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1081 Classic

The Indispensable Tool for all Instruments and Vocals

Designed in 1972, the 1081 was originally conceived as a combined mic/line preamp and equaliser section for the Neve® modular consoles. It quickly became one of the best-loved mic preamps of all time. In practice, over three decades of engineers have found the 1081 an indispensable tool for recording and mixing drums, bass and percussion.

80dB Mic Gain
Low-band Shelf/Bell-Curve
9 Frequency Low/Mid-band
9 Frequency High/Mid-Band
High Q Mid Bands
High-band Shelf/Bell-Curve
High & Low Pass Filters
Classic 1081 Switches

Hand Built in the UK

The 1081 is entirely handcrafted in the UK by Neve® Engineers. A lot of work goes into the construction of each unit, ensuring ultimate quality before leaving the factory and arriving in your studio.

Marinair® Transformers

The 1081 uses the same exclusive Marinair® transformers as the 1073® in its microphone and line input stages, with the addition of a non-gapped balanced output transformer enabled by the A/B design.

Class A/B design

As Neve® consoles evolved, the circuit designs became more advanced. The 1081 was the first console module to utilise class A/B circuitry; class B circuitry provides greater efficiency for its transistors but can introduce crossover distortion. Neve Engineers employed a class A/B design to get around this, allowing the transistors to share the preamplification load while remaining in an always-on state, effectively removing crossover distortion.

Classic Switched Gain Control

The classic, gold plated, 3-bank Elma switch delivers accurate gain levels at 5dB steps throughout the gain range. This unique layout means there is no need for a mic/line switch; the pot itself selects the preamp and input. The 1081 uses one transistor-based preamplifier to provide all gain levels, a more efficient design than the 1073®.

Detailed Transient Response

The 1081’s efficient class A/B designed preamplifier provides a high gain output of up to 80dB with a detailed, fast & musical response to transients. This is ideal for capturing percussive instruments with perfect clarity.

Four-Band EQ

The 1081 EQ section is an advancement on the earlier 1073® EQ. The ultimate sound quality remains using similar inductor-based technology, but the EQ palette was expanded to four bands following customer-led research. In addition, two mid bands with more comprehensive frequency selections & high Q settings provide greater control for the majority of program material, and the high and low shelving bands not only have broader frequency points but switchable bell curve settings.

Flexible Bandpass Filtering

The 1081 features separate capacitor/resistor high and low pass filters, each with five selectable frequency roll-off points at 18dB/Octave designed to separate unwanted signals outside the passband. When combined with the four-band EQ, this flexible tool allows you to shape new sounds and control any part of the audio spectrum.

Phase Invert

The 180-degree phase flip feature is handy in multi-microphone setups with multiple preamps, ideal for top and bottom snare micing.

High/Low Impedance

The 1081 module has two impedance settings accessed via the rear-mounted Hi/Lo switch. With settings of 1.2kΩ and 300Ω, the impedance can be optimised for use with a wide range of modern or vintage microphones.

Horizontal or Vertical Orientation

The 1081 comes in two orientations, vertical and horizontal. Vertical orientation modules can be installed into a console or an 8-module rack. Additionally, horizontal modules can be installed into the 3U stereo pair rack.

More Information and Support

General Specification

  • Legendary Neve® microphone preamp and equalizer design (Class AB)
  • Exclusive Marinair® specification transformers used on input and output stages
  • 5 switchable EQ bands
  • HP and LP selectable filters (18dB per octave)
  • Separate 48V phantom power supply
  • 180° phase flip
  • Solo button selects channel unbalanced output
  • Spare button for external switching
  • Hand-built and wired precisely to original 1972 specifications

Preamp Specification

  • Microphone Input: Input impedance 300 or 1200 Ohms, gain +80db to +20dB in 5dB steps. Input is transformer balanced and earth free.
  • Line Input: Input impedance 10k Ohms bridging, gain +20 to -15dB in 5dB steps. Input is transformer balanced and earth free.
  • Outputs: Max >+26dBu into 600 Ohms. Zout 75 Ohms ±5% @ 1kHz, balanced and earth-free An unbalanced output 8dB below the level of the balanced output is also provided.
  • Distortion: Not more than 0.07% for +20dBm output from 50Hz to 15kHz (80kHz bandwidth)
  • Frequency Response: ±0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz. -3dB at 7Hz and 35kHz
  • Noise: Output noise better than -42dBm from Zin 1200 Ohms and -80dB input, giving an equivalent noise of -125dBm referred to 600 Ohms input impedance fed from 100 Ohms Output noise better than – 80dBm at all line input levels (22Hz to 22kHz bandwidth)

EQ Specification

  • HF Controls: 5 switched frequencies, shelving or peaking curve, continuously variable 18dB cut or boost.
  • H.F. Presence: 10 switched frequencies with continuously variable 18dB cut or boost, high or low Q selection.
  • L.F. Controls: 5 switched frequencies, shelving or peaking curve, continuously variable 18dB cut or boost.
  • L.F. Presence: 10 switched frequencies with continuously variable 18dB cut or boost, high or low Q selection.
  • H.P. Filter: 5 switched frequencies with slope of 18dB per octave.
  • L.P. Filter: 5 switched frequencies with slope of 18dB per octave.

Dimensions

  • Width: 45mm (1.8 inches)
  • Height: 278mm (10.9 inches)
  • Depth: 274mm (10.8 inches)
  • Approx. Weight: 2.9kg (6.4 pounds)

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