A no-compromise, deluxe 500-series version of BAE’s incredible 1073 Mic Pre/EQ
After suffering the wailings and moanings of Gearslutz and 500-series fans everywhere, BAE spent two painstaking years building the 500-series compatible 1073D, a deluxe version of the venerable Neve™ 1073 preamp/EQ module. Revered for its high-end sheen and larger-than-life sound, the original Neve™ 1073 has held its place at the top of the preamp food chain since its introduction in 1970. In order to maintain that legacy, BAE was unwilling to bow to the space restrictions of the 500 series form factor, which would force compromises in components and sound quality. In order to house the same premium components as the 10-series modules [Link], the 500-series BAE 1073D chose a three-space form factor, which enables it to sound as authentic as the original, plus house some additional features. If you’re new to the 500 series and looking for the holy grail of Neve sound, the 500-series compatible BAE 1073D should be at the top of your shopping list.
Don’t forget to check out RSPE’s Rack Revolution, a virtual 500-series rack builder that lets you custom-configure the perfect 500-series lunchbox for your studio, DAW, or mobile recording rig. RSPE carries every 500-series module imaginable, including mic preamps, compressor-limiters, equalizers, and 500 power racks.
Usually, designing for the 500-series format means trade-offs in terms of components, power and current handling, and ultimately sound quality. BAE, the purveyors of true Neve sound, decided that if they were going to build a 500 compatible module of the BAE 1073, it was going to be spot-on to the original. They not only managed to come up with a 500-series 1073 that was equal in sound quality to the 10-series module, but also loaded with extras including three high-frequency shelves at 10kHz, 12kHz, and 16kHz.
Because BAE had no intention of compromising the sound quality of the 1073D, they decided on a 3-space module instead of building a smaller rack-space version that would lack the same premium components as the 10-series 1073. As authentic as you can get, the BAE 1073D is engineered in exactly the same way as the originals: the same chassis construction (naturally with a different layout), connectors, printed circuit board layouts, hand-wired looms, and circuitry. Built using the same parts as the 10-series module, the 1073D features Carnhill transformers, Elma gold plated switches, and Canford wire—making the BAE 1073D one of the best-sounding Class A, 500-series mic pre/EQ modules around.
Thanks to the 3-space chassis of the BAE 1073D, its vintage-blue front panel plays host to a full set of controls that doesn’t require a pair of tweezers to operate. The 1073D front panel has three dual-concentric knobs for EQ frequency selection and gain, and two rotary selectors for LF filter and gain, which ranges from 0 to 70dB. It also has 6 rectangular buttons for EQ on/off, phantom power, line input, DI select, phase reverse, and 300-ohm impedance. The BAE 1073D Mic Pre/EQ 500 module also has a front-panel, 1/4" Hi-Z instrument input and an output level control that lets you control hot input signals without the need for 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 your converters.
Don’t have enough space in your 500-series lunchbox for a BAE 1073D? No worries! BAE makes the 3LB 3-space lunchbox designed to fit one 1073D; a 6-space rack/lunchbox] to hold two; and an 11-space 500-series power rack, which will hold three BAE 1073D Mic Pre/EQs with two spaces left over for BAE’s 312a 500-series mic preamp, if you’re looking to load up on vintage punch.
"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.