Great River Electronics MEQ-1NV Pre/EQ Combo
Bundled EQ-1NV and ME-NV (EQ and Mic Pre) with FREE Rack Mount! The Great River pre is a Neve-inspired preamp boasting incredibly deep and punchy lows and an instantly recognizable mid-range.
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 is 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 opens 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, lets face it, on some mic pres thats exactly what it is. I often go with its DI over my pricy dedicated DI units.
The new MEQ-1NV is the Great River channel strip – discrete Class-A, incredibly versatile. The EQ-1NV (four-band parametric, true inductor/capacitor, ’70’s British “1081/1083”-style) is routed via the patch loop jack on the ME-1NV (two-gain-stage, dual-meter, '70's British “1073”-style mic pre).
In this configuration, the EQ is inserted between the mic preamp gain stages, providing a wide range of gain-based effects. With higher input gain / lower output gain, the EQ sections can be driven slightly harder for increased harmonics; with lower input gain / higher output gain, the EQ sounds very transparent. With its ultra-high headroom and ultra-low noise floor, the MEQ-1NV is an indispensable tool for modern recording.