Creatively combining hybrid design with Heritage (Audio) quality as an ALL-CLASS A CONSOLE MIC AMP/EQUALIZER — DESIGNED & MANUFACTURED IN THE E.U., as also boldly blazoned across the front panel of its 1U rack-mountable classy chassis, the HA-81A utilises only rotary switches and precision, concentric potentiometers. Products in Heritage Audio’s acclaimed ELITE SERIES range are all built with the most cutting-edge design and manufacturing methods, without ever compromising audio quality or cutting corners — all at the European pro audio manufacturer’s Spanish headquarters, as is the case with the HA-81A.
Digging deeper, the HA-81A’s preamp section is an 80 dB, all-discrete Class-A design with Carnhill and St. Ives input and output transformers — the exact ones, in fact, found in Heritage Audio’s other ELITE SERIES products. Put simply: it is Heritage Audio’s top-notch take on an acclaimed 73-style preamplifier, including input gain (switches in 5 dB steps from 0 to 80), OUTPUT trim (attenuates from 0 to -00 — infinity), -20 dB PAD (ahead of the input transformer), and +48v phantom power.
Meanwhile, moving on to the HA-81A’s equalizer section, it is an exceptionally musical four-band, inductor-based affair whose high- and low-pass filters (each with five frequency positions) are far from wanting. Whereas the typical 73-style three-band equalizers exceed at musicality but may fall short of the mark from a features perspective, the HA-81A equally excels at both by offering extreme (five frequency-position) control over shelf or bell response curves on the high and lows, and dual Q on both mid bands with dedicated high and low mid ones (each with 10 frequency positions) — a choice of 40 frequency selections overall.
On the face of it, then, as a mic preamp that meets the discerning demands of classic sound-seeking recording engineers, the HA-81A lives up to Heritage Audio’s manufacturing mantra: The sound of yesterday — built for tomorrow.