The early years (1961-1967ish) - germanium and tubes
are weird looking, black fronted modules, which all seem to have the 105x model designation, from very early Neve consoles with germanium transistor technology (like some of the classic DECCA's of the early sixties)
They all require -24v power supplies to power and they are relatively rare. The most common of these we have seen have been the 1053's and 1055's. The 1053's are a 3 band eq / mic pre with switched frequency and cut or
boost They were featured on a number of consoles which were sold to Phillips for classical recordings. The 1055's are simpler, 3 band mic pre / eq's with fixed frequencies. The 1055's were usually fitted to smaller,
broadcast consoles and one of the 1055 equipped consoles we sold a few years back looked just like a black fronted, germanium version of the classic BCM 10
Comparatively, these are noisy units to use but do posses a
pleasant 'dirty' sound which is nigh on impossible to obtain from later series eq's. The last console we sold containing these eq's, in around 1998, went to a producer of Seattle guitar grunge bands who particularly
liked the sound of these modules for the work he was doing...
Around the same time, or maybe even earlier, Mr Neve also constructed some tube eq / mic pre's. These are very
rare and we have only come across 4 of these units. I have little information as to what sort of console they came from and I can barely remember what they were like as we foolishly did not take any pictures at the time. I can remember they were all a Spartan brushed aluminium finish with what appeared to be neon indicators and aluminium knobs. We did power them up and have a listen but to be frank, they were not that good at all and we decided to thank Mr Neve for continuing with his discrete class-A transistor designs and not perusing the tube route...
Neve history 2 - 'the glory years'