MIAD Audio LCPQ 4040 by X-Pand Sound Mastering
I was sent to demo a pair of these beauties the other day, so I thought I made a review.
The Eq's feel very nice indeed. The chassis beeing all aluminum, it feels and looks nicer than stainless steel, but might be more fragile though. With that well regulated external power supply, and the measurements I've done so far regarding THD, noise, etc, on the spec this puppies indeed belong to the big league of Analog Eq's. I am surprised how closely matched my pair is,
hats off to the designers on this
The sound is, as I expected, some kind of a "Neve" color but with more definition, so overall it sounds "big" and "hifi" at the same time.
That 15k Shelf is really something special, great for Mastering actually. "Shinny" but not "sizzling". The entire high band in shelf mod sounds detailed and refined in every frequencies available, and also very fast and accurate. But that 15khz is really blissfull.
Now I'm not too much into that kind of color on the midrange TBH, for mastering at least, too "forward" and obvious in many cases. BUT I can easily see where it would shine in a mixing situation, for exemple on a doublebasse or some vocals. That is why I give it 4 stars instead
of 5, but more on a personnal opinion.
The 5.6Khz, wich is for me kind of a bridge between the highmids and highs, was my favorite frequency boost on the Manley Massive Passive, and well that one is also super super nice. Its not "edgy" in any way, and on the contrary it feels "pristine" and "classy". A great sense of openess here.
The low mids are great, they do sound "big" without too much mudiness. As it is a "Neve-ish" kind of sound, there is some "warmth" in that area of course, and as a consequence some kind of mudiness aswell, but here again the sound retains some definition. Although a way to shape the Q in a more precise manner would have been a great addition. As the broad Q is really wide, and the sharp Q, well, not THAT sharp...so..A three way Q switching (like for exemple in the Great River MAQ2NV) would be killer here.
Last but not least the Lowend feels really punchy wich is great for a "colored" Eq. 45hz Lowshelf will "rock" and "rumble" on most mixes, and never sounded "flabby" or anything. Some similarities with the Chandler Curve Bender here, but with definitely more punch to it. The 62hz feels huge, like a Pultec on Stereoids Something really special at this Frequency too. Love it.
The upper bass range (100,180 etc) in Bell mod gave body and fullness to the mix, although just a fine tweak was enough (1/2 to 1 DB max). Here again the Q feels very, very wide, maybe a bit too much ? I couldn't find myself doing some cutting on a mix with such wide bandwith, so more Q settings could help here too.
I feel like these Eq's could do great in a parallel chain, this way one could really crank the gains up and use them as "colorboxes".
As a set of Eq's for Mastering I'd personnaly recommand doing more mods to this unit though, in order to "fit" the mastering workflow. The +/- 6DB gain range is a must, and also adding stepped switches or detented pots on the gains. I have nothing against continously variable pots for mastering, but those pots are, IMO, too "loose" for an accurate recall. Also touching one by mistake with your fingers while engaging one of the switch, and you can loose your setting very easily...
Finally and as I previously said, adding some 3 way Q switches for the mid bands would be a very nice option.
All in all these MIAD Eq's could easily be a "first mastering Eqs pair", as you can shape a mix with great big tone, and add definition to it at the same time.
The price on these seems just right, as we are definitely in the Highend range here.