Hand-wired mic pre/EQ gives you the sonic character of the legendary Neve™ 1073 with modern performance
The single-channel BAE 1073 Mic Pre/EQ is as close as you can get to the original Neve 1073 module, but in rackmount form. The BAE 1073 Mic Pre/EQ Module features the same St Ives (Carnhill) transformers as the vintage modules, Elma switches, and Canford wire. Revered for its high-end sheen and larger-than-life sound, the Neve 1073 has held its place the reigning monarch of audio royalty since its introduction in 1970. However, electronics do not improve with age, which is where BAE comes in. The BAE 1073 brings the classic 1073 into the modern age with improved performance, while maintaining time-honored 1073 sound. Originally, the 1073 was built in modular form to populate the Neve 80-series consoles. However, the BAE 10703 1RU Mic Pre EQ lets you have a single channel or
stereo pair of the 1073 without the requirement of a power rack, such as the BAE 8CR 8-Channel Rack. Most importantly, the BAE 1073 gives you the classic sound you expect from the first name in Neve recreations: BAE.
When Mr. Rupert Neve designed his various 10-series mic/pre/EQ modules, the idea was to populate the Neve 80-series consoles with a selection of modules with marginal differences to offer a wider sonic palette while maintaining uniformity of sonic character across the range. To accomplish that, the 1066, 1073, 1081, or 1084 preamp/EQ modules all shared the same mic/line amplifier, but differed in terms of available EQ shelves and frequency selections. Of all the modules, the 1073, with its 12kHz high-frequency shelf, spoke the loudest to makers of rock and pop music, and has been the hands-down favorite for decades. Naturally, anyone trying to duplicate the character of the 1073 had better be up to the task, and as owners of both the original 1073 and modern BAE 1073 modules will attest, BAE has risen to the occasion in sound, build-quality, and performance.
The BAE1073 is completely hand-wired using Carnhill (St. Ives) transformers, Elma switches, and Canford wire. 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. Even though the 1073 is in rackmount form, it’s engineered in exactly the same way as the original 1073 module: the same chassis construction, connectors, printed circuit board layouts, hand-wired looms, and circuitry.
The same unmistakable color as the original, the front panel of the BAE 1073 has two dual-concentric knobs for midrange and low-frequency selection and gain; high-frequency shelf knob; and rotary selectors for LF filter and gain, which ranges from 0 to 80dB. There are four rectangular buttons on the front panel for EQ on/off, phantom power, DI select, and phase reverse. The BAE 1073 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 attenuator that lets you control hot input signals without need of a sound-changing pad. The output knob lets you drive the input hotter, say for heavy guitar recording, while controlling output level to prevent clipping into a DAW. The rear panel is simple and straightforward with XLR I/O and power cable connector.
While other rackmount preamps use an internal power supply, BAE chose 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 since the BAE 24V PSU can power up to two BAE units, the BAE 1073 comes with and without power supply. If you already have a BAE 1073 and power supply, you can add another for stereo operation or adding the Neve console sound to a passive summing box. (For BAE 1073 without power supply, see
BAE 1073 1RU Mic Pre/EQ + PSU or BAE 1073 Dual + PSU)
"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.