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-   Gear Shoot-Outs / Sound File Comparisons / Audio Tests (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/)
-   -   Pensado EQ shootout vs Crave, Magpha, FabFilter and more! (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-shoot-outs-sound-file-comparisons-audio-tests/1289783-pensado-eq-shootout-vs-crave-magpha-fabfilter-more.html)

swartzfeger 1st December 2019 05:37 AM

Pensado EQ shootout vs Crave, Magpha, FabFilter and more!
 
Acustica Audio has teamed with renowned engineer Dave Pensado and created a custom Pensado EQ.

Inspired by the Sontec 432 eq shootout created by @ b0se I decided to do a shootout against the new Pensado EQ.

I pitted Pensado EQ up against Crave, EQuilibrium, FabFilter Pro-Q3, Magpha, Ozone 9 EQ and ToneBoosters Equalizer v4.

Track used: the 'POM' clip from the @ b0se 432 shootout.

Pensado EQ was boosted +5dB at 9.8k and all curves were closely matched in Plugin Doctor. Files processed/bounced at 24/44.1.

Other notes: Crave was set to analog mode, EQuilibrium to FIR/Analogue/9192; FFQ3 to natural phase.

I would post fancy charts from Plugin Doctor to show the curve precision but unfortunately I'm not well versed in PD yet; I could only get 2 plugins to load at a time and was unable to get the colored curves to match the colored keys on the chart (NB: I don't RTFM so any recommendations are appreciated).

NB II: A- B-C-D-E-F-G files were level matched to within -.1 dBFS / -.1 LUFS

The shootout files are here:

Pensado EQ shootout files

Have fun and post your preferences/dislikes to PM me for results. Don't forget this is all for fun to make the sluttiest music possible. :lol:

swartzfeger 1st December 2019 06:03 AM

I forgot to mention: please post your preferences (or least favorites!) here and then shoot me a PM requesting results; I promise there are no wrong answers. This is just for fun to drum up slutty EQ talk. :lol:

If you post your preferences and PM me, I will send you the results. :)

Deleted b90f8c9 1st December 2019 06:18 AM

Jammed out to all of them through laptop speakers. A is my favorite. Nice track.

mantovibe 1st December 2019 07:12 AM

my pref
 
I like A and E. The low end is open, clear, more acoustic, or should I say ACUSTICA?
Anyway, E and A sound nice and open. Nice track

mantovibe 1st December 2019 07:23 AM

And I think I like A the best. It breathes more, more open. The other ones sound vulgar next to it, except E which isn’t quite as open but still better then the others

paulthesparky 1st December 2019 09:37 AM

Only on headphones on a iPad soundcard, so my opinion isn’t worth a pinch of poo, and would differ radically if I was on monitors in a treated room.
But I’ll still take a wild punt regardless...........

Actually liked C the most as the bass retained its groove/ swing as per the original. Maybe a tad smeared in the transients and a bit soft in the high hat, but it’s all about the bass for me personally, and not screwing with the tone of the original track.
Then liked D next. A bit more harder edge on the bass and hats, but still grooving with Authority.
Then liked B. A bit flubby on the bass but clear high hat.
Then liked A which had a stiffer bass but quite clear in the highs.
Then F. Not as deep on the kick, bass slightly rolled off, more about the mids/ highs.
Then G which had more presence but not that much edge to the sound.
Then E, which sounded a bit clipped in the bass, soft hats, recessed mids.
Can you pm the results to me and I promise to keep them to myself. Cheers for the effort in organising the shootout.

alibling 1st December 2019 09:56 AM

thanks for the shootout will post soon my favs

alibling 1st December 2019 05:43 PM

A, then G and then E - but I must say there are all very close.

Looking forward for the results!

Thanks again for the shootout

Agustin Mongelli 1st December 2019 09:31 PM

Hi! Thanks for doing this.
I Like "E" the most....Listening several times, I also liked "D" and I even find something interesting but exaggerated "B".

Sending PM...

random musican 2nd December 2019 12:08 AM

Am I the only one who is having problems telling D and F apart? Anyway, both being rather uninteresting, they are my least favorite.

B is weird, hard to put into place, hairy. Could work sometimes.

I like E the most, with A,C,G following after.

