Vintage gear replicators Heritage Audio stuffed all the Neve-inspired circuitry they could fit in 1U and called it the Britstrip. The imposing unit combines a 1073-style mic preamp with discrete DI, a souped-up 1073 EQ, and – perhaps most impressively – the famous diode-bridge compressor. With all that on offer in a single 1U unit, the Britstrip marks a new high water mark for Neve clones!
Heritage Audio Britstrip
Heritage Audio already has a convincing replica of each individual module in its roster, so the Britstrip must have been a matter of figuring out how to cram all that tech in just 1U. Starting with the 1073-style mic pre, it boasts custom input and output transformers – the work of Heritage Audio and the usual suspects at Carnhill.
With a tremendous 80 dB of input gain and a 300/1200 Ohm impedance switch, this pre ought to take pretty much any mic and then some. The gain control is stepped in 5dB increments, which is probably easier to live with than it sounds. A dedicated DI input exists alongside the preamp, an all-discrete Class-A JFET circuit fitted with a passive THRU output for amplifiers.
Moving onto the EQ, it sees the high and low-shelf filters upgraded with Bell (peak) filter shape switches. Between them is a mid-band control with a Hi-Q switch. The layout is concluded by a high-pass filter reaching up to 300Hz. The EQ can be routed before or after the compressor, which we’ll talk about next.
The diode-bridge comp is derived from the Heritage Audio Successor. Diode-bridge character aside, the comp leans heavily on sidechain flexibility – there are 5 frequency options for the sidechain filter along with an external sidechain input. It features unified makeup gain / ratio and threshold / release controls, with the ratio control going as high as 20:1 for limiter functionality. A fast attack switch increases attack time, and a Blend control with On/Off toggle switch enables straightforward parallel compression. All controls are stepped. Additionally, two Britstrips can have their compressors linked for stereo compression.
Price and availability
At EUR 2499 (incl. VAT), I think the Britstrip is priced sensibly for what it is. The unit is available now at Heritage Audio dealers worldwide.