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Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)
Old 2nd September 2013
  #1
Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)

Hi everyone at GS,

I am trying to find out something about these suisse HSE EQ1s. I am in the lucky situation to test one of the very few that exist (apparently only about 30 exist worldwide) and I have the chance to buy it. Makes me very excited.

I dont know much about them, what I know is: They were designed by Robert Huber, who is - as some of you might know - one of THE Studer masterminds when it comes to analogue processing. He started HSE back in the 90s but the company didnt last long. This EQ is supposed to be superclean and follows a very special and interesting approach: There are 4 bands per channel, each covering the entire range between 10 and 30.000 Hertz, which makes it very flexible indeed. There are range switches (LMH) and every band can be bypassed individually. You can either use it in dual mono or stereolink mode. Nothing is stepped, Q from 0.5 to 10 per band and so on (please check the photos if you are interested).

Although not stepped, this seems to be an amazing piece of gear for stereo applications, and I am very tempted to make it the center of a mastering studio, that I am about to start in Berlin later this year (even though that means going back to recall-sheets / photos). I know that some of these EQs exist in the US, but I only know one guy over here (Florian Sikorski in Hamburg), who actually owns one and loves it to death on the mixbus.

Is there anybody here who has experience with the HSE EQ1 and is willing to share a few thoughts? I`d be very thankful.

Thanks, and best from Berlin.
Attached Thumbnails
Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)-foto-4.jpg   Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)-foto-3.jpg   Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)-foto-2.jpg   Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)-foto-1.jpg  
Old 4th September 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Kronos147's Avatar
I confess, I have never seen/heard of that thing.

I can't help thinking the controls are very similar to the Klark Teknik DN410.

Are the frequency selectors continuously variable or stepped? Have you looked inside? Transformers?

If you see a sea of circuit board and IC chips, it would seem to be even more similar to the KT DN410.
Old 4th September 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
I remember that I saw a 169 (on ebay) marketed as an HSE.. It looked exactly as a Studer 169 but I believe these units were made for a (korean?) broadcast.. I might be wrong though..



Cheu
Old 5th September 2013
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
Are the frequency selectors continuously variable or stepped? Have you looked inside? Transformers? If you see a sea of circuit board and IC chips, it would seem to be even more similar to the KT DN410.
Thanks, thats helpful, I will open it up (maybe better to do that after buying
Everything, also the freq-selectors are variable. It`s very sensible, hard to recall i think... but it sounds so smooth, incredible in the higher areas.
Old 9th September 2013
  #5
Any other HSE users out here? This EQ is really amazing, sounding very HighEnd/crystal clear to my ears, but I am worried about the recall. Every single knob on this thing is continiously variable and since the frequency bands are not fixed to one region like low/mid/high or whatevery there is just no space around the knobs to inform you where you actually are. This is all about deciding with your ears, rather then with your eyes Also the Stereolink button just enables you to bypass left and right channel bands together. It does not save you from handmatching the left and right channel parameters... maybe this will drive me crazy.

Anyone here, who masters with an unganged EQualizer?

Thanks a lot.
Old 10th September 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
NoEgo's Avatar
HSE

Hi there sorry I was in Copenhagen this past week. I received your PM.


Yes you are correct, this eq was designed by the Studer engineers. I did not know what specific engineer, if you say Robert Huber then that is something I am learning.

When I bought this EQ from a fellow GSer is NY, I did some research as well and found out that financially the company did not get off the ground for long because of the cost to make this quality of gear in the times.....

I think this is an incredible piece of equipment. It has relays built in you probably have already found out, and the accuracy and functionality is far beyond anything I have come across, and I have some very high end eqs. They also have a foot switch capability....that is genius.
Also the fact that you can choose what frequency bands (LMH) you are dialing in on each section, which are in line, you can do pseudo Pultec type eq where you can boost and cut the same band of audio... by say....bringing in a low end eq after you have affected mids instead of before. This is where it gets very interesting. At first I thought of it as lows to highs (left to right) then I realized, I can work any direction or outwards or inwards....endless possibilities and each can be taken in or out at the push of a button to compare. That is really cool.

The learning curve or user friendliness of the unit is not the best, but that is simply because as you stated, the full audio bandwidth of music is tunable on each band of the eq times two channels. There is no grand hiss on the highs but pure audio path instead, and the bottom is tight as can be. I can easily see it as a mastering eq. I have used it on the mix buss too if I wanted to keep things clean instead of say a Manley Massive Passive which lends to be smooth and feathery this unit is totally surgical. I would put it in the Massenburg GML category. It is only 2 spaces so there is a lot going on in there.

I would not hesitate to say this is one amazingly built gem of a piece, and although it is not your reach and find quick, warm me up variety like say a Hammer, or a Pultec, it is certainly a very high quality eq that will find any problem and fix it with a little time.

