Great River Electronics ME-1NV Preamp
Neve-inspired single-channel preamp boasting incredibly deep and punchy lows and an instantly recognizable midrange.
What we think:
Great River has taken a familiar design and in a lot of ways improved upon it. When it comes to sound, the often unwieldy low-mids that a classic 1073 (or 1073 clone) will tend to have are much tighter and punchier with the Great River preamp. Also, the hi-freq response reveals much more detail than its inspiration. Key features like the “loading” button that engages a 600 ohm resistor before the output stage open the door to a ton of sonic variations. Also, switchable input and output metering really set this preamp apart in the ever-growing sea of Neve-inspired hardware.
When I use it on rock vocals, it adds a weight and texture that is simply to die for. This is also my go-to pre for overhead recordings, where the high frequencies are delivered in a warm, controlled manner and the drums sound punchy and thunderous. Being a Neve-inspired unit, it shares the same source flexibility, so while I have my favorites, it performs exceptionally all throughout the studio. I also really like the DI of the Great River. They managed to implement a FET-buffered route for the instrument signal to pass through the custom wound Sowter transformer. This makes the DI much more than an afterthought which, let's face it, on some mic pres that's exactly what it is. I often go with its DI over my pricey dedicated DI units.
The ME-1NV (single channel mic preamp) greatly modernizes and improves classic British design. This desktop (and rackable) preamp offers the same definitive sonic fidelity and expert craftsmanship as all Great River products, with the ability to fine-tune gain effects like 1970's-era 1073's. Transparency and vintage harmonic structure are both achieved with NV-Series preamps.
The ME-1NV achieves new classic performance status with two discrete Class-A gain stages (the dual gain-stage meters are a Great River exclusive), a front-panel DI input jack which is routed via FET through the input transformer (also unique to Great River preamps) for must-hear-to-believe sound from all Hi-Z instruments, and a discrete high-current Class-A "big iron" transformer-coupled output amplifier. The ME-1NV is a fundamentally important audio tool that brings out the best in every microphone and instrument.