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NEVE 1073 SPX

Neve’s legendary mic preamplifier receives a modern makeover, with input from the original designers. John Pickford puts the SPX through its paces…

Ask any number of recording engineers to name a classic make of mixing console and chances are the top answer will be – give or take the odd SSL – Neve. Push them further to identify the company’s most revered design and the reply will almost certainly be the 1073. As legendary analogue recording equipment goes, the Neve 1073 microphone preamplifier is right up there with Neumann mics, Pultec equalisers and Fairchild limiters.

While those vintage designs date back to the 1950s, the 1073 module first appeared in 1970, housed in the A88 console designed by Rupert Neve for Wessex Studios. This was an exciting time for pro audio in the UK; eight-track recording enabled producers and engineers to create expansive recordings far in advance of the tinny pop records of the 1960s, and 16-track was just around the corner.

On test here is AMS Neve’s latest reproduction of its classic design – the 1073 SPX. A pure Class A solid-state design, the 1073 SPX incorporates a single-channel mic preamp with a three-band equaliser. Housed in a 1U 19-inch rack-mountable case and beautifully finished in Neve’s familiar grey colour, the unit is solidly built and laid out in classic 1073 style. An optional digital input/output module providing AES and FireWire connectivity at a range of sample rates will be made available in mid 2018 and can be easily retrofitted; our review sample is pure analogue.

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About MusicTech

2017 has been an exciting, innovative year for new music-making technology, from machine-learning plug-ins to laser-guided microphones and from scientifically crafted, point-source monitors to boutique synthesisers, the past 12 months has offered up new variations on classic gear and inventive new creative tools for making and recording music. We pay tribute to the best gear of the year in our roundup, with our winners compiled by a fusion of reader votes and our expert panel. Elsewhere this issue, we have the second part of our new A-Z series with Gear4Music, chat to MPG Award-winning mastering engineer Mandy Parnell and Grammy-winning producer and engineer Mark Rankin, and cast of our eye to the future with tutorial content in the latest iterations of Live and Reason. Additionally, you’ll find all the latest reviews from the likes of Toontrack, Dynaudio, Sonokinetic and more.It's been an excellent year for the music-technology industry, and MusicTech as a magazine. Here’s hoping 2018 will be equally as fruitful… enjoy the issue.
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