BRITISH-SPEC CHANNEL STRIP WITH DIODE BRIDGE COMPRESSOR
50 YEARS OF ANALOG DESIGN IN ONE RACK SPACE.
Introducing the Heritage Audio BritStrip — the culmination of 50 years of analog design in a single rack unit. Britstrip nails the sound of yesterday’s iconic recordings for today’s demanding engineers.
The BritStrip combines a real-deal 73 mic preamplifier, an expanded 73 equalizer, a discrete Class-A DI, and the infamous diode bridge compressor from the Heritage Audio Successor. The closest equivalent of the BritStrip would be chaining together a 73JR, 73EQJR and mono Successor — a $3000 value pack in itself, with added routing flexibility.
THE MIC PREAMP THAT MEETS ALL THE DEMANDS.
The BritStrip starts with the same preamp as our 73JR, with a new custom input transformer co-designed with Carnhill and exclusively made for HA in the St Ives factory.. The preamp also features a custom Carnhill St Ives output transformer, which completes it’s all discrete, Class-A, 3-gain stage design. The preamp features 80 dB of gain, 20dB pad, phase reversal and an impedance switch for 1200 or 300 ohm input.
THE DISCRETE CLASS-A DI
The DI is also taken from the highly acclaimed design found in the Heritage Audio 73JR, an all-discrete Class-A JFET circuit in front of the microphone transformer, giving you all of the color and weight you could ask for.
The DI also includes a passive thru output to feed a separate amplifier.
AN EXPANDED 73 EQUALIZER.
The BritStrip eq features 3 Vinkor pot core inductors in the mid band and high pass filter sections. The impact is hard to believe with extreme boosts being exceptionally musical.
The mid band is great for sculpting fat and punchy snare, kick, guitars, vocals — you name it! No need to be subtle like you would with most eqs — BritStrip doesn’t sound phasey or loses headroom in extreme settings.
The inductor-based low-pass filter, directly taken from the 73 design, lets you control out of range low end — without affecting the quality of your desired frequencies.
The high and low shelves have been extended to include a bell mode — making them more versatile than ever before.
A SUCCESSOR-LIKE COMPRESSOR
The diode bridge bus compressor needs little introduction, as it’s the same compressor found in the multi award-nominated Heritage Audio Successor. Diode bridge compression, a 60 year old patent, took on a whole new life with the expanded features and incredible fast attack/release times of the Successor.
With BritStrip, this powerful compressor design is perfect to use for tracking, thanks to it’s blend control and elaborate sidechain filter. This gives you plenty of tracking potential, as you can give instruments that “record-ready” dynamics as performers monitor — giving them a finished “real-time feel” as they perform.
The compressor section provides plenty of sidechain flexibility, with 5 frequency options, and an external sidechain input. And if that weren’t enough flexibility, 2 BritStrips can have their compressors linked for the ultimate stereo tracking solution.
The BritStrip allows for compression and equalizer routing. Eq’ing pre-compression makes the compression detector more sensitive to the boosted frequencies and less sensitive to those cut. Inversely, eqing post compression makes the detector insensitive to the eq settings.
MIC AMP SECTION
- Carnhill based, transformer coupled balanced inputs and outputs for added character and vintage vibe.
- 73 style class A output stages bring the desired 73 sound to your mix or drum buses.
- Microphone input impedance: HI, 1200 Ohm minimum, LO, 300 Ohm minimum. Higher gain positions gradually have greater impedances, optimum for lo gain ribbon mics. Input is transformer balanced and floating.
- Line input impedance: 10K Ohms bridging, transformer balanced and floating.
- DI input impedance: Greater than 2 Megohms, unbalanced.
- Output impedance: Less than 75 Ohms, transformer balanced and floating, to drive a load of 600 ohms (factory terminated).
- Maximum output: Greater than +26dBu into 600 ohms.
- THD: Less than 0.025% at 1 Khz, less than 0.05% at 100Hz.
- Frequency response: 20Hz ( +0.3dB ) to 20Khz (-0.2dB)
- Maximum gain: Slightly greater than 80dB
- Noise: Less than -125dBu EIN.
