Retro Instruments 2A3

Perfectly matched tube program EQ, enhanced for the modern studio
MFR# 2A3
Retro Instruments 2A3
Retro Instruments 2A3 Retro Instruments 2A3 Retro Instruments 2A3 Retro Instruments 2A3


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Note: This item may not be returnable or could require a restocking fee. Contact one of our Audio Consultants for more details. Due to the special nature of this item, we order each unit fresh from the factory, exclusively for you! Lead times may vary so please chat, call or email for up-to-date inventory status.

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.


Additional Information

Condition New
Channels Dual-Channel
Chassis 19-in Rackmount
Rack Spaces 2u
Digital I/O No
EQ Type Parametric, Pultec-Style

Stunning tube EQ! Couple this with the Retro Revolver and you have a very special buss combination as well as the capability of inserting on individual tracks. Another great product from Retro to help find that sweet spot in your mix.

By Arlo W on February 20, 2019

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  • Joe Chiccarelli
    Joe Chiccarelli
    “The Retro 2A3 has become my new ‘go to’ on kick. Clean and open but big and with lots of character. Everything Retro makes is just quality tone."
    Engineer Joe Chiccarelli's credits include The White Stripes, Stan Ridgway, Oingo Boingo, Ferron, Sandra Bernhard, Spirit of the West, Counting Crows, U2, The Shins, Radiohead, Elton John, The Cult and countless others.
  • Michael Brauer
    Michael Brauer
    "I'm loving my 2A3. I use it across my mix everyday. It's sweet as cherry pie."
    Michael Brauer is an established A-list mixing engineer known for his eclectic, highly acclaimed discography. Michael has worked with The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Coldplay, My Morning Jacket, Ben Folds and John Mayer to name an incredibly select few.
  • Ross Hogarth
    Ross Hogarth
    "The 2A3 eq is just stunning. I have been loving taking one side and sending it into the other side; creamy, juicy and sweet on the bass. The combo side of the Sta-Level and the 2A3 on bass is unbeatable. Retro Instruments has created an instant winner."
    Double Grammy-winning producer/engineer/mixer Ross Hogarth's credits include Gov’t Mule, Roger Waters, The Black Crowes, Shawn Colvin, John Mellencamp, R.E.M. and Jewel.
  • Paul Leary
    Paul Leary
    “It took me a little while to really get to know the EQ and what it is capable of and the results are beautiful – I am out of my mind in love with my 2A3 on the mix buss. There are times when I wish digital recording was never invented, which is why I get so excited by a piece like the 2A3. I can imagine some day people coveting the 2A3 the way we covet Pultecs now."
    Paul Leary's credits include Sublime, the Meat Puppets, Butthole Surfers, U2 and Daniel Johnston among others.
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