The Vintech X73i was my first high-end preamp, and its top-end shelf has been one of my go-to sounds for many years. There's nothing else like it besides buying a vintage Neve EQ, but even then, the X73i has it's own thing going on. My favorite part is the EQ, and the high shelf in particular nails the 1073 sound. It's crisp and musical, yet raw and crunchy. Even if I never used the preamp, the EQ alone would have been worth it.
Every one of my customers who has bought this channel strip has called me to thank me for setting them up with the sound they have been looking for. Being a guy who is very familiar w/ the Neve sound, I can accurately vouch for the sound of these fantastic preamps.
Is it Really Worth the Money
Buying a high-end preamp was never an option for me. To begin, I didn't have the money and to be honest, I never imagined, for a second, it could have such a profound affect on the sound. I've been recording for more than 30 years and spent what money I had on instruments and a couple of very good mics. I really thought - that was the key to getting a pro level recording. Fortune smiled upon me, very briefly, to the tune of 6k.
I've always researched every purchase to excess. What I knew was this: I had a nice strat, a nice Les Paul, a nice Yamaha acoustic. I had Marshall JCM800, Fender Hotrod Deluxe and Ampeg VTX60 tube amps. I had Neumann, Sennheiser and Shure mics and yet my recordings just weren't there.
My first purchase was a Lynx Hilo Converter. It did make a difference, especially with the ever-so-fragile upper frequencies of acoustic guitar recordings. In fact, it improved all the recordings but, the acoustic was very revealing. I was really getting close now but, no. After dropping over 2k, I was dumbfounded.
I began reading about preamps. After exhaustive research I decided on the X73i. I was very careful unpacking the x73i because I was absolutely sure I'd be returning it after a couple of days.
First, I recorded electric guitars. I recorded 2 tracks simultaneously, with the only difference being the preamps. Wait . . . What the f*#k just happened. Not only did it sound thicker and smoother but, there was a significant, visual difference, between the waveforms. The x73i waveform actually looked fatter. I checked and then rechecked the signal paths and then repeated the test with the same result.
I knew I'd need to buy 2 pres so, was the difference in sound quality really worth almost 3k?
I recorded my acoustic. Same result.
Next up . . . vocals. When I received the x73i, I had been struggling with a vocal track for over a week. I just couldn't seem to get it to sit right in the mix. I had tried every kind of compression technique known to man, I tried traditional Eqs, dynamic Eqs, mid-side processing, not to mention recording with a half a dozen different mics.
I plugged an inexpensive MXL 4000 condenser into the x73i, then to the Hilo Lynx. You've got to be kidding me. The improvement in the vocals, through the x73i, was absolutely mind blowing. It sat perfectly in the mix - as is. I couldn't believe it. Now I understood why so many engineers grovel over these vintage preamps.
As another review said, "The x73i will make any mic sound better." This is true, not to mention that it has a smooth, sweet sounding Eq section.
The pair of x73i's have been a game changer for me . . . even more so than the Hilo Lynx. Good Luck
Is it a Neve 1073?
No it is not... the Vintech x73i gets you close, but it has it's own sound too and also a lot more dependable. The best mic-pre for the doe in my opinion. THe EQ section is brilliant, but I don't really use it too often.
Don't let the price fool you, i'd put this bad boy up there with any pre's in the 3-4k range, truly awesome on everything . I use it mainly on vocals but also bass, DI and snare drums. Amazing.
Great unit, and a good choice for a desert island preamp if you could only take one. Exceptional on bass direct (all I use now), vocals and snare drum. Pair this with an LA2A on vox and a good Reference or u87 mic on vocals and you won't want to listen to anything else. EQ is very pleasing to the ear, but word of advice, go easy on it, small adjustments make a big difference on these, even if it's not apparent until later in the mix - whatever peak or cut level you think sounds best at first, back off 50%. This unit is a home run, built like it's military bound and delivers if you're looking for that british sound!
After a lot of soul (and wallet) searching I finally purchased this to go with my existing Mojave MA-200. The Mojave is a fantastic piece of equipment and I was skeptical that it could get any better. But it can. The Vintech keeps the tube warmth of the Mic, but adds clarity and dynamism even without compression nor much in the way of EQ.
