Golden Age Premier PRE-73 Jr MKII


Golden Age Premier PRE-73 Jr MKII; 1-channel microphone, line and instrument preamplifier; discrete design; Carnhill input and line output transformers; vintage style class-A electronics; gain control 20 - 70 dB; two-stage HF air boost equaliser (3 dB and 6 dB @ 30 kHz); two-stage HP filter 6 dB / octave (40 Hz and 170 Hz); +48V phantom power switchable; incl. external power supply; connections: 1x microphone / line input XLR / 6.3 mm jack combo, Hi-Z instrument input 6.3 mm jack, 1x line output XLR and 6.3 mm jack, 1x insert 6.3 mm jack; construction: desktop format

available since July 2022
Item number 547241
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Channels 1
Number of microphone inputs 1
Instrument input Yes
Tubes No
Compressor/Limiter No
Equalizer Yes
De-Esser No
Phantom power Yes
Phase Reverse Yes
External effect loops Yes
Analogue Outputs XLR, jack
Digitale Outputs None
Headphone connection No
Level Meter No
Design Desktop
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Very good
Van Portogal 24.12.2022
I compare this preamp to those on a Focusrite Clarett 4pre which I also own and use in conjunction with this preamp.
After intensive tests I came to the conclusion that using this preamp instead of the Clarett preamps gives a clear sonic advantage without any doubt: the low-mid frequencies are much more powerful, the sound is richer and silkier, and in general the voice sounds much better.
I say this aware of the fact that the Clarett preamps are very good and I'm often tempted to use those instead of the Golden age, but in the end I always prefer the Golden age because it does something very good in the low-mid frequencies to the voice.
However, to get the most out of this preamp, some attention must be paid: first of all it is advisable to keep the output level at maximum, and adjust the volume with the gain knob, which is in 5 db steps, otherwise the sound becomes less pristine.
I also recommend not using the high pass and air switches, which seem to me to degrade the sound. Finally, connect the preamp to the Clarett using top quality cable.
Only if these conditions are met the sound of the Golden Age is superior to the (excellent) Clarett preamps, otherwise it would be preferable to use the Clarett preamps.
That's why I give only one star to "features", because filters and output control are better not used for the reasons I explained.
I also like the compactness of the preamp, I preferred it to its bigger brother for this reason and also because the 70 db gain is more than enough, I used a maximum of 55db of gain with an SM7b and never more than 40db with a Tlm 102.
It's also very quiet, not louder than the Clarett preamps which are dead quiet.


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Kind of sibilant...
thai_tran94 22.12.2022
I compared this unit with a Focusrite Isa One with some mics I have: SM57, KMS105, TLM49.

I notice it most when my voice is more sibilant on the GAP 73 than the Isa One. Also, I have really little sound experience of a 73 preamp style, this one is my first unit, probably I judged the sound as quite underwhelming compared to the Focusrite Isa. I tried with a cleaner sound or more saturated sound with the 73, turning on the Air EQ boosting high frequencies made my voice a bit more exciting, but it also increased sibilance in my voice. So, I would return this preamp, basically I don't really like the sound.

Other perspective, looks, knobs... they are excellent, I have no complaints.

Even though this is a small unit, its metal casing weight is sturdy enough that I feel comfortable in my hand for a good time.
It's really a nice time these days when one can buy a decent preamp at such fair price. I once tried a Premier 73 Deluxe which have lots more features, and this Junior is about half that size but the sound is still there.

The fact I don't really like the sound doesn't mean it's not good, the feel I get when using an analog preamp is totally different than with an interface preamp, the sound is fuller for sure.