AMS-Neve 8801 : moosers's user review
The AMS-Neve 8801 is a channel strip, basically taken from a Neve 88R console. Of course it's not directly taken from the console as it's a reproduction of it. It's an all analog, solid state preamplifier with a four band equalizer and also a compressor, so you've got the full works when it comes to a channel strip here. It has an XLR input in the front and I assume it has the same in the back but I've only used one that was already racked up, where it will only take up a single space in your rack casing.
There's definitely a good amount going on with the AMS-Neve 8801 and previous experience with Neve gear will definitely help. Once you break it all down it's really not too bad, but it wasn't the type of gear that I could just sit down and instinctively know how to use right off the bat. Dialing in your preamp level is easy enough, and it's got all of the controls you'd want with one like buttons for phantom power, phase reverse, and a -20 db pad. The compressor is definitely a bit more in depth as it's also a gate and has a wide array of controls for such processors. The EQ is more or less straight forward but still takes more than a glance to get it. The manual might be helpful for less experienced users...
The sound of the AMS-Neve 8801 is definitely what you'd expect from a bona fide Neve product. While this isn't my favorite overall channel strip from Neve, it definitely has a sound in the same vein as that you'll find with any Neve preamplifier. The preamp is my favorite part of the 8801 for sure, but having the compressor/gate and EQ in there is a huge help as well, as all of the processors sound very professional and have a good balance of warmth and a certain clean quality. This is a really awesome sound channel strip overall and in my opinion can only be beat with something a bit older from Neve (in terms of the preamp at least).
The AMS-Neve 8801 is definitely worth looking into for anyone interested in an all in one channel strip with that classic Neve tone. It's perfect for home studio owners looking to get the best of all worlds with a top flight preamp, compressor and EQ all in the same spot. The price is certainly a lot, which is really the only bad part, but of course you're going to have to spend some money to get good gear. Having said this, I'd check out the other Neve channel strips and preamps out there to see what's going to work best for you.