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Who likes a 1073 but not a 1272 for vocals?
Old 30th December 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Who likes a 1073 but not a 1272 for vocals?

I had a Vintech 1272 for several years and I never found it pleasing for vocals(especially female vocals). It sounds great on guitars and drums but it rarely got picked for vocals. I would say it has sort of a hard cold sound to it when used on vocals. I purchased it based on listening to tons of clips and the mic pre cd. I hear a lot of people rave about many of the 1073 type pres but I haven't tested any of them here. So, should I even try a 1073 if I don't like the 1272 type pre?
Old 30th December 2012
  #2
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by groove guru View Post
I had a Vintech 1272 for several years and I never found it pleasing for vocals(especially female vocals). It sounds great on guitars and drums but it rarely got picked for vocals. I would say it has sort of a hard cold sound to it when used on vocals. I purchased it based on listening to tons of clips and the mic pre cd. I hear a lot of people rave about many of the 1073 type pres but I haven't tested any of them here. So, should I even try a 1073 if I don't like the 1272 type pre?
When I had a REAL Neve 1073 module about 15 years ago I loved it, but...I always used a bit EQ on the unit when tracking. Most engineers I know did as well.

Later I got a BAE 1272 (with no EQ) and it made everything sound like a blanket was over it. So I wouldn't own one without EQ for some sources anyway. Just my experience with them.
Old 30th December 2012
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
When I had a REAL Neve 1073 module about 15 years ago I loved it, but...I always used a bit EQ on the unit when tracking. Most engineers I know did as well.

Later I got a BAE 1272 (with no EQ) and it made everything sound like a blanket was over it. So I wouldn't own one without EQ for some sources anyway. Just my experience with them.
99% of pro engineers would tell you if you're not using the EQ, you're only using half the unit.
Old 30th December 2012
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jroode View Post
99% of pro engineers would tell you if you're not using the EQ, you're only using half the unit.
That actually brings up another concern of mine. I love using a compressor while tracking but rarely like to EQ before compression.
Old 30th December 2012
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Ok, let me try this again. The EQ section is what contributes to the overall sound of the piece.

Just trying to help here... but with that kind of thinking, you are closing a lot of doors.
Old 30th December 2012
  #6
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I certainly don't want to close doors. I am looking to take things to another level. I have only used one pre that I would use the EQ on while tracking and that was a PV/AMR VMP2. I loved it's EQ for getting extra breathy harmonies. So I'm not ruling it out, just letting you know my experiences.
Old 30th December 2012
  #7
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Honestly - what does a 1272 have to do with a 1073? They're not similar except that they both came out of Neve boards.
Old 30th December 2012
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggator6 View Post
Honestly - what does a 1272 have to do with a 1073? They're not similar except that they both came out of Neve boards.
Well, they are marketed to budget minded folks like me who want to hear what all of the Neve fuss is about. Are you saying that they don't share similar characteristics in tone?
Old 30th December 2012
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jroode View Post
99% of pro engineers would tell you if you're not using the EQ, you're only using half the unit.
yeah using knobs just to use them is real pro.

high pass, high shelf is usually all you need for vocals. If you need eq it is best to try another mic first.
Old 30th December 2012
  #10
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wirerecording's Avatar
A real 1073 and any 1272 (original mod/BAE / others) are different circuits. they share some components, but are very different. I have used an old Neve 1272 and a BAE, both had a solid low mid low and nice distortion quality, but some what dull and 2 dimensional. a real Neve 1073, should be very thick and smooth. the top should be soft and clear....not "airy" or bright but clear. now the magic grey knob (hi freq) can open things up and add some air. the EQ is great but, EQing can make it tougher to match tones 5 months later when you need to change a vocal line. EQ! compression? whatever works for you is right. the basic idea of "do no harm" is a good starting point, but there are as many exception as the are rules.
get a proper vintage 1073.....you'll likely keep it forever
Old 30th December 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirerecording View Post
A real 1073 and any 1272 (original mod/BAE / others) are different circuits. they share some components, but are very different. I have used an old Neve 1272 and a BAE, both had a solid low mid low and nice distortion quality, but some what dull and 2 dimensional. a real Neve 1073, should be very thick and smooth. the top should be soft and clear....not "airy" or bright but clear. now the magic grey knob (hi freq) can open things up and add some air. the EQ is great but, EQing can make it tougher to match tones 5 months later when you need to change a vocal line. EQ! compression? whatever works for you is right. the basic idea of "do no harm" is a good starting point, but there are as many exception as the are rules.
get a proper vintage 1073.....you'll likely keep it forever
I second to this! I have owned over 25 neve 1073's and recently I use 12 of the AMS reissues.. I like them.. are they a little different from the original.. .. but they are still really good and have all the characteristics without the dirty switches and pots.. PS I still have a original 1073, but not sure if it is better or not...

