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Compare AMS-NEVE 1073, Wunder PEQ-1, Great River ME-1NV or Rupert Neve Portico
Old 21st May 2005
  #1
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echo unit's Avatar
 

Compare AMS-NEVE 1073, Wunder PEQ-1, Great River ME-1NV or Rupert Neve Portico

Hello all,

This is my first post on Gearslutz. It is rather long and I will keep my future ones short. I think this place is great for sharing information about how different gear sounds and functions for recording.

Over the lasts 2 months I have read all the posts about:

Neve preamps
Neve clones
Neve inspired Preamps
"better than Neve" preamps
Re-issue Neve preamps

I am going to buy ONE and only ONE of these and after much research I have narrowed down my choises to the ones that have been always praised and have had very little negative comments made about them:

1. AMS-NEVE 1073 re-issue
2. Great River ME-1NV
3. Wunder Audio PEQ-1
4. Rupert Neve Portico


I understand these are not all Neve preamps but preamps of a similar lineage and sound concept. These units are of different configurations as well. Some have equalizers and some don't. I understand that but I am only comparing the mic preamp section as the equalizer is not that significant to me and niether is the cost of these units. I don't care about cost, only getting the best one for my needs. For example If I like the Wunder's Preamp better than the rest but I don't care for the EQ on it, it doesn't really matter to me that I would spend all the extra money for the EQ and not need it and never use it.

I want to get the one that best suits my needs which is that I am recording a densly multi-layered electric guitar instrumental album thick with tons of Eventide and Lexicon effects processing.

No Drums or anything else, just guitar, bass gutiar and perhaps some acoustic guitar. These layers will include electric guitar recorded direct through a Radial JDI and then into whatever preamp I buy compressed a little and then to my Apogee and into the computer. I don't like amps or amp simulation. I like the sound of guitar straight clean through a Neve stlyle preamp to get more highs and lows. BUT NOT OVERLY BRIGHT OR HYPED IN THE TOP END! Amps are focused on the mids only. That is good for rock band stuff but that is not what I am doing.

Anyone who owns two or more of these units and can compare the sounds and their application prefernces of them including which they think I would like best for what I am doing would be of great help to me as I am having a bit of a hard time making up my mind at the momnet.

I would love to know what some of the sonic differeneces are between the AMS-NEVE 1073, Great River NV, Wunder and Portico preamps. If you own these please tell me which one is your favorite.

Keep in mind that I have auditioned the Chandler TG channel preamp and the Great River under the microscope and I much prefered the sound of the Great River. It seemed more even and full sounding. The Chandler really created a huge push in the upper mids around 6kHz and made the bottom sound lost and made the top of my guitar sound like it was poking out way too much. I really didn't like the Chandler at all. It seemed to focus the sound of everything way too much in the upper midrange. I guess that would be great for getting guitars to cut thorugh a mix of drums, bass and vocals in a rock band situation but with just layered guitar tracks, it made the mix of the guitars overly harsh.

Your help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you
Old 21st May 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

From my recent GS readings, theres 2 or 3 people saying that the portico is a step above anything neve'ish. I would wait a bit and check out future reports or just go ahead and buy it, or buy it for me and I'll report in detail : )
Old 22nd May 2005
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

i don't have the portico, but IMO the great river blows away 1073's. great river definately improved upon neve's already great design.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #4
GMR
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Everybody always says the Great river NV is better than this and that but nobody ever mentions using it for their gold track "the lead vocal". But they sure put the 1073 in there. How is the GR on Lead vocal?
Old 22nd May 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Just wanted to add a little something I was thinking about... if Mr. Neve is putting out something that sounds apparently really good, and you are having trouble deciding. I would give my money to him and not some clone company. Just a thought about ethics I guess.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMR
Everybody always says the Great river NV is better than this and that but nobody ever mentions using it for their gold track "the lead vocal". But they sure put the 1073 in there. How is the GR on Lead vocal?
I think allot of people around here use it for ld vox all the time. I just got mine last week and I have not had a chance to put it through it's paces but I am going to try it on vox real soon (I hope I like it... )
Old 22nd May 2005
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GMR
Everybody always says the Great river NV is better than this and that but nobody ever mentions using it for their gold track "the lead vocal". But they sure put the 1073 in there. How is the GR on Lead vocal?
i use my great river all the time for lead vocals. it excels for the rock n roll i use it for.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 

the GR is good for vocals, although i often use a 1066 instead. the GR seems more particular to the mic it's paired with. the GR is a bit smaller sounding- not as much meat as the neve, although it's a really great pre. there's much more versitility to it- between the imp/loading variables and the variation of how much you use the gain knob and the trim knob- you can get a cleaner sound or a much more colored sound. it does not distort well- it gets ugly.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #9
GMR
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GMR's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by beats workin'
the GR is good for vocals, although i often use a 1066 instead. the GR seems more particular to the mic it's paired with. the GR is a bit smaller sounding- not as much meat as the neve.
Yeah that's what I heard, that's why I'm looking for something else for the lead vocal. It's great on tracks.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 

