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Pultec EQ?

Member for

20 years 6 months
I know a lot of the biggies use Pultec type eq's. With the Langvin version coming out, it appears will be home studio affordable. What is the significance of a Pultec type eq? What does it sound like? Is it good on mixes, vocals, guitars, drums, bass?

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Member for

21 years 3 months

Guest Wed, 06/27/2001 - 05:38
The key to the 'Pultec' EQ's are the filter networks for the frequency selections. Frankly, I have found that the Pultecs that employ an API 2520 op-amp rather than the tube buffer amps to sound better...and the 2520 is a solid state amplifier.

The tubes in a Pultec are used as an 'input buffer', and as an output 'gain makeup amp'. There is an inherent 'insertion loss' when you insert the 'passive filter network' found in the Pultec [or the Manley Massive Passive, or a whole bunch of others that work on the same principles], so you need an amplifier to get the same level out of it that you put into it.

Many years ago at a studio in NYC called the Power Station [currently called Avatar], there was a Pultec EQP-1A3 on the output of each and every tape machine track. Some clients didn't like running through the tube amplifiers on the way back to the desk, so Ed Evans installed a "hard wire bypass' switch which routed the signal through the unit without it going through the tube amps.

So...in answer to your question...yes, you can get something similar from the Langevin stuff, the main difference being that the inductors don't have quite the same headroom as the inductors in the Pultecs, and the frequencies are a bit different...but in the grand scheme of life...for $2,000 or more less than an actual 'Pultec'...it's a damn good unit.

I hope this helps in some way.

Member for

20 years 7 months

vanimal Wed, 06/27/2001 - 06:18
Hi Coldsnow,
Thank you for your interest in the Langevin Pultec EQ. FYI, it has been in constant production since about 1992, it employs an all-discrete transistor makeup gain stage, and its retail price is $1275. It is completely transformerless giving perhaps an overall "cleaner" sound compared to an original Pultec which may or may not be what you are looking for per se...

As with any gear choice, let your ears (and that ever-pesky wallet) decide what works for you.

Member for

20 years 8 months

MPlancke Sat, 06/30/2001 - 12:33
Originally posted by coldsnow:
I would love to let my ears try it, however, Notheast Ohio is the armpit of cheep gear with noone selling or at least stocking pro type gear. Hence the reason, I ask so many stupid questions.

Just a hunch here, maybe Fletcher can help you out, he carries the Langevin/Manley stuff.

Member for

21 years 3 months

audiokid Sun, 12/06/2015 - 13:11
RandomGuest, post: 26142, member: 49258 wrote: The key to the 'Pultec' EQ's are the filter networks for the frequency selections. Frankly, I have found that the Pultecs that employ an API 2520 op-amp rather than the tube buffer amps to sound better...and the 2520 is a solid state amplifier.

The tubes in a Pultec are used as an 'input buffer', and as an output 'gain makeup amp'. There is an inherent 'insertion loss' when you insert the 'passive filter network' found in the Pultec [or the Manley Massive Passive, or a whole bunch of others that work on the same principles], so you need an amplifier to get the same level out of it that you put into it.

Many years ago at a studio in NYC called the Power Station [currently called Avatar], there was a Pultec EQP-1A3 on the output of each and every tape machine track. Some clients didn't like running through the tube amplifiers on the way back to the desk, so Ed Evans installed a "hard wire bypass' switch which routed the signal through the unit without it going through the tube amps.

So...in answer to your question...yes, you can get something similar from the Langevin stuff, the main difference being that the inductors don't have quite the same headroom as the inductors in the Pultecs, and the frequencies are a bit different...but in the grand scheme of life...for $2,000 or more less than an actual 'Pultec'...it's a damn good unit.

I hope this helps in some way. Old thread but excellent. My next pair of Pultec's will be the API SS versions. So I post this here to troll for new or current members heading this direction as well. I've owned Pulse Technique tube versions (MEQ-5 ) and loved them, but I have a hunch the SS are more my direction.

Cheers

Member for

8 years 9 months

pcrecord Thu, 12/10/2015 - 03:55
audiokid, post: 434248, member: 1 wrote: Old thread but excellent. My next pair of Pultec's will be the API SS versions. So I post this here to troll for new or current members heading this direction as well. I've owned Pulse Technique tube versions (MEQ-5 ) and loved them, but I have a hunch the SS are more my direction.

I thought you were going more ITB Chris, will you use them for tracking, mixing or mastering ?

Member for

21 years 3 months

audiokid Thu, 12/10/2015 - 08:32
Sequoia 13 and 2 DAW's replaced this and a lot more like it. Good trade, ITB mixing and mastering is better sound but not as fun. (With the exception of the Bricasti that is).

For tracking, nothing beats a great analog front end.
My personal choice for tracking vocals and more...

UA LA2A, UA 1176LN, Pulse Pultec EQ, Top micpre, Top AD converters. If I had a choice, I'd have at least one Pulse Technique Pultec after a mic. The UA gear is more for vibe.
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Member for

9 years

DonnyThompson Fri, 12/11/2015 - 02:57
audiokid, post: 434349, member: 1 wrote: ITB mixing and mastering is better sound but not as fun

It's all about whatever works for you, whatever supports your workflow, whatever sounds good on what you are working on, but... just as importantly, as Chris mentioned... being "fun".

I think we forget that part sometimes, wrapped up in all the current technical minutia, that it can be fun to experiment and try different things, as many of us used to do more frequently back when we were younger and starting out.
It doesn't always have to be about "doing the right thing", or adhering to every last rule... sometimes it's fun to say "I wonder what would happen if I...." and experiment with different pieces and methods.

I was reminded of this just yesterday, while re-amping a kick drum, I dug out an old dbx 163x compressor that I've had lying around for years, and haven't used in probably just as many (I think I paid like $30 for it in 1980, LOL) ... but just for fun, I bused the mono sampled kick out of my DAW, through the dbx, and into my ADK preamp (using a Lundhal 1538 XFO and a John Hardy 990C OpAmp combo) and then recorded it back into a track on Samp .... and it sounded great - at least for this song I'm working on. It leveled the kick out very nicely, but without "sounding" compressed, and it also added a nice little "smack" to the kick, too. I'm now wondering what this might sound like, frontloading it on a bass or electric guitar...

Funny thing about it, I didn't even need to make any adjustments to it. Whatever settings I had on the thing the last time I used it, ( probably when Reagan was still President and Mulroney was still Canada's PM, LOL) seemed to do the trick.
All I had to do was adjust the gain on the ADK pre. ;)

The dbx 163 is as simple as it gets, too. A basic, half rack, mono, single-stage compressor/limiter, with ratio and threshold settings built into the same control - no bells and whistles, no attack or release settings, no fancy look-ahead feature, hell, it doesn't even have XLR jacks, ( it has both an instrument hi Z on the front with a trim pot and 1/4" Line Ins/Outs on the rear) It's just a super-basic, brain dead, easy to use compressor, with a makeup gain control... and for what I was doing, it sounded great.

And all this was because I said "I wonder what it would sound like if ....?"


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