Gearslutz (
-   Reviews (
-   -   Golden Age Golden age pre 73 DLX (

tribedescribe 30th March 2013 02:13 AM

Golden Age Golden age pre 73 DLX
I owned the original mk1 version and sold it last year. I liked it a lot on certain things but found it slightly noisy and not as clear in the high end with certain sources. Although at times I really liked that fat sound on some sources like bass, guitar and vocals.

Fast forward and I bought the DLX version with the power supply. Right away I noticed the noise is gone and high end is a little clearer. This version is similar to the mk2 but features the TT mod as a stock addition in the DLX version. The Dlx version also adds a high pass filter and and a output pad to drive the transformers. At first glance I thought it was just a pad but upon using it I quickly realized this is the best part of the DLX. I found driving the input of the mk1 version to much yielded in a unpleasant fuzz overdrive. The pad on the output is designed to drive the output transformer also. I find this a much more pleasing sound allowing me to balance the gain stages and coax and bit more drive equally from each transformer. This yields way more tonal options than the original and makes it much more versatile. Using the D.i. on bass or guitar make my Guitar rig program sound way better.

I think the original is still a great bang for your buck unit. But I have to say the DLX version is also worth every penny and offers much more tonal options with the output pad. You really cant go wrong with either. I think the DLX version also adds better vintage spec wiring and a 600ohm switch which I always keep engaged. On a side note I downloaded the audio files on the SOS site which compare the DLX stock with a DLX with carnhill trans. , I have to say I did not hear a big difference with my Bose in ears except that the heavily driven bass sounded more focused with the mod. Clean to slightly driven setting's sounded exactly the same. To me the upgrade is not worth the cost. Your mileage may vary.

disco violence 30th September 2013 10:50 AM

Golden Age Golden age pre 73 DLX
I use Golden Age pre 73 in my home studio and i must say that i’m very satisfied with it,i use it when recording electric guitar and vocals.When i was buing preamp i was looking for transparent sound but people convinced me to go for Golden age pre 73.Result that i get when recording with it is full and warm tone that would cut through any mix.It has that vintage vibe that over the years have been lost in this new computer era.Signal that you get through this pre is a good starting point with right compresor and eq settings you can get great results.There is a hum at –75 db that you can easy get rid of using noise gate or other noise reduction plugin.Playing with knobs you can chose if you want more softer and clearer sound or you can go for sound that have more character which will bring you more distortion and hum.Finding the right balance betwen these two knobs is what im going for.For the bigining find the max clean level you can get, and then, if you think you need it, dial in a tiny bit of overdrive with the Pre73.Price,build quality and performance of Golden age pre 73 are very good and it can be useful in any home or professional studio

bace 27th April 2014 07:30 PM

Very cool
I love this unit. Have the first version "mk1" and the new deluxe. They are realy nice for people that want to mod. I have changed this with carnhill transformers and have also replaced some of the transistors with very low noise toshibas. It not that easy to do a maeasure, but I measured the noise floor to drop 2 dB. And this unit is silent compared to mk1. But still, the input is bipolar transistors. I love the hole mounted components. Very easy to work with. But I would like is missing silk that they have in their 500 units. I will add a EQ73 to this. Not a neve, but closer than the software emulators out there.

TheOmegaShadow 28th July 2014 01:04 AM

Golden Age Pre 73 DLX
This review comes from a user who has not had much experience with a lot of use boutique / higher end Mic pres, the descriptions are relative to your run of the mill MBox's, Ni usb interfaces etc.

Most important is the sound, and when this preamp has a good AD converter feeding your PC it sounds leaps and bounds better than all the built in mic pres of all the usb interfaces I've used over the years, with more gain and a perceptibly lower noise floor. This means my vocal recordings are really starting to jump out with clarity and relative to the built in mic pres I'm used to it sounds like a wet blanket has been lifted off the speakers.

I intended to just buy the pre 73 mkII, but the store was sold out so they gave me a really nice discount on the DLX, the DLX is worth the extra money, the output attenuator lets you drive the preamp output transformer which yields interesting results, the high pass filter is surprisingly useful too and not something I buy a pre without in the future.

From a small home studio perspective with a small to nonexistent budget, the golden age pre 73 DLX is a lot of cash but if the budget can stretch, it's very likely you will be impressed and it will add some clarity to your vocals and the extra gain will allow much more closer and intimate style vocal styles to yield more usable results.

The DI section is strong too, great for bass, guitar and analogue synths too, the transformer drive of the pre can really liven them up a bit.

I use this pre with an RME AIO, using the analogue xlr line inputs, which have decent conversion specs as far as I'm aware, this coupled with cubase and an input effect chain of the NI VC-76 followed by the NI VC-2A, and it sounds excellent.

AndyHowell 8th February 2015 12:58 PM

An Excellent Preamp for the Money
I use the Pre-73 DLX predominantly for vocals and voice overs.

For most home studios a preamp is considered as a way of boosting the output of mic. The Pre-73 DLX certainly sends out a very strong signal and is no way lacking in this departments. However, there is far more to this product than simply sound output.

The sound of the 73 DLX is rich and full without being (to my ears) in any way over warm. It deals well with the dynamic width of a good microphone. With my main vocal mic (a Mojave 301) I do sometimes roll off a bit of the low end but I'd rather be doing this than loosing the dynamic range in the first place.

To my ears this unit stands up to competition from far more expensive products; I would endorse a lot of what others have said.

The DLX has improved circuitry over the standard 73 and although the standard model is stunning value for money I think this is clearly a step up. This unit also has a built in pad and a variable hi pass filter, neither of which I use. There is an option to upgrade the circuitry using a Carnhill on the main circuit board but I don't feel any need to explore this as the basic sound of the unit is so good.

So impressed am I by this that I am tempted to buy another one for stereo guitar recordings. I'm also very interested in trying out the Compressor.

The only thing to watch for is the mains lead. Mine came with a standard two pin European plug and I had to go out and buy an adapter for UK mains before I could use it.

Make no mistake, this is a seriously good product and while more expensive than the standard 73 is still cheaper than much of its competition while more than equally the quality of their sound.

A very good buy this.