Well, I haven't yet had my hands on ANY 1073-style pre so I'm flying kind of blind here! All I know is that I ALWAYS reach for the Waves Scheps 1073-plugin on vocals and it always works for me. That has got me thinking that I could benefit from one when tracking. And I must, regretfully, say I really love the RAF-blue look and might be somewhat blinded by it haha!
It really is hard to pick one out of the bunch when one hasn't tried them all in a A/B-situation but on the other hand.. even if I build myself a Soundskulptor 573, or buy a Vintech or even a Golden Age Project 573 (with the Carnhills) I think I will be pleased compared to what have at the moment.
I foudn this on the groupdiy.com written by "KDE" (make sure to read point 5):
Complete Neve head over here ;D
To answer your question Neve used Canford Wire for all there wiring its been pretty well documented. Companies such as Heritage Audio and AMSNeve today use Canford Wire on their clones. The reason why clones including AMSNeve don't sound like Vintage "Original" Neve are because
1) Correct output transformer. The LO 1166 is the heart of the "Neve sound" and is really gives the beef to the recording. Current clones whether its BAE, AMSNeve, Heritage Audio all use Carnhill Transformers. Carnhill does not and has never made the LO 1166. Geoff has said many times that Carnhill had to do 5 revisions of its current LO 1166 replacement before Neve accepted it. Carnhill makes CLONE transformers of the LO 1166s and never did quite a good job at it. The real LO 1166 was made by both Marinair and Morite Winding Co and the original spec sheets are lost.
1) Correct Input Transformers. The 10468 Mic and 31267 Line Transformer were made by Marinair and the 10468 was a stock transformer they made even before Neve came along. Eventually St. Ives got involved in the manufacture of both of them which are used in original Neve manufactuing as well. Marinair's are the preferred input transformers as they are the better sounding and Vintage 10xx series with Marinair transformers are generally worth more money. Carnhill once again makes a clone of the St. Ives version which is a particularly good clone as Carnhill bought out St. Ives and has the original speck sheets. But Carnhills do not sound like original Marinairs. Marinair being the original designers of both transformers did not give St. Ives all the details on how to make the exact transformers as stipulated by Geoff.
2) Correct 70s transistors. The BA283/183 is the core of the "1073/1290 sound" and makes these units what they are. Transistor manufacturing has almost been reinvented so using modern transistors will NOT give you the original sound. They just don't make transistors as terrible as they used to be. The BA283 used 2n3055's, BC184C's and in some cases BC109C/BC107's. The BC109C/BC107 combo is found in most of the earlier Neve's from the vintage units and through my own conclusions i have come to believe they are the originally intended transistors rather than the 184C's. Most Neves used "Motorola" and "New Market" Transistors. Getting the 2n3055 right is highly important for the sound.
3) Tantalum Capacitors essential to the Original Neve sound. Not much to really say other than Neve used Mullard brand caps and vintage repairs use the current BC/Philips/Mullard Brand Caps.
4) Correct brand switches are ELMA and Diamond H brand switches. Blore Edwards switches (which are used in the current AMS remakes) were used in a very very small amount of Original Neves.
5) Lastly to do Neve's right get the RAF Blue Grey paint and make sure its right because i've seen all sorts of funky wanna be colored Neves.