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BAE Audio 1073MP Dual-Channel Mic Pre with PSU

BAE Audio 1073MP Dual Channel with PSU

4.9 4.9 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Arguably the most accurate Neve 1073 preamp clone.


5th April 2012

BAE Audio 1073MP Dual Channel with PSU by Jorock

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
BAE Audio 1073MP Dual-Channel Mic Pre with PSU

Approximately 2 years ago I purchased my first higher-end preamp (me1nv) along with an upgrade to Apogee converters which at the time provided a far different result than my previous recording setup of a digi002. After a year with the Great River I had decided that I wanted to explore more of the Neve territory as I had often read mixed opinions on the whether the me1nv is really a ‘Neve clone’. Enter the BAE 1073mp. I had researched several other options and concluded that this would be worth a shot.

Features
The features of the 1073mp are aimed at replicating everything the original Neve’s were known and loved for, plus a couple extras. Stepped input knobs (Red Marconi), separate output knobs and 1200 – 300ohm switches allow for control over the sound going in. There are XLR i/o on the back which can receive line level input when the activated via a button on the front panel. DI inputs on the front with activation buttons, and lastly phase reverse and phantom power switches also found on the front panel. I think it’s important to also list the price as a feature. At $2000 US for 2 channels with power supply, this is a very enticing opportunity for anyone to get this quality of hand-made preamp with the ‘Neve’ vibe when compared to the cost of a vintage module.

The Sound
I will first clarify I have never used a real vintage Neve module ever. I am a guitarist, writer, and engineer and have a working knowledge of capturing a variety of tones. The best way to describe the 1073mp - and I am quoting others in saying that - it “sounds like a record.” I have had experience with tracking acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, and bass through it and in virtually all applications it has resulted in a very full and vibrant sound.
There is a quality to my tracks that surpasses the Great River in terms of low-mid and high frequency clarity. Tracks seem to really be up front and forward sounding, and they stack well. My only issue is bass guitar tracks do not have the definition in the lows and low mids. I have found this to be the case with DI’d bass and mic’d cabs. However they still sound good and if you are on a budget it will work for you no question, but if the option exists, it might be more worthwhile to look elsewhere.
Another incredible feature with the dual channel preamp is the option to send your final mix through the unit using the line inputs on the back. Mixes can be passed through with the ohm switches, as well as input and output knobs all affecting the sound. This is where the versatility of this unit really shines for me. My mixes have taken on a truly organic and beautiful texture that has made a tremendous improvement to my ITB sound. Even with all tracking done on the 1073mp, passing the mix through at the end has yielded incredible results.

The Build Quality
The details are on the website for BAE Audio; and indicate that the parts are all based on original Neve specs. The unit overall is very solid and leaves me with the impression that longevity is not an issue.

The Price
At roughly $1000 per channel it is not cheap, but then again the dual channel unit with the features for running mixes through etc. yields far more return then your average preamp. I feel it is well worth the price.

Conclusion
Overall the BAE is a great unit if you are looking for quality at all levels. Of course the ‘Neve’ sound is known to be from a specific cut and if you are searching for something more transparent it might be worthwhile to look in a different direction. But when it comes to bang for buck I feel that this unit greatly exceeded my expectations!

  • 1
6th October 2015

BAE Audio 1073MP Dual Channel with PSU by Zoot

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
BAE Audio 1073MP Dual-Channel Mic Pre with PSU

I have 14 channels of BAE 1073 and a DW Fearn VT-2.

The only preamps I will ever purchase are BAE 1073 and DW Fearn. Given the vast differences in vintage gear and the price tag, it just makes sense.

The BAE 1073 is glorious. It sounds like a 1073, because it is a 1073. The low end is huge and thick, the mids scream and the highs are super creamy. It's difficult to make anything sound bad... and the DI, Line-in and Impedence controls are all an added bonus to a preamp that needs no introduction.

The sound of alternative music is Neve 10 series... and that is for a reason. It provides everything one could want in a preamp. Depth, warmth, detail, distortion when you want it, a lot when you want a lot, a little when you want a little. Every time I track a great drummer through all 14 channels and the VT-2 in my huge room -- it is a feeling like all is right in the world. This is what drums are supposed to sound like.

I love the character 1073 instill on the source. It just gives a gloss of vibe that is unmistakably 1073. Earthy. Punchy. Slamming. Kick drums that go through the floor. Toms that punch you in the chest. Snares that are cannons. Room mikes that feel like the 60s and 90s are still alive. Guitar amps blast like they are next to your ear. Direct bass and amps sound like how bass is supposed to sound. Clav/B3/Piano... incredibly vibey and smooth... harsh when the source is harsh, but they smooth out the harshness in a way that sounds amazing.

