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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
Manley Labs
Massive Passive
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Bottom
Line
A passive stereo equalizer with 4 bands per channel and high and low pass filters. It uses passive components and exploits their natural qualities.
Pros
Different Equalizer with a wide range of features and functionalities. Create at creating natural, organic, acoustic tones.
Cons
It may be too advanced for some producers
Best Bang for the Buck
Warm Audio
EQP-WA
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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 (on Amazon) - Best Budget Pick: DBX 231s - Best Overall: Manley Labs Massive Passive