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Rating and Reviews: Golden Age Pre-73 MKII

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.

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"The most affordable way to get a vintage, 1073 style sound." submitted July 31, 2011

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: professional recording engineer, musician
Music Style: multiple styles
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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.
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"LOOK NO MORE" submitted September 27, 2011

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Sound: From using it twice I can tell a world of difference in its sound than preamps around this price range! IT being built to replicate the sound of the Neve 1073 preamp, it sounds 99% accurate. You can't beat the sound for the price. Feature: The MkII now has an insert jack on the back to where you can open up to more ranges of sound for the unit. A+ on adding that feature GA! Ease of Use: The MkII now has all the gain knobs going clockwise instead of the Mic gain going counter clockwise. Now confusion has been removed and the front of the unit is easy to use than ever before, with the plus of a phase, DI, 48v and low-Z buttons. Quality: IT SOUNDS BRILLIANT AND GIVES YOUR RECORDINGS BODY AND TONE Value: There's no other preamp you will find at this price range for these kinds of results. If you show me that then pigs have started to fly. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to use it! The Wow Factor: It looks vintage and sounds vintage. The looks definitely reflect sound. Overall: Reviews are tough to go by and reading them is hard to make an accurate judgement on your own. Trust me, it's worth it!
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"Great Budget Preamp!" submitted July 5, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: alt/modern/rock
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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+.
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"My Review on GA PRE 73" submitted March 27, 2013

By Robert Encinas in San antonio, TX
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Musical Background: Recording for about 7 years or so.
Music Style: Christian Hip Hop, Gospel Music
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Sound: Going through my at4040 mic which i bought here as well the sound is very nice and clear. Everything place a part your mic and preamp so if you have a ok mic with a nice preamp then you will get a ok sound but get a nicer mic and great mic pre and you will get a great sound. So, I am satisfied with the quality I'm getting now! Feature: I don't use other push in buttons on this pre I just keep my settings with the -40 and gain up around 4points up from left to right. If I use the imp button it give to much power I don't want. Ease of Use: At first I was like huh? How to I get a right setting for vocals like nobody really help even on forum as if they all went around the bush about it. So for vocals I suggest using -40 and gain around 3-4 points from left to right and you get a great sigle for rap vocals! don't touch the -40 from that point just play with the gain. Quality: Yes, so far so good no issues at all. It should last a few years I don't push it hard just for what I need. Value: mm... i WOULD say that the price is just right. For the fact I want that Neve sound this is the closest I will get without having it the actual neve pre.. From what i KNOW they sound similar to close sounding. So, I would say the value is great for the product! Manufacturer Support: NA The Wow Factor: Appeal who cares... i want it to work ! But, as of Right now I dont' want any other pre out there other than a UA or avalon but I would have to test to see which is the best out of the 3. Overall: I originally had a presonus 1 channel tube then went to a art pro mpa 2 returned that amp way to noisy! and I decided to go after that neve sound that I am very much growing attached to. So, I am a proud owner of this bad boy and I'm very happy! It powers up my AT 4040 Mic nicely I have that with the HP on with the mic and my settings for rap vocals for the pre amp are -40 and gain about 4points up from left to right. I find that these are the best settings with a bit of color for what I need. Love this preamp one day I would love to have the actual Neve 1073. Buy this preamp forget art pro mpa 2 way noisy get this had no issue at all no noise! quite!
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"Great podcast preamp into line-in." submitted August 13, 2014

By Charles V in Newport, OR
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Musical Background: I'm not using this product for music, nor do I play or listen to music.
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Overall: I have a Heil PR40 dynamic mic which takes a lot of gain but had a hum. I sent it back to Heil and in the meantime I purchased a Sennheiser MK 4 condenser mic which takes less gain. I thought the hum was from various mic press I purchased but Heil informed me that the ground had come loose. So in the meantime I purchased this amp and used the Senn…wow, warm and strong. I then got my Heil back and it had no hum and the sound was great and this amp was able to give it a wallop which no other low price amp was able to do. So now I have two great mice and a great preamp.
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"Great Pre" submitted April 11, 2012