My favourite use for it is on acoustic instruments that are recorded with transparent preamps like Forrsell or DACs or Grace, or Buzz Audio, where you don't want to "effect" the sound, just place it better in the mix, or bring out a string resonance better.

I think I have a recall sheet somewhere, if you need this let me know.I just keep them in a binder.

"It does not save you from handmatching the left and right channel parameters... maybe this will drive me crazy".


By the way. Like with compressors, (a famous Manley MU for mastering is one..) I don't mind that the two channels are operating separately in stereo mode, simply because if the program is not exact in a mix or if parts of a mix such as guitar are not sounding alike, or even if I want to make them sound different, I have that option. For instance a bright instrument is panned left you want to tame ever so slightly but not affect the right channel, or if you are using M/S in your mastering and want to control the middle but not the sides you won't have to use them individually.
It's a beautiful unit . Could you imagine having 4 of these on 8 channels of buss. They are not destructive to audio and I think that was the intent when they were designed.

I think its the following ...I never did study it but to my ears it seems to be the case.
.... 10-300 L
100-3K M
1K-30K H
Then of course you have the HP/LP filters or cuts as they call them in an opposing look and overall or individual by pass, and Q on each band. Thats a lot of functionality.in a unit that sounds extremely high quality. Let me know if you do not buy the unit.

Lou.
Old 10th September 2013
  #7
Hi Lou,

first of all thank you so much, I was really hoping to find somebody with some HSE experience.

I got the EQ from a friend and former Studer employee who is now a salesman at ADAM Audio - which is my families business (my father is the CEO and main engineer). He worked for Studer during the HSE years and knows (and admires) Huber rather much.

I did a few mastering sessions with the HSE during the last week and I am also very very impressed. I have to say, that the recall problem might not be as big as I thought (i have recall sheets and it´s even in this Teaboy databank, thanks). And you are of course right: the flexibilty of individual l/r treatment is very good.

I have the manual (photograph) btw. It says:

10-300 L
300–1k M
1K–30K H

Currently testing it with a Foote P3S which is a great combination imo. I am about to buy a mastering comp as well and have my eyes on the Neve Portico II Masterbuss Comp. I cant buy 10 pieces of gear, only 2 or 3, they need to be very flexible.

Thanks again, I am very excited and will most likely go for it

Freddy
Old 13th September 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
NoEgo's Avatar
Sent PM.
Old 16th September 2013
  #9
Bought it
It is just too good, so airy and clean - let the fiddling begin
Old 17th September 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
NoEgo's Avatar
Very cool!.
Old 24th October 2013
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Fruition2k's Avatar
 

Bought my HSE about 6 months ago, found it amazingly smooth and clear.
Hard to find any info on these especially a manual as this one needs calibration. Used it recording vocals and acoustic guitar just for fun..I was totally thrilled.
I think the one I have is SN 002 and has midi ports also. I'll gather up a few pictures and post them.
If anyone has info or service documents it would be much appreciated.
Dean
Old 26th October 2013
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Fruition2k's Avatar
 

Quick shot of the back of my HSE Eq 1
Attached Thumbnails
Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)-image.jpg  
Old 29th October 2013
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruition2k View Post
Hard to find any info on these especially a manual as this one needs calibration.
Hi there, PM me your email adress and I send you pictures of a manual. It is not THAT detailed I must say...

Love this thing very much, I use it for mastering too.

Best, Freddy
Old 8th November 2013
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Hse eq-1

Hi Guys,
how incredible life works out sometimes. I love your comments on the EQ-1. I am in fact one of the two founding members of HSE Audio Lab who built the EQ-1.