Hey Actung Baby and others who have replied,

why does the Great River NV blow away the Neve 1073 mic preamp? Because it's brighter? Please give an explaination. I don't think that just because something is brighter, it is better if that is your reasoning. Please expain why it is better?

That is why I am skeptical of the Wunder unit. In addition, do any of you own and use 1073 Neves and what other mic preamps are you comparing the Great River to?

I would like to hear some responses comparing the mic preamps I am interested in which are also of great interest to a lot of people which describe the differences between them in terms of which one :


1. is the most versatile
2. is the brightest
3. has the most pokey upper mids
4. has the tightest bottom end
5. is the cleanest
6. has the most harmonic distortion or potential for it when driving the input transformers
7. sounds the most even on all frequencies
8. gets used the most on sessions for guitar tracking
9. eaves you wanting to use it on every track in your mix compared to the others
10. sounds the most sterile
11. makes you feel that it is just right regardless of what hype and reputation it is supposed to have

descriptions of frequency characteristics and overall tonal focus of a mic preamp are a lot more help than :

"I love the Wunder, it sounds huge and creamy and rocks and totally kills the Neve"

Those kinds of responses are ridiculous, useless marketing hype

Here is an example of a good response describing a mic preamp:

"Recently I put a Chandler TG channel under the microscope next to my vintage Neve 1073 and found that compared to the 1073 it was overpoweing in the upper midrange. It sounded like 6kHz was being bossted by about 6 to 9 dB which really made the sound of certain guitar notes on certain strings containg frequencies in the upper mids poke out of the speakers an a very annoying way and seemed to take any attention away from the low end making the guitar seem thin and not full in the lower mids and lows. The lower notes I played on the guitar seemed to DISSAPEAR while only certain upper middle range notes jumped out and were very in your face. The Neve had a very smooth and pleasing rounding off of those annoying upper mid and treble frequencies which let the ear focus more on other frequencies contained within the signal of the guitar. It sounded fuller and thicker through the Neve. The sound wasn't so focused in one area of notes but seemed to reproduce the whole register of the guitar more evenly. I guess the Chandler would allow you to make the guitars pop out of your dense rock mix if you didn't want to have to use any EQ. I prefer a truer sound than this overly tweaked out Chandleer TG for capturing recorded signals."

This of course is just a fictitious example resonse which i just made up.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #11
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by achtung baby
i don't have the portico, but IMO the great river blows away 1073's. great river definately improved upon neve's already great design.
Just curious...Did you compare the GR to a real 1073 or a clone?[Vintech etc]
stike
Old 22nd May 2005
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

i have compared it more in depth to a vintech X73 because i own one. i have a/b'd the GR with a real 1073 though and i found the great river to be the hands down winner. that's not a knock on the 1073 at all. it's a classic and it sounds incredible, but i think great river has made an improvement upon the classic neve sound. you're definately not going to get a neve and go 'o man this sucks. i shoulda got a great river.' i still use my vintech instead of the great river when i want THE neve sound and not an improved neve sound if that makes sense.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 

Getting way off the topic! We are not dicussing the four mic preamps in terms of how they perform on a lead vocal.

Read posts #1 and #10

that is what this thread is about

Can anyone answer my question? It's not that complicated.

If you own any two of these mic preamps you are qualified to answer this question.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Hey Actung Baby and others who have replied,

why does the Great River NV blow away the Neve 1073 mic preamp? Because it's brighter? Please give an explaination. I don't think that just because something is brighter, it is better if that is your reasoning. Please expain why it is better?

That is why I am skeptical of the Wunder unit. In addition, do any of you own and use 1073 Neves and what other mic preamps are you comparing the Great River to?

