Academy Dashboard Forum Studio Gear Talk 1073 clone Mic Preamps

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 4 years ago by Tony Loignon.
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    Tony Loignon

      Does anyone have experience with Black Lion Audio's B173 and/or the Hairball Audio Lola mic preamps?

      Their price points are pretty good. I know BLA's gear is always well reviewed, but not sure if or how much it really stacks up to the Neve 1073. Hairball Audio's gear is all DIY, so no issues with me building my own gear, more curious about how it stacks up to the Neve.


        Hey Tony

        I do not. But I've heard plenty of good stuff about Warm Audio's 1073 offering. Might be worth looking into.

        Barry Rivman

          Since you're into DIY, I would recommend the Seventh Circle Audio N72. Michael Wagener (King's X, Ozzy) uses the N72 on inside kick drum (along with a Shure Beta 91). (For overheads, he uses the more expensive Neve clones by Great River.) He also uses the Seventh Circle A12 (based on the API 512) on toms. The A12 and A12b have been discontinued along with the 8-channel rack they used to sell. Now it's a small "one-shot" enclosure. If you're still looking for a Neve 1073 clone, I'd jump on the Seventh Circle before it's discontinued. (They've discontinued most of their stuff, including the API clones and 2025 opamp.) As an aside, Wagener's not on a budget as far as gear is concerned. His rack of preamps includes GML, Chandler, Hardy, Great River, API, Summit, Crane Song, etc., and to his ear, after hearing the Seventh Circle N72, there was no reason to drop $4k on a 1073.

          As far as the BLA B173 and Hairball Lola, I have no experience with either, but from Hairball's description, the Lola borrows circuit design from John Hardy and John La Grou (Millennia), which means a very neutral or transparent sound. As such, I wouldn't expect their output transformer to make it sound like a Neve 1073, but it should add some girth or character.

          Tony Loignon

            Thanks Barry,

            The N72 is no longer available as a kit 🙁 but I did find out Hairball's "Copper" is based on the 1073. I might have a go at that for the price. I haven't heard anything bad about Hairball.

            Many thanks again.

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