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Rating and Reviews: Black Lion Audio B173

Put some pro-level polish on your tracks with the B173, BLA's take on the Neve 1073 microphone preamp, with 80 dB of gain and tons of rich, creamy character.

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Features
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"Feels Good!" submitted September 9, 2014

By Riley J in Enid, OK
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Musical Background: Singer songwriter with a recording habbit.
Music Style: Indie Folk
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Overall: I have been using this preamp for just about a month now and it has surpassed my expectations. My only complaint is the silly wall wart power supply, but I guess if they are going to skimp on something to keep it affordable that isn't the worst place to do so. Everything else sounds, looks and feels great! I have had no issues with the preamp but I have done business directly with BLA before and they are a great company who are willing to go above and beyond to help.
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"Black Lion Audio B173 Microphone Preamp" submitted October 27, 2014

By Frank V in miami, FL
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Musical Background: Berklee College of Music graduate. 11 years of experience as engineer. Instruments played: Guitar, Bass, Drums, Organ.
Music Style: Ive mixed and mastered in most genres.
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Overall: I am very pleased with the sound of this little preamp. For the price it cannot, I repeat, cannot be beat. Most neve 1073s sound a little different in their own right. And this little guy has some great character of its own. Clean top end but warm, and big warm lo end too. And the built in DI sounds pretty good too. Definitely better than anything I've heard in the price range. I've worked with Neve hear, Api, Universal Audio, etc. and this unit hold its own right next to all the great pieces of gear.. I'm actually going to purchase a second one to have a stereo pair :)
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"Very Impressed!" submitted March 5, 2016

By a customer from verizon.net
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Musical Background: 30 years, songwriter/engineer
Music Style: Adult Contemporary and Pop
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Sound: Let it warm up. I`ll turn it on and go do something else for a while. Feature: I actually LIKE the stepped gain. Makes recalling a breeze, and the way the steps are set are just right. Ease of Use: You just need to work the line level of your interface with the output of the B173. Quality: Built like a brick. Heavier than expected. Value: It is pricier than items like the GAP, but well worth it. This unit really sounds professional. Manufacturer Support: No problems yet. The Wow Factor: The sound(in combination with Antelope converters), is extremely professional sounding. Ready for the radio. Overall: After reading some hoopla about it being "noisy", I was a little skeptical..But the tracks people were posting sounded beautiful! I picked this over the Golden Age and never looked back. It sounds a LOT more expensive than it is. The instructions say to let it warm up for a few minutes, but I`ve found after using it, around an hour and it`s gets even better. I`m using it into an Antelope Zen for the vocal channel. Incredible combo. The B173 sounds twice the price.
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"For Voice Over? Yep!" submitted August 10, 2015

By Tommy Griffiths in Clarksburg, MD
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Musical Background: 30+ year voice over and radio pro, voice over coach, demo producer
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Sound: You can't crank the gain on this preamp too much with out affecting distortion. Keep the gain low and the output ay about 3 o'clock for good sound. Feature: I'm not a musician, so I have no use for the D/I, or the crunchy output potential. Ease of Use: Depending on your voice quality, you'll need to adjust the countless permutations of levels going in and coming our of each device to get optimal sound. After a few hours, it's easy to get a feel for proper settings. Quality: Nice feel to the knobs, with good solid clicks with each turn. Value: Yep. Zzounds gave me the best price on this baby! Manufacturer Support: No communication with company thus far. The Wow Factor: It's overall quality can be measured in it's warm sound. That's all that matters. Overall: My BL B173 is linked to a Tascam UH-7000 (interface setting only) and sounds rich, textured and warm. The Tascam preamp alone is super-clean, but slightly thin. The B173 added to the audio chain is perfect for my resonant voice.
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