All in all, my list is (B got the third place for the sake of having options):
E, A, B, C, G, D, F.

metraith 2nd December 2019 03:09 AM

Thanks for putting this together. I was really hoping I wouldn’t hear much difference between them so I could save some money and just grab the TB EQ4 and be content with that. But now I’m worried. Like others here, I liked A and E the best. C F and G were all pretty close To each other IMO, and I didn’t like D or B as well. Fingers crossed that those opinions won’t cost me a boat load of money when I find out what they all are.

alexishere 2nd December 2019 11:47 AM

E felt a bit louder and more saturated. A was my favourite but E felt most lively and analog to me. PM me results please!

Just did a null test with the original file to find out which is pensado.. Very surprising..

rocb 2nd December 2019 12:37 PM

E and F to my ear are the sweetest sounding...

jimmydeluxe 2nd December 2019 01:00 PM

Interested to listen, thanks. Curious why you chose analog mode over transparent on crave? to me much better and ironically more "analog" sounding.

I really like P EQ, hoping this shootout changes my mind haha

edit: A is my fav of these but I don't love any of them or the track so moot comp for me...pensado eq really shines when pushed to limits at x2 IMO so that's how I'm testing it. Diamond sounds great too but too different band-wise for fair a/b and don't like the pre as much

might just have to get the damn eq smh

Grabie 2nd December 2019 06:26 PM

My impressions from good to less good: b e c g f a d

Listening fast, just one round/decision for each letter.
Thank you very much for the fun.

swartzfeger 2nd December 2019 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimmydeluxe (Post 14358177)
Interested to listen, thanks. Curious why you chose analog mode over transparent on crave? to me much better and ironically more "analog" sounding.

Fair question and had considered it. I guess because Magpha is by default an ‘analog-ish’ curve, and since Equilibrium, FabFilter and Crave all offer an analog mode I figured it was as much an ‘analog curve comparison’ as anything else (assuming Pensado’s 9.8k band was hardware sampled and not software trickery).

And like a few mentioned here... listening on laptop speakers and iPads and whatnot, how important is it these days for exact apples-to-apples comparisons? I’m not sure. With my tinnitus and open-back Sennheisers these tests are always a hoot. :D

I plan on doing a shootout with AA Ruby2 and for Crave I’ll probably do transparent mode just to see if there’s a striking difference, good or bad (or if people notice listening on their earbuds :)

alibling 3rd December 2019 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swartzfeger (Post 14359238)
Fair question and had considered it. I guess because Magpha is by default an ‘analog-ish’ curve, and since Equilibrium, FabFilter and Crave all offer an analog mode I figured it was as much an ‘analog curve comparison’ as anything else (assuming Pensado’s 9.8k band was hardware sampled and not software trickery).

And like a few mentioned here... listening on laptop speakers and iPads and whatnot, how important is it these days for exact apples-to-apples comparisons? I’m not sure. With my tinnitus and open-back Sennheisers these tests are always a hoot. :D

I plan on doing a shootout with AA Ruby2 and for Crave I’ll probably do transparent mode just to see if there’s a striking difference, good or bad (or if people notice listening on their earbuds :)

I just bought ruby today and I'm totally in love. So would love to see it in a shootout like that.

swartzfeger 3rd December 2019 01:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alibling (Post 14359480)
I just bought ruby today and I'm totally in love. So would love to see it in a shootout like that.

Me too, one of my favorite Acquas. :)

ULA 3rd December 2019 04:37 AM

It was hard for me to pick a favorite but I preferred E and B the most and disliked C and D - the others were really a wash.

Danielbest1 3rd December 2019 04:46 AM

Liked B (3D) and F (fat).

PM the results please.

Thank you.
Daniel.

Deleted 2ef94c5 3rd December 2019 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swartzfeger (Post 14359649)
Me too, one of my favorite Acquas. :)

Same here. Fearn’s amps sound so smooth with a hint of thick mid glow. And those musical pultec-like band interactions make dialing in balanced tones effortless.

jimmydeluxe 3rd December 2019 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swartzfeger (Post 14359238)
Fair question and had considered it. I guess because Magpha is by default an ‘analog-ish’ curve, and since Equilibrium, FabFilter and Crave all offer an analog mode I figured it was as much an ‘analog curve comparison’ as anything else (assuming Pensado’s 9.8k band was hardware sampled and not software trickery).

