Golden Age Pre 73 - my "go to" bass DI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mr. Pickles, Feb 18, 2010.


  1. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    I've been using the Golden Age Project Pre 73 as my primary bass DI in the studio for a few months now. For those who don't know, this is a Chinese made budget Neve 1073 clone. In other words--a character preamp. It can be highly colored when necessary. I have a clip to put up once I get home tonight.

    The avg. price for an unmodded unit is $300, probably much less is you can find one used.

    This is the first DI I've used that sits well in a mix without extensive post processing.

    Here's a review from Sound on Sound:
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar09/articles/goldenagepre73.htm

    The Manual:
    http://www.goldenagemusic.se/goldenageproject/uk/products/manuals/manual_PRE-73_web.pdf

    And the write up from the retailer I purchased from:
    http://www.zenproaudio.com/goldenagepre-73.aspx

    Anyone else using the Pre73? If so, how do you like it and how do you use it?

    I'm not affiliated with Golden Age or ZenProAudio, FWIW.
     
  2. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    I know the GA73 gets a lot of love over at the Gearslutz forum as a mic pre, but I haven't had a chance to try one myself yet. I'm glad to hear it's also great for bass. I'm looking forward to hearing your clips.
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Cool! I'll have to check one of these out sometime.
    Could you list which other DI's you are comparing against? Thx!
     
  4. jhan

    jhan Guest

    Been using a GAP Pre 73 for a little while now. Like it as much as my Great River ME-1NV on everything from bass to acoustic to vocals.

    $300 for a piece of gear like this?? It's a no-brainer.
     
  5. I want to buy one!!! Serious GAS problem..Help Help
     
  6. jhan

    jhan Guest

    How I've been using it lately:

    Ampeg SVP Pro + 410 HLF miked with Shure SM7B > GAP 73 > Edirol UA25EX.

    This setup combined with DI via Radial JDI, which I usually wind up mixing out completely. Dialed in pretty clean on the GAP 73. Very little character added.

    Very true about little processing needed. I EQ a little with VEQ3 plugin to add warmth. Maybe a touch of compression via plugin - but not much. That's it. If I want really punchy, I use API 550 plugin with 'Punchy Bass' preset. That sounds awesome. So much better than my usual method, which is just DI, Ampeg SVX plugin afterward, then EQ plugin, the compression, then before you know it, I have like 4 or 5 plugins going. Yech . .

    Recently had good results miking an acoustic with the GAP and a Rode NT2A. Nice, glassy highy end, good warmth, very little noise.

    Good luck getting a GAP 73 used. People buy them and keep for a reason.
     
  7. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    I have a small bedroom studio and my experience with bass DIs is limited to:
    Avalon M5
    TL Audio PA-2
    Radial JDI
    Groove Tubes Brick
    Presonus Blue Tube
    Focusrite (forgot model)
    Neotek console pres
    Mackie VLZ pres

    And I've used the DI out on the following amp brands extensively: Aguilar, Fender, Hartke, SWR.

    The GAP Pre73 is the first unit I've used where I've been entirely happy with the unaffected, un-EQed, un-compressed signal. Bass, cable, DI. Let me get to my studio computer and I'll upload the track I'm referring to.
     
  8. Hmm, this looks like the budget mic pre of my dreams. I may have to consider adding this to my "to buy" list for 2010. Thanks for the post, Mr. Pickles.
     
  9. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Signal chain and notes:
    Thumb LTD 2006 (maple, ash) strung with LaBella nylon tapewounds (also very cool!) > Klotz Cable > GAP Pre73.

    Bass eq set almost flat (slight 3dB bass boost which I didn't like afterwards, hence the post processing)

    Front end of mic amp slammed with input signal for tranny saturation.

    Post- Cakewalk Vintage Channel with subtle compression 3:1 ratio set for 3dB gain reduction to smooth my sloppy playing. EQ - -2dB at 80.8hz and 281hz. -4dB at 4600 to cut some gank and clank.

    Drums are from Stylus RMX and three instances of Rapture for the synth ambience. I did a couple passes with the bass tracks for the fingerstyle and tapping parts. Everything stayed the same as far as settings go. The song is just me playing an A minor pentatonic thingy followed by a three note two handed tapping bit. The solo melody at the end needs to be mixed better as it competes with the rhythm track instead of complimenting it. The mix isn't finished: it's a little boomy on computer speakers, which is annoying.

    Anyway, here's the track:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=ddf2066f0792646e8ef1259ff1b60e8156dc396fa299a2fef1940a51b339e393

    or this
    http://www.mediafire.com/?ni5qzjmjmhm
     
    dpaulb likes this.
  10. the clip isnt working for me
     
  11. Anyone try this pre into a Berg IP yet? Gotta dig the master level control!
     
  12. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
  13. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Sound clip is up. See above post for link.
     
  14. Will it drive a power amp? I love the idea of a preamp with NO onboard eq, just a straight-forward minimal (as far as actual electronic components) internal signal path, but with an intrinsically "good" sound.

    Good sounding Bass -> good sounding pre -> flat power amp -> good sounding speaker cab.

    Heaven...
     
  15. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    It has 80db of gain, so I think that it would drive an amp without breaking a sweat. If I'm not mistaken, I think you can run the 1/4" and XLR outs simultaneously, so one could drive the power amp and send a feed to Front of House. I'll check the manual (linked in OP) to verify when I get a moment.


     
  16. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Me too! FWIW I have gotten wonderful results that way using a TAB-Funkenwerk V71 and Phoenix Audio (UK) "Nice DI", both of which are in the same category of "half rack DI with so much available gain that it can drive a power amp". :p Great stuff. Both of those are twice the price of the GAP 73 though, so I look forward to seeing how it stacks up.
     
  17. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    After rereading the manual, I can't confirm that both outs are available simultaneously. I'd have to try it for myself this weekend to be sure. Can anyone chime in on this?
     
  18. Very cool - nice $$, I'll have to check one of these out . . .
     
  19. jhan

    jhan Guest

    Here's some cheesy metal riffs I threw together as a sample. Please excuse the crappy guitar playing.

    Spector Euro 5 > GAP Pre 73 > Edirol UA25EX into Sonar Producer.

    Admittedly, I used a few plugins: Ampeg SVX (SVT 4 Pro + 810 setting with some mid boost), API 550A EQ, and a touch of compression. But I only fiddled around for about five minutes.

    Guitar was done with Softube Metal Amp Room plugin. Only had it for two days. So far me likey.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?knmakel5mod

    or this (same file)

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/knmakel5mod/GAP_TEST_1.wav
     
  20. mav

    mav

    Jun 10, 2003
    Can you record 2 mics simultaneously?
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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