This is one heavy piece of equipment. Built like a virtual tank that way outweighs what you think a 1U device should weigh. I think there's neutron star material inside (or some other kind of magic dust). The knobs are wonderfully smooth and sure, with clear detent movements - which I'm sure translates to very specific loadings rather than some vague potentiometer setting. The power supply, which looks like a tiny box in the pictures, is also massive. And heavy.
If you fail to believe that a unit that appears to do so little can make such a big change, you need to A/B it for yourself. Would that I had infinite money such that I could put one of these on every channel. But, it will be on a LOT of channels. Highly recommended.
Voice Over Talent - Vintech X73i
One bad mother!!! got this from Sweetwater's sales ninja Chris Lewis... I am not a musician... All I do is Voice Overs... and the Vintech X73i is my #1 go to pre in my studio... For voiceovers it just makes everything sound perfect... If you do voice overs... get this.... and get ready to be blown away!!!!
Wow...there is NO better Preamp for the money...
THIS...THIS...is perfection. Having worked in music for 30 years plus, I've had my share of preamps and microphones. BUT, this is the ONLY one I've ever been this excited about. EVEN without COMPRESSION, this thing puts your voice forward and up front in the mix "just right" when paired with the right microphone, and when the impedance is selected around 1.2K....(300Ohm is ok too, but just a "hair" muddier and "bassier"). At 1.2K, EVEN the bass frequencies are clear and well articulated, which is unusual. This thing makes you sound like a star, without a doubt. Do yourself a favor, though, and experiment with it WITHOUT any "doctoring" at first---you may find you don't need to do as much as you're used to.
BIG SOUND WHEN COMPRESSED RIGHT SOUNDS AMAZING!
I have used a lot of preamps, well I've heard a few, with this being said, I ran this in line out patchbay into a manley Mu,, then squashed it the la2a way, and let's just say, my voice sat in the mix, like there was no other instruments in the mix..! something worth having, it is very flexible! I actually prefer it more on vocals then the avalon, not that I don't like the avalon 737 it is awesome!, but the results that I want came quick with this preamp.. But yes they are right, wish I had two of them... and owning the manley tube on tube 737/manley got too tubey!
A MUST HAVE! MicPre/Eq.
I just purchased my Second Vintech x73i and it sounds just like my First, EXCELLENT! If you want a Preamp that will put a Vocal Track in your face and in the mix this is it. It has it all Warmth, Clarity, Punch, and the Eq is Great even though I rarely have the need to use it. The recorded tracks sound so good due to the Quality Preamp combined with the Mojave Audio MA-200 and the Distressor (What a Combo)! Instrument tracks are Outstanding as well Acoustic and Electric. There is Nothing you cannot record with this MicPre/ Eq. Highly Recommended!
Great for old style on your face vocal
I was looking for an old style on your face vocal as we find in 70s recordings. I do Indian music and I was looking for fat sounding vocal of yesteryear that still inspire me. Trust me, pairing with a Neumann TLM 49 I was able to get that sound. It sounded excellent on Mohave MA 200 and AT 4047 also. The EQ section is very good. But for vocal I dont use that much.
Now about a small downside. Recently I was trying to record Sarangi (an Indian traditional bowed instrument rich with high frequencies and harmonics) using this preamp. The result was not bad but somehow not exactly what I wanted(could also be due to the fact that I wasn't using a ribbon mic specific for recording acoustic instrument, I tried SM 57, AT 4047). The EQ section helped me a lot there. I could control lot of frequencies using that. I believe for wood winds, Sitars, Sarangis I need a different preamp, may be a solo 610 as other reviewer suggested as they complement each other.
Overall, with TLM 49 I'm looking no further for getting a great vocal sound.
