Buzz Audio Tonic by musicandstuff
Why did I buy?
I wanted a nice tracking EQ, something I could push the EQ with that was cleaner than my Drawmer 1961. I wanted it to be 500 series. With a sweepable midrange I thought this would give me heaps of flexibility and would be ideal
I have used it on vocals, bass, guitars, acoustic, strings, synths, kick, snare, overheads, percussion, and the mix bus. It did the trick each time. I can always get the sound I need from it or certainly close enough
Ease of use?
It is not the easiest thing in the world to dial up a the perfect sound as there are a few small little switches. Once you have used it a few times though it is easy to know how to work it. Using it with stereo material can be a little difficult getting both sides just right but not an impossible issue (non stepped knobs).
The Hi End Knob??? A switchable bell or shelf at 5kHz or 11kHz. Sounds nice, musical, not as sweet as the midrange but not ugly. I don't really push and pull heaps in this range, compared to the Drawmer 1961 I like the Tonic a little less in the hi end, and I really like the high end of the Drawmer.
The Midrange Knob??? The sweep "bell" midrange extends from 75Hz to 15000Hz. This is where this EQ makes me SMILE. You can boost so much in any frequency and it is just sooo nice sounding. You want a thin sounding amp thicker? A slightly dull voice bright, clear and breathy? A weak snare to have a ton more body? Think the mix doesn't excite you and you want to find that magic place to push a bit of life into it? This thing will make it happen. When people talk about EQ's being special, this midrange part springs to my mind. It reminds me of a cleaner version of my Neuman PEV EQ. Both inductor based and just sweet and musical. This makes it a joy to use, it just delivers when boosting. Easy to cut ugly stuff too but I find myself reaching to boost more than cut with this thing to be honest
Bass Knob?? Is is also a switchable bell or shelf with two frequency setting at 120Hz and 60Hz. It sounds great, can get some real booty on things, but I just wish it had 180hz. I prefer it slightly it to the Drawmer 1961 bottom end which I don't necessarily looooove but the Drawmer has many more options to sculpt the lo end which is also useful. I have used a Pultec beside it in my studio before and thought the low end on it was a little bit more characterful than the Tonic, but I didn't think the Tonic was a slouch or was sloppy in to lo end
Build quality and price?
Price wise it is great having BUZZ made in New Zealand, it is cheaper than importing so a no brainer. If you don't have an inductor based EQ, this is worth a serious look for its price. It is well built. Hundreds of hours use and counting without issue so reliable.
Why 4s and not 5s? Non stepped switches, a couple more options in the high and low end. It is a little complex being crammed into a compact 500 series unit. These are not big shortcomings, it does not leave me feeling wanting at all but I thought 4s would reflect that. Also things like the Buzz REQ exist (that is all 5!).
But the midrange on this is soooo musical. I would highly recommend this product.