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Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII

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With circuitry based on the venerable Neve 1073 preamp, considered among the best-sounding preamps of all time, the Golden Age Project PRE-73 MKII ve...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

One-channel, low-cost preamp with fully discrete signal path similar to the venerable Neve 1073.

With circuitry based on the venerable Neve 1073 preamp, considered among the best-sounding preamps of all time, the Golden Age Project PRE-73 MKII version delivers the same vintage sound with lower noise and wider dynamic range. It also features a rear-panel 1/4" insert send/return jack, plus the gain control now operates clockwise for higher gain.

The Golden Age Project PRE-73 Mk2 is the first one-channel low-cost preamp on the market that is using a fully discrete signal path with three separate transformers for the balanced mic input, the line input and the output.

The circuit is very similar to the classical preamp section of the Neve 1073 pre/eq module with a corresponding sound character that is warm, punchy, sweet and musical. This classical sound has been heard on countless recordings through the years and it is a versatile sound that works very well on most sound sources and in most genres.

The PRE-73 has a maximum gain of 80dB on the mic input and the gain range on the Line input is -20 to + 10dB. There is also a high-impedance instrument input.

The PRE-73 is perfect for almost any signal source, no matter if it's a microphone with a high or low sensitivity (like a passive ribbon mic), a syntheziser or sound module or an electric guitar or bass.

The input impedance of the microphone input can be switched between 300 and 1200 ohm, 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.

FEATURES
Vintage Style electronics. No intergrated circuits in the signal path
Maximum gain on the mic input is 80 dB, enough to handle passive ribbon mics with quiet sound sources
Gain range Line input: -20 to + 10 dB
Switchable impedance mic input: 1200 or 300 Ohms, will change the tone of most mics
Switchable phantom power and absolute phase
High-impedance instrument input for any sound module, electric guitar or bass
Simple but effective 4-step LED output level meter
Output level control makes it possible to make fine gain adjustments and also to overload the main gain stage(s) for more character and then lower the signal to a suitable level before the output stage
Combo XLR/TRS input jacks and separate output XLR and TRS jacks for flexible connections.
Insert jack for inserting EQ´s and other units.
Selectable 600 ohm output termination.
External high-power power supply to avoid interaction with the audio circuits and transformers
Solid build quality that will last through many years of normal use

Okay, it's not a Neve, or even a Neve Campbell, but it does deliver the audio goods. Order today!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Golden Age ProjectPre-73 Preamp MKII
 
4.4

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

85%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (9)
  • Good audio (7)
  • Good power output (6)
  • Professional functions (5)
  • Versatile (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (9)
  • Professional recording (8)
  • Amateur recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (9), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Warm sound for a fantastic price!

Really was more than I expected. Great sound, great value and versatility. Try it you'll like it unless you're a sound snob and have 'highenditis"
If you're like me...Read complete review

Really was more than I expected. Great sound, great value and versatility. Try it you'll like it unless you're a sound snob and have 'highenditis"
If you're like me looking for a warm analog type sound then look no further. It has a warm fat sound without making your meters jump through the roof. The output dial lets you dial in lots of different sounds and the impedence selection gives you versatility with any mic you use. Makes even the cheap mics sounds great. I hooked it up to my keyboard and the sound was warm and clear, bass sounded clean and fat, highs were nice and clear, clean in fact. Easy to use, quiet, solid build and great tonality. Can't go wrong, especially with the manufacturers wiring things up like the stuff from the old days. It really does have a vintage sound. I have to admit I was going for the ISA One and sitting on the fence about the UA stuff but without being able to demo something that costs $500-700 I was glad I went with the Golden Age Pre-73.
Great build. love how they keep things simple.
Can't beat it, for the money might be the best out there.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Life's a bowl of Lemons

Got this and the Golden Age EQ-73, plugged them in together, switched them on and BOOM, the acrid smell of burning.....one dead Pre-amp!
I also got one...Read complete review

Got this and the Golden Age EQ-73, plugged them in together, switched them on and BOOM, the acrid smell of burning.....one dead Pre-amp!
I also got one of the pre-73 Mk iii. That one went dead when the low-z button was depressed.
I'm now allergic to Golden Age products.

Reviewed by 17 customers

Displaying reviews 1-17

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(15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Warm sound for a fantastic price!

By MusicBiz

from Somewhere over the rainbow

See all my reviews

Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

Really was more than I expected. Great sound, great value and versatility. Try it you'll like it unless you're a sound snob and have 'highenditis"
If you're like me looking for a warm analog type sound then look no further. It has a warm fat sound without making your meters jump through the roof. The output dial lets you dial in lots of different sounds and the impedence selection gives you versatility with any mic you use. Makes even the cheap mics sounds great. I hooked it up to my keyboard and the sound was warm and clear, bass sounded clean and fat, highs were nice and clear, clean in fact. Easy to use, quiet, solid build and great tonality. Can't go wrong, especially with the manufacturers wiring things up like the stuff from the old days. It really does have a vintage sound. I have to admit I was going for the ISA One and sitting on the fence about the UA stuff but without being able to demo something that costs $500-700 I was glad I went with the Golden Age Pre-73.
Great build. love how they keep things simple.
Can't beat it, for the money might be the best out there.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Sweet Mic Pre