I would like to hear some responses comparing the mic preamps I am interested in which are also of great interest to a lot of people which describe the differences between them in terms of which one :


1. is the most versatile
2. is the brightest
3. has the most pokey upper mids
4. has the tightest bottom end
5. is the cleanest
6. has the most harmonic distortion or potential for it when driving the input transformers
7. sounds the most even on all frequencies
8. gets used the most on sessions for guitar tracking
9. eaves you wanting to use it on every track in your mix compared to the others
10. sounds the most sterile
11. makes you feel that it is just right regardless of what hype and reputation it is supposed to have

descriptions of frequency characteristics and overall tonal focus of a mic preamp are a lot more help than :

"I love the Wunder, it sounds huge and creamy and rocks and totally kills the Neve"

Those kinds of responses are ridiculous, useless marketing hype

Here is an example of a good response describing a mic preamp:

"Recently I put a Chandler TG channel under the microscope next to my vintage Neve 1073 and found that compared to the 1073 it was overpoweing in the upper midrange. It sounded like 6kHz was being bossted by about 6 to 9 dB which really made the sound of certain guitar notes on certain strings containg frequencies in the upper mids poke out of the speakers an a very annoying way and seemed to take any attention away from the low end making the guitar seem thin and not full in the lower mids and lows. The lower notes I played on the guitar seemed to DISSAPEAR while only certain upper middle range notes jumped out and were very in your face. The Neve had a very smooth and pleasing rounding off of those annoying upper mid and treble frequencies which let the ear focus more on other frequencies contained within the signal of the guitar. It sounded fuller and thicker through the Neve. The sound wasn't so focused in one area of notes but seemed to reproduce the whole register of the guitar more evenly. I guess the Chandler would allow you to make the guitars pop out of your dense rock mix if you didn't want to have to use any EQ. I prefer a truer sound than this overly tweaked out Chandleer TG for capturing recorded signals."

This of course is just a fictitious example resonse which i just made up.
If it sounds like any audible frequency is boosted by 6-9 db, your preamp is probably broken. They are all good. Just go with one. Which spice to want to in the kitchen?
Old 22nd May 2005
  #15
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

ya know, reading your first post... you are probably gonna have compounding issues no matter which pre you go with, especially since you are not using an amp/mic combo... and just running direct. unless you change up guitars used a LOT, its gonna be pretty bland i would venture so matter what single pre you chose.

why not instead of asking people, get all of them... rent em or something and draw your own conclusions. the way i hear something might not be the way you hear something... cause i sure as hell dont want to record an electric guitar direct EVER.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 

I have been recording my guitar through a vintage Neve 1073 direct and I love the tone I get. I just want to know peoples opinions on some of the newer designs that are based on or similar to the Neve to see if there is a better all around mic preamp for me.

A comparison of the frequency characteristics of these mentioned mic preamps would help me decide much faster.

I like the nice smooth round top of the Neve I own but the bottom can get a little mushy and un-defined at times so a tigter and punchier bottom end with a nice smooth, non hyped top end like a Neve 1073 would be my criteria of what I want in a mic preamp. I don't want an overly bright or hyped top end. I like the guitar to sound warm, not brittle.

Which mic preamp fits my desciption best?

Wunder PEQ-1, Rupert Neve Portico, AMS-NEVE 1073 DPA or Great River NV?

Which ones have the hyped up top end and a non tight bottom end?
Old 22nd May 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
if you're doing comparisons, definitely check out the aurora pre too.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #18
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
I hate trying to describe this ****!..worthless ...
But it's saturday night and my girl is working and I'm bored.. so ok, I'll try:
BTW ..You can make a great sounding record with any of these things..
For me...it's all about context ..not how great a single source sounds[worthless]

I have 2 Wunders[horizontal/w the DI] and racks of original 1073's/84's and some chandler TG channels...I only rarely record guitars direct..maybe for the zep black dog thing.overdrive the pre[neve,API even telefunken 76's ] to hell to 1176's to hell,etc,thing which the wunder don't do.
The wunders are big sounding,but a bit less colored and the EQ is less agressive and have what some would say a more open top than the neves....which have a bit of compression on the transients..I like em both
That being said... the Wunder's were used today with a coles[backed off!] on a cranked marshall along with a 57 into a 1073.this combo worked great.... today
..tommorrow: different amp/player...maybe something else will..whatever works.
what makes the neves cool is they have a certian amount of a dirty grungy mojo that I love for rock and I can't get from anything else and I sold the Vintech stuff off a while ago..
they just didn't cut it with me and everybody else here who used em["neve like" but in direct comparisons,overall smaller less punchy sounding to real 1073's...BYE BYE!
FWITW:If you want "clearer", then the wunders will give you that .
And none off this stuff has a Hyped Hi end...The chandler mentioned above must've been busted + 6-9 DB?
Mine don't sound like that
I got an aurora too .very useful DI as well.
It's all a luxury that I worked very hard for..I like to give people choices, allthough it can be a pain if someone doesn't know what the hell they want and they want to "audition" every thing..then it's time to hide stuff in the closet.
If I had to sell all the other shiit today..Noo probs ..I'd be perfectly happy with the neves.
Just rent/ borrow/buy/ return,, there's a lot of other stuff worth looking at..
Pendulum, Crane song ..etc,etc
then you don't have to go on my worthless opinions.. considering I don't know you and haven't heard your music .
Then you'll know for sure what'll work for your deal
...my hands need a rest. ..good luck
Old 22nd May 2005
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 

