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Best EQ choice in homestudio?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by scottme, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. scottme

    scottme Guest

    Hi all,

    I have been looking to upgrade my home sudio setup, and would like some advice from you guys. Firstly, my setup is as follows:

    SM7, SM57, AKG3000B, ML52, 421
    ISA 428 (fantastic clean pres, BTW)
    Lynx2c into PC with Cubase SX3 (RME multiface also available)
    Drawmer TS2
    Maudio BX8

    I am recording male vocals, guitar (accoustic, amped and DI crunchy electrics), bass (DI until I get an e602) and some percussion. I may try some drums at some stage in the future. Style is atmospheric indie pop.

    It was suggested to me to spread around the tonal content a little - I was think to add a para EQ, even a good single channel will do. Any good sugestions for <~$1000? Some seem to be:
    LilFreQ, Drawmer 1961, API 550, Manley EQP1A, Tube Tech PE1C, Klark Teknik 405/410 (I also hear Sebatron is doing an SS and maybe a tube EQ)

    I ma also keen on getting a Great River ME-1NV for a colored pre - Should I get this first or wait until I get an EQ?

    Thanks for your advice in advance,
  2. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    I personally don't have one. But the Neve System 9098, might be real nice for your type of music. Neve also makes a mic-pre with EQ and one without.
    Also I do believe that the Sebatron Thorax has EQ. That might be just what you need. It can't hurt to have one more killer "tube" pre-amp AND a really good EQ unit.
    Just a thought
  3. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    IME having a better signal path that is closer to the source is the best way to go. The Focusrites aren't bad, but they aren't great either (you get what you pay for is dead on with the 428, but isn't always the case with all things). The Great River is A++. I rely on that preamp among a handfull of others to get the sound that I hear in my head on the productions that I engineer. EQ is a good tool to have, but embellishing a mediocre signal path with good processing makes less sense to me than starting with a great signal and trying to get it right directly to tape (or 1111's and 0000's).
  4. scottme

    scottme Guest

    Hmmm.... thanks for the thoughts.

    i just realised that GR did an EQ as well, now if I got an EQ1-NV (or maybe an MEQ1-NV)l, that might work very well Hehe, now who could do me a deal on that.... :)

    Is the GR EQ as legendary as their preamps?
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I find the MP2NVs to be wonderful on bright mics like AKG C12a, C12 414 etc. ... less useable with smoother mics like the U87 (the Sebatron vmps are my current fave with the U87s) and (imo) practically useless with darker mics like the Beyer N201 altohugh working the loading switch can sometimes breath a little more air into a dark signal.

    Among all my pres, (MP2NV, 9098s, JLM TM8s Sebatron's and Millennia ORIGIN) I find myself turning to the MP2NV the least. I am not saying I don't love it because I do .... but it is not a favorite "go to" pre for me. My current go to's are the THORAX or the JLM TMP8 although in a month that may change (I'm a bit fickle depending on what I'm working on).

    The System 9098 (these are the preamp / EQs) are no longer in production. There may still be a few units available at a dealer or two but I wouldn't count on it. However, they have been going for a pretty good price (around $1000) on EBay. These are exceptional EQs .... and respectable clean pres.

    The THORAX has a limited EQ section, comprised of two six position switches for the shelving EQs that offer 3 cuts and 3 boost settings for both highs and lows. Not the most flexible, the EQ section of the THORAX is perfect for minimal shaping on the way to the DAW where a more powerful digital parametric EQ can be employed. Keep in mind that Sebatron is a fanatic about phase shift anomolies induced by EQs. The EQ section in the THORAX is free of phase shift issues, hence the pre select approach.

    All the EQs you mentioned are very good and I'm sure you would be very happy with any of them.
  6. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    This is a pretty good topic. And I noticed how few replies (at this point) there are. I don't use anysort of outboard EQ and I really don't use EQ too much. Hardly ever I might add.
    Just a good quality mic, best cables possible, and a high-end preamp.
    For me the only thing that is a real must is the high-end boost on the kick drum with the API pre's. Drummer love that "tick" sound ------- from my exp.
    Now I have meet guys who have racks apon racks and racks (and a few more I might add) of EQ units.
    I never understood why? Me personally, I never needed them.
    But I do like your topic. Cause if someday I need a really good one, I have NO frickin idea which one to get either.

    How many guys out there "hardly ever" use EQ?
    And for the ones that see EQ as a must on many mixes, what are you using and/or what's the best one to go with?
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Another EQ you can add to the list is the Speck Electronics ASC. I did a review on it a while back that includes some mp3 sound clips of it in action on drums.

    Search through the RO E Mag for that.
  8. I have a couple of Pultecs the Uncle Sam bought for me while I was in college (that short two semesters) and I only use them occasionally (mostly on snares and mildly-overdriven guitars). Some people think I eq "quite a bit" on the console, but that depends on if you call ±3dB a lot of eq'ing. I try to get everything right at the mic first and then proceed to the console rather than just "fix it in the mix".
  9. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Guest

    I do a lot of tracking and I can't remeber the last time I used an EQ other than for an effect. Work with mic placement more and you'll be a happier person when it comes time to mix. There will just be more punch there to work with.
  10. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Guest

    I'm definately in the hardly use when tracking category. When I'm mixing SSL E series E.Q., GML, neve 1073, pultec. But again, not too much if it's tracked well!
  11. scottme

    scottme Guest

    Thank you all muchly for your feedback.

    It has convinced me that I should go for a ME1-NV first before I get a decent EQ. Sounds like getting an EQ is secondary to obtaining a good mix of mic pres in a budget constrained tracking setup like I have. The question then begs, what is the role of an outboard EQ in a setup used for tracking? Any tweeking can be done at mixing stage right? (not withstanding EQs within Cubase/other DAWs)

    Then again, something like the AMEK 9098 might do both if the pre-amp in it is at all decent, and I can get one for the right price. Sometime down the track, once I have enough cash, I may spring for a EQ1-NV, which seems to give some nice options paired with a ME1-NV. Hell, if I offer my first-born, I may be able to afford a Massive Passive!

    Once again, what a great source of info you guys (non-gender specific) are.

    Scott. :cool:

    BTW, while I am at it, anyone know where to find a great price on an ME1-NV? Everyone seems to be about $1070.

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