By djp420

from New York, NY

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Great Sound
  • Professional Functions
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Paint Flakes Off

Best Uses

  • Bass Guitar
  • Guitar
  • Home Studio
  • Professional Recording
  • Synths
  • Vocals

Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

I bought a pair of GA73's 4 years ago here at MF. I have them inline with a Chandler Limited TG2, Warm Audio TB12's, modded TAC Scorpion AMI console pre's, Daking and Avalon 737's. To be honest all the pre's mentioned are great!! I have found that I've been using the GA73's in nearly every recording. I especially like to D.I. guitars with them. Female vocals are great as is a direct line in from a synth. It's an awesome pre for the money and I have many reasons to keep them in full service.

The only issue I have have with the preamp is the paint on the top of the box chips off easily. So far the face of the unit has not chipped. It's awesome really.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great Pre

By hardcore_applecore

from Australia

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio

    Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

    I hate to say that this pre is great bang for buck - but it really is. The pre is very versatile - settings offer clean gain to strong character. Tons of gain.

    Love the sound on vocals when the trasformers are pushed and the output is low. Some people say it is muddy, I would say it is more gritty (in a nice way) and has a nice ballanced compressed quality to the sound.

    Clean settings (early transformer stages) with moderate output are great for anything acoustic. Really love this setting as a drum oh. Acoustic guitars sound great.

    The quality of preamps coming out at a low cost is freaking awesome. Also recomend the WARM WA12 (API 312 Clone) if you are after another quality pre to add some flavour at a budget cost. If you are on a budget the GAP Pre-73 is a no brainer.

    (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great Pre!

    By Particle

    from Milwaukee, WI

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

    I'm soooo gald I got this! Everything I've read online said it was awesome, and it really is. My mixes sound so much more dimensional and musical. The tracks stack and layer really well, they don't start to sound muddy after 10 tracks like the built in pres in my FP10. I'm still using the FP10 converters, which are fine for now. I also have an ART MPA II with swapped out tubes, and between the two of these pres I'm able to get some really great sounds. I'd eventually like to add something cleaner like a Grace m101 and some API clones (Black Lion B12A) to help open up my mix more, and then eventually get better converters so I can hear more of what's happening.
    Sounds great, lots of gain, easy to use, affordable.
    Built sturdy. The sound is fat and warm. I like it on anything from vocals to guitar to drum over heads (with the low-z button down to thicken up the drums). It's also great for bass DI.
    Probably one of the best values out there right now. This is impossible to beat!

    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Forget about the price, this is superb.

    By STSHOTS

    from Utah

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Colored Sound
    • Input And Output Gain

    Cons

    • Not Grounded

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording
    • Vocals Voiceover

    Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

    I have three of these things and they are great in the studio. They are nice for fattening up whatever track you need them for. I'd say they are best suited for voice but really can do a lot. They also shine on bass and the DI is fantastic, especially for bass guitar.

    This pre is colored and its supposed to be, but mostly when driven into the third transformer stage. That's where the mojo lives. I find it sounds best for voice at -60 or above on the front end. I pad my mics appropriately to get to that gain stage to avoid clipping and get that great color. If you want clean, turn down the front end a bit and turn up the output. It can get fairly pristine with a good signal.

    (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Pre-73 Review

    By henry kennedy

    from Massachusetts

    Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

    I already stated my salient points above. Its a good step up from interface/mixer pres. Plays well with different mics, and you have some pretty cool options available as far as colouration. Good single channel pre. Its not a neve, but if u squint a little, it could be !
    Great having input/output pots, impedance switch and phase flip switch.
    Seriously what are the knobs made of? You may as well order a couple extra chickenhead knobs if you order this pre. Pre sounds great, but WTF is up with theses knobs that seem to fall apart during shipping? Easy enough to fix. GAP should ship each unit with replacement knobs.
    I use a daking mp1 in addition to this pre. The daking is beautiful sounding, but has less sonic options. The daking is a better pre reguardless, but the gap gives me some eaxtra colors for the painting, and doesnt sound bad at all next to the daking. Great little pre, variety of sounds too.

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A great preamp.

    By fawwx

    from superior, wi

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Sounds good

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Professional Recording

      Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

      I love this box. Colors up nicely when pushed. Sounds great clean or overdiven. I use this with a Sure Super 55.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Piece of Equipment

      By Eduard Rochester

      from Chula Vista, CA

      About Me Novice

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Easy To Use
      • Powerful
      • Professional Functions
      • Spartan Controls
      • Warm

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

        I like the warm that this piece of equipment adds to the sound. I bought it to replace a Pre Sonus tube pre, and I'm glad I did. Pre Sonus is good, but I think the Pre-73 just has them beat.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        INCREDIBLE

        By Phil Knock

        from Nashville

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Powerful
        • Versatile
        • Warm

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

            The simple circuitry and ease in use are a simple, yet elegant solution to boosting recording quality. I use this thing not only to get warm (potentially overdriven) character on my mic and instrument line inputs, but also to run audio from an mp3 (.wav) player. I can use this piece of equipment to add a warm character to synthesized instruments or drums on the computer, boosting their warm character. This was my first preamp purchase, and I was on the edge between this and the Pre Sonus Blue Tube. Although this has only one input, I am very happy I chose the higher quality option. This device is worth every penny and I am extremely happy with its use. The only downside is that you're kind of stuck with this character on inputs, however it is possible to reduce the amount of color added by reducing the gain as much as possible and boost the input (or use a trim control on your interface).

