Professional Sound - August 2017 | Page 24

PRODUCT
PRODUCT

TESTS

Warm Audio EQP-WA Tube Equalizer

By Adam Gallant

Warm Audio has been providing pro and home studios with affordable hardware solutions since the company officially launched in 2011 . Warm Audio ’ s competitive advantage is its ability to produce quality equipment at an impressively low price point . With a focus on cloning the most widely used hardware processors and microphones ( such as a 1176 compressor , LA-2A compressor , U87 microphone , and others ), Warm Audio has made incredible strides in the last six years and has quickly become a familiar name among audio professionals around the globe .

Up for review is Warm Audio ’ s revered 2015 release , the EQP-WA . This EQ is a faithful reproduction of one of the most iconic tools in recording history , the Pultec EQP-1A , and I ’ ll say now that Warm Audio did a marvelous job modelling and modifying the classic Pultec design .
Out of the Box Overall , the 2 U rack-mountable unit has an impressive build quality . The front panel is robust , the finish has a very nice gloss , and the colour is elegant . It ’ s identifiable as a Warm product with an obviously Pultecstyle layout . The knobs are stepped and of top quality .
There is nothing perceivably “ cheap ” about this unit ( aside from its price ). The EQP-WA is not as deep as a traditional Pultec , measuring in at 19 x 3.5 x 6 in . All of the controls are clearly visible and easy to handle . As an engineer who is used to a 500-series rack crammed with knobs , the added real estate of the 2 U size was a welcome benefit during operation .
Inside the Box The EQP-WA uses premium-grade input and output CineMag USA transformers and operates on two tubes : one 12AX7 and one 12AU7 . Tung-Sol brand tubes are used and sit under shielded covers with springs . I suspect we ’ ll hear of users modding these EQs since there is little risk with such a reasonably priced unit . The internal components are well shielded and immaculately clean in their layout . For connectivity , we have XLR ins and outs as well as TRS ins and outs on the back . Also , we have a switchable 115 / 230-volt IEC power inlet .
In Operation The first instrument I ran through the WA was a vintage Gibson acoustic with olderthan-ideal strings . I was using an AKG c451 mic to an API 512c to the WA into an RME interface . I was far less careful boosting with this unit than I would be EQing with a software Pultec . Pushing 5 kHz and cutting 20 kHz led to a present and far-from-harsh correction of the dead strings with added character in the low mids .
A feature that Warm Audio added that is not native to the original Pultec design is three additional frequency bands in the low end : 200 , 400 , and 800 Hz . This makes the unit all the more versatile for low-mid problem areas often encountered with acoustic instruments or vocals suffering from too much proximity effect from a dynamic or ribbon microphone .
During mix sessions , I found myself running our mono drum mic ( a Royer 122 ) through the WA with great results . My go-to treatment for that mic is to reduce the high end and crank 60 Hz . This EQ is perfectly suited for the job and adds a pleasant amount of saturation .
A Waves PuigTec lives on our master buss at the studio . It ’ s a go-to software solution for adding harmonic content across a mix . Two EQP-WAs are a step up from this approach . Having hardware at my fingertips is always a little more exciting and inspiring when mixing . A pair on the master bus is a perfect fixture for anyone looking to add some harmonic colour and the “ gluing ” effect this style of EQ is known for .
Like the Pultec , the EQ section on the WA is bypassable . Signal still passes through tubes and transformers for a warming effect , even when the EQ is disengaged . Bypassing then engaging treatments has always been a part of my decision making process when compressing and EQing , so it ’ s great to see that no corners were cut here .
Summary The EQP-WA , like all of the Warm Audio products , offers unprecedented value . This EQ is a no-brainer for anyone looking for a hardware solution that offers the colour and ease of use that Pultecs are renowned for . There is no struggling to improve source sounds with this unit . Even bypassed , it complements whatever signal passes through it . This unit is a worthy investment by my standards , and after thoroughly testing it , I ’ m left wondering , can the team at Warm Audio get us a Fairchild clone at a reasonable price , too ?