And like a few mentioned here... listening on laptop speakers and iPads and whatnot, how important is it these days for exact apples-to-apples comparisons? I’m not sure. With my tinnitus and open-back Sennheisers these tests are always a hoot. :D

I plan on doing a shootout with AA Ruby2 and for Crave I’ll probably do transparent mode just to see if there’s a striking difference, good or bad (or if people notice listening on their earbuds :)

Right–I didn't mean to be picky I just happen to use curve all the time so I'm very familiar with the modes but "analog" would make more sense at a glance...regardless thx for the testkfhkh

paulthesparky 3rd December 2019 02:23 PM

Pensado EQ was boosted +5dB at 9.8k and all curves were closely matched in Plugin Doctor. Files processed/bounced at [B]24/44.[/QUOTE]

I now realised there is only one EQ boost point at 9.8k ONLY. Just wondering, is that a bell or a shelf? Knowing that, I would have focused on the top end comparisons more, rather than being more concerned about the sound as a whole, especially the bass where apparently nothing has been boosted or cut? Oh well, too late now.

alexishere 3rd December 2019 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paulthesparky (Post 14360491)
Pensado EQ was boosted +5dB at 9.8k and all curves were closely matched in Plugin Doctor. Files processed/bounced at [B]24/44.

I now realised there is only one EQ boost point at 9.8k ONLY. Just wondering, is that a bell or a shelf? Knowing that, I would have focused on the top end comparisons more, rather than being more concerned about the sound as a whole, especially the bass where apparently nothing has been boosted or cut? Oh well, too late now.[/QUOTE]

Its a bell curve

swartzfeger 3rd December 2019 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paulthesparky (Post 14360491)
I now realised there is only one EQ boost point at 9.8k ONLY. Just wondering, is that a bell or a shelf? Knowing that, I would have focused on the top end comparisons more, rather than being more concerned about the sound as a whole, especially the bass where apparently nothing has been boosted or cut? Oh well, too late now.


Quote:

Originally Posted by alexishere (Post 14361113)
Its a bell curve

Yes, it's a bell curve.

The single-band test also highlights why tests like these range from nominally useful to pointless. A single band test is nice ('how well does this EQ perform at extreme boosts?') but I don't know if it necessarily serves an EQ well like Pensado, which is obviously a different beast than FabFilter or Crave.

Unfortunately -- something I've found now while playing with Acqua EQs in Plugin Doctor -- Acustica curves are very, very hard to match. They're not these geometrically, symmetrically perfect curves like we find in digital EQs but these organic monsters with minds of their own.

Of course, I could just do the boosts in Pensado and match as close as possible in the other EQs (read: not very close at all) and call it a test, which I would find useful too, but then the pedants with decibel meters will come out of the woodwork.

A user has requested testing additional modes in Crave, so I may redo the test with these additional modes plus doing a little mid-range boost. Would love to test the low-en on Pensado but the curve is too wild.

I'm also going to throw a curveball into the fray and let everyone decide if they like it. :)

Danielbest1 4th December 2019 12:59 AM

I feel all files are brighter than C. With E the brightest.

Deleted f6fc2a4 4th December 2019 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swartzfeger (Post 14361422)
Yes, it's a bell curve.

The single-band test also highlights why tests like these range from nominally useful to pointless. A single band test is nice ('how well does this EQ perform at extreme boosts?') but I don't know if it necessarily serves an EQ well like Pensado, which is obviously a different beast than FabFilter or Crave.

Unfortunately -- something I've found now while playing with Acqua EQs in Plugin Doctor -- Acustica curves are very, very hard to match.

I totally agree with you about the the artificiality of matching single band curves and comparing sounds.

In addition, if plugin A produces a complex curve effortlessly and that curve really works well with the material,
and you have to spend, say, 30 minutes with an analyzer to reverse engineer/match it in plugin B, then even if A and B null, A has a clear
advantage over B in terms of achieving the desired sound in real-life conditions
.

Conversely, if you do not match fabfilter to pensando but try to match
pensado to fabfilter you may find that it takes equal or more effort for some settings. So the design of the shootout setup clearly and strongly affects
the conclusions drawn
, unless special care is given to nullifying such
design artifacts.

I also note that complex eq curves are produced by several
plugins, not just AA ones.

Ffaaar 27th December 2019 02:06 AM

Thank you. Please PM the results. freshflowe

rkstarr 3rd January 2020 06:42 AM

Results ?

N1Greg 4th January 2020 02:02 AM

Can you please just post an attachment txt with results so that nobody will see the results by accident but also there will be no need to send PMs?