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Mercury EQ-P1 vs. Retro 2A3 vs. UAD Pultec Modular Synthesizers
Old 12th September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Mercury EQ-P1 vs. Retro 2A3 vs. UAD Pultec

Hey slutz,

at the moment I have both units in my studio. I 've enclosed the original songfile and 2 different settings for each of the three Pultec clones. The settings are absolutely exactly the same. I also enclosed a comparison to the UAD Pultec, because I've read here so many times, that the UAD Pultec is "damn good".

I made a normal EQ setting and a second setting with more highs, so it is easy for you to compare the three Pultec clones.The extreme setting was 10 kHz / 3 o'clock.

I have used Motu HD192 converters. The EQs had Vovox cables.

PS: I will keep the Mercury. The Retro doesn't even come close.
Attached Files

Original.mp3 (390.6 KB, 4032 views)

Retro 2A3.mp3 (390.6 KB, 4093 views)

Mercury EQ-P1.mp3 (390.6 KB, 4017 views)

UAD Pultec.mp3 (390.6 KB, 3573 views)

Extreme 2A3.mp3 (390.6 KB, 3448 views)

Extreme EQ-P1.mp3 (390.6 KB, 3375 views)

Extreme UAD.mp3 (390.6 KB, 3106 views)

Old 13th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
bobemmett's Avatar
 

finally a thread started with actual AUDIO files, instead of aimless opinions. thank you!!
Old 13th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
Are you sure the settings are the same? It seems to me, that the mercury has the mid frequencies pushed forward i/o 10 kHz ...

I had the mercury in for a test and really liked it, so I agree with you.
But from listening to the files I doubt the settings are the same.
Old 14th September 2011
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Yes, absolutely the same settings. The Mercury has more mid frequencies than the 2a3. You are right. It sounds much more pleasant to human ears.

But much more important and I don't know why it has not been mentioned by anybody here: The Mercury EQ-P1 is the only Pultec clone that can boost the bass frequencies below 200 Hz. All the others have the normal settings 20/30/60/100. Just try to make really fat Bass Drums with the 200 Hz setting. You will get the best results with the Mercury. And I cannot repeat this with any other EQ: Not with a GML, nor a API or a Manley or a 2a3.
Old 14th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
YOHAMI's Avatar
 

for my taste:

1. Mercury = win! mellow, gold.
2. UAD = so digital. usable, but without magic.
3. Retro = somewhat harsh and hollow.
Old 15th September 2011
  #6
Gear Head
 

It would also have been nice to hear the 60Hz (extreme) settings.
thank you
Old 17th October 2011
  #7
Gear Addict
 
Johnny Paez's Avatar
 

I liked the retro...
Old 9th November 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 
gutr2's Avatar
 

For this test, I liked the Mercs best. Which I find surprising.. I expected the retro to do a lot better. I wonder how big a part the MOTU converters are playing in degrading the sound.. Thanks though!
Old 9th November 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Thanks for this test ! could be great to hear these eqs on a other song if you have some time .

i was close to get a retro in my studio for trying it ,i didn t know about this mercury eq, there is something i like in both unit but i find the retro the most musical and coloring, i m listening on cheap headphone right now..dont hear much the highs and low
Old 9th November 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 

The mercury sounded the best for this one imo, and the retro wasn't that hot.
Old 9th November 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
GoldMember's Avatar
great test, thanks.
Old 9th November 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 
gutr2's Avatar
 

I think it would have been a lot fairer if the EQ's were matched by ear, instead of by settings. That's how they get used in real life.
For example if you setup the Mercury first to a setting that made it sound good, that same setting may sound not so good with the retro, well you get the idea..
Old 30th November 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
No EQ sounded better. They're harsh in this sample.
Old 28th May 2012
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Flagfoot's Avatar
Thanks for this test

Mercury wins for me. UAD sounds least useful for what I do.
Old 29th May 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
dotl's Avatar
 

I liked the Retro but we can be sure how much gain they actually boost...so I always take tests like this with caution.
Old 30th October 2014
  #16
Gear Maniac
Mercury actually has a different bandwith than the others, maybe if the Mercury can be matched more with the original curves that i think the retro and uad have , would be a fairer comparison.
I hear that mercury has too much high mids in this files. UAD since its a plugin , its doing well for what it is.
Old 6th February 2015
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Hansest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by YOHAMI View Post
for my taste:

1. Mercury = win! mellow, gold.
2. UAD = so digital. usable, but without magic.
3. Retro = somewhat harsh and hollow.



All of this samples sound harsh, maybe converters with bad clocking?


RETRO harsh and hollow ??? HA!! Use it and then you come and tell me that...


2a3 sounds beautiful, warm, full, weighted, 3d, just the opposite


thank you
Old 7th November 2015
  #18
As a mercury owner in can tell you. I have done a lot in research before I bought. The 30 and 60 bands on the mercury are amazing. Looking to get another pair. To compliment the one I have living on my bass channel. Permanently.
Old 15th November 2015
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Wonder how the Warm would fare.
Old 15th November 2015
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Wonder how the Warm would fare.
Old 27th May 2018
  #21
Gear Nut
 
kid.dom.'s Avatar
To bring back an old thread, the Mercury sounds great but it also sounds like it was used to get the initial settings. Setting up the retro by ear would have given better results I’m sure.
Old 28th December 2018
  #22
Gear Nut
 

2019 Upgrade

Hey guys,

I felt I have to upgrade this thread some years later. I changed the setting a little bit and of course, I have upgraded my converters, cables, 10MX wordclock and so on. The Mercuries simply sound better now.

The Mercury is still more pleasing for me and it is not possible to get this sound with the UAD Pultec.
Attached Thumbnails
Mercury EQ-P1 vs. Retro 2A3 vs. UAD Pultec-bildschirmfoto-2018-12-28-um-01.46.00.png  
Attached Files

Mercury EQ-P1 2018.wav (2.10 MB, 297 views)

UAD Pultec 2018.wav (2.10 MB, 289 views)

Old 28th December 2018
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starstreet View Post
Hey guys,

I felt I have to upgrade this thread some years later. I changed the setting a little bit and of course, I have upgraded my converters, cables, 10MX wordclock and so on. The Mercuries simply sound better now.

The Mercury is still more pleasing for me and it is not possible to get this sound with the UAD Pultec.
Generally speaking tend to prefer hardware counterparts, but in this case i hear the mercury to sound poor defined, dirty and buried.

Daniel.
Old 28th December 2018
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

I hear the original recording being little distorted, it's posible to hear another example?

Best Regards,
Daniel.
Old 9th January 2019
  #25
Gear Nut
 

I found out, that there is a problem with one of the units. If you listen to the sides of the Mercury audio files seperately, you'll hear it. Something with the tubes. One of the units has double THD values. One side is brilliant, other side is dirty sounding. I have changed the tubes 2 years ago at the german distributer, so I guess he didn't match the tubes but charged me with a high price. I will change the tubes at both units completely new and then let's meet again here. Peakhouse Audio in Germany said, that they use a special tube for their modifications and the Mercuries will sound much better for sure.
Old 9th January 2019
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starstreet View Post
I found out, that there is a problem with one of the units. If you listen to the sides of the Mercury audio files seperately, you'll hear it. Something with the tubes. One of the units has double THD values. One side is brilliant, other side is dirty sounding. I have changed the tubes 2 years ago at the german distributer, so I guess he didn't match the tubes but charged me with a high price. I will change the tubes at both units completely new and then let's meet again here. Peakhouse Audio in Germany said, that they use a special tube for their modifications and the Mercuries will sound much better for sure.
Hope everything goes well

Daniel.
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