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High Quality Plug-In Equalisers Comparison Equalizer Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
High Quality Plug-In Equalisers Comparison

The Challengers:

MAAT thEQorange
DMGAudio Equilibrium
FabFilter Pro-Q 3
Flux EpureV3-x64
UAD Massenburg MDWEQ5-5B
Sonnox Oxford EQ
TDR NOVA GE

Settings:

80Hz +0.5dB Q1
163Hz -1.0dB Q10
685Hz +1.0dB Q2
2.89kHz -1.0dB Q10
12.00kHz +1.0dB Q2


Processed by Steinberg WaveLab Pro 9.5
All the software involved are the latest version available at today and obviously original.
All plugins are set as their best possible performances, phase linearity to the maximum value when available.
The processed files are attenuated by 3dB with a WaveLab Pro 9.5's Utility to avoid clipping, the references untreated file has no attenuations.
For this test I used the first 120 seconds of high quality song bought directly in 48kHz / 24bit Wav format.

Have a good listen

EQ Challenge - EQ Challenge
Attached Thumbnails
High Quality Plug-In Equalisers Comparison-alex-picciafuochi-high-quality-plug-equaliser-comparison.jpg  

Last edited by AlexPicciafuochi; 1 week ago at 09:39 PM.. Reason: Adding Plug-In
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexPicciafuochi View Post
The Challengers:

MAAT thEQorange
DMGAudio Equilibrium
FabFilter Pro-Q 3
Flux EpureV3-x64
UAD Massenburg MDWEQ5-5B
Sonnox Oxford EQ

Settings:

80Hz +0.5dB Q1
163Hz -1.0dB Q10
685Hz +1.0dB Q2
2.89kHz -1.0dB Q10
12.00kHz +1.0dB Q2


Processed by Steinberg WaveLab Pro 9.5
All the software involved are the latest version available at today and obviously original.
All plugins are set as their best possible performances, phase linearity to the maximum value when available.
The processed files are attenuated by 3dB with a WaveLab Pro 9.5's Utility to avoid clipping, the references untreated file has no attenuations.
For this test I used the first 120 seconds of high quality song bought directly in 48kHz / 24bit Wav format.

Have a good listen

EQ Challenge - EQ Challenge


Thanks a lot for this Alex!
This kind of things help us a lot, invaluable info in there....
Finally we have a real comparison of the best plugin eqs including the MAAT which is being (by many people) attacked and hated for its high price range.
Good stuff man
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Add Nova freeware or GE please, just to set a modern price anchor
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
Add Nova freeware or GE please, just to set a modern price anchor
I'm a registered owner of the NOVA GE, no problem at all :-)
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexPicciafuochi View Post
All plugins are set as their best possible performances, phase linearity to the maximum value when available.
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Thanks for this!

To be clear, this is a comparison of linear phase mode only?
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Thanks for this!

To be clear, this is a comparison of linear phase mode only?
Not exactly, linear phase is available only on DMGAudio Equilibrium (but in this first test I have not activated, now I'm uploading a new file), FabFilter Pro-Q 3 and MAAT thEQorange.

Thnks for asking
Old 1 week ago
  #7
UPDATE

Added a new file, please give a second chance to Equilibrium:

Donald Fagen - Maxine - DMGAudio Equilibrium (Linear Phase) 2444
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Is there a way to download those files to be able to compare them using our favourable DAW?
Im very curious to listen to the Orange EQ in comparison to my go to's.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Is there a way to download those files to be able to compare them using our favourable DAW?
Im very curious to listen to the Orange EQ in comparison to my go to's.
I used this song for "scientific use" for its excellent audio quality, but it still copyrighted materials, probably if I reduced the time to 30" I could do it... but I'm not sure...
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexPicciafuochi View Post
I used this song for "scientific use" for its excellent audio quality, but it still copyrighted materials, probably if I reduced the time to 30" I could do it... but I'm not sure...
Copyright is always a problem in those comparissons, of course.
But, to be true, I see no real sense to compare different devices in an online player even when you are able to listen to those in your mastering room.
I mean within a proper done test scenario we really speak quite small differences and we really should be sure to what we listen to. I think this is only possible if we are able to (blindtest) those files within our DAW by ourself methods.
I was really curious to finally get an impression to the much bespoken MAAT Orange which is hard to demo without owning that strange dongle they use. So for me its a bit of a bummer now sadly, but I can understand your decision nevertheless of course.

Do you match those EQs by ear or by numbers only?
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Copyright is always a problem in those comparissons, of course.
But, to be true, I see no real sense to compare different devices in an online player even when you are able to listen to those in your mastering room.
I mean within a proper done test scenario we really speak quite small differences and we really should be sure to what we listen to. I think this is only possible if we are able to (blindtest) those files within our DAW by ourself methods.
I was really curious to finally get an impression to the much bespoken MAAT Orange which is hard to demo without owning that strange dongle they use. So for me its a bit of a bummer now sadly, but I can understand your decision nevertheless of course.

Do you match those EQs by ear or by numbers only?
If somebody can provide me a minute of a great recording, free from copyright laws, I can use it for the test.
Or if somebody knows a better site for comparing files online...

