It's around 4 years now since Golden Age first appeared on the market place with their R1 ribbon mic and shortly after with the Pre 73 preamp. The Pre 73 really re-defined the budget preamp market by giving the masses a stunningly good preamp at a price that every budding recordist could afford and in the past 3 years the Pre 73 has not only found itself in hundreds of bedroom studios but also sitting alongside very expensive "big name" preamps in some of the countries top recording studios. Last year Golden Age brought out the MKII version of the preamp addressing a couple of minor niggles in the earthing and switching but the main improvement was the addition of the insert jack at the rear which connects the Pre 73 to a range of Vintage EQ modules that Golden Age plan to release over the next year.
The original design of the pre-73 was based squarely on the famous Neve 1073 and while it had the original's fantastic sound, a lot of the 1073's features had to be abandoned to get the Pre73 in at a price that everyone could afford. Now with the release of the Pre-73 DLX and the EQ73 module you can have all the original feature set and flexibility of the original Neve 1073 and then some.... at a fraction of the price.
Basically the Pre 73 DLX looks and sounds like the earlier models but with a couple of important additions. First up on the left is a hi pass filter with exactly the same settings as that found on the original Neve: 50hz, 60hz, 150hz and 300 hz.
hese are the standard presets found on most hi pass filters and are really useful for cutting out a lot of unwanted low end at the recording stage for example on close mic proximity effect. Often when miking up bass and guitar cabs there is some really low stuff that you want to get rid of and sometimes stuff you might not even hear. It's a good option to have and while a lot of mics have a hi-pass switch, a lot certainly don’t even at the top end. However the other switchable control on the right was never found on the original Neve and for me this is a really useful addition. Under normal tracking conditions you will have the output control turned onto full and feed the signal through the input, turning it up until you have a good workable signal with the green LEDs kicking. However the Golden Age Pre-73 is configured so that you can really push the input for what we laughing call "character" but what is in effect distortion. Smacking something very hard on the input to get the pre to add some colour unfortunately meant that in some cases you simply couldn’t turn the out put down enough and so this attenuator control is a great addition. You can now be as creative as you want with the gain structure without having to deal with a massive output level. The attenuator goes in four 7db cuts up to a whopping -28db which should handle even your most "creative" twiddling. The only other external difference is a switch on the far right for switching the insert in and out. Again really useful as it acts as a one button bypass for A/B any EQ if you are running the EQ73 or the new EQ81( out soon)