The Golden Age Pre73 attempts to replicate a coveted, classic Neve preamp design at a fraction of the price. By most accounts, the Pre73 is very successful, especially given the constraints of its price point. However, a few component replacements can bring yours closer to true “Neve-vana.”
Upgrading the Transformers
Much of the “mojo” of the vintage Neve sound is due to the input and output transformers, which have proven infamously impossible to replicate. Many feel that the modern reproductions from Carnhill do a better job than the Chinese-made transformers in the Golden Age Pre73. Carnhills, which are what AMS-Neve uses in their current reproductions, are available from the good folks at Audio Maintenance. You’ll be looking for the VTB9045 input and VTB1148 output transformer. As an alternative to the VTB1148, Ed Anderson has released a reproduction of the Neve 1166 output tranformer, now available from Hairball Audio.