Not every microphone preamp has such a fuss made about it upon release, so why has the Golden Age Pre-73 suddenly become the talk of every home recording forum and music production publication this side of the digital revolution? Because it faithfully emulates the sound of one of the most coveted preamp designs in recording history, yet carries a price so low you might think it's a misprint.
If This Is Your First Preamp...
You may be wondering why you'd need an external preamplification unit, especially since most audio interfaces and mixers have a preamplification "gain stage" with gain trim built in. What you may not realize is how much that gain stage affects the tone and behavior of your microphones, and how having only one control and a non-optimized gain transformer (the component that actually boosts your incoming signal) can relegate you to one (usually lackluster) tonal color. The GA Pre-73 is based on a classic preamp design that offers separate controls for gain saturation and output volume, effectively multiplying your sonic palette exponentially. As you turn up the gain, you increase the coloration of your signal (think warm and punchy), and at extremes you can even push otherwise pristine microphones into aggressive distortion. Turning down the gain and increasing the output volume can soften and smooth otherwise aggressive sources--like an SM57 pointed at a distorted guitar amp. Additional tones can be coaxed from your existing mic collection by experimenting with the input impedance selector. Switchable between 300 ohms and 1200 ohms, this switch behaves differently with every mic, bringing out the hi-mid presence in some and filling out the body on others. In fact, with the Pre-73's wide dynamic range and switchable impedance, there's hardly an audio source that this preamp isn't perfect for. There's even a direct, Hi-Z input for recording the fattest, smoothest, punchiest electric bass tones you've ever heard in a preamp anywhere near this price.
If This Ain't Your FIrst Preamp. . .
Know that the Golden Age Pre-73 boasts a circuit that's based on the preamp stage of a Neve 1073 pre/EQ unit. Featuring discrete transformers for the microphone input, the line input, and the output path, and offering 80db of gain on the microphone input (-20 / +10 db for line level sources) the GA Pre-73 is every bit as versatile and musical as its expensive counterpart. Add vintage warmth to FET condensers, beefy girth to passive ribbons, or silky smooth character to dynamic mics. Try this pre on vocals, acoustic instruments, guitar cabs, snare drums, kick drums, pianos, and more; you won't be disappointed. Some adventurous engineers have also been using the Pre-73 for re-amping, or in pairs as the gain stage of their mastering chain. If you've been dreaming about adding that classic, British Hi-Fi sound to your recordings but have found the cost of most relevant hardware to be prohibitive, the GA Pre-73 is your dream come true.
At This Price, How Could You Not Get Two?
Did we mention the GA Pre-73 sounds great as the gain stage in a stereo mastering chain? In pairs, these pre's are also great for achieving shimmering drum overheads, authoritative piano tracks, lush choirs, detailed solo acoustic guitar, serene string ensembles, and a host of other demanding stereo sources. The impressive low price of the Pre-73 makes it easier than ever to incorporate classic-sounding stereo tracks into your recording projects. Golden Age even manufactures a custom kit for mounting two Pre-73's in a single rack space at the standard 19" width.
Finally, the classic, vintage, analog warmth of a timeless and sought-after preamp design is made affordable enough for any home or project studio. The Golden Age Pre-73 Microphone Preamplifier is nothing short of a recording revolution, and zZounds has them at an unbeatably low price.
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Golden Age products.
The Pre73 provides a low cost alternative to microphone preamplification featuring a fully discrete signal path by utilizing separate transformers for the balanced mic input, the line input and the output. Similar to the circuit you would find in the Neve 1073 preamp/EQ with a remarkably similar output.
The versatile sound of the Pre73 works incredibly with most sound sources and in most genres. The Golden Age Project Pre73 has a maximum gain of 80 dB on the mic input and the gain range on the Line input is -20 to + 10 dB.
- Vintage Style electronics with no integrated circuits in the signal path
- 80dB Max gain easily handles passive ribbon mics with quiet sound sources
- -20 to +10dB Gain range on the Line input
- Switchable 1200 or 300 Ohm impedance on the mic input
- Switchable phantom power and absolute phase
- High-impedance instrument input for connecting sound modules, electric guitar or bass
- A simple but effective 4-step LED output level meter
- Combo XLR/TRS input jacks and separate output XLR and TRS jacks
- Includes external high power power supply
The output level control offers:
- Fine gain adjustments
- Overloading the main gain stage(s) for more character
- Lowering the signal to a suitable level before the output stage
Golden Age Project Pre73 also offers a high-impedance instrument input making it the perfect solution for nearly any signal source whether for mics with a higher or lower sensitivity, synthesizers, sound modules or an electric guitar or bass.
The input impedance of the microphone input can be switched between 300 and 1200 ohms, which makes it possible to affect the tone of most microphones. There is also phase switch and an simple 4-step LED signal level meter.
The output level control makes it possible to make fine gain adjustments and also to overload the main gain stage for more character and then lower the signal to a suitable level before the output stage.