Vintech Audio model 273 by gainstages
The Vintech 273 is a beautiful beast. Based on the classic Neve sound, the Vintech 273 offers excellent sound quality, excellent build quality, and a personal level of service that is unheard of.
The unit offers 2 channels in a single rack space. Instrument inputs are on the front, with Mic and Line inputs on the back with a mic/line switch on the front.
The input gain is stepped and well marked, while the output gain is a continuously variable pot. 2 impedance options are offered, to help you match up to the best option for your application. The unit comes with 2 bands of shelving EQ. Frequencies can be custom ordered. My low shelf offers 60 & 110hz, while my high shelf offers 5.6 and 12 khz options.
Switches for phantom, polarity inversion, and EQ complete the unit, and then all of the previously mentioned controls are available on a second channel as well.
By getting different combinations of input and output gain, you can get a range of sounds, subtle in some cases, but definitely more noticeable in others. The sonic fingerprint can go from clean, clear, and warm on one end, to big, fat, and tasty on the other.
The EQ is incredibly useful even though it is limited. Cutting the low shelf seems to my ear to be more musical than a high pass filter on the microphone, and preferable to most of my plug-in EQ as well. likewise, a little boost can bring drums and bass to life, give a little more girth to an electric guitar, and so forth. The high shelving EQ has a bit of a magical quality that most of my plugins lack. A tiny boost at either frequency can almost magically transform a flat, natural sounding microphone into a sizzling vocal mic without excessive harshness - adding presence or "air" as appropriate. It can add a little bite to guitars, clarity to cymbals, or roll it back to tame something that it a little too bright.
I have used these preamps on just about everything imaginable. They have worked extremely well in every situation I have used, but really shine on Kick, Snare, Drum Overheads, Vocals, Electric Guitar, and Bass. Vocal mics that had been leaving me a little less than impressed suddenly found new life when recording through this preamp.
Built like a tank, and backed by a company that has great service, this 2 channel preamp is one that I recommend to friends and clients without any reservation. For the person looking to take the leap from "stock" preamps to good quality outboard gear, this is an excellent value that is sure to open their eyes to the wonderful world of high-end audio.