RoundBadge,

Great! Thanks a lot for your opinions on the Wunder and the Neve 1073!

Do you think that the Neve sounds closer to the Chandler TG with it's really punchy upper mids or is the Neve you have closer in tone to the Wunder?

Now if I could only find somebody who could tell me what the sonic differences are Between the Great River NV, the Wunder and the new Neve Portico. That would be great.

Anyone own all three of these or even two of them to compare?
Old 22nd May 2005
  #20
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
RoundBadge,

Great! Thanks a lot for your opinions on the Wunder and the Neve 1073!

Do you think that the Neve sounds closer to the Chandler TG with it's really punchy upper mids or is the Neve you have closer in tone to the Wunder?

Now if I could only find somebody who could tell me what the sonic differences are Between the Great River NV, the Wunder and the new Neve Portico. That would be great.

Anyone own all three of these or even two of them to compare?
you're welcome ..it's hard for me to translate sounds to words and my typing sucks ass..
BTW ..sorry to be so bitchy in your other Wunder thread..[I think that was you..i dunno]
heresay makes me edgy.
Anyhoose...To me the wunder is less colored than the neve ..punchy yes,but I don't hear an upper mid punch on em.. I guess my Dakings would be a bit more upper mid punch and/or brigther than the neves though.. and the chandler is a bit more colored than the neve..the TG channel overdrives real well and I LOVE the EQ,especially on drums...
they're all different enough to be cool on their own merits.
any of them with the right mics and source will sound good.

....The portico stuff is so new..not many guys using it yet..
I'm a little weary of Rupert's last few designs..focus****e
..but what the hell, I'm open to hearing the new pre's.some have raved already
The 2 channel tape thingy sounds semi interesting..hopefully not an "outboard "plugin.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #21
Gear Nut
 
MusicSh*tty's Avatar
 

RoundBadge,

You're tops with the skinny on the pre's. Just had to tell ya. Knowing you're hands-on and working with them all the time should go a long way in everyone's book. I'm someone who has been (sorta) open to something different than Neve and I've found you're insight the most valuable and congruent with my findings. To oversimplify what that means (and this is me talking here) I've found most clones and otherwise Neve-inspired pres to drift to a lesser or greater extent towards "hi-fi". And that's not how I want my records to sound.

I almost pulled the trig on your Helioses (if for no other reason than boredom, I've never had the chance to use any, and they're so damn pretty) but you actually talked me out of it when you used Aurora and P-bass in the same sentence.

To the orig. poster: If you've experienced the Neve already and you love it then I'd recommend not changing it.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #22
Gear Addict
pick one and just dive into the project. At this quality level it's not going to be significant.

I just got the Portico and did a very rough comparison with my Phoenix Audio DRS2 pre. It won by a hair but I could live with either one. Likewise i could be happy using just my Hardy, API or Telefunken pres. Once you have something you like, don't look back. Words i need to live by myself.

Henry
Old 22nd May 2005
  #23
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauarts
pick one and just dive into the project. At this quality level it's not going to be significant.

I just got the Portico and did a very rough comparison with my Phoenix Audio DRS2 pre. It won by a hair but I could live with either one. Likewise i could be happy using just my Hardy, API or Telefunken pres. Once you have something you like, don't look back. Words i need to live by myself.

