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The story of the UTEQ500 goes all the way back to the building a custom console. The Equalizer was the single most important element of the design. An EQ that would do everything all of my other EQs did. To have the musicality of a classic Neve or EMI but the flexibility of a GML or Orban. Larry Jasper and Eric Valentine worked for years refining the design that ended up in the consoles and is now, in part, available in the UTEQ500. While they couldn’t physically fit all of the bands and filters that were on the original console EQ into the 500 series package, they distilled it down to the most powerful and essential elements.
What’s so special about the EQ? The EQ incorporates features that have never before been available in a hardware EQ unit. The ability to blend between peak and shelf shape EQs, as well as being able to reverse the phase of a portion of the frequency spectrum, are features that just simply have not been available before.
The features took years of experimentation to develop. The first version of the EQ became unstable with certain combinations of settings. It would literally turn into a synthesizer and blast +28 dB of a distorted square wave out the output. We thought we were sunk and that I would not be able to have the flexibility I wanted while keeping the circuit stable. Patience and persistence yielded the answer. It forced them to change to a totally different approach for tackling the subtractive EQ (when you turn down a frequency). This different approach had an unintended benefit. They realized this approach allowed them to add the “Notch” mode and the Phase manipulation mode.
The original design was simply going to have a peak mode and shelf mode. The challenge was to figure out what the character or slope of the shelf mode would be. They set up the original prototype with a trim pot to be able to adjust the slope of the shelf shape. As soon as Eric had a chance to play with this control, he decided it should exist on the front panel... And thus the “Shape” control" was born! Each band can blend from a peak shape - to a modern shelf shape - to a vintage shelf shape - and everything in between. The UTEQ500 "Shape Control" can literally emulate the shape or slope of any shelf EQ ever created, and it can do an endless number moves that no other EQ has ever been able to do.
These significant discoveries and changes are only a few of the notable moments of endless hours experimenting, testing, and real world use that has helped refine what we feel is the best equalizer ever built.
• 3 “Super Parametric” bands
• Range switching mid band
• Shape Control for blending between peak and shelf shapes
• Q control range from .3 to 10
• Notch Filter mode for extreme cuts
• Unique “Vari-Phase” mode
• Input pad for added headroom
• High quality, long life switches and capacitors