The Golden Age Project has come out with a boutique version of their popular Pre-73 Jr preamp (itself a little brother to the company’s acclaimed Pre-73), and we couldn’t be more jazzed. Like its siblings, the Pre-73 Jr Premier single-channel microphone/instrument preamplifier boasts the requisite vintage bone fides. After all, the family inherits their epic sonics from their parents’ infatuation with the legendary “73” — the console module that wrote the book on characterful preamplification. In due fashion, the Pre-73 Jr Premier employs a discrete, Class A signal path with transformer-balanced I/O. As in those vintage boards, the high-quality transformers are made in the UK by Carnhill, and they play a major role in producing the Pre-73 Jr Premier’s authoritative, big-iron sound that’s highly reminiscent of those ever-coveted large-format British desks. If you need a character- and value-packed preamp for mics and instruments, you’d be hard pressed to do better than the Golden Age Pre-73 Jr Premier!
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Big performance in a small chassis
The Pre-73 Jr Premier’s mic circuit is so well engineered, it makes your workhorse dynamics sound more expensive. You’ll be gobsmacked with what it can do when you feed it a high-end condenser or a ribbon. With 70dB of clean mic gain on tap, you have generous headroom to accommodate even your low-output passive ribbon mics. And far from the sterile sound of lesser direct-injection inputs, the Pre-73 Jr Premier’s broad gain-range DI makes direct bass, keyboards, and guitars sound like they’re plugged into a great amp. For enhanced tonal versatility, the unit is fitted with are two highpass filters and Golden Age’s Air circuit, which supplies a 3dB or 6dB boost at 30kHz for a gorgeously intimate sound on vocals and adding a glorious shimmer to your mixes overall.
Vintage character a go-go
The Output level pot is ideal for making fine gain adjustments, but it’s also a “character” control, in that it allows you to drive the main gain stage harder to pump up your signal with juicy vintage character and compensate before the output stage. Complete with gold-plated I/O, the robust, high-end boutique build quality of the Golden Age Pre-73 Jr — not to mention its huge, warm, punchy, and sweet sound — belies its petite form factor. If you record drums or more than one track at a time, you’ll appreciate the smaller format that lets you mount four of these units in Golden Age’s Unite Premier 19-inch rack kit. For flexible connections, the rear panel of the compact chassis is fitted with an XLR/TRS combo input jack and separate outputs on XLR and TRS. There’s also a handy TRS insert jack for patching in outboard processing.
Affordable, high-quality vintage-style electronics
A distributor of high-end studio equipment for many years, Golden Age Project founder Bo Medin wanted to be able to offer products with much of the same exclusive sound in a price range that made them available to a larger audience. Inspired by original designs, Golden Age uses modern technology to re-create that lush, opulent sound, making it surprisingly affordable. They use some modern ingenuity to add new functionality to superb classic designs and produce them in a cost-effective way which allows them to be both optimized and affordable. Sweetwater’s advice: From outboard equipment to condenser, dynamic, and ribbon mics, you can outfit your entire studio with vintage-inspired Golden Age gear without exceeding your budget.
The Golden Age Project: affordable, vintage-inspired gear
The Golden Age Project was founded in 2005 on the belief that vintage gear sounds best, and the desire to pass on this sonic legacy to a new generation of musicians, engineers, and producers. All-discrete, Class A signal paths with no integrated circuits; the use of transformers, stepped controls, and military-grade build quality: these are the cornerstones of the legendary British equipment deployed in world-class recording and broadcast studios in the 1970s — the Golden Age of analog. Fat, warm, punchy, and authoritative; this is the sound heard on countless hits for nigh unto half a century. Locating, purchasing, restoring, and maintaining vintage gear is time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, this small, family-owned Swedish company makes gear the same way it was made back in the day — at an amazingly accessible price.
Golden Age Project Pre73 Jr Premier Microphone/Instrument Preamp Features:
- Vintage-style Class A electronics with no integrated circuits in the signal path and no surface-mount components
- Gain rotary switch range 20–70dB
- Selectable 2-position high-frequency AIR boost (3dB/6dB @ 30kHz)
- Selectable 6dB/octave 2-frequency highpass filter (≈40Hz/170Hz)
- Switchable phantom power and polarity reverse
- High-impedance DI instrument input
- Signal LED indicator; Output level control
- Combo XLR/TRS input jack; separate XLR and TRS output jacks
- Insert jack for patching outboard processing
- UK-built Carnhill input and output transformers, tantalum and polystyrene capacitors
- Soldered critical internal connections
- Robust build quality for years of faithful service
- Included external power supply to eliminate interaction with audio circuits and transformers
- Up to 4 units may be mounted in the option