Much of what is said in this thread is not all that wrong except for the fact that the company went out of business due to financial difficulties. The company in fact still exists and after 15 years the two founding members actually met again today and enjoyed a pizza together as we did back then when we built and designed the EQ-1.
So here some history and maybe an outlook as what we plan.
HSE Audio Lab are two crazy Swiss guys that both have a Studer heritage. We founded HSE at the time to do some things that Studer would not be interested in but we would have fun to build. Our aim was to set us a target that was out of what had been done and then to achieve it. This is why the EQ-1 has still today functions and attributes that have still today not been matched by any other Audio Equipment manufacturer.
Some of the examples where the frequency range, there is no Analogue EQ out there that has a range from 10Hz to 30KHz. The Q factor is also unmatched only digital EQ’s can have such a small Q factor like the EQ1. You can almost pick out or amplify a single frequency. You would also notice that switching the bands in and out does not have any artifact on the audio. All other EQ’s create a click or other noisy effect when switch in to the audio path. This is not the case with the EQ1. The idea was that you could compare settings in A/B without resetting or forgetting either A or B. It also helps when you use the EQ1 on Stage with the foot-pedal to switch from one sound to the other. There are many things that I could tell you which make the EQ1 unique and splendid in what it is designed to do. The only thing that we never got quite right was the bloody case of it as in the bottom and top panel which sometimes rattled. That was never as perfect as the rest of the unit.
Now to the Stereo matching topic you mention for mastering. We actually had thought to create a version that had step switching so you could get the perfect match but there was no suitable switch in the market with enough steps that could fit and there would have been an unnecessary limitation of choosing the frequency so we did choose not to go down that road. However this does not mean that you can’t use it as a mastering EQ as many people actually do. The potentiometers we used where actually custom made for us due to our required specification and precision we needed. I can’t quite remember the technical stuff but fact is that they match extremely precise one to another and have much tighter tolerances than what you are used to from other equipment. When we assembled the machines we tried to match the knobs very precise to the labeling as in the carving on the knobs to the front panel. By the way those knobs were also custom made. Now check in which position they are and if you match the mechanical setting of the two channels you are likely to be identical down to single percentage or to actual matching. This is how you can use it as a mastering EQ. Just check the positioning and you will be fine. I agree in the age of recall and digital this may be cumbersome but remember music is Art and Art also happens momentary and based on momentary decisions. Something that modern engineers have lost but which we had to do every day back in the days of analogue. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. I must say tough that I enjoy the modern features of recall and undo as well of course.
If you have any further questions on the EQ-1 you are welcome to send them to me and I will try and answer ?
Just to quickly finish the historical part. Back then I left Studer and started another job in IT. Consequently I did not have that much time for HSE and that is how we just simply grew apart and HSE slowed down to almost zero. We did make 50 production units and a few prototypes. We could probably build a few more with the parts we have left and we can certainly service and fix any broken ones or do any type of recalibration if needed. Just get in touch with me through this here for the time being.
Now here the good news, we have today, after our Pizza decided that it would be a shame if HSE would not make any equipment anymore. This is why we have now set ourselves the target to build the world’s finest Microphone preamplifier. As always we have set ourselves the target to go far beyond what you would have seen and heard up until today so if you are a fan of what we did with the EQ1 you will probably not be disappointed with the Mic. Pre that we will come up with in the next few months.

Thank you all for the nice comments on the EQ1, it made me quite emotional after all those years and it shows that people still appreciate what we did so long ago.

Take good care for now
Old 8th November 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
NoEgo's Avatar
That is so awesome!!!!! I feel the passion. Thanks so much for coming in. I apologize but I was only paraphrasing what I was told about why the company did not continue. I am also surprised only 50 units were manufactured even though I knew they were somewhat scarce. My unit is serial number 118. Therefore I thought at least that many were built.
The EQ1 is an anomaly and few of us have crossed its path it seems at least today. I would look forward to seeing what you come up with in a preamp.


Salute!

Lou
Old 12th November 2013
  #16
Amazing, so happy I started this thread. I will be using my HSE pretty much every week from now on and yes: mostly in Mastering sessions. I am sure there will be questions here and there. It is great to know that there is someone out there who really knows this unit from scratch. So far I love it, I use it in a chain with the Neve Master Buss Processor. All the best, F
Old 13th November 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 

That is serious passion regarding Audio, in this "Bang it out for the buck $$ world" we now live in today it's great to read a thread and read from the designer about seriously Hi-End Audio EQ Such as HSE.

Great Stuff!
Old 13th November 2013
  #18
Here for the gear
 

It does not save you from handmatching the left and right channel parameters.
Old 13th November 2013
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Fruition2k's Avatar
 

I would definitely love to have mine dialed in and back to factory specs...as its now I'm tracking vocals with one side and acoustic with the other, amazing hard to compare it
any other eq I've used including GML8200's old ISA 115's, Cello eq's, etc..
Old 13th November 2013
  #20
Here for the gear
 

I`d be very thankful.



Old 18th January 2014
  #21
Gear Head
 
Barracuda_00's Avatar
 

Hi,

I'm looking for one (HSE Audio Lab EQ1) since lots of time .... someone willing to sell his one??
Old 23rd February 2014
  #22
Here for the gear
 

HSE EQ for sale

Hi everyone

I am trying to sale my HSE EQ1s.
any one interested?
for more information and photos
here's my email
[email protected]

thank you
Leroy
Attached Thumbnails
Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)-_dsc1300.jpg   Rare HSE Audio Lab EQ1 (designed by R. Huber / Studer)-_dsc1303.jpg  
Old 10th March 2016
  #23
Here for the gear
Hi there, one midi equipped HSE EQ-1 has just popped up at a local shop here, and I will pick it up tomorrow!

Does anyone have a manual for this, and/or any info on the midi implementation?

