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best analog eq

The Best Equalizers - The Top Hardware EQ's for Mixing & Mastering

Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Bottom
Line
One of the most coveted EQ's of all time, now available in rack format & 500 series instead of only in custom studio consoles.
Pros
Stereo or dual-mono. Stepped pots & high-res increment options. Four bands per track. Can have a true bypass or 'In' coloration bypass.
Cons
Independent low & high frequency shelves would have been nice. You can't alter the Q of the curves.
Best Bang for the Buck
Warm Audio
EQP-WA
Check Price
Bottom
Line
Made to emulate the classic Pultec model, this version's double tube equalization is very warm & musical.
Pros
Injects a very pleasing warmth into the track. Variable Q settings. High cut shelf. Great for live performances or studio sessions.
Cons
This 3-band choice assumes your signal chain is high quality. It's for broad, 'musical' changes, not precision-based equalizing. No low cut shelf.
Best Budget Pick
Bottom
Line
This low cost graphic equalizer assumes you're in a live venue or uncontrolled home environment & need the surgical precision of 31 bands.
Pros
Independent low cut. Bypass switches. Clip meters. 31 bands at 1/3rd octaves. Double resolution buttons.
Cons
If used as stereo & not dual-mono, you'll have to recreate your curve in both channels since there's no syncing available.

With all of the digital EQ's out there that come pre-installed as plugins in our recording software, attention has dropped away from the superior sound of a warm analog equalizer snuggled in your rack between your compressor and preamp. It's understandable. Why buy a hardware EQ when you have a free software option already? Well, there are plenty of reasons...

TL;DR - Best Budget Pick: DBX 231s - Best Overall: API 5500