Cartec EQP-1A

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Wes Maebe



Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

Cartec EQP-1A

The EQP-1A features point-to-point wiring and custom-made transformers.

Is there an engineer out there who doesn’t love the old Pultec EQs? I think it’s safe to say we all have a Pultec on our wish lists. The two factors that keep us from owning a few is that they are hard to come by, and if you do find one, it will cost you an arm and a leg. Despair no longer. Liam Carter at Cartec has set out to re-create the vintage Pultec magic—and he succeeded.

The Old

Cartec has been around only three short years and has released three high-end analog hardware units. The company’s two 500 Series units are the Fe-Q5, an inductor-based EQ; the PRE-Q5, a preamp/EQ combo; and the rackmounted EQP-1A tested here.

The original EQP-1A was developed in the early 1950s by Eugene Shank and Ollie Summerland from Pulse Technologies in New Jersey. Eugene and Ollie both built their units by hand, and when the company sadly closed its doors in the ’70s, the Pultec EQ became one of the most desired EQs in the world. The Pultec EQP-1A is a passive valve mono unit, and its main characteristics are its smooth tone and the possibility to simultaneously boost and cut the same frequency. Over the years there have been quite a few great hardware versions, and of course there are various software emulations on the market as well.

You could easily ask yourself: “Why invest in one hardware unit if I can just spend a couple of hundred bucks and have a plug-in I can use all over the session?” In our world of mixing in the box, there’s always the choice to go with hardware or software. If you’re working completely in the box and you don’t want to be troubled by recall issues, the solution is pretty clear: plug-ins. If, on the other hand, you like to get your hands on real controls and feel the unit react to the signal, hardware is the way to go. Whatever the scenario, getting your hands on one of the Cartecs will make up your mind for you.

The New

Like its predecessor, the Cartec EQP-1A has a valve gain stage and valve power rectification stage, giving the unit the classic “compression” sound due to the PSU sag. The inputs and outputs are transformer-balanced, and all the wiring is point-to-point (no circuit boards inside, people).

The custom-made transformers have been hand-wound, and the switches and pots are military-grade Grayhill and PEC models. The green front panel with the warm yellow etching makes the unit very easy on the eyes. This color combo allows you to see the frequencies, bandwidth and boost/attenuate amounts easily, even under cozy studio lighting. It’s refreshing to see that Liam didn’t yield to the temptation to add extra features; he’s stayed true to the original design. Everything you expect to see on the front panel is there: LF range from 20-100 CPS, HF range from 3-16 KPS, Boost and Attenuation from 0-10, sharp to broad bandwidth, the Atten selector 5-10-20, bypass switch, On/Off selector, and a cool bright light.

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.