Golden Age is known in the audio circles for its affordable and compact renditions of the classic Neve 1073 microphone preamp. The manufacturer is now gearing up to update the PRE-73 line with a pair of Premier products – the PRE-73 PREMIER and PREQ-73 PREMIER. Both are styled in blue and, looks-wise, seem highly reminiscent of the revered original. Here’s more about each device.
This is a 1073-style preamp with selectable two-frequency high pass filter, two-position Air EQ, and Output pad to allow overdriving the output transformer. Like other 1073 clones coming from England, it uses Carnhill transformers for the mic input and line output circuits. There are tantalum capacitors in the signal path and polystyrene capacitors in the amplifier circuits, which signals high quality and long life. The internal wiring is soldered for a pure signal path, and the power adaptor is external in order to avoid electromagnetic interference with the transformers.
The price for this baby is 499 EUR with VAT in Europe, and 499 USD worldwide. Very good for a 1073-style pre!
This is the same preamp but with a 3-band inductor-based EQ and separate line input transformer. The parametric EQ has LF, MF, and HF filters with frequencies selectable from switches. It’s 55/175Hz for the low-pass filter, 400Hz/1.6kHz/3.2kHz for the mid filter, and 8kHz/12kHz for the high filter.
The price for this one is 649 EUR with VAT in Europe, and 649 USD worldwide.
Overall, these preamps boast very impressive specs for the price and make for a very sensible choice when shopping for such devices. Unfortunately, there’s no shipping information available, though Golden Age probably won’t be keeping these to itself for too long. These preamps might eat up the market if they sound as good as the real thing. The Warm Audio WA73 also models the original transformers which, as far as we know, the PRE-73 and PREQ-73 PREMIER do not. But they are still bound to get very close to that coveted mic sound.