It is impossible to convey how great this preamp is with words... it needs to be used and heard.

Every mike sounds amazing through it... and the venerable SM57 plugged into 1073 is about as honest of a sound as you can get. From my POV, if you can't get a good sound out of anything with a 57 and 1073, then the sound sucks.

There is also something about running live-in-studio sessions through all 1073. It's magical. Beyond words... it just feels and sounds right.

I will eventually have 24 channels so that I can run an entire live sessions to 24 track tape. That will be a good day... but I will be working my way up 2 by 2 until then.

Just get one. For 2 Grand, I couldn't imagine getting a better pair of pres. Also -- BAE are just a great company and the gear is SUPER well made inside and out.

Thanks, BAE. You are the maker of dreams.

31st January 2016

BAE Audio 1073MP Dual Channel with PSU by payne104

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
BAE Audio 1073MP Dual-Channel Mic Pre with PSU

I bought the bae 1073mp dual channel pre-amp a few years ago, mainly because of hearing so many great things about 1073s and BAE making the best Neve products around. I had some money to blow so I added them to my collection, which included 2 API 312s, 2 LA-610s, 2 Chameleon Labs 7602s, Summit 2ba-221, Avalon 737, Art pro, and focusrite.

I had high expectations, maybe too high in a way, because when I first tried them, I liked the sound, but I wasn't blown away. I had enough other high end pre amps that it wasn't necessarily better than my other options, just different.
I actually didn't really use them much at first, partially because I was used to using other pre-amps for certain things, and sometimes it is nice having eq and compression in the same box, not to mention metering. It's just pre-amps basically with mic, line, and DI options and not much else. After being used to using say my avalon 737 for vocals, having lots of great features, low cut, lots of headroom, comp, beautiful eq, bright easy metering... with a u87 or u47 into a distressor, it's a great sound and hard to say goodbye to.

However, I soon started incorporating it more and more into my recordings, and over time, I started to learn why these preamps are so revered. What's so good about them is actually somewhat subtle, but the more I used them, the more I learned to appreciate it.

They are warm and huge and not a lot of other pre-amps really have that. They are basically just very well rounded and sound great on everything. They saturate in a nice way, they have lots of gain, they are thick without being muddy. There is really a lot of nice things that can be said about them. But all these good qualities are subtle, which is necessary for them to be useful on everything and not a one trick pony. I have found it to be the best preamp I own for vocals. Occasionally another preamp suits a vocalist better, but 80% of the time it's perfect. I've also found it to be great on guitar amps and toms. And even though it is not always the best, it always sounds good on everything.

One thing about these pre-amps to note, is they have a sweet spot, unlike some of my other pre-amps, they really need to be set right to sound right. They saturate in a nice way, so you want to drive them fairly hard to get that signature 1073 sound, but that quickly turns ugly. So there isn't really a lot of room for guesswork. This is made more difficult by the fact that there is no meter. For a pre-amp that needs to be carefully set, not having meters is actually somewhat annoying.

I can't really complain about the lack of features, because obviously bae offers the mpf with the filter and the full 1073s with the full eq. Those obviously cost more, so it's available if you want, you just have to pay more which makes sense. For the quality of pre-amps and getting two of them, the price is very fair, so I wouldn't really expect to get much more unless I paid more.

They seem to be well built, but I have had some issues. The LEDs have mostly gone out. Also the left channel seems to have a phantom power issue. The phantom power starts cutting out after a few minutes, which is annoying because, you think everything's cool, and by time there is a problem, you are in the middle of a take (which get's ruined). Also, one of the DI inputs gets scratchy and you have to put the cable in a certain way and tape it into place or it will not connect right. I have not sent it into BAE to be fixed yet, so I cannot comment on that, but because of how much I use it, it will be annoying to have to send it in.

The final complaint I have is that they are not impressive looking (especially now that all the LEDs went out). Because I run a professional studio, it's actually important to impress clients, and when people admire my rack, they never even notice the 1073mp (unless they really know their stuff) Even people who have heard to 1073s often miss them, as their eyes are drawn to other, prettier gear. This is not that big of a deal, and they are not an eyesore, but it certainly does not look like a $2000 piece of gear to anyone who isn't familiar with it specifically. This isn't a good reason not to buy one, and I get they are going for the authentic look, but I think it's worth mentioning.

All things considered, once you get one, you will learn to love it, and wonder how you ever got by without it. The great sound really does overshadow any complaints by a long shot.

 
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