Vintech 573 Preamp = YUM
I've never used an old Neve board, preamp, strip or anything. We've all heard them, though.
I've used a handful of nice pre's out there and I enjoy what the Vintech 573 does. Against the big rack-mounted Vintechs, it doesn't sound quite as big, but it does that "Neve thing" regardless. There's a nice big bottom end that is slightly pillow and fat, and a mid range that has this sheen to it that is hard to describe. Not forward, but vibey. The top has this sparkle to it that adds a little richness. The whole sound is rich, in fact.
Honestly, this sound pairs well with almost any mic and source. That is one benefit of the Neve sound. In the digital world, youve got some extra breathing room in your sound stage if your converters are good, and it's ideal to fill it out with a sound like this. I usually leave the OP knob way down and push up the input gain just before clipping as you get a touch more color that way. Putting line signals through these also make things sound richer.
Nothing wrong with a Vintech. I like their sound a lot!