Golden Age Audio 73 pre and 54 compressor

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters' started by DonnyThompson, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    GA is a Swiss company, they have two products that may be of interest to those who would like to have external pre's and compressors in which to front load their signal:

    The first is the GA73, which is a transformer -based mic pre, ( No IC in the signal path), built to emulate a Neve 1073.
    XLR and Line inputs, Phantom Power, 80 db of gain, DI, impedance switching, an insert, external power supply.

    The second is the GA Comp 54, which is designed to emulate a Neve 2254 compressor.
    Discreet Class A, Tranny balanced I/O, selectable side chain filter frequencies, external power supply.

    I haven't used either.

    Shoot outs on youtube are available, but the audio on the videos I've seen have been pretty bad - and I'm talking about the audio on the video, not on the actual models described above.


    The GA73 runs around $350, the Comp54 around $400.

    SOS Reviews:


  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Yeah the sound of the video is bad. But when he turns the input gain up I think it's the unit that gets very noisy...
    And did you hear the hum noise on the bass... :cautious:
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Yes.. but to be fair, he was also using a Rickenbacker... not the quietest bass ever made... ask me how I know. ;)
    pcrecord likes this.
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I listened to a few of his demo, he often doesn't put the product to its right value. His review of the LA-610 was not better.. :rolleyes:
    Anyway, I heard alot of good things about the GA73, it seem to be a good choice for guitar amps.
  5. Reverend Lucas

    Reverend Lucas Active Member

    I have a pair of the 73s that I use as my preamps of color. (that's me being pc)

    I don't find noise to be an issue with them, but they get quite dirty with high input gain.
    pcrecord likes this.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Have you used them on vox? If so, any thoughts?
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    This confirms that youtube reviews should not be trusted ;)
  8. Reverend Lucas

    Reverend Lucas Active Member

    I've used them on most of the vox I've track since I go them. I don't have much experience with comparable pres to compare them to, but the way they sound make me happy. At moderate gain they add a subtle warmth, with not so subtle distortion when dialed up. I tend to listen for where it's noticeable, then back off a bit from there.

    Agreed. Not to say that there aren't good ones, but even they represent one person's experience.
    pcrecord likes this.
  9. Jensenmann

    Jensenmann Active Member

    I bought a used Comp54 some time ago just for the sake of comparing it to our Vintagedesign CL1. The audiopath sounded quite different but the compression behaviour came very close. This encouraged me to remove all stock trannies and install Carnhill replacements. That made a huge difference and turned the comp54 into something very usable and sonically close to our CL1. 200€ investment and you have an impressive result. Unfortunately then the PSU died, and after repair the meter and sidechain died. The feel when using it is cheap, since the threshold switch has no end stop and the metering is a joke.
    kmetal likes this.
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I demo'd a 73 in a friends room. I felt it was a piece that was bordering on good but not quite there. I know there are replacement parts available that bring the level up quite a ways. There is, as mentioned, that "cheap feel" to them. I think for a home recordist this might be a good choice. I'm not sure I would want to stack a bunch of tracks with this as my only pre. At this price there are several decent sounding pres out there. Not the least of is the Presonus Eureka. As a strip it is very functional. Lots of bells and whistles but the basic preamp is clean and has a bit of headroom to work with. The comp is very clean also and the EQ is a handy tool for certain applications. They could lose the saturation in my opinion as it imparts a rather blah and somewhat unpleasant kind of distortion. Solid unit. One of these and one of the GA73's would give someone a really good front end with some variety.
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm really leaning towards a Grace M101 as my next preamp investment. I like the price, and I've had the chance to work with them in the past. Ultra clean, lots of gain (75db, wow), for around $650, it's also very realistic because it's affordable.

    I'm not unhappy with my 1818VSL, I think Presonus makes a very nice, affordable class A Preamp. The 1818 ( USB, SPDIF, Optical) gives me 8 XLR/Line ins, and 6 outs. Great for drums, multi vocals, etc. And, at 65 db, it's got nice headroom, too (it works great on my ribbons) and, it is nicely transparent, but.... I'd like one very nice preamp. So far, for the money, the Grace seems to be the front-running contender.

    Although, if I could come up with another $600 (which is doubtful right now... I'm taking care of my mom) I would probably be looking at an SSL X Logic Alpha - which I've also heard and have worked with, once.
    Incredibly clean and ultra transparent, excellent conversion, and I do like SSL EQ's... not that I do a whole lot of EQ'ing to a signal on the way in to the DAW, but it would be nice to have if I wanted or needed to, and, I've always liked SSL EQ's... a lot.
  12. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

    I don't have anything against PreSonus, just recognize it for what it is. most time that will be entry level gear. Nothing wrong with that, everyone starts somewhere. And PreSonus has great customer service.
    We use PreSonus HP 4's and the HP 60 here I have no complaints. But I do not use headphones for mixing so?

Share This Page