The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Pultec 500x impressions against A Designs EM-PEQ Equalizer Plugins
Old 21st August 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Pultec 500x impressions against A Designs EM-PEQ

Hey Folks-
I know there was a lot of interest but not a lot of discussion about these in terms of comparison. I know that I myself was looking for a bit more information and it's a bit scarce. In any case, I just got some Pultec 500x's in here today and wanted to share my initial impressions (note: I've had the A Designs on my mix buss now for a few years and really am a fan, but was obviously intrigued with the Pulse Technique version -- especially once they offered the 500x with the shelf, the 16k and the additional mid points). Super Smart on Pulse Technique to do that one step beyond the 500s.

SO... here's my take. From a build standpoint I think the Pultec's are certainly solid (I had read that about them in another thread being heavy etc), but the A- Designs are just as solid, meaty, and in my humble opinion feel a bit more professional as the non-detented boosts are a little more flimsy on the Pultecs. A Designs wins on faceplate and script too as the Pultec's are squeezing a ton onto them and it's clear that's no easy task. Obviously they retain the PT blue that is nice for historical look and feel, and the A-Designs anodized metal to me is fab too (mine have remained spotless from years of use, we'll have to see how time treats the Pultec's). One thing that is annoying to me on the Pultec's already is that the red on led is always lit on once the rack is powered. I'm not sure why it's there if it's not something that turns off and on as the EQ is engaged? Kind of a silly decision if you asks me, the A Designs of course lights as you would expect only when engaged. Small criticism, but something I questioned.

So how do they sound? Fabulous. Pretty much as I expected as I have used the solid state rack versions before and these do indeed harken extremely closely to that best I can recall. (Sorry, don't have them here to compare but going off memory I think the makers are on-point in claiming they've squeezed all that vibe into the 500 footprint). Certainly not the super creamy top of the tube versions, but SO SO nice. But with that said, in a comparison it isn't a clear case of one winning over the other if you ask me. In fact the A-Designs holds it's ground more than I was expecting. So much so that I'd probably keep both if I didn't need the funds for other things and doing my best to be more of a minimalist.

Here's how my ear hears the two:
Pultec's seem a bit more "open"... the high end is smoother, the bass is a bit more rounded. They have that good Pultec weight and hefty in the lows with smaller amounts of boost than the A-Designs. I love the 70hz on the 500x, and the added mid points are super helpful for guitars if you ask me. The highs on the 500x are a bit smoother by just a super small tad, and you can actually boost more on the 500x than the EM PEQ on those bands. The A-Designs gets a bit more extreme quicker on the mids than the Pultec's, so on those there's definitely a difference in the design approach. BUT.... I actually like the 100hz on the A-Designs a bit more. It just seems a bit more pointed, more thump, less bloom. Still kills on kicks in a way that I think bests the 500x. I feel similar on electric bass, but the added 1 and 2k on the 500x really helps to shape electric bass in a way that you can't do on the A-Designs as it only goes down to 3k and I can't grab that 800-1.5 I sometimes like to boost on a bass. So both of those instances are one of the reasons I wish I could keep the A Designs too, as I'd use them on bass and kick or on sub groups as they punch you in the gut so well. (the Pultec's do this as well, it's just a bit more broad, even with the boost/atten approach IMO).

The other thing that's nice about the A-Designs is that they impart a bit more saturation to my ear. Now, that obviously is a users-choice on whether it's good or bad... but having had them on my mix buss and grown used to that thing they impart, and then replacing them with the Pultec's... well, at first I was missing that saturation/sheen that the A Designs design does differently than the Pultec API op amp vibe. Seemed a little clearer/open at first... and that shouldn't be a bad thing, but at first it appeared a little less glued. After awhile I realized that it's just a slightly different vibe and conversely the Pultec's seem a bit more honestly full range. I'm nitpicking here of course, as that same saturation/sheen on the A Designs is something you might not always want. It's just something that I hadn't considered when I was expecting the Pulse Techniques to win across the board...

Anyway, that's my long-winded initial impression that hopefully sheds one additional persons POV on the discussion. I was surprised to see that the A-Designs completely held their own here. I will likely keep the Pultec's simply because I love the extra eq points and see them as a bit more versatile. But it just kind of re-inforced what I long believed is that the low end on these A Designs is just really great, and they make wonderful mix buss and individual instrument eq's just as well. I may ultimately find myself rationalizing the reason to keep both .

Last edited by bink; 21st August 2018 at 02:46 AM.. Reason: Typo
Old 21st August 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Great review! The old GS adage runs true: you need both!
Old 21st August 2018
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

I know it's so true. After another morning of playing around some more, I found another case where even amongst certain adjacent frequencies I prefer one over the other. The 16k on the 500x is really really nice, but I still love the 12k on the EM PEQ. I'm going to make myself a madman if I keep trying to not evaluate as an entire unit and finally convince myself to just strap these in series . They both are so good... still love the variety of the 500x, but not surrendering the EM PEQs just yet.
Old 22nd August 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Would love to hear any additional opinions... anyone have the 500A or 500S and have any contribution?
Old 23rd August 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bink View Post
Would love to hear any additional opinions... anyone have the 500A or 500S and have any contribution?
they're not on the pulse techniques website anymore.. I hope that they'll still produce them.. it would be a shame otherwise..

does somebody know?



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 23rd August 2018 at 03:53 PM..
Old 23rd August 2018
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I don't think they ever were (or any of the 500 series modules) were on the PT site oddly enough.
Old 24th August 2018
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Any one else here with a POV on the Pulse Technique 500's... (I thought there might be a little more interest/discussion on these)
Old 25th August 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bink View Post
Any one else here with a POV on the Pulse Technique 500's... (I thought there might be a little more interest/discussion on these)
There's a thread on GS where somebody compared the Avedis E27 (stellar eq!), the Crane Song Insignia and the Pulse Techniques 500..

I thought he was spot on describing them.. (Of course within the limits of being very different eq types..and sounding different)

Anyway I do like the solid state pultecs a lot, especially on drum bus..



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 25th August 2018 at 02:28 PM.. Reason: Typo
Top Mentioned Products
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump