Among the many iconic pieces of audio equipment we have come to love from AMS Neve is the 1073. We have the opportunity to fill a slot or two of our 500-series lunchboxes with the AMS Neve 1073LB preamp and 1073LB EQ.
The AMS Neve 1073LB preamp (LB stands for Lunchbox) single- channel 500 series unit ($995), for such a compact form, has a heavily populated faceplate.
The single-slot, single-channel 1073LB EQ ($1,295) maintains the look and basic function of the 1970 original. AMS Neve’s Audio Processing Insert (appropriate acronym) technology allows you to link adjacent AMS Neve 500 series modules with the 1073LB EQ inserted into the 1073LB preamp rather than simply being the next unit in the signal flow chain. I tested the units this way, with an additional standalone 1073LB preamp, in an API 6-slot Lunchbox.
The 1073LB is not a watereddown version of the iconic preamp. I especially liked having the ability to modify the impedance and, with ribbon microphones, adding options to the pallet. It has a brightness to it that has nicely smooth edges, rather than a more aggressive sharper feel. I would have liked more gain with the trim control and had a bit of an issue with the trim control’s integrated phantom power switching.
Smooth is the word that defines how the 1073LB EQ equalizer interacts with audio signals. The midrange has a particular depth and warmth that complements your sound without swamping it. Having the combination of the two 1073LB modules together was very pleasing and a joy to use.