This preamp is an improved version of the 33115 (the equalizer has more frequency correction), or a simplified version of 1081 (with him four EQ bands). The choice is yours ...
For a general description of this family of preamps, I refer you to page 33,115 ...
Like all preamps in this generation, it has two input transformers (Micro and Line) and an output transformer. For information, the microphone input transformer has an impedance of the original 1200 Ohms, but it may be reduced to 300 Ohms, in case you would use the preamp with a ribbon mic.
Here's detailed specifications:
- Mic Gain in 5 dB over a range varying from-80dB to-10dB,
- Line input gain in 5 dB over a range varying from-20dB to +15 dB,
- Aigües (shelving filter, filter plate)
Gain / Attenuation variable-20dB to +20 dB over a continuous range, cutoff frequencies of the filter: OFF, 3K3, 4K7, 6K8, 10K and 15K Hertz.
- Medium-Presence (Peaking filter, peak filter)
Gain / Attenuation variable-18dB to +18 dB over a continuous range, cutoff frequencies of the filter: OFF, 270, 390, 560, 820.1 K2, 1K8, 2K7, 3K9, 5K6 and 8K2 Hertz.
- Graves (shelving filter, filter plate)
Gain / Attenuation variable-20dB to +20 dB over a continuous range, cutoff frequencies of the filter: OFF, 33, 56, 100, 180 and 330 Hertz.
- High Pass Filter (3rd Order or -18dB/Octave)
Frequencies (data-3dB) OFF, 27, 47, 82, 150 and 270 Hertz.
- Low-pass filter (order 3 or -18dB/Octave)
Frequencies (data-3dB) OFF, 18K, 12K, 8K2, 5K6 and 3K9 Hertz.
- EQ in / out,
- Phase Switch.
Well, again, it seems to me nor have little to add. These preamps are part of the Pantheon Analog, probably in third place, just after the famous 1073 (running in pure class A) and 1081 (using a mixed class A / AB), the big brother, with whom they share the same technology and same mail.
The bandwidth offered by these rarities come down to us after three decades of loyal service is truly incredible. I had the opportunity to compare them with the Neve console preamps from the early 90s. The microphone (Neumann) of a famous American jazz singer was sent to a channel in the mixer and into a rack 33114. The EQs on both slices were bypassed, so as not to make a comparison of pure preamps, all of which are recorded on the left and right channels of a DAT tape. The comparative listening were made later in different cabins and using different types of monitoring speakers (Genelec, ATC, Cabasse and TAD). Honestly, my friends listening and I expected to hear subtle differences even barely perceptible ... It did not. Sound lying on each of the two tracks of DAT was incredibly different. In one case, it was surprisingly thin, as the two free ends and acute mountain streams of the spectrum, lack of relief and, therefore, depth ... On the contrary, the recorded voice with the 33,114 was full, put on a low-medium pile and open to the acute air and crystalline, giving more life, movement and depth to the interpretation of the artist. ..
It was a few years ago now. I used vintage Neve preamps for the first and it was a real discovery for me. I thought until then that the reputation of the preamps was an important part due to a form of snobbery or fetishism. I realized that day that I was wrong and since ... guess what ... I try to make the collection!
Rupert Neve, when you hold us ...
Well, I think you understand my commitment to these and their electronic transistors. As electronics, I have the chance to cross regularly since I also provides maintenance. Honestly, these preamps are a blessing.
First, maintenance or repair is relatively simple and (bad) surprise: once restored, which is essential, remember they have more than thirty (30!) Years, they have to efficiency and robustness formidable. They are also very versatile: a pair of these trinkets mounted in a rack when properly equipped can really do anything. Just remember to equip your staff rack of the following attributes:
- One or two VU meters allow you to make the most of their dynamic
- 1 insertion (which can be pre or post filter) is also essential and very easy to implement,
- A pre-EQ direct output (and thus pre-"fader" or pre-pot master output) can attack a multi-track while maintaining the possibility to make a direct mixing,
- A potentiometer master output level, equivalent to the channel fader (some racks are not even equipped !!?),
- The return of insert allows to use only part of the EQ modules, if desired. But these modules, in fact, far from being as preamps, also have a great EQ section (see above). So, your favorite preamps used via their entry online or via their return insert become a stereo EQ of choice, best of all, you can find the necessary adjustments later because, like the mastering EQs They are equipped with rotators Multi-position frequency selection,
- Last but not least, install a high-impedance instrument input on the front. It is very easy. Personally, take care not to put too much electronics (active, in particular) upstream of the preamp (to preserve the original sound), I found with the help of a friend, a relatively simple, inspired by an assembly used by ... Neve himself, to match the impedance and sensitivity of the microphone input stage without resorting to the use of an additional transformer. In short, this entirely passive DI uses the microphone input transformer Neve himself!
Armed with all this of grouping, the 33114 is really ideal. Of course, all these improvements are also possible on a 1066 a 1073, a 1081 or 1091. Unfortunately in this case, investment is not the same: these preamps are worth $ 4,000 to $ 8,000 each (not rack!). Out of reach for the vast majority of us. But 2000 or 2500 Euros for 33114, that's possible, right?