Along with modern performance enhancements, the A-Designs Audio EM-PEQ meticulously maintains the EQ-section design and control layout of the original Pultec EQP-1A, as well as its wonderfully smooth musicality. It also has the same frequency settings and inductors that made the Pultec a must-have for capturing the bottom end. Makeup amplification is achieved through the use of the same discrete Class AB amplifier found in A-Designs Audio’s immensely popular solid-state Pacifica mic preamp—putting a slightly unique and modern twist on the classic design of yesteryear.
The EM-PEQ’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.
Additional features of the EM-PEQ include a nickel-core output transformer, gold Grayhill rotary switches, Wima caps, and a true hard-wired bypass. Plus, instead of using common off-the-shelf chokes, A-Designs uses a custom tapped inductor, wound to the original values as the original Pultec. Along with the classic EQ circuitry, layout, and exceptionally musical sound of the classic Pultec, the EM-PEQ offers fully balanced, noise-free performance and modern impedance specs for easy operation and fast studio integration.
In the world of pro audio recording, there are two types of equalizers: those that you don’t want to hear in action (“surgical or corrective EQ), and those that you do (“color, or character” EQ). The EM-PEQ is one you most definitely do. Unlike any other 500-Series equalizer, the A-Designs EM-PEQ sits on the extreme end of the “character” bench. It focuses on “correcting” that which cannot be fixed by so-called surgical EQs: the enhancement of tone and musicality.
The A-Designs Audio 500 Series comprises the four 500 series-compatible preamps, including the P-1, EM-Blue, EM-Silver, EM-Gold, and EM-Red, each specially voiced with a specific task or sound in mind. Also a highly respected member of this exclusive family is the EM-PEQ, a Pultec-style equalizer designed to bring the sonic dessert to your lunchbox. These units are not only a perfect fit for an API “lunchbox” physically, they also meet the precise power rating requirements necessary to function perfectly from the moment you plug them in.* To further guarantee that your A-Designs 500 modules work out of the box, A-Designs is one of a very few manufacturers that make their own 500-Series powered rack: the A-Designs Audio 500HR.
In order to achieve the quality of sound that brings a smile to your ears, a profound understanding of electronic components and how their inherent qualities affect sound is essential. Transformers hold a singular position in circuit design due to their ability to affect timbral quality. Apart from the utilitarian task of electronic isolation for noise-free operation, the alloys used for the transformer’s winding along with the number of windings, will impart a distinct sonic quality. For example, nickel-wound transformers provide a more transparent sound with an airy high end, while steel can impart a thick “Neve-like” midrange or low-end “API growl.”
To give each preamp in the A-Designs Audio EM-Series its own unique character, each has custom-wound transformers that employ proprietary A-Designs alloys that have been ear-tested to produce just the right sound for the right application. But that doesn’t mean that the EM-Series preamps are one-trick ponies—far from it. What it does mean is that decades of collective experience between A-Designs Audio and highly respected audio professionals who beta test A-Designs products have taken guesswork out of finding the right preamp for the job. Think of each of the EM series preamps as the ruler of a specific domain in the frequency spectrum. For example, the EM-Silver rules the lower frequencies thanks to its steel-wound transformer, making it a perfect choice for bass or kick drum, while the EM-Blue’s nickel transformer provides the clarity and highs needed to bring out the “crack” on snare drums.
With various combinations of EM-Series modules you can create a lunchbox dedicated to recording drums, channel strips with Pultec-style EQ, or simply have a preamp for all seasons in one convenient location.