Henry
thanks Music****ty ..still have the Helios..anybody want to trade for a Massive passive? ..
More "HiFi" would be yet another way to describe the Wunders.
and Beauarts is right on too.if you get any of these ,you'll be pretty much covered.
It's easy to get distracted by all this crap.believe me ...I do.
A lot of times these days I'll randomly pick combinations of mics/pre's/comps on a given source and experiment with the happy accident mode,sometimes with surprisingly cool results.when you get stuff on this level it's hard to ffuk it up..
unless you're drums and guitars are made of cardboard and you're singer drank drano for lunch.
Old 22nd May 2005
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicSh*tty
To oversimplify what that means (and this is me talking here) I've found most clones and otherwise Neve-inspired pres to drift to a lesser or greater extent towards "hi-fi". And that's not how I want my records to sound.
Just to interject, when a Neve 1073 has been recapped and fully brought up to spec it should sound hi-fi.

With an extended top and very tight lows.

It goes to show that there is very ill cared for vintage gear out there that needs to be regone through.

And if people are making judgements based on this than they are mistaken.


This goes for Neve gear,Pultecs,API and Urei 1176's and La2a's.


The sad part is some of the plug in manufacturers are using these to model there plug ins.
Old 23rd May 2005
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 

Hello all, I am the original poster of this thread and very much appreciate all of your advice so far.

I know the sound of the Neve 1073 and the Great River. To me the Great River sounds more open and flatter frequency response with a tighter bottom end than the Neve and not as thick sounding in the mids. Also, skinny with less harmonic content but still a full sound.

I am still very interseted to know how the Wunder compares to the Great River's sound? Are they similar and if not, what are the differences sonically between them. Which one is brighter on the top and which one is tighter on the bottom end? Also Does the Great River sound More like a 1073 or does the Wunder?

If someone owns these two units, I would love to hear some comparisons. I am looking for the best one to use with electric guitar in the context of electric guitar only based instrumental music, no drums or vocals.

I guess I want the preamp that is going to make a lot of layered guitar tracks stack up the best possible way without making cetain frequencies build up in one area too much. I find that with the Neve I use now, the low mids in my entire mix need some carving out to make everying gel better and to clean up the mushy or murky bottom end that sometimes gets out of hand.

Will the Wunder cause certain frequencies tp build up like the Neve or is it like the Great River which I found stacked up ver well?

Also any PORTICO owners that also have the Wunder or the Greta River NV please share your thoughts on the sonic differences between the Portico and these two and any prefernces for the Portico over any of these?
Old 23rd May 2005
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 

Any owners of these four preamps have any thoughts on which one they would ultimately choose for recording lots of layers of electric guitars if you could only pick one?
Old 23rd May 2005
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMR
Everybody always says the Great river NV is better than this and that but nobody ever mentions using it for their gold track "the lead vocal". But they sure put the 1073 in there. How is the GR on Lead vocal?
Only GR all the time on vocals. I love it.
Old 23rd May 2005
  #28
theother
Guest
I had the Chandler, 1073 and Wunder.

I still have the 1073 and sold the Chandler and Wunder.

On lead vocals I liked the 1073 most, followed by the Chandler. The Wunder was a big disappointment. It might be the singer or the microphone, but it just didn't work.

I liked the Chandler but the 1073 was just better. If you can afford all, it's nice, but if I had to chose and only pick one, I would start with the Neve and than add things from there for different flavours.

I would love to hear a Great River. A bit difficult here in the UK.
Old 23rd May 2005
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 

question for theother

Great response...thanks.

Just wondering, what was it about the Wunder that didn't work for and made you not like it and made you sell it in comparison to the Neve? Is your Neve a re-issue 1073 DPA or a vintage module?

Also how would you describe the sound of the Wunder compared to the Neve 1073? Was there something lacking in the frequency spectrum or too much of something that made it sound not as pleasing?

For guitar only recording, how do you think the Wunder compares to the Neve...what kind of tone do you think the Wunder would produce in comparison to your Neve 1073? Too bright?
Old 23rd May 2005
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Great response...thanks.

Just wondering, what was it about the Wunder that didn't work for and made you not like it and made you sell it in comparison to the Neve? Is your Neve a re-issue 1073 DPA or a vintage module?

Also how would you describe the sound of the Wunder compared to the Neve 1073? Was there something lacking in the frequency spectrum or too much of something that made it sound not as pleasing?

For guitar only recording, how do you think the Wunder compares to the Neve...what kind of tone do you think the Wunder would produce in comparison to your Neve 1073? Too bright?

Echo unit, man you are giving me and I'm sure a few here head aches. You will not go wrong with any of the pre's you are talking about. Focus on your playing, Amp.. guitar.. etc.. those are the things that will give you "the sound" you are looking for.
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