At a glance
- Classic British console preamp and equalizer
- Hybrid design based on 2 legendary designs
- All discrete, Class-A circuit featuring Carnhill and St. Ives input and output transformers
- Full-featured 73-style mic preamp
- Full-featured 81-style EQ
- Handcrafted in Spain at Heritage Audio headquarters
The Heritage Audio HA81A Elite is a channel strip combining a 1073-style mic preamp and a console-style four-band EQ based on the mighty 1081.
The Heritage Audio HA81A Elite delivers the true vintage sound of classic consoles to today’s studio’s workflows. This hybrid 73/81 design aims to bring the best of both worlds: the superlative sound of the most revered mic preamp and the flexibility of a classic British console.
Built using the latest cutting edge in manufacturing and design the HA81A, like the rest of the Elite series, delivers outstanding performance at an affordable price. it uses the same rotary switches, precision, concentric potentiometers as the hand-made series.
Through the use of Mass production, lean manufacturing and modern construction techniques,
The preamp section takes its cue from the classic 1073 and includes all the important features that make the original the holy grail of mic pres.
Using an all-discrete Class A circuit path, the preamp section includes Carnhill St Ives input and output transformers. Driving the input transformer offers the typical harmonic distortion, rich low end, focused midrange and smooth and musical top end associated with 73-style mic preamps.
The Heritage Audio HA-81A provides up to 80dB of gain and is more than capable of handling any microphones even low-output ribbon mics. An impedance switch lets you optimise the preamp’s response to a variety of microphones.
The preamp can also be used as line input allowing to add the vintage character of the mic preamp to the digital sound coming out of audio interfaces. The DI input lets you plug in your bass, guitar or any high-impedance instrument directly into the preamp section.
Additional controls include 20dB Pad, polarity reverse, phantom power, and output trim. The latter lets you drive the preamp and get all the flavour of vintage British consoles without clipping the input of your A/D converter or compromise the sound quality of your recordings.
4-band Inductor EQ
The HA81A uses the same classic inductor based EQ design found on the original 1081. Its four-band architecture includes Low- and high-self bands as well as two bell mid bands.
The Low shelf offers a choice of five frequency points (33Hz, 56Hz, 100Hz, 220Hz, 300Hz) and offers a choice between shelf or bell response. Similarly, the High shelf offers selectable frequencies ranging from 3.3kHz, 4.7kHz, 6.8kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz and can be used in shelf or peak mode.
The two mid-band frequencies offer 10 frequency points each with the low mid covering 220Hz, 270Hz, 330Hz, 390Hz, 470Hz, 560Hz, 680Hz, 820Hz, 1kHz and 1.2kHz while the high mid continuing at 1.5kHz all the way up to 8.2kHz. Both bands include a Hi Q button for narrower, more surgical cut/boosts.
Low-pass and high-pass filters are also included both with selectable frequencies.
The EQ circuit includes high-quality WIMA 5% capacitors and vintage-type “Vinkor” type pot core inductors. These are required to recreate the correct equalisation curves and are in fact indistinguishable from Heritage Audio’s own line of handmade equalisation.