Adam Gallant has worked in all facets of digital audio production , from music composition to location and post audio for television and film . He currently owns and operates The Hill Sound Studio in Charlottetown , PE .
24 PROFESSIONAL SOUND
PRODUCT TESTS Warm Audio EQP-WA Tube Equalizer By Adam Gallant W arm Audio has been provid- ing pro and home studios with affordable hardware solutions since the com- pany officially launched in 2011. Warm Audio’s competitive advantage is its ability to produce quality equipment at an impressively low price point. With a focus on cloning the most widely used hardware processors and microphones (such as a 1176 compressor, LA-2A com- pressor, U87 microphone, and others), Warm Audio has made incredible strides in the last six years and has quickly become a familiar name among audio professionals around the globe. Up for review is Warm Audio’s revered 2015 release, the EQP-WA. This EQ is a faithful reproduction of one of the most iconic tools in recording history, the Pultec EQP-1A, and I’ll say now that Warm Audio did a marvelous job modelling and modify- ing the classic Pultec design. Out of the Box Overall, the 2 U rack-mountable unit has an impressive build quality. The front panel is robust, the finish has a very nice gloss, and the colour is elegant. It’s identifiable as a Warm product with an obviously Pultec- style layout. The knobs are stepped and of top quality. There is nothing perceivably “cheap” about this unit (aside from its price). The EQP-WA is not as deep as a traditional Pultec, measuring in at 19 x 3.5 x 6 in. All of the controls are clearly visible and easy to handle. As an engineer who is used to a 500-series rack crammed with knobs, the added real estate of the 2 U size was a welcome benefit during operation. 24 PROFESSIONAL SOUND Inside the Box The EQP-WA uses premium-grade input and output CineMag USA transformers and oper- ates on two tubes: one 12AX7 and one 12AU7. Tung-Sol brand tubes are used and sit under shielded covers with springs. I suspect we’ll hear of users modding these EQs since there is little risk with such a reasonably priced unit. The internal components are well shielded and immaculately clean in their layout. For connectivity, we have XLR ins and outs as w ���)�́QIL���́�������́���ѡ���������ͼ��ݔ���ٔ)���ݥэ��������Լ����ٽ�Ё% ���ݕȁ����и)%��=��Ʌѥ��)Q�������Ё�����յ��Ё$�Ʌ��ѡɽ՝��ѡ��])݅́��٥�х�����ͽ�������ѥ��ݥѠ�����ȴ)ѡ�����������ɥ��̸�$�݅́�ͥ������-�����)����Ѽ����A$���Ɍ�Ѽ�ѡ��]���Ѽ����I5)��ѕə�����$�݅́��ȁ���́��ɕ�հ�����ѥ��)ݥѠ�ѡ�́չ�Ёѡ���$�ݽձ�����E����ݥѠ��)ͽ��݅ɔ�Aձѕ���A�͡����ԁ�!聅������ѥ��(����!聱���Ѽ����ɕ͕�Ё������ȵ�ɽ�����͠)���ɕ�ѥ������ѡ���������ɥ��́ݥѠ������)���Ʌ�ѕȁ���ѡ����܁���̸)������ɔ�ѡ�Ё]�ɴ�Ց���������ѡ��)�́��Ё��ѥٔ�Ѽ�ѡ���ɥ������Aձѕ����ͥ�����)ѡɕ������ѥ������ɕ�Օ��䁉���́���ѡ�����)����������������������!踁Q��́����́ѡ�)չ�Ё����ѡ����ɔ�ٕ�ͅѥ�����ȁ��ܵ�����ɽ��)�����ɕ�́��ѕ������չѕɕ��ݥѠ������ѥ�)�����յ���́�ȁٽ���́�ՙ��ɥ����ɽ��ѽ�)�Ս���ɽ᥵��䁕����Ё�ɽ�����幅������)ɥ��������ɽ������)�ɥ�������͕�ͥ��̰�$���չ����͕��)�չ�������ȁ�������մ��������I��Ȁ��Ȥ)ѡɽ՝��ѡ��]�ݥѠ��ɕ�Ёɕ�ձ�̸�5䁝��Ѽ)�ɕ�ѵ��Ё��ȁѡ�Ё�����́Ѽ�ɕ�Ս��ѡ������)���������Ʌ������!踁Q��́D��́��ə��ѱ�)�եѕ����ȁѡ�������������́������ͅ��)���չЁ���ͅ��Ʌѥ���)�]�ٕ́Aե�Q�����ٕ́�����ȁ���ѕ�)���́�Ёѡ����Ց����%ӊé�����Ѽ�ͽ��݅ɔ�ͽ�Դ)ѥ�����ȁ���������ɵ��������ѕ�Ё��ɽ�́�)��กQݼ�E@�]́�ɔ����ѕ������ɽ��ѡ��)���ɽ�����!�٥�����ɑ݅ɔ��Ё�䁙�����ѥ��)�́��݅�́�����ѱ����ɔ��፥ѥ������������ɥ��)ݡ�����᥹�������ȁ���ѡ�����ѕȁ��́��)����ə��Ё�����ɔ���ȁ��役����������Ѽ����)ͽ�����ɵ����������ȁ����ѡ���q��ե���t����)���Ёѡ�́��屔����D��́���ݸ���ȸ)1����ѡ��Aձѕ���ѡ��D�͕�ѥ������ѡ�)]��́�����ͅ�����M�������ѥ������͕́ѡɽ՝�)�Չ�́�����Ʌ�͙�ɵ��́��ȁ��݅ɵ���������а)�ٕ��ݡ���ѡ��D��́��͕�������� ����ͥ��)ѡ�������������ɕ�ѵ���́��́��݅�́����)�����Ё����䁑���ͥ�����������ɽ���́ݡ��)����ɕ�ͥ�������E�����ͼ��ӊé�ɕ�ЁѼ�͕�)ѡ�Ё�����ɹ��́ݕɔ���Ё��ɔ�)Mյ����)Q���E@�]��������������ѡ��]�ɴ�Ց��)�ɽ�Ս�̰������́չ�ɕ�����ѕ��م�Ք��Q���)D��́������Ʌ���ȁ��ȁ��役������������ȁ�)��ɑ݅ɔ�ͽ��ѥ���ѡ�Ё�����́ѡ�������ȁ���)��͔�����͔�ѡ�ЁAձѕ�́�ɔ�ɕ��ݹ�����ȸ)Q��ɔ��́������՝������Ѽ����ɽٔ�ͽ�ɍ�)ͽչ�́ݥѠ�ѡ�́չ�и�ٕ�������͕�����)����������́ݡ�ѕٕȁͥ��������͕�)ѡɽ՝���и�Q��́չ�Ё�́��ݽ�ѡ䁥�ٕ�ѵ���)�䁵��х���ɑ̰�������ѕȁѡ�ɽ՝���)ѕ�ѥ����а�'�e�����Ёݽ���ɥ��������ѡ��ѕ��)�Ё]�ɴ�Ց�����Ё�́����ɍ������������Ё�)ɕ�ͽ�������ɥ����ѽ��)���������Ё��́ݽɭ���������������́��������)х���Ց����ɽ�Սѥ�����ɽ����ͥ�������ͥѥ��)Ѽ�����ѥ����������Ё�Ց�����ȁѕ��٥ͥ������)����� �!�����ɕ�ѱ䁽ݹ́�������Ʌѕ́Q���!���)M�չ��M�Ց������ ��ɱ��ѕѽݸ��A