By a customer from Yahoo.com
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Overall: I'm an amateur musician/engineer and so a reasonably priced pre was what I had in mind. After tons of research and reviews, I bought two Pre73s and would agree. For the price, they're amazing. Bear in mind, they do have a color. If you're looking for clear, these aren't for you. If you're looking for warm, cozy distortion, this is a killer pre.
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"My Golden Age Pre-73 with Blue BlueBird Mic" submitted January 17, 2013

By Robert Encinas in San antonio, TX
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Musical Background: Been recording over 6+years.
Music Style: Christian-HipHop and Gospel Music
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Overall: Recently purchased this product this early month. So far the pre-amp is nice with my my Blue-Bird. I record vocals only with my Blue Mic with this pre-amp. One test I have tried and many more to go to find that right sound for vocals is I had my mic line @ -30 and the gain from left to right 4 points up. This gave me a great touch with my vocals. But, I have read that I should try per zzsounds tech and forums to go @ -5o to -70 mic and have the gain from left to right a few points up. I have not tried this yet but, will tonight. But, for now my first example sounds good. The sound comes in clean already, though I do not use the low z button this add way to much to the BlueBird Mic. But, I love this pre-amp I don't have to use to much setting with my plugins.
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"vintage pre for vocals" submitted June 6, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: recording engineer
Music Style: rap-hip-hop,r&b
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Sound: the sound is amazing..the low end has character and punch..every good preamp for mic hungry mics..like dynamic mics...this mic pre is very vintage sounding...can't compare it to anything else..really makes vocal satnd out and very much loud... Quality: outer case feels plastic and not very strudy...but still looks good.. The Wow Factor: get it looks amazing.. Overall: great sounding mic pre for the price..looking for a mic pre that is "warm" sounding then get this and make your recording stand out..
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"Great Sound for not a lot of $$$" submitted March 4, 2014

By Jonni Lightfoot in Salt Lake City, UT
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Musical Background: 30 years of playing.
Music Style: Rock, Soft Rock, Instrumental, Fusion, Bas
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Overall: I didn't really know a lot of the GAP 73..i went with a gut feeling and the fact that it ws sold out of a lot of retailers. I received it this morning and quickly plugged it in and started recording with it. I was blown away with how easy it is to use and how great it sounds, and all with a huge chunk of $$$. This is a great pre-amp and i can see now why it is sold out a lot of the time 5 Stars!!!!
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"GAP pre 73" submitted October 29, 2013

By Ronald Griffin in phila, PA
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Musical Background: 50+ yrs. bass guitar, guitar, keyboard and drums
Music Style: old school r&b, smooth jazz
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Overall: This is a well made preamp. it's very clean and powerful. I'm very happy I found out about it and took a chance that I don't regret at all..The price is very affordable for us guys with home studios. It's hard to believe the difference it made to my recordings.Ron G. singer, songwriter, musician and engineer
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"Excellent at any price!" submitted April 14, 2012

By Jimmy B in Troy, AL
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Musical Background: Professional
Music Style: Rock/Metal/Punk/Alternative
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Overall: The GA Pre-73 is a fantastic mic pre. Colourful, musical and very rich in texture. It is really transparent, it does add warmth and a stand out texture to you mix! (For Vocals Primarily). Wonderful for guitars, direct bass, it is simply put: The best mic pre for your home and/or proffessional studio for the price! It cannot be beat... Replicates the Classic Neve 1073 in an eerily close way... For not being labled a clone, it should be. But the average clone is $900 without power supply... You must try, listen and record to believe how amazing this thing really is...
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"Powerful but expensive" submitted August 24, 2014

By Charles V in Newport, OR
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Musical Background: I don't play an instrument or listen to music. I use this piece of equipment for podcasting.
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Overall: The preamp gives you 80 db of gain which is great for power hungry dynamic mics. Other than that no big deal.
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"Blows" submitted September 27, 2012

By a customer from gmail.com
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Overall: I had just got it and after a while it started making this odd hum. I guess I got a defective one but it sucks. Other than that, it sounds great!
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