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Golden Age Pre-73 MKII Microphone Preamplifier

Crank up quiet microphones, or plug a guitar or bass directly into this preamp's hi-Z input. Its low noise floor means 80 dB of clean gain on any source. (19) Read 14 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKIII Microphone Preamplifier

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Iconic Preamp Sound at an Affordable Price!

Breathe new life into your home studio with the vintage sound of the Golden Age Pre-73 MKII preamplifier. With up to 80 dB of consistent gain, the Pre-73 MKII gives your tracks a smooth high end and detailed midrange -- similar to the full sound you would expect from a tube preamp. Once you hear the familiar yet striking character this single-channel preamp can add to your recordings, you won't be surprised it was based on the revered Neve 1073 pre/EQ.

Capture Any Source: Mic, Line, and Instrument Inputs

Thanks to its high-impedance instrument input, line input, and switchable phantom-powered XLR microphone input, the Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKII is perfect for enriching just about any source. Simply plug your synth, guitar, or even bass into the 1/4" instrument input on the front of the unit and press the DI switch to add rich depth to your tone. You can even keep your mic and line sources connected to the back of the Pre-73 MKII while using the front-panel inputs: just press the DI button again to instantly switch between tracking different sources.

Now on the MKII Version: 1/4" Insert Send/Return Jack

In addition to the two Neutrik combination mic/line inputs on the back of this preamp, the Pre-73 MKII also includes an insert jack. An update to the original Pre-73 preamp, the insert jack lets you easily incorporate EQs and other outboard gear into your signal chain before the final gain stages of the Pre-73 MKII. Since the final coloration of your track will come from the preamp, any sound processing unit you insert will feel more integrated into your mix.

Discrete Signal Path for a Vintage Sound

The core of what gives the Pre-73 MKII such a warm, punchy sound quality is its classic design, inspired by how preamps used to be made: using high-grade transistors in place of more modern integrated circuits. The line and microphone input, as well as the output, all use separate balanced transformers that are individually tuned and optimized. Each input transformer has two possible gain stages, one for up to 50 dB, and another that is added to the signal path when you go from 50 dB -- 80 dB. After the initial gain stages, your signal hits the output level potentiometer, and from there it goes to the final output stage, this process only uses three additional transistors. The maximum number of elements that your source could possibly go through is nine, which is less than even a single IC chip in many modern preamps.

Adjust Coloration with Separate Input and Output Knobs

Add presence and depth to every source you run through the Golden Age Pre-73 MKII with separate input and output gain knobs. Simply overload the main gain stage and dial in the exact amount of "character" you need, then bring it down to a suitable level before the output stage to avoid peaking. When pushed to its limits, the Pre-73 MKII delivers a subtle harmonic distortion that adds body to a thin source without being overbearing. Every source you record, from vocals to electric guitars, will have its own unique "sweet spot" in the settings that work best for adding the perfect presence and depth.

Learn more about the original GA Pre-73 with this video from Gearwire:


Features:

- Vintage-style electronics with no integrated circuits in the signal path
- Controllable main gain stage and output for more coloration and transformer saturation
- High-impedance instrument input for connecting synths, electric guitar or bass
- Combination Neutrik XLR/TRS input jacks and separate output XLR and TRS jacks
- 80 dB max gain, perfect for passive ribbons, low output dynamic mics and quiet sound sources
- 1200 or 300 Ohm impedance switch on the microphone input
- Switchable phase and phantom power
- Line input with a gain range of -20 to +10 dB

Many home studios are built around budget audio interfaces that don't provide the gain you need to reach the full potential of your microphone locker. Those cold, lackluster preamps can leave your tracks sounding harsh and overall less musical, which makes for a slower, more frustrating mixing process. The Pre-73 MKII helps you dial in a great sound right at the source. No matter what you're recording, this preamp is an affordable way to significantly upgrade your home studio.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Golden Age products.
Golden Age Warranty Golden Age offers a one year warranty on all products.

