if you don't plan on getting it modded. It will do nothing to help your recordings. Absolutely nothing. They just want you to believe that and spend pointless money. Do not buy a pre amp if you don't plan on investing money into it PERIOD.

You can get good recordings even with a cheap pre amp if you know what you are doing but because this pre amp isn't much better than the one in your audio interface, it isn't worth buying. Just stick to the pre amp that comes in your audio interface until you have enough money to invest in a real pre amp or have enough money to get this thing modded.

- Amir