Any information would be amazing...
Old 29th March 2016
  #24
Quite incredible to have you repplying ! would have some copy of the service manual ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorDom View Post
Hi Guys,
how incredible life works out sometimes. I love your comments on the EQ-1. I am in fact one of the two founding members of HSE Audio Lab who built the EQ-1.

Much of what is said in this thread is not all that wrong except for the fact that the company went out of business due to financial difficulties. The company in fact still exists and after 15 years the two founding members actually met again today and enjoyed a pizza together as we did back then when we built and designed the EQ-1.
So here some history and maybe an outlook as what we plan.
HSE Audio Lab are two crazy Swiss guys that both have a Studer heritage. We founded HSE at the time to do some things that Studer would not be interested in but we would have fun to build. Our aim was to set us a target that was out of what had been done and then to achieve it. This is why the EQ-1 has still today functions and attributes that have still today not been matched by any other Audio Equipment manufacturer.
Some of the examples where the frequency range, there is no Analogue EQ out there that has a range from 10Hz to 30KHz. The Q factor is also unmatched only digital EQ’s can have such a small Q factor like the EQ1. You can almost pick out or amplify a single frequency. You would also notice that switching the bands in and out does not have any artifact on the audio. All other EQ’s create a click or other noisy effect when switch in to the audio path. This is not the case with the EQ1. The idea was that you could compare settings in A/B without resetting or forgetting either A or B. It also helps when you use the EQ1 on Stage with the foot-pedal to switch from one sound to the other. There are many things that I could tell you which make the EQ1 unique and splendid in what it is designed to do. The only thing that we never got quite right was the bloody case of it as in the bottom and top panel which sometimes rattled. That was never as perfect as the rest of the unit.
Now to the Stereo matching topic you mention for mastering. We actually had thought to create a version that had step switching so you could get the perfect match but there was no suitable switch in the market with enough steps that could fit and there would have been an unnecessary limitation of choosing the frequency so we did choose not to go down that road. However this does not mean that you can’t use it as a mastering EQ as many people actually do. The potentiometers we used where actually custom made for us due to our required specification and precision we needed. I can’t quite remember the technical stuff but fact is that they match extremely precise one to another and have much tighter tolerances than what you are used to from other equipment. When we assembled the machines we tried to match the knobs very precise to the labeling as in the carving on the knobs to the front panel. By the way those knobs were also custom made. Now check in which position they are and if you match the mechanical setting of the two channels you are likely to be identical down to single percentage or to actual matching. This is how you can use it as a mastering EQ. Just check the positioning and you will be fine. I agree in the age of recall and digital this may be cumbersome but remember music is Art and Art also happens momentary and based on momentary decisions. Something that modern engineers have lost but which we had to do every day back in the days of analogue. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. I must say tough that I enjoy the modern features of recall and undo as well of course.
If you have any further questions on the EQ-1 you are welcome to send them to me and I will try and answer ?
Just to quickly finish the historical part. Back then I left Studer and started another job in IT. Consequently I did not have that much time for HSE and that is how we just simply grew apart and HSE slowed down to almost zero. We did make 50 production units and a few prototypes. We could probably build a few more with the parts we have left and we can certainly service and fix any broken ones or do any type of recalibration if needed. Just get in touch with me through this here for the time being.
Now here the good news, we have today, after our Pizza decided that it would be a shame if HSE would not make any equipment anymore. This is why we have now set ourselves the target to build the world’s finest Microphone preamplifier. As always we have set ourselves the target to go far beyond what you would have seen and heard up until today so if you are a fan of what we did with the EQ1 you will probably not be disappointed with the Mic. Pre that we will come up with in the next few months.

Thank you all for the nice comments on the EQ1, it made me quite emotional after all those years and it shows that people still appreciate what we did so long ago.

Take good care for now
Old 14th April 2017
  #25
Here for the gear
 
Fredtiki's Avatar
 

Hello, sorry for the late addition to the thread. But just to add to it, I own a studio in NY, and own three HSE EQ-1 units. I believe I bought the last three new units that my friend Thor Thorstenstein (the New York Studer Rep) had when the company was winding down.
I love these units. They are highly functional, and sound really great. I use one for mastering. The all important mid frequencies are NOT harsh!
Fred
Old 16th June 2019
  #26
Gear Head
Hi,
I have to keep this old post alive, because I got a HSE EQ1 with midi.
I try to get in touch with Freddy knop, but did not get an answer.
Anyway, is there anyone out there who can send me the manual ? Or can tell me the midi implementation? Also, what is the LED next to the "over" with "sw" labeld for ? --> indicating footswitch action ?
The two small trims at the back are they for the out level ?
I had to open my unit for cleaning, if you are interesting in pics of the internal, drop me a line and I will post it... ;-)

I hope, someone can help, thanks for that

atb

frank
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