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The convenience and affordability of 500 series modular units has taken the recording industry by storm, and riding the crest of that wave is the A-Designs Audio EM-PEQ Pultec-style equalizer—renowned for big, tight, and punchy low end. But some people just don’t like looking at a half-empty lunchbox in the rack (though A-Designs prefers to think of them as half full), and not every module is compatible in size or power rating with third-party lunchboxes (which is why A-Designs is one of a select few that make their own 500-series power supply). In response to mounting customer requests (no pun intended, but not bad when you think about it), A-Designs Audio has answered the call with the rackmountable EM-EQ2 Pultec-style equalizer.
Eminently suited for tracking, mixing, or mastering, the two-channel A-Designs Audio EM-EQ2 is housed in a rugged, all- metal 2U chassis. It shares the same custom-milled faceplate, brushed-aluminum control knobs, big jewel power indicator lamp, and heavy-duty Carling toggle switch as the HM2EQ Hammer (which, by the way, the EM-EQ2 sonically pairs with marvelously). The EM-EQ2’s controls attenuate high band at 5k, 10k, 20kHz; vary bandwidth AND boost mid to high band at 3k, 4k, 5k, 6k, 10k, 12k, 16kHz; and boost or attenuate the low band at 20Hz, 30Hz, 60Hz, or 100Hz. Boost and attenuation range from 0dB to ±10dB.
Along with modern performance enhancements, the EM-EQ2 faithfully preserves the EQ section design, control layout, and wonderfully smooth musicality of the original Pultec. It also has the same frequency settings and inductors that made the Pultec a must-have for capturing the bottom end. Additional features include a proprietary nickel-core output transformer, Wima caps, and true hard bypass. Instead of using common off-the-shelf chokes, A-Designs Audio employs a tapped inductor that’s custom-wound to the same values as the 500-series EM-PEQ. Along with the classic EQ circuitry, layout, and exceptionally musical sound of the original Pultec, the EM-EQ2 offers fully balanced, noise-free performance and modern impedance specs, bringing quick and easy integration to the modern studio.
While many people still clamor to own an original Pultec equalizer, the simple truth of audio equipment is that unlike violins and brandy, electronics don’t improve with age. And even if you can find one on the vintage market that’s working, its 5-digit price tag limits its availability to a very select few. The A-Designs Audio EM-EQ2 is the answer for those who want the stellar sound of a Pultec equalizer plus the added benefit of modern performance and reliability. Even better, with its dual-mono design, the EM-EQ2 gives you two Pultecs for a fraction of the price of one.
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