AMS neve did a great job on the reissues and especially a great job on the Neve AMS racks.. Put up a vintage good working U87 into a reissue 1073 and you'll be happy!!!

I have done many shoot outs of 1073 knock-offs.. the real thing has the depth of field and tone..the copies lack the character, space, depth, and sonic personality.. that does not mean they are not usefull, but if you want a 1073.. buy a original or reissue ams-neve.... this is why we use them
Old 30th December 2012
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emitsweet View Post
yeah using knobs just to use them is real pro.

high pass, high shelf is usually all you need for vocals. If you need eq it is best to try another mic first.
Broad generalization in a field where every track can be an exception to this rule, which...is hardly a rule in the first place.
Old 30th December 2012
  #13
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pongmaster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wirerecording View Post
A real 1073 and any 1272 (original mod/BAE / others) are different circuits. they share some components, but are very different.
this is missleading.

when we talk about the preamp section, you can have a 1272 IDENTICAL to a 1073, etc. up to about 50db, that requiers the right people doing that job.
(theres lot of wrong stuff out there)
the awesome switch from glideonfade does that part perfectly.
Old 30th December 2012
  #14
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AwTAC's Avatar
 

so much misinformation out there, it is just astounding.

Astounding.

A stock NEVE 1272 and a stock NEVE 1073 (not counting the EQ in the 1073 of course) are in every way, all the time, in every single instance identical circuits. IDENTICAL.

Where a 1073 differs from a 1272 is the following:
1. the addition of the entire EQ section
2. the addition of the input sensitivity switch
3. the addition of the third gain stage that is ONLY activated when it is switched in above 50 or 55dB of gain (cant recall off hand exactly)

The units both use identical input transformers for a mic, identical output transformers and the identical 283 amplifier card which contains the first two gain stages wrapped around a fader loop. Thats it. the end. They are identical. The 1073 has a whole bunch of other stuff, but the foundation is the same.

Why everyone thinks they sound different:

The way that a 1272/1073 is implemented around the 283 is perhaps the most particular circuit I have ever played with in regards to how it needs to be set up. The reason why the 1073 sounds so good and a third party "1272" can sound so "different" is because of the input sensitivity switch (or specifically the lack of it). Many amps out there, like an api 312 for instance, will adjust the feedback around an opamp to adjust gain. This is not what Neve designed for the 1272/1073 and most of what is happening in that input sensitivity switch is simply a pad. When you apply a bunch of feedback to the 283, in my experience, it starts to sound particularly terrible in the midrage with really really really choked mids. Neve did not set up a 1073 like this for a reason. The whole smooth top, big bottom thing that neve is known for gets mangled pretty quickly when the setup of the 283 deviates far from what neve spec'd.

I am not even half an expert on neve history or design or what is currently available on the market or any of that, but I will say that I have never, not one time, seen a third party "1272" that was wired correctly. Not once, ever. If you do not have that input sensitivity switch in there and you want gain control over that amp, there is no chance its going to sound "right" or "to spec" without it.

You will find no argument from me that there are plenty of people out there that love their "1272" however it is configured and thats great. Im just taking the time to dispel the idea that somehow there is some kind of difference in the circuits between a 1272 and a 1073 when there is none (none as in none). Its just how they are set up.

You can read a bunch more about this here:

Custom Electronics

All of this information is plain to see to any and everyone who has the most remedial ability to read a schematic. This is not some lore I have resurrected from a whisper heard in a control room in Chelsea in 1974 nor some nonsense that was delivered from the dark side of the moon. It's all there on the neve published documents, it is very plainly laid out and while Im sure this will not stop people from wanting to debate this, it very clearly should...

Long story short, to 50 db or so, with the EQ out and the proper sensitivity switch installed there is zero / no / none / not ever a difference between a 1073 and a 1272.

If you are inclined to research this on your own you can also include the 1290 in your study which nicely ties this discussion together as it truly the stand alone 1073 without the eq- it has the sensitivity switch along with the third gain stage of the 1073. When you compare the prints for the three circuits it should dispel, with clarity, how these circuits are identical and where they differ. The bottom line really is the fact that the relevance and function of that input sensitivity switch has truly been taken for granted by some people out there and while you can take that 1272 and make a cool thing out of it, its going to behave very very differently without that switch than anything neve ever would have or did produce back in its heyday. With the switch installed you'll see that a 1272 and a 1073 can sound as identical as the tolerance of the parts they are made out of will allow for.

I have used an 8 channel 1272 box w the glide on fade switch for about 8 years and on a rock session with dynamic mics, 50 dB has never been a limiting factor.

