Are Neve 1073's all that great

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by WRX07, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. WRX07

    WRX07 Guest

    They seem to be held in such high regard as kick-ass, but are they really that cool? I have a couple pre's that I think are pretty good:GR MP2NV, X73i, UA 2-610. Would a Neve 1073 just blow them out of the water, or could I hear it and go, "Eh, a little cooler" but not go berserk or anything?

    Are the new 1073's Neve makes right now exact replicas of the old ones, or do they not hold up against the vintage 1073's? What would a fair price be for a single channel? Thanks guys
  2. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    The X73i is a clone of the neve 1073, and allegedly it is one of them that sounds closest to a real 1073.

    I believe the GR MP2NV is also a variation on the 1073, but is a bit different.
  3. MistaG

    MistaG Guest

    In a word, yes.

    The MP2NV would be closest but with a brighter high end. Not quite as detailed. The X73i does not have the same magic, to my ears.

    The AMS are pretty close (Neve no longer makes them) and use the original designs and more importantly the same St. Ives transformers. From the Lynn Fuston article recently the original and the AMS are very similar in sound.

    Around $2700 to $3000 is what I have seen them going for. There are a lot of gear rental places that rent 1073s. You might want to pick one up for a day and judge for yourself. Preamps are like scenery. One man's Grand Canyon is another man's yawn.
  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Usually when the whole Neve thing is brought up, there is a big debate and or argument...I'm not going to reply or comment again, and hopefully everyone can be objective (and kind) but here is my take.

    A real Neve 1073 is indeed an excellent tool. The idea that it, or the Vintech, or any Neve clone is the be all end all is crap though. I do a lot of rock productions. The 'Neve' sound ends up on maybe 40% of the whole CD. The other 60% is something else. The Vintech X73/X73i/X81/473 (all basically the same sound), and are obviously a lot cheaper than the real deal (half or less channel for channel). There is a lot of controversy surrounding this, and I think a lot people who comment have not made the direct one on one comparison.

    I've made the comparison twice, with 4 sets of 1073's. They are as close and different as all the 1073's were to each other. The Vintech's sound maybe a slight bit more focused and maybe a hair cleaner at the same gain settings (but can be pushed into obvious distortion), but otherwise are very close. There are some things that have been done to the units in the last 9 months also that I cannot talk about, that have lessened the very small gap that some people were referring to (specifically in the sub frequency headroom) that is no longer an issue.

    The Great River does not sound closer to a 1073 at all, but it doesn't matter. The Great River is an incredible sounding unit, but it's not intended to sound like a 1073. It is its own unique piece of gear, that yes, is influenced by the Neve sound, but can go beyond that. For instance I have access to probably 20 different types of preamps at my studio (see my list on the link below), and the Great River is #1 on guitar amps (as an example). Extremely important to the sound of my productions because of the type of music our studio primarily records.

    The original 1073 and copies are not my preference in this application, they are too airy in the top and high mids, and they don't have the expansive sound quality of the Great River. This is just an example, but there is so much heated emotion over this subject it's almost like the middle east. I personally think there is an agenda against Vintech, because I tried damn hard to blow the whole thing out of the water when comparing it to the real deal, but it held up. In a blind comparison, everyone present was asked to choose which samples were of the Vintech and which were the original, and nobody could determine which was which.. Rent a real 1073 for yourself and do the test, maybe you'll come to a different conclusion (I suggest you get two unrelated units because there is quite a swing in how one real 1073 will sound to the next).

    And again, so much emphasis shouldn't be placed on that sound. It's a great sound, but is only one of many and is not a magic bullet by any means. I wouldn't want to record an entire album with just that sound. It would be too soft, with too much emphasis on the high mids and highs (some of the same people who think the Vintech is completely off base in it's sound think the 1073 is a dark preamp, which it is not, leading me to think that they haven't even heard a 1073).

