If you've ever been lucky enough to hear a Pultec EQP-1A3 in action, you already know why it's widely considered the "holy grail" of EQs. Without a doubt, the classic has an undeniable magic to it. Even so, it's not perfect in modern studio settings. For one, the low end can get tubby with out-of-control subsonic frequencies, because it just wasn't built for digital. Plus, each one had its own personality, making stereo work less than ideal. With the 2A3, Retro Instruments set out to make their version of the ultimate EQP-1A3, one that's optimized for modern recording and tweaked in all the right places. Retro more than pulled it off, crafting a stereo EQ that captures the essence of the classic while delivering a brand of magic all its own.
- Added peak frequencies let you work in the sweet spots
- Drastically improved low end performance
- Designed for stereo with hand-matched components
Added peak frequencies let you work in the sweet spots
To give you even more precise control, right where you want it, Retro gave the 2A3 three additional high-frequency boost settings at 1.5kHz, 6kHz and 14kHz. These most-often-requested sweet spots expand the bounds of the classic without changing its personality.
Drastically improved low end performance
If the classic Pultec has a fault, it's in the low-end performance. Still, that's really through no fault of its own. Back then, when you'd boost the bass, it'd keep boosting down in frequencies you couldn't hear. It didn't really matter because all the low-end subsonic junk would eventually get rolled off by tape machines, consoles, and all the other vintage gear in the signal chain. In today's full-frequency digital environment, though, the tubbiness poses problems and this was a top priority for Retro in rethinking the classic design. The 2A3 elegantly solves the issue by incorporating subsonic filters at 40Hz and 90Hz. These let you do peaking low-frequency boosts, while taming the excessive subsonic energy.
Designed for stereo with hand-matched components
Classic mono EQs are solo performers, with varying unit-to-unit characteristics that don't lend themselves to stereo work. To make the 2A3 more useful, Retro Instruments optimized it for stereo. All the capacitors and pots are hand matched, so both channels are identical. It should be noted, too, that the 2A3 manages to give you a full-fledged classic stereo EQ, in just 2U of rackspace. That's double the performance, in half the space you'd expect.