Hand-wired, 19", 1U rackmount preamp precisely recreates the character of the Neve™ 1066 mic pre/EQ with additional high-frequency shelves
If one BAE 1066D 19" 1RU Mic Preamp/EQ is good, two must be better—especially if you want to track multiple guitar amps or drum overheads. The BAE 1066D Mic Pre Rackmount is a faithful recreation of its namesake, the Neve 1066, which was originally designed to populate the revered Neve 80 series consoles, such as the 8028 made for Sound City. The precursor of the famed Neve 1073 and 1081, the Neve1066 shared the same mic/line amplifier circuitry with marginal differences in EQ curves and frequency selection. The original 1066 had a wide shelf at 10kHz; the 1073 had a 12kHz shelf; the 1081 had a 15kHz shelf; and the later 1084 had a 10kHz, 14kHz, and 18kHz shelf, a wider selection of low and midrange frequencies, and a “Q” switch. The idea behind these preamp modules was to populate the Neve 80-series consoles with a selection of 1066, 1073, 1081, or 1084 preamp/EQ modules to provide a wider sonic palette while maintaining a uniformity of sonic character. Fast-forward to now, the BAE 1066D adds more high-frequency shelves than the original 1066 (and 1084), giving you an even wider array of creative EQ options backed by authentic, vintage Neve-style sound.
The BAE 1066D Rackmount lets you have a single or stereo pair of the 1066D without the requirement of a power rack, such as the BAE 8CR 8-Channel Rack, which holds BAE 10-series modules such as the BAE 1066D Mic Pre/EQ Module and BAE 1073 Mic Pre/EQ Module.
The BAE1066D is completely hand-wired using Carnhill (St. Ives) transformers and has the same mic-line pre-amp as the BAE 1073. However, the 1066D adds a few different frequencies to your pallet. It features a discrete, 3-band EQ with low-, mid- (presence), and high-frequency controls, with hi-pass filter. The shape of frequency curves and the frequencies themselves have been carefully chosen to provide maximum flexibility.
Popular for recording guitar due its unique midrange presence, the BAE 1066D offers four additional high-frequency EQ shelves above the 10kHz shelf of the classic 1066, including 12kHz, 16kHz, 20kHz, and 24kHz. Thanks to the addition of 12kHz shelving EQ, the 1066D gives you the high-frequency advantage of the classic 1073, which should make choosing the 1066D a little easier if you’re going back and forth between the two. (Well, not really, you’ll still want both like we do.)
And speaking of using the 1066 for guitar recording, check out RSPE’s interview with Pete Townsend, fast forward to about 6 minutes in to the full interview and find that the 1066 is an integral part of his recording chain!
The vintage-blue front panel of the BAE 1066D has three dual-concentric knobs for EQ frequency selection and gain, and rotary selectors for LF filter and gain (0 – 80dB). It has 4 rectangular buttons for EQ on/off, phantom power, DI select, and phase reverse. The BAE 1066D Mic Pre Rackmount also has a front-panel, 1/4" Hi-Z instrument input (DI); input impedance switch that toggles between 300 and 1200 ohms; and an output level control that lets you control hot input signals without the need of a sound-changing pad. The output knob lets you drive the input hotter, say for heavy guitar recording, while controlling output to prevent clipping into a DAW. The rear panel has XLR I/O and power cable connector.
While other rackmount preamps use an internal power supply, BAE chooses to go a different route in the form of an external PSU. The advantages of an external PSU are many. To begin with, not having space constraints allows BAE to design the power supply without compromise. Plus, it makes the shielding concerns of integrated power supplies a non-issue. When power supplies are built into the same chassis as the audio circuitry, nearby audio paths are susceptible to nasty magnetic fields radiated from the transformers, which adds noise and hum. Additionally, the preamp’s components are subject to extra heat generated from transformers, regulators, and rectifiers—and as we all know, heat is the enemy of electronics. It causes unwanted changes in operational parameters and premature component failure. For optimal sound quality, the BAE 24V PSU provides four times the current necessary to power a preamp, and can power up to two BAE rackmount units.
"BAE has been an integral part of my record making for many, many years now. I have owned the mic pre's, EQ's, and racks for years. The dedication to costumer service is something one can count on. With the advent of the Avedis 1122 OpAmp, the classic 2520 opamp was brought forward into the future. Mark has also made a point at looking back at certain designs and his attention to detail shows in the new products that he is working on. I am very happy to announce and toast Mark's (Loughman) new ownership in the company. I forecast excellent things to come. — Ross Hogarth, Grammy-winning producer-engineer
"During the recording of many of the Steven Slate Drums sessions, we used lots of BAE mic pres and equalizers. They made it easy to get some of the best drum sounds I've ever heard." — Steven Slate Drums
“What all 312a users say about clarity and punch is absolutely true. They are very versatile pre amps and aside from the obvious with guitars, drums, and vocals, I really enjoy using these pre's with bass and synth sequences.” Ilan Rubin (NIN, Paramore, Lostprophets)
“I love my BAE mic pre-amp. It makes my tracks sound lovelier!” — Jane Wiedlin, The Go-Go's
“I was just screwing around with my BAE 1084 when it hit me, wonder what my Space Bass would sound like in this. I plugged it in and the sound was so pure and natural I thought I was on stage in the ‘Mothership.’ This thing sings with tone, punch, and straight-up good, solid sound that will stand out in a mix with loud drums and guitars.” – Bootsy Collins
“Two thumbs way up! In my opinion, the BAE 1073 and 1084 modules sound every bit as good as the original Neve modules I have used my whole career (we've had blind fold audio "shoot out" tests in my vintage Neve room and there is absolutely no difference). Nothing comes as close to my original Neve EQ/mic preamps as BAE products. And in my opinion, BAE products surpass all the competition in build quality; from the point-to-point wiring, to the audio traces on their cards, original St Ives (Carnhill) transformers, nickel plating, impeccable craftsmanship, and wow! —no old dirty switches and pots. (Did I mention they plugged right in to my vintage Neve 8014 frame from 1970 flawlessly!) Plus, Mark and the staff over at BAE are totally professional and a pleasure to deal with.” — Andy Kravitz, drummer, producer, engineer
Discography: (Imogen Heap, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Simon Townshend, Robbie Krieger, Urge Overkill, Lizzy Grant, The Cheeters, Cypress Hill, James Taylor, Los Lobos, Soloman Burke, Joan Osborne, Taj Mahal, Mark Broussard, Norwood Fisher, Shawn Colvin, Hundred Year Flood, and Sting)
Answering to a higher authority (maintaining the legacy of Mr. Rupert Neve), BAE puts nothing but the very best and their very best into every unit they built. Under the guidance of president/CEO Mark Loughman and Neve guru, Avedis Kifedjian, BAE uses the only highest quality components from the original suppliers, such as Carnhill (formerly St. Ives) and Jensen. All BAE products use discrete electronics and are completely hand-built and wired point-to point (no circuit boards). For more information about BAE, check out RSPE’s Designer’s Perspective feature and get a first-hand look at the inner workings of BAE.