The Golden Age PREQ-73 is the latest in the brand line that started with their famous PRE- 73 Neve clone, single channel mic preamp. Over the past 5 years the preamp has been modified and upgraded and this model now represents the third current model with the inclusion of an EQ section. Golden age have two Neve clone EQ outboards in their range, the EQ-73 and the EQ-81, but this model provides a very simple and effective high and low shelving eq option for anyone wanting to trim or tweak their basic sound without going to the effort and cost of plugging in a full range EQ.
The EQ can be simply switched in or out with a small toggle switch on the front of the unit which is great for A/B comparison to hear what you are doing though in effect I tend to leave the EQ switched in as both LF and HF have center zero detent rotary controls. The LF range is switchable between two frequencies, 55Hz and 175 HZ and the rotary control means you can either boost or cut up to 15 db on either of these frequency centres. The HF switches between 8K and 12K but here you can cut or boost up to 20db. The circuitry for the EQ comes from their EQ73 unit based on the classic Neve design and gives a very useful creative extra to the preamp.
The LF frequencies are chosen well with the 55 HZ there for anyone with an earth hum or other electrical interference while a gentle boost of the 175 hz warms anything up nicely without it becoming flabby. The same applies to the HF frequencies with 8K giving a sweet "edge" to a sound while the 12k gets more "air".All in all very useful for tweaking your sound as it goes down with the easy ability to A/B compare at the flick of a switch.
And speaking of switches GA have moved away from their traditional push buttons to the new small toggle switches and I for one think its a good step! In the past we have had a few problems with the buttons popping out and the new toggle swithches not only look funkier but inevitably will be more reliable. Inside the unit is as ever really clean and well laid out and as with all new models the main board is pre drilled to take a Carnhill transformer if you decide to have one of our mods done later on. ( You could even try it yourself if you have some basic electronic skills)
Otherwise you get all the features and great sound of the basic GA preamp but by including a simple good sounding EQ Golden age have come up with another piece of kit to make great sounding recordings at a price that everyone can afford. Like the standard MKII and the DLX models the PREQ comes with an insert in the back panel to interface with one of Golden Ages outboard EQs but as a standalone preamp I dont think there is much to touch the new model.