Donnerstag, 13. Dezember 2007


Equalizer test and comparison

After purchasing an Avalon AD 2055, I thought it would be useful to present my observations of this equalizer and the other equalizers that that we have at are disposal here at mastering-online.

Software EQ,

Emagic 7.2 : Channel EQ, Linear Phase EQ, Match EQ, Fat EQ, Silver EQ, DJ EQ,
UAD Plug Ins: Cambridge EQ, EX-1, Pultec EQ,
Izotope: Ozone 3

Digital Hardware:

EMT 248, Drawmer Masterflow, Tc Finalizser,

Analog Hardware:

Klein Hummel UE 1000, Tube Tech SMC2B, SPL PassEQ, Avalon AD 2055

In keeping with the demands of a modern state of the are mastering studio I purchased the Avalon AD 2055 and tested it against the digital Equalizers that are predominantly used by us here at the studio.

The Avalon has a passive shelf EQ filter for bass (18Hz-450Hz) and a high passive EQ filter (1.5KHz – 25KHz). These filters can be changed to parametric EQs which furthers the Avalon’s versatility. In addition there are two full parametric mid band EQs from 35hz to 450Hz and from 160Hz to 2 KHz, with variable frequency selection that can be switched to multiplications of ten. With this setup one can get to any necessary frequency, and again showing the flexibility of this Equalizer.

One point of the Avalon AD 2055, that I do not like, is there is no stereo link making it necessary to tweak left and right channels.

I like this equalizer not only for its fantastic filters. But also for its user friendly control knobs, that almost any Tec, would rather turn, then to be clicking and dragging around his or her mouse.

A question that I frequently get (and probably will continue getting) is “can I describe the sound of a particular equalizer?” Well, first and foremost the sound of an equalizer depends primarily on the music that is being worked on, and nothing more. The equalizer itself has no sound (unless I let it fall to the floor).

Now if I lift the highs with a wide band filter, I will be raising the highs that are present in this particular song, what I hear has to do with what is happening in the song, and not necessarily from the quality of the equalizer (unless it is an equalizer of very low quality, that may distort the signal and add hissing noise. Something that on the digital realm is as good as non existent).
Dwelling on the subject of “different sounding equalizers”. I found it necessary to do a comparison test. First I took a piece of music that sounded muffled. I then adjusted all of the equalizers, (Cambridge - Universal Audio Plug In, Pultec - Universal Audio Plug In, Izotope – Ozone 3, EMT 248, Channel EQ Emagic 7.2 Plug In, K&H UE 1000, SPL PassEQ, Avalon AD 2055) to the same setting , of a 6dB lift of 4KHz. And then matched all volume levels.

For monitors I used my Genelec 1031A with Subwoofer 1091A.

The Avalon stood up to and surpassed all of my expectations, and all of the digital Equalizers sounded weak in comparison. Of the digital Equalizers the Izotope faired best and the UAD’s Cambridge Eq sounded the worst.

To describe what I heard, I would say that with the digital filters I could hear that it was merely a mathematic computation, that lifted the highs at 4KHz but the sound remained muffled.

On the other hand the Avalon is different in that the music begins to live and my ears are exposed to what was once hidden, truly enriching the sound of the music.

The other two analog companions, had there difficulties competing with the Avalon. I had the feeling that the UE 1000s’ shelf filter is not steep enough, leaving the sound yet again muffled. The SPL has a similar problem, in that when raising the volume, phasing accurse, do to a R-C link.

So now I am looking to working daily, with my new main squeeze the Avalon AD 2055 (and no Avalon is not paying me for the plug)

All this is not to say, that before the Avalon we could not master a recording well. I have been using the EMT 248 for over 10 years with outstanding results. Imperative to making a good master is the technician doing the master.

If one is trying to realize a maximum technical achievement you must really stretch your self to the limit and that last 5% will be the toughest. Good equipment helps.

If you have any suggestions or questions please do not hesitate to write me at

Technorati Tags: EQ, mastering, audio, Avalon
Technorati Profile

Posted from Stefan under 08:07 0 Kommentare

Labels: Audio, EQ, mastering

Abonnieren Posts (Atom)

Stefan Noltemeyer :