Here's the deal folks. The 1073 is a classic...I know them very well and I know they sound fantastic firsthand. They all sounded good, but because of the metal they used in the soldering and the components and all of that jazz, they ended up all sounding just a little different from each other. The difference between two original 1073s might be the same if not greater than the difference from the Vintech X73i to a vintage 1073. Honestly! This thing doesn't get as edgy as the original 1073 (which is good and bad, sometimes you want edgy) but in general terms of quality this sounds GREAT esp. for the price. You could record four takes on a focal with four different 1073s and one of them done with an X73i, and they would all sound slightly different, there's no way you could pick out the X73i. Regardless if it's a clone or not, it's still a fantastic preamp and that's what's important, right? Loved it so much I bought a second one a week later.
Great Sounding Pre Amp and EQ
I've used my x73i on so many projects for drums, guitars, vocals and more for over 3 years and it always sounds great, its one of the "go to" pre's in the studio, I feel in todays recording world that a rack of great sounding pre's like the x73i is the way to go, more of these are definitely on the top of the gear list!
Just hook it up with the Nuemann U87. The sound brought tears to my eyes. The X73i makes any microphone stand out. I have tried other microphones on it as well, and they all sound great. This is a true beauty. I'm so happy that I bought this.My search for a mic pre is over! I will be purchasing another for the home studio.
to 1073 or not to 1073 !!!
Recently picked this up strictly for hiphop vocals. BUT NOT the new age hiphop, for my sound is more vintage Wu-Tang Clan/ NYC style. tried my ma201-fet and blueberry on vox. No complaints. $1574 mos def worth it. this preamp is very thick, present & rich. very minimal eq used n sometimes none. i'm very happy with the results ive gotten on vox with this pre/eq. this box has great tone. im running into a solidstate compressor 4 now but will pickup a fet compressor in near future to add more color to the signal. if rock is what u do, pick this up! if ur a hiphop guy DONT!!!, cuz i dont want ur signal sounding like mine lol.
The "Nashville Sound"
If you are a Country Artist Or Engineer looking for that Famous "Nashville Sound" you have come to the right place. I have learned that you must have Professional Quality Equipment to achieve Professional Results. I recently purchased the Mojave Audio MA-200 (LDC). You simply Cannot Beat this Microphone! I soon realized I was in need of a High End Mic Pre. I contacted my Sales Rep "Brendon Murphy" and he Immediately Recommended the Vintech X73i. After Receiving the mic pre and connecting the MA-200 I was Blown Away! I had finally found the sound I had been searching for. This Microphone and Preamp are a Match Made In Heaven! The Pre Has a Huge in your Face Sound. Add a bit of eq and Hear your Tracks come Alive like never before. The Preamp and Power Supply (Which is not included) are definitely built to last. The Vintech PSU will power up to 4 units at one time which is a good thing. I have a feeling you will want more then one of these pres after hearing The Quality!
Getting punched in the face!
This pre on a snare, (top, bottom, or both) is amazing. The snare jumped out of the mix & punched me in the face.
Warm, Clean Sound. Great Front End for My Digital Studio!
What can I say...the X73i is amazing! I use it as a front end for pop vocals going into an Apogee Rosetta, recording in Logic. It makes my vocals stand out. I love it!
all I can say is...wow...
I have an Apogee Mini-me and a PR8E upgraded by Black Lion Audio, and this unit blew me away..the first thing i plugged into it was a Strat, straight in....the magic started when I turned the EQ on....everything I have recorded with this sounds amazing..I have only had it for a few days, but i can't stop using it! The Apogee pres are good, and super-clean, but don't have the "warmth" that this unit has...I am trying really hard not to buy anaother one!
Oh my God
This little wonder-box is amazing! I use it with an AT4050 condenser mic for vocals and acoustic guitar it sounds soooo "expensive" It has a very sweet, delicate high end that I never got out of that mic, it has a very musical buttery mid-range, and if you need more bass it's there as well. I was looking at other Neves and clones, possibly thinking about building one... But with this you get the dream pre-amp and a very useful EQ that allows you dial in exactly the sound you want. I can't wait to try it for mic'ing my electric guitars through my mesa boogie amp. Those of you just starting out with home recording, don't be afraid to spend a little money on a good pre-amp, especially for vocals it really is all the dif when used with your DAW.