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Tone

            By Charlie

            from Abingdon,Maryland

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Easy To Use
            • Powerful
            • Professional Functions
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Events
              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

              You can run your guitar and vocals through this ,it will produce a great full sound. Do not go cheap you only need one and it will last a long time this will give you a professional sound.

              (2 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              GAP Pre-73 Vs. Behringer MIC2200

              By Ran

              from Llano, Texas

              About Me Experienced

              See all my reviews

              Ask me a question

              Pros

              • Easy To Use

              Cons

              • Poor Quality Duplicates

              Best Uses

                Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

                I tested the Pre-73 side by side with a Behringer MIC2200. The Behringer did more for my acoustic guitar and keyboard piano than the Pre-73. The Behringer is also dual channel which allows me to record my acoustic guitar in stereo and my keyboard stereo piano in stereo (stereo cable to a y split). I decided to let the mastering company increase the volume of my cd and add any needed color and depth.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Great buy! Great Price. Great quality.

                By Poe

                from Tallahassee, Florida

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Clear Sound
                • Easy To Use
                • Powerful

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

                  Bought this preamp as temporary unit to bundle with my U87. However this thing is rugged and great sounding. Not sure if I will need another one with the seemingly endless number of possibilities of gain staging with this unit. Still probably will get a more industry standard preamp in time, but there is absolutely no need to rush with this in my setup. if you want great quality vocals, no matter what mic you have CLICK THE BUTTON!

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Nice little Pre

                  By Ivyhurst

                  from Buffalo, NY

                  See all my reviews

                  Ask me a question

                  Verified Buyer

                  Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

                  This is a solid little pre-amp. The Pre-73 gives a nice Neve-like sound. The high gain of this pre works great with dynamic mics, like the Shure sm7b.

                  I've also had great luck with the DI on this preamp, specifically for bass. Running this pre into an ART Pro VLA 2 sounds great.

                  This unit is my second Pre73. My first was a used purchase which died after about 6 months. While it worked, I liked it so much, I bought a new one. (Hopefully it lasts!)

                  I knocked one star off for lack of documentation. This pre could use a bit more complete of a manual.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great sounding preamp, lots of headroom and punch!

                  By L. A. Welton

                  from Chicago Illinois

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Big sound at an affordable price......
                  • Clear Sound
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Powerful
                  • Professional Functions

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home Studio
                    • Professional Recording

                    Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

                    Great front end preamp, very smooth sounding when increasing the input gain. Plenty of headroom.Now I am getting a great sound in my home studio setup!

                     
                    5.0

                    Poor man's Neve 1073

                    By VO Doc

                    from Los Angeles

                    About Me Experienced

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Clear Sound

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Studio

                      Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

                      "Wow!!" That was my agent's reaction when he heard a short VO recorded through this great little unit. I used a Sennheiser 416 mic-->GA Pre-1073 Mark II-->Mackie board-->Digi003 @ 16 bit/44.1 AIFF-->ProTools on iMac. Normalized, no other processing. There is something awesome hidden in the discrete analog circuitry that blows away the built-in Mackie preamps in my board. There is a newer Mark III version with simpler controls, but this is fine for me as it is set-and-forget. I did a 24-hour burn in before recording the first sample. Great deal with MF sale price. A good deal at regular retail. Awesome sauce.

                       
                      5.0

                      My first impressions are very good . . .

                      By Max

                      from Los Angeles, CA

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Clear Sound
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Powerful
                      • Professional Functions
                      • Versatile
                      • Vintage Sound

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Amateur Recording
                        • Home Studio
                        • Professional Recording

                        Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

                        This thing sounds great, the build quality seems very good and I love that it provides 80db of gain. I was able to easily achieve a nice colored/vintage sound, but also very decent clean tones. So far, I've only tested it (not extensively) on vocals and the DI on guitar. My first impressions are all positive. That being said, only time will tell. If it holds up without issues over the years then I'll consider it great value for money.

                        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        1.0

                        Life's a bowl of Lemons

                        By Mr Manchester

                        from Astoria Oregon

                        About Me Experienced

                        See all my reviews

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                          • Unreliable

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Golden Age Project Pre-73 Preamp MKII:

                            Got this and the Golden Age EQ-73, plugged them in together, switched them on and BOOM, the acrid smell of burning.....one dead Pre-amp!
                            I also got one of the pre-73 Mk iii. That one went dead when the low-z button was depressed.
                            I'm now allergic to Golden Age products.

                            Displaying reviews 1-17

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