Clear Lake would like to welcome the addition of three BAE 1073 preamps to go along side of our two original Neve 1073s. Let this gang of the most celebrated and iconic preamps stamp their signature sound on your next project!
Like so many things in history, the legendary Neve 1073 preamp owes much of its fame to being in the right place at the right time. It was introduced in 1970 as a module in a console custom built for Wessex studios. In these days Rupert Neve ran around the independent studios of the world designing equipment for them on request. When Wessex was looking for a new console to satisfy it’s varied client’s needs, Mr Neve was asked to design what became the A88 console.
Rupert Neve designed a solid-state preamp with transformer balanced inputs and outputs (somewhat of a rarity for the time). This was done due to Neve’s history in broadcast and radio electronics where protecting the signal from degradation was critical. Also, because this was a console pre, the amp could not be source selective. It had to sound good on everything. People began to connect the great sound they were hearing on records to the equipment that recorded them, and the 1073′s infamy grew.
It is now regarded as a “desert island” preamp by many recording engineers, it has been used on a countless number of hit records over the past 30 years from Rock, Rap, Hip-hop, to Classical. The sound is described as very big, fat, and colored. The factor contributing to the larger than life sound is greatly attributed to the design of the transformer which seems to add subharmonics to the signal.
Due to the 1073s popularity, many companies are producing 1073 preamp clones of one kind or another, but very few have gone to quite the level of accuracy in construction as BAE. From the transformers physical circuit‑board layouts, the wiring looms, and even the mechanical construction, these modules are essentially an exact replica of the original 1073s. I think the important point here is that BAE’s reproductions are about as close as you can get to the originals with today’s components. Don’t believe us? Come check them out, side by side, at Clear Lake Recording Studios in Los Angeles!
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