Golden Age Pre-73 MKII Microphone Preamp

The Golden Age Pre-73 MKII is improved with a lower noise floor, and greater dynamic range. Features include an added rear-panel insert for EQ and dynamics processing. The Golden Age Pre-73 MKII provides a low cost alternative to microphone pre-amplification 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 Golden Age Pre-73 MKII works incredibly with most sound sources and in most genres. The Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKII has a maximum gain of 80 dB on the mic input and the gain range on the Line input is -20 to + 10 dB.

Features:

- Vintage-style electronics with no integrated circuits in the signal path
- 80 dB 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
- 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
- Combo XLR/TRS input jacks and separate output XLR and TRS jacks
- Includes external high power supply

Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKII 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.
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (19 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "The most affordable way to get a vintage, 1073 style sound."
Sound: I got this pre to see how a $300 design based on a Neve 1073 would sound and I am impressed. Comparing the sound to the preamp section of an authentic 1073 I would say that the lows on the GAP are slightly less full. The sense of punch is slightly less pronounced and the highs are noticeably brighter. But in general the differences are small and without direct comparison not something that would catch anyone's attention. The sound is definitely a credible representation of the authentic 1073's style of sound. Compared to the interface preamps on my Firestudio this pre has a lot more fullness, sense of weight, punch and headroom. It's a very good sounding preamp in it's own right. Feature: I think as typical preamp design goes this piece is quite useful and well equipped with features. I'm not a user of the low impedance settings, but it's available to be used. A DI input is also available, as well as phantom power and polarity invert. With the gain selection done by switch in 5dB steps it's easy to find your place between sessions when setting the gain. The output trim also affords finer adjustment of the gain, should the need be. There's even a fairly useful 4 segment meter that I find useful. I am quite satisfied with the overall feature compliment. Ease of Use: Preamps are generally pretty straight forward pieces to use and this is not much of an exception. However the gain is marked in attenuation so it might confuse some beginners as to how to properly set their gain. I, having been recording for years, didn't find it a problem though. Quality: I would say this is a very well built product. The still case, the switch, the knob, the buttons, everything well done. I even opened the case and saw the layout and wiring was neatly organized. It's a well made piece as far as I can tell. My only drawback is the power cable not being of the locking type. Value: If someone is looking for a reasonably affordable way to get a vintage, transformer based, full, punchy preamp that presents a very pleasing sound this is about the most fairly priced unit available. It's an outstanding value as far as I can say. Manufacturer Support: I haven't needed support for this product in several months of use. The Wow Factor: Very high "I want it." factor. This is a killer pre for drums and bass and electric guitars as well as vocals. It's just a great piece. Overall: I expect to use this piece well into the next 10 years or more if it holds up that long. I don't see it lacking much in terms of quality in build or sound compared to other vintage sounding pieces that cost several times more.
Style of Music: multiple styles
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Great Budget Preamp!"
Sound: Read the various discussion boards. It's based off a Neve schema, and is in the ballpark, but it is a budget piece... therefore it's not the same thing as a Neve. If you have something cheaper and are looking for an upgrade that has a flattering, colored sound, than this is for you. Used with a Shure 7MB, this has become a "goto" setup for many home studios. Feature: Comes with a power supply and that's really it. No manual. Ease of Use: Simple layout and dials. Crazy easy to use. Quality: The core of the product seems well made, but I do have to knock it on two points. 1. It looks like someone tightened one of the front panel knobs too much and it arrived with a small chunk broken off. Completely usable, just kind of annoying. 2. The power supply seems like a hazard. It vibrates on a hard surface and gets INCREDIBLY hot. Keep it away from flammables and maybe suspend it in the air (wrap the power cable around the end of a rack or something) and you will be ok. Don't set it right next to the unit. Outside of the power supply, the unit is very quiet. It does not have mounting holes that will screw into a generic rack (Raxxess), so either buy a cheaper generic one and expect to modify/rig it, or pony up for the GAP rack. Value: I wanted a budget preamp for vocals with plenty of gain, and this was good update for me. I found usable settings within just a few minutes, and am able to get a quality "home studio" result. I'm not sure that the extra $50 price increase of the MKII over the original is warranted, but I'm still happy with my purchase. The Wow Factor: It was a necessary piece to my home studio that gave me the sound I was going for with out paying $1000+.
Style of Music: alt/modern/rock
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