    Again, I'm not arguing with you, but everybody hears differently. I hear the 1073 as being generally brighter and less detailed than a 2NV. YMMV.
  5. MistaG

    MistaG Guest

    I used these both side by side recently and that is what I came away with. But, like you say, two 1073s don't sound the same so making generalities is pointless. I would say, on that day, in our session, the 2NV was slightly grainier i.e. less detailed and not as smooth as the 1073. This was a vintage unit by the way, not a new one. The mic was a TLM103.
  6. Johnson Cabasa

    Johnson Cabasa Active Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    the vintechs are horrible we had them at the studio for like two weeks and all thy did was sound flat and bad. the sales people can say andy kindo f hype they want obut the vintech is so far from being a real neve soundit's laughtabel
  7. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    If they were so bad why did you all keep them for 2 weeks? :wink: Just Kidding. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. But the fact remains that you are hearing Vintech all over albums currently being produced. I've sold Vintech's some of the people on the list below and have talked personally with a few more engineers on the list below who are doing gold and platinum work every day. The amount of usage of these is so great in number, that it leads me to believe that the units were probably broken, or maybe your monitor path was not accurate. You didn't mention any pertinent information like, which Vintech models were used (and Neve units used), when, where they were used at (which studio), what engineers, what signal path, was it a double-blind comparison, etc.

    It's not fair to the readers of a forum to read claims from any anonymous person either making positive or negatives claims about any product. Claims that are made with bad grammer, no punctuation, and mispellings also don't lend themselves to an air of professionalism. If we are to have a professional discussion, we have to know who the involved parties are.

    You made a general claim about "salespeople", and I'll respond to that directly.
    As a dealer in our 5th year, we have come as far as we have because we are straight shooters. I'm blatant and honest with people that's why people want to come to me or Atlas for advice.
    I've been in the trenches for a decade and a half and am an engineer and studio owner first and foremost. (See studio link below). Please don't drag me and my company in with 'other dealers', it shows a lack of insight regarding what we are all about. I personally own $17k of monitoring gear for my studio (just speakers and D/A). If that isn't commitment I don't know what is.

    Vintech can stand on it's own merits regardless of the Neve clone debate. Ultimately, nothing can be "settled" on the subject, and people will keep using what works for them be it Vintech, Neve, Mackie or whatever.

    Here is a short list of Gold and Platinum engineers, producers and artists who are Vintech users:

    Santana - Jim Gaines (6 Channels of X73i's)
    John McBride - Blackbird studios - 16 channels of X81
    Todd Rundgren (X73i)
    Gary Pachosa - Dixie Chick, Allison Kraus (2 - X81's)
    Green Day Keyboardist - Jason Freese (pair X73i)
    Eddie Kramer (pair X81's)
    Peter Frampton (pair X81's)
    Dan Shea -JLo, Marc Anthony (473, X73i)
    Chuck Ainlay - Mark Knopfler, George Straight (pair X81)
    Robert Plant from Zep fame - see pic in Mojo mag 3 issues back !!(X73i)
    Kyle Lehning - Randy Travis,Ronnie Milsap (2 - X81's)
    Allen Farmello (Ian Gillian from Black Sabbath, Deep Purple) - pair X73i's
    Paul Worley - Tina McBride
    George Oldziey (composed, scored, recorded music for Spy Kids 1 & 2, Spongebob PS2 video game, Kill Bill 2) - Vintech 473
    Impotent Sea Snakes
    Bass player Limp Biskit
    Sister Hazel
    Queens of the New Stone Age
    David Foster
    Toby Scott (Bruce Springsteen)
    Jay Baumgardner, owner of NRG studios
    The production team of Ron and Howard Albert
    (Eric Clapton, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Rolling Stones)
  8. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    ::edit double post::
  9. Clive Banks

    Clive Banks Guest

    i like the sound of the vintage 1073. it is a standard used on many classic records.
    I hate all clones of copies with the exception of the Great River which i think is really smooth. the vintech goes funny when you drive it too hrd. none of the originals seem to do this as bad.
  10. mrbwnstn

    mrbwnstn Guest

    Does anyone have WRX07 email address? I'm trying to get in contact with him.

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