I match these EQs only by numbers

Best, Alex
Old 1 week ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexPicciafuochi View Post
I match these EQs only by numbers
Alex, while I appreciate your efforts to do clean EQ shootout, that's one of main issues with that.
Different EQ plugins has different formulas for expressing bandwidth and Q factor. So if you just enter same numbers to all plugins, it's not really valid for any serious comparison. Sometimes, that matches formula between two plugins, but quite often you need to adjust particular filters for the same response (typically when that doesn't match for bells for example, you can might try to either multiply or divide Q factor by sqrt(2)).
Even better, make some response, you like the best, as the reference one and try to match everything else in test to that. Either using plugin analyzer or via nulling with white noise and watching FFT analyzer (like SPAN) fed by residual signal. In most cases, for clean EQs with the same operating principle, you can do pretty deep (say -90dB) nulls with its responses.
It sounds like a lot of hassle (yes, indeed it is ), but as I've mentioned, if responses doesn't match, it's not really meaningful comparison and in practice, you typically also twist with knobs regardless of values readout, until it sounds good, so numbers matching doesn't make much sense.

Other thing is, that unless you intended to compare different kinds (or classes if you will) of clean EQs, IMO it doesn't make much sense to compare say completely different linear phase to minimum phase EQs.
When the intention was show differences between mentioned kinds of EQ processing (like normal, oversampled/analogue-phase, linear), it's IMO better to demonstrate that on single EQ with common settings, which has several switchable modes.
Otherwise, I believe, it's better to sort those EQs according to its intended response or operating principle and do only shootouts among them.

Sorry for my remarks, but honestly exactly those two points (unmatched responses, apple-orange type of plugin comparison) always come to my mind, when I read some strong opinions about preferences towards certain clean EQs.
Of course, in your particular case, all manipulations in your test are under 1dB, so audible impact of different and unmatched responses won't be necessarily so dramatic to perceive, like in case of some moderate filtering.

All the best,

Michal
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Alex, while I appreciate your efforts to do clean EQ shootout, that's one of main issues with that.
Different EQ plugins has different formulas for expressing bandwidth and Q factor. So if you just enter same numbers to all plugins, it's not really valid for any serious comparison. Sometimes, that matches formula between two plugins, but quite often you need to adjust particular filters for the same response (typically when that doesn't match for bells for example, you can might try to either multiply or divide Q factor by sqrt(2)).
Even better, make some response, you like the best, as the reference one and try to match everything else in test to that. Either using plugin analyzer or via nulling with white noise and watching FFT analyzer (like SPAN) fed by residual signal. In most cases, for clean EQs with the same operating principle, you can do pretty deep (say -90dB) nulls with its responses.
It sounds like a lot of hassle (yes, indeed it is ), but as I've mentioned, if responses doesn't match, it's not really meaningful comparison and in practice, you typically also twist with knobs regardless of values readout, until it sounds good, so numbers matching doesn't make much sense.

Other thing is, that unless you intended to compare different kinds (or classes if you will) of clean EQs, IMO it doesn't make much sense to compare say completely different linear phase to minimum phase EQs.
When the intention was show differences between mentioned kinds of EQ processing (like normal, oversampled/analogue-phase, linear), it's IMO better to demonstrate that on single EQ with common settings, which has several switchable modes.
Otherwise, I believe, it's better to sort those EQs according to its intended response or operating principle and do only shootouts among them.

Sorry for my remarks, but honestly exactly those two points (unmatched responses, apple-orange type of plugin comparison) always come to my mind, when I read some strong opinions about preferences towards certain clean EQs.
Of course, in your particular case, all manipulations in your test are under 1dB, so audible impact of different and unmatched responses won't be necessarily so dramatic to perceive, like in case of some moderate filtering.

All the best,

Michal
Michal, I appreciate your intervention, absolutely undeniable, thanks!

What about if instead I process a file with the MAAT thEQorange, which seems to be the one that most intrigues all of you, and I provide you both the screenshot of what I did and the same unprocessed file, and each of you try to reproduce the same result, making the most with the plug-in you already own?

But I still need a a high quality recording free from copyright...

All the best,
Alex
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
mirochandler's Avatar
 

I could make samples with the Algorithmix stuff if anyone is interested...
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirochandler View Post
I could make samples with the Algorithmix stuff if anyone is interested...
Could be really exiting to compare your Algorithmix Orange to my MAAT thEQorange!
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirochandler View Post
I could make samples with the Algorithmix stuff if anyone is interested...
Yes please!


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexPicciafuochi View Post
Could be really exiting to compare your Algorithmix Orange to my MAAT thEQorange!
Absolutely
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 
mirochandler's Avatar
 

Anyone have a very good quality record I should proceed?

I use linear phase EQ´s mostly for small or very small corrections from resonances, etc.
Rarely or never use them <200Hz because of hearable pre-ringing. But I never found better tools for small notches and corrections.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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JP__'s Avatar
 

Verified Member
I would be interested too. Its quite some time ago I touched any Algorithmix stuff.
But unprocessed, high quality mixes that are copyright free are a big problem indeed.
But better than just listening, would be trying out.
So I think its a really silly decision from MAAT to stick with the Codemeter
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 

If you use the audio from Teebaum's Mastering EQ Comparison Test thread and match the curves precisely using Teebaum's methodology (or as described by msmucr in this thread), that would be a really useful comparison.
Old 19 hours ago
  #20
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art felton's Avatar
 

Thank you Alex Picciafuochi for doing this. Did you work out the settings on the MAAT thEQorange?
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