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Neve 1073SPX-D

Channel Strip & USB Audio Interface By Sam Inglis
Published May 2024

Neve 1073SPX-D

Neve’s latest 1073 variant bridges the gap between microphone and computer.

More than 50 years after it was introduced, the Neve 1073 remains the world’s most iconic mixer channel strip. It’s inspired countless imitators, and Neve’s own product range now contains no fewer than 10 different products referencing this trademarked four‑digit number. The 10th and newest of these is the 1073SPX‑D.

Back in January 2018, Hugh Robjohns reviewed the Neve 1073SPX, a single‑channel processor that includes the classic 1073 preamp and EQ circuits in a convenient 1U format. As well as the expected Marconi knobs and Mahjong‑tile buttons that govern its analogue features, this sports a couple of small red buttons with associated LEDs on the top right of its front panel. At launch, these buttons were intended to control an optional digital card that would add AES3, word clock and FireWire connectivity.

In the event, however, this digital card was never released, so although the SPX continues to be a popular way of integrating a 1073 input channel into a modern studio, it can’t talk directly to your computer or other digital gear. And now it never will, because that power belongs to the new 1073SPX‑D. This, in a nutshell, is a 1073SPX with integrated digital connectivity, USB interfacing and monitor control.

More Than Digital

The SPX‑D can be used as a purely analogue device, and in that role, it does everything the SPX can. It thus offers the 1073 preamp and EQ designs in their most fully developed incarnations, with transformers on both input and output, whilst adding modern conveniences such as a balanced insert loop that can be placed before or after the EQ, and a front‑panel combi jack that overrides the rear‑panel XLRs when engaged. However, the SPX‑D also has analogue monitor control features not present on the SPX. These require front‑panel space, so the DI input for electric guitars has been folded into the front‑panel combi socket. A happy side‑effect of this is that DI signals now pass through the input transformer, with the pad switch dropping the impedance from 2MΩ to 200kΩ.

The rear panel of the SPX‑D is quite a bit busier than that of the SPX. Like that unit, it employs an external switch‑mode power supply, but this time it connects using a five‑pin XLR. The SPX’s quarter‑inch insert sockets and XLRs for mic in, line in and line out are joined by two further pairs of XLRs labelled Monitor In and Monitor Out, while the leftmost part of the rear panel sports optical ADAT in and out sockets, a BNC word clock output and a Type B connector for USB interfacing. (Neve prefer this to the current Type C standard for reasons of robustness and long‑term reliability.)

Returning to the front panel, the SPX‑D inherits the SPX’s output attenuator to allow the input side of the unit to be driven harder without overloading its A‑D converters or downstream devices connected to its analogue outputs. This has a push action that cycles the seven‑segment LED meter between three different points in the signal chain. On the SPX‑D, however, it’s joined by two further knobs, which have their own push actions.

As well as its digital connectivity, the SPX‑D has stereo monitor inputs and outputs on XLRs along with a dedicated line output from the preamp/EQ.As well as its digital connectivity, the SPX‑D has stereo monitor inputs and outputs on XLRs along with a dedicated line output from the preamp/EQ.


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