Maag Audio EQ2 500 Series 2-Band EQ Module
(first published in CX magazine – November, 2014)
I’m on a real 500-series module kick at the moment and the latest of these to land on my doorstep has been a pair of Maag Audio EQ2-500 two-band EQ modules.
The Maag 2-band is a high quality no-nonsense, great sounding, well constructed and easy to use mono EQ that’s great for everything from tweaking a mic simply and quickly during a tracking session, to altering an entire stereo mix (assuming have two) via its solidly constructed stepped frequency selectors and indented gain pots.
The top-end is a boost-only shelf, with frequencies starting at 2.5kHz and clicking through 5, 10, 15 and 20kHz, before culminating at Maag’s well known 40kHz ‘air’ band. Sonically the 40kHz band sounds pretty special actually, but hearing lots of 40k isn’t necessarily what this feature is all about – although my dog Rupee digs it.
It’s about the influence this has on lower frequencies, or more to the point, being able to get high enough above certain others that they add only so-called ‘air’ (to a vocal for instance, without getting too far down into sibilance territory). Feather light and soft as talcum powder, the 40kHz boost is like adding a touch of diamond dust to the stratospherics of your mix.
The low frequency EQ filter is a boost-only bell curve, featuring a narrow or broad Q selector. The frequencies on offer here differ depending on which Q you’ve selected and these range from what Maag calls ‘sub’ all the way up 1.4kHz, with nine other possibilities in between.
These sound really good, adding great weight and thump where necessary, and because the frequency selector is stepped and repeatable, they’re also very cool for stereo mix bus duties as well as tracking and overdubs. Better still, both EQ bands can be switched in and out of circuit, so you only need to use the ones you require. There’s also a high quality input gain attenuator at the bottom of the module to help you manage the signal passing through the circuit, which is very handy for those moments when you realise the signal driving into it is just too hot.
The Maag 2-band EQ is pretty simple – some might say too simple to be versatile – but for what they’re designed to do they’re elegant, fast, phase coherent, and usually offer more than enough control. They may not have a million options with which to dazzle (or confuse) you, but they’re clean, beautifully put together and very smooth sounding.
In a competitive market, less options on the front panel no doubt makes the Maag 2-band EQ a hard sell, but a couple of these in a rack would be a classy addition to any fixed or portable rig – elegant in their simplicity, and sweet sounding. Superb on ribbon mics!
In Australia, contact Federal Audio for more info: 0404 921 781 or www.federalaudio.com.au