two words "kik butt"
I use the vintech 73s on the front end of my whole studio and everything ie: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals, drums, fiddle all sound awesome
Compared to LA610
This thing rocks. I tracked some bass and vocal tracks (rock) with both the X73i and an LA610. The X73i sounds much nicer. The frequency response is much greater than the LA610. Also the tone overall is much less overbearing and very smooth on the ears. The eq section of the X73i is what really does it for me. The preamp alone sounds ok, but once you get the eq going... thats when the magic happens. The eq really brings out the true nature of this beast. I've tried out a bunch of pres in this price range and this one really does it for me! 110% satisfied
You can't beat the X73i for the money. Great build. Sounds amamzing! Very musical EQ and the preamp is amazing. I've had great results with it on vox w/ Rode K2, DI for bass, miked guitar amp and miked acoustic. Use an SM 57 on a snare and nail the sound. This unit makes everything sound better. It sounds familiar because you've heard it's forefather the Neve 1073 on countless recordings. Price a used or new Neve 1073 module racked or unracked nd you'll see how the X73i is such a great deal. An output meter would be a nice addition.
Yep, that's the sound...
In doing an upgrade to my home production facility, Brendan (Murphy) convinced me to pick up a pair of these.
I expected them to be decent, considering the raves I had read from other people. These pre-amps are way beyond decent. Put a decent large diagram condensor in front of one and hear the magic. Think of the best vocal recordings you have ever heard... Got it? OK, that is the sound you can get with these pre-amps. Of course, you have to have real talent in FRONT of the microphone and if you're going to digital, you want good converters.
If you have the means, get at least one. You will not be disappointed!
You cannot beat this pre for the money. It sounds like a Neve 1073 only at 1/3 the price point. I have been very happy both in using it as a mic pre and as a DI for bass guitar. It gets my vote.
Excellent for vocals and VoiceOver
Great sounding pre! Big sound very smooth.
Very good preamp
Excelent preamp / strip for the studio. Goes well with vocals, bass and drums (tired it on snare and bass drums). The only two reasons I'm not giving a 5 star are: i) I had a hard time getting the sound out of it at first (it took me some time to "learn" how to get the best out of it); ii) Tried it live for vocals, and the results were not so good (not disapointing, but an SSL Alpha Channel, for example, works better).
Anyway, if you do not plan to use it live, this is not an issue.
Fantastic preamp. Will be used regularly.
I have owned this preamp for 6 months. I've used it on vocals, acoustic, guitar, bass, snare, and kick. It sounds great on all of them so far. Very warm, punchy, and versatile EQ section makes this a wonderful addition to your preamp arsenal or for your first preamp. I immediately noticed an improvement in the quality of my recordings after using this pre. Highly recommended!
The truth about the X73i
I've used lots of preamps. I can tell you the X73i is one of my favorites. It sounds very Neve-y. The EQ on this thing is wonderful. I adore this preamp for lead vocals. It imparts a smoothness and creaminess to your tracks that I've only heard from Neve-style preamps. It will definitely give you a "larger than life" vocal sound.
I also love the LA-610! And if you can only have two great preamps, the LA-610 and the X73i would be a great pair because they complement each other well. They both do things the other can't. I have both and won't let go of either of them!
VINTECH X73 I
Good pre in arsenal
...another nice "flavor" preamp to have. the EQ sets it apart from others. the EQ on/off switch is nice for comparisons after changes , as well.
A biker shows up to church on Sunday and sits next to an old lady.
I've had my X73i for a couple years now, so its safe to sum it up at this point. It def has a vintage Neve sound. Its very in-your-face sounding. The pre itself has a gritty side to it, most notably in the upper mids. Due to it's class A design, it has a distinct "magic" about it, which is very cool. The eq is fairly good and I've found it to be useful on a lot of sources. In context I feel the unit seems to work best with Bass guitar, but also vocals if you're looking for an older sound. Everything sounds great going through this unit, but be aware it has a very distinct vintage tone.
HUGE upgrade to my sound. I recorded a tune with this pre and my Rode mic, scratched my head and went, OH, that's how they do it!