Review: Golden Age Pre 73 MKII Mic Pre Amp

Looking to add some vintage colour to your vocals?

Item: Golden Age Project Pre-73 MK2 Microphone Pre-Amp

Price: $349, £240


At a Glance: The Golden Age Project Pre-73 is a microphone pre-amplifier that aims to create a classic high-end sound on a more modest budget. It is largely based upon the pre-amp section of the Neve 1073, a pre-amp that has been used on countless recordings in top studios since the 1970’s. Instead of trying to be the cleanest sounding unit on the market, the Pre-73 aims to add colour to your recordings to enhance the sound coming from your microphone. It also has a DI input for connecting a guitar, 48v phantom power, and a ‘low-z’ control for altering the microphone impedance and a phase reverse switch.

High Notes: The unit adds slightly hyped mid frequencies with a very well controlled low end; this helps push vocals to the front of the mix. When combined with the right mic, the Pre 73 makes vocals sound fuller and more lush – especially when compared to the pre-amps found on many lower-end interfaces. It features seperate controls for the input and output levels. This allows you push the pre-amp section harder and cause more colouration by turning up the input level, whilst at the same time using the output control knob to stop it overloading your audio interface. The Pre-73 has balanced outputs to ensure a top quality signal reaches your recording interface and an output level indicator to make sure you are not clipping.

Off Pitch: Although the Pre-73 is great for adding richness up vocals; it is not always the ideal choice for brighter instruments such as acoustic guitar where a less-coloured pre-amplifier can lead to better results. Also there is no low-cut switch to remove any unwanted low-frequency sounds – however this is available on the Pre-73 deluxe model if you are happy to spend a little extra.

A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Unfortunately I do not have a Neve 1073 to directly compare the unit (they cost ten times the price of the Pre-73!), however when I compared it to the other pre-amps I do own, the Pre-73 does seem to add some extra magic to vocal recordings. The DI also works well and is particularly good at thickening the sound of electric bass guitars. Because this unit is good at making things appear more forward in a mix, it is not always the ideal pre-amp choice for every source. However, if you are looking for a pre-amplifier with plenty of gain (80dB) that can add a little something extra to your vocal recordings, the Golden Age Pre-73 it worth trying out.

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  • It’s a great pre amp. Personally I that it sounds quite clean if you don’t drive the input gain too hard.