I had the pleasure to review the new Heritage Audio – 1073/500. It takes 3 slots in my lunchbox, so it must be something good or I wouldn’t allow it to take so much space.
From the website:
• 70dB Class A Microphone preamplifier, HI-LO selectable minimum input impedance, balanced and floating. High gain positions show a higher impedance, ideal for old ribbon mics.
• 10dB Class A Line Amplifier, Bridging input impedance, balanced and floating.
• Class A, single ended, 2N3055 driven high headroom output stage.
• High Frequency: +/-16dB shelving at 12 kHz, Baxandall type.
• Low Frequency: +/-16dB with selectable frequency shelving of 35Hz, 60Hz, 110Hz & 220Hz, Baxandall type.
• Mid Frequency: +/-18dB peaking, fixed ‘Q’ , selectable center frequencies of 0.36kHz, 0.7kHz, 1.6kHz, 3.2kHz, 4.8kHz , and 7.2kHz , dual inductor based.
• High Pass Filter: 18dB per octave slope, switchable between 50Hz, 80Hz , 160 Hz & 300Hz, inductor based.
• EQ Button: Switches the equalizer on or off.
• Phase Button: Flips phase 180º.
Installation and technicalities
The installation went smooth. The unit fits perfectly into the rack. No problems occured. The knobs feel like quality knobs, turning them remembers me of my shadow hills gear, which has a certain strenght to it but you don’t need to be superman to make a knob-turn.
If you look on the inside, you will be shocked how much stuff is in there. It’s incredible. If you take a closer look and identify the components, you know why this beast costs so much money. It’s a high quality unit, from the outside to the inside. I guess hell needs to explode before this unit will have some problems. It’s astonishing. Good workman ship from Spain.
I recorded a female voice and DI bass. Later I did also an electric guitar session (think death metal, high output and distortion) with it. I sent the unit to a producer friend and he is still blown away.. but read the conclusion.
On voice I felt that it sits extremly well in the mix. While recording, the artist felt exceptionally well (means the thing sounds good trough her cans). I turned the eq knob, added a littlebit of bottom and a topend (the mic was a Violet Amethyst Vintage so it’s on the dark side of sound) boost at 12khz. Wooow. I am pleased with what I heard. The topend didn’t get annyoing, it sounded better. Yes.. better. I had this experience only with the A-designs hammer and em-eq2 (and a while back with the Buzzaudio REQ). The bottom never got too boomy.
I then tried to compress the signal with my Cranesong STC-8 and bang there it was. The shimmer, the glimmer and … I stop now. It sounded fukkiiiin amazing. The 12khz band is worth alone buying a piece.
DI-Bass: Well, because of the 16dB boost and cut, you can make your DI-Bass signal (music man stingray into Avenson DI into the Heritage audio) diminish or jump out of the lowend. The lowend is super tight on this EQ section. Also the lowcut did wonders. Lowcut + boost on the eq and you are in bass-heaven. If I would originate from L.A., I would call it “awesome”. But I am not from L.A. so it’s just great.
Distortet guitar: My electric guitar gently sweeps. So did it with the heritage and a MD-421 mic. I used another Royer 121 (trough my Shadow Hills mono gama). I didn’t touch the EQ section. The bottom end was clear (shredder parts never got too wooompy), the topend was nice.
I really have to stop now praising this piece of gear. I can compare it to my BAE 1073. The Heritage smokes the BAE topend. The preamp-section is similar, while I would insist that the Heritage is more open sounding.
I met the guys from Heritage audio at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2012 and I have to say, that the chief engineer is a knowledged guy, decomissioning and repairing Neve-modules since a decade or more. Very nice people, relaxed Spanish people. You could tell, that they have more sun in a day, then we have in a month. That must help designing such things.
If you want a Neve clone, this is the way to go. No compromises, cheap compared to the available Vintage-originals, consistent compared to their vintage predecessors and highend quality.
Buy it. 11/10 stars from George for sound, manufacturing quality and overall appearance.