Sorry to be so long winded about this, it just hits a nerve.
Old 30th December 2012
  #15
Gear Nut
 
wirerecording's Avatar
I easily defer to AwTAC' knowledge of electronics and 1073 schematics. I apologize if pissed off him/her in stating the same thing they did, that there are differences between a1272 and 1073 that make them sound different, granted only two, input sensitivity and the third gain stage.
however in all seriousness, if AwTAC knows the proper way to wire a 1272, I'll start looking for a pair and would like to hire you to rack them. Honestly, most of the best techs I've worked with are strongly opinionated, and frustrated with us users who tend to have incomplete info. So while I enjoyed tweaking AwTAC for the broken logic of their ' absolute with only 2 exceptions' statement, I would bet they are far more qualified to speak about circuit than I am. I just a user
Old 30th December 2012
  #16
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AwTAC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wirerecording View Post
I apologize if pissed off him/her
haha, not at all. over the years though this is like someone calling a porpoise a fish...


Quote:
in stating the same thing they did, that there are differences between a1272 and 1073 that make them sound different, granted only two, input sensitivity and the third gain stage.
you hardly made the same statement and they dont sound different AT ALL.

1. the third gain stage in a 1073 is *out of circuit* until you go to the top of the switch, 55 dB + or where ever. The first two stages in a 1073 are on a 283 amplifier card, the exact card that is in a 1272. Exact. Identical. Not in any way different. On a 1271, only one of the amps on that card is stuffed, the card is only half full of components (283AM). So you'll find a 283AV in a 1272, 1290, 1073.

2. 1272's were used in positions in the consoles that required a fixed gain, so the very expensive input sensitivity switch assembly was omitted in place of the components for a given position on that switch wired permanently to the 1272. So, for that 1272 that you pulled out of the console, however it is setup, should correspond to a position on the 1073 that should sound the same because it is the same. The same as in, not different. Yes, there is a third gain stage but at 30dB, its off, out of circuit.

If you have a vintage 1272 that sounds like, totally different at equal gain to your vintage 1073, its not set up correctly and thats the end of it. If you have some new manufacture item, that difference in sound could be any number of things far beyond a switch assembly and is sorta well outside of the realm of this discussion.


Quote:
however in all seriousness, if AwTAC knows the proper way to wire a 1272
Im not the gate keeper of information. All this stuff is on the published neve schematics. There is no voodoo, nothing secret, nothing you need to have 35 years of experience to understand or implement. Its just there.

Quote:
So while I enjoyed tweaking AwTAC for the broken logic of their ' absolute with only 2 exceptions' statement
Im very obviously making this simple and omissions have been made to keep it exactly that: simple. Please look at the circuit diagrams and draw your own conclusions. This isnt very hard to understand and if you ever take the time to experiment with all the ways to add a gain control to a 283, you can hear how the circuit changes when you do stuff like stick a simple pot on there to adjust feedback. Going through that process, if you are intimately familiar with the sound these amps make, you'll understand with clarity why that stupldly expensive switch assembly exists.

the bottom line here is that if you have not compared a 1272 with the proper input sensitivity switch installed (like on a 1290) to a 1073, it is not much of a surprise that people are reaching a "sounds totally different" conclusion, because if you just stick a pot in place of that switch, it is going to sound different. That does not change the reality that both the 1272 and 1073 are made of exactly the same building blocks and one is wired to spec and the other, in most cases, "different". If your vintage 1272 sounds incredibly different from your vintage 1073 at equal gain, something is wrong.
Old 31st December 2012
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emitsweet View Post
yeah using knobs just to use them is real pro.

high pass, high shelf is usually all you need for vocals. If you need eq it is best to try another mic first.
Haha.. you totally missed the point. It's not about EQ or using knobs just to use them. It's about the signal going through additional circuitry which contributes to the overall character of the unit. But that's ok. Keep thinking that way. It'll get you nowhere.
Old 31st December 2012
  #18
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
Avedis knows Neve very well, as does JLM, and also James Gangwer. The GLIDEONFADE is a must have for the build, or something identical. 1272's are a great start for a Neve channel....
Old 31st December 2012
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jroode View Post
Haha.. you totally missed the point. It's not about EQ or using knobs just to use them. It's about the signal going through additional circuitry which contributes to the overall character of the unit. But that's ok. Keep thinking that way. It'll get you nowhere.
lol, ok I'll just engage the eq button to get the extra phase shift
Old 31st December 2012
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

271 posts since Oct of 2012. I think you just like to hear yourself talk.

Done.
Old 31st December 2012
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jroode View Post
271 posts since Oct of 2012. I think you just like to hear yourself talk.

Done.
but I'm writing not talking, so try again mate


I just want to see a picture of your "1073" with EQ in or out.......
Old 31st December 2012
  #22
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Showcase's Avatar
 

We have vintage 1272`s and 1073, I havent heard any obvious differences, in that case it must be subtle, if your Vintech 1272 has a cold sound to it its not a very good clone or its something wrong with it.

I have never heard any difference with the eq engaged but no tweaking either, what is suppose to happen? I think I read somewhere George G mentioned there was a roll off in the highs with the eq engaged but I have never noticed that.
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