August 20, 2015 · North Hollywood, Calif. – This year, BAE Audio celebrates the 15th anniversary of the revered 1073 microphone preamplifier. The 1073, originally manufactured in England in 1970 and arguably the most famous mic pre in the world, has been used on countless recordings over the last four decades and is known for its glistening, lush sonic character. Because production of the 1073 module had ceased for nearly 20 years and had fallen into abandoned technology, BAE Audio initiated its ‘rebirth’ in 2000 by sourcing authentic components and rebuilding it according to original specifications. The result was the BAE Audio 1073, which continues to be manufactured to this day using the same transformers, wiring and switches that were present in the original.
While many other manufacturers followed suit and began manufacturing their own ‘clones’ of the 1073, BAE Audio possessed an abundance of knowledge and expertise. Originally founded in the ’80s by Brent Averill, the company’s core business was centered on the servicing, restoration and refurbishment of original 1073 modules from the very beginning. However, as original units dwindled in supply, pricing skyrocketed and they soon became collector’s items. In 1999, BAE Audio decided to start manufacturing brand new 1073 units from scratch, while adhering to original specifications, authentic circuits and componentry.
“When we began sourcing original parts and manufacturing the 1073s, it was the beginning of the digital age and there was an overall skepticism of new analogue gear in the market,” recalls BAE Audio President Mark Loughman. “Since our gear was based on vintage designs, this worked to our advantage as the first units we made specced out very well. We began to receive feedback from artists saying ‘Yes, this is the sound I remember’, and we sold out of every batch that we made.”
Now, the company has been building 1073 units consecutively longer than any other company in history. The unprecedented success of the 1073 has also spawned many other classic BAE products, such as the 1023 and 1028 , the 1073MP , the 1073MPF and 1073DMP , the 1073D  and the 1073MPL, launched this year. Each BAE Audio mic pre in the 1073 family uses original Carnhill/St. Ives transformers, Elma switches, Marconi knobs and Canford wire imported from England and each unit is hand assembled at the company’s plant in North Hollywood.
Since each BAE Audio 1073 is built using authentic components sourced from the original manufacturers, the company is able to stand by the sound character of each unit. “Our 1073s have a classic sound that is instantly recognizable,” concludes Loughman. “Many of our competitors substitute componentry to save manufacturing expense, and this has an undesireable effect of altering the original sound character. At BAE Audio, we are obsessed with using 100 percent authentic components, and our customers can hear the results.”
For a limited time, BAE Audio is offering a special 1073 ‘Anniversary Edition’ on both 1073 modules and rackmounts, featuring a commemorative badge on the faceplate recognizing 15 years of the 1073. For more information, visit http://www.baeaudio.com.
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.
Thank you for signing up to Broadcasting & Cable. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.