- 73 High and low shelving bands with additional bell-like response.
- 73 dual Vinkor inductor based mid band with extended Q functions.
- 73 inductor based low pass filter.
- Diode-bridge based compression excels in bringing 2nd order harmonic distortion characteristics and true vintage tone while eliminating nasty odd harmonic content.
- Ultra-fast attack and release time options never found in vintage designs allows for far more flexible settings, including FET like sounds and volume maximizing without transient artifacts.
- Complex sidechain filtering options work with the already common high pass filters, introducing mid band peak type filters and high-frequency compression, allowing bus correction not possible before.
- Sidechain SEND and RETURN connections allow for external sidechain signals or further external processing of the internal one.
- Blend control offers built-in parallel compression without any external equipment. Blend ON/OFF button allows for instant comparison in between WET and DRY signals.
- Stepped controls for easy recall of settings.
Well, I´ve finally gotten around to writing a review for this absolutely stellar preamp… it only took me three years! At least you know that I actually had time to give it some use before writing my review. Since, winning my 73Jr in an online writing contest, it has made valuable contributions to all of my recordings. Everything about the 73Jr is well made and I can’t say enough about its build quality. It´s based on the vintage 1073 preamp and it adds a warm, creamy clarity to vocals and it makes digital keyboards/synthesizers sound less digital before hitting the DAW. My 73Jr does what it is meant to do and it does it flawlessly. BONUS: when pushed it adds some really sweet breakup to clean guitar. I never imagined that a mic preamp could actually contribute to a recording… I mean, all they do is raise the volume of a signal, right? Hahaha! I was wrong and I’m glad I was wrong! Had I not won my 73 Jr in a contest, I would have never found out how truly necessary a good preamp is to making a quality recording. I have to admit that, my first thought was to sell it for some quick cash – I didn’t own a Lunch Box and my prize was going to require the purchase of a Series 500 chassis. But, ha! I’m a gear freak and the 73Jr now sits next to an harmonic exciter and a compressor. I’m glad I spent the money on a Lunch Box because the 73Jr is a keeper!!!! If you are in the market for a 500 Series preamp, the Heritage Audio 73Jr will make you a very happy camper.
It´s a truly special unit. It´s a best in class considering its price, having ahpf, and line in onboard. Without all of those things it still wins, as it´s exactly what you´re looking for sound-wise. I´ve tried several other sub 1k iterations of this circuit. Up until now, nothing has gotten me this close. Shines on vocals, and synths. I´m frantically trying to save to get another unit, and will eventually add the eq’s as well. This is the real deal folks. My Sweetwater Rep, Brian Loney was dead-on with this one!
It’s the real deal… been tracking vocals on this thing with an SM7b and Warm Audio 1176 after in the chain before printing in Protools… excellent. Just recently tracked a kick drum with it and it was surprising very transient and punchy accompanied with API 550A/560 EQ within the Protools DAW. Incredible piece that is a MUST in your U-rack.
I’m completely loving this preamp after a couple of weeks of ownership. Dialing in a good sound is straightforward. I have gotten thickly saturated sounds from a DI improving tone on my Fender P bass and allowing the bass to be heard easily in a mix. Playback on my iPhone speakers still produced the clear sound of the bass recordings. With a cheap mic I was able to dial in a clean sound by keeping the input transformer subdued and cranking the squeaky clean output transformer. By the way, the pad is in the chain before the input transformer so engaged you can crank the input harder. Also lots of success with my Alpha Juno 2 analog synth. It sounds huge. I will likely invest in the 73eq down the line. Tone galore.
Can´t go wrong with this Pre. The amount of tonal variation the gain knob provides will make it easy to fit any source you throw at it. Great on Vocals – just sounds simply expensive. I usually record guitars direct and this thing gave my Axe Fx 2 a new life. ( Never thought the sound of the Axe fx needed any more but this preamp just gives the sound an extra level of clarity ) Can’t wait to get at least another one of these units for a stereo pair.