Combining the legacy of classic Baxandall equalization with the flexibility of mid/side processing, the Heritage Audio SYMPH EQ provides capable master bus tone shaping for finessing a final mixing, sweetening stems, or mastering your own material. When the song's sound needs musicality more than parametric surgery, look to the SYMPH EQ to impart its natural sonic character without artifacts or undesired phasing. It offers high- and low-shelf bands with precisely repeatable frequency selection and boost/cut values plus the welcome bonus of high- and low-pass filters, all in just a single rack space.
When it comes to the bulk of this EQ's analog magic, you'll find components that give the unit a signature British sound. These include Oxford-made Carnhill input transformers (the same ones used in Heritage Audio's Successor) and 73-type, Class-A output amps laden with Carnhill St. Ives output transformers. The SYMPH EQ is not one to disappear in the background; it can bring your tracks new life in a rich, organic way.
As for the mid/side functionality, just press the M/S button to start applying different equalization to the "middle" and "sides" of the mix. This can be invaluable for getting vocals clear and present without overly brightening the stereo bus, or for tidying up the low-frequency energy of the stereo elements without compromising the impact of the kick and bass. When used in M/S mode, the SYMPH EQ's side high-pass filter switches to an elliptical type, just like ones in vintage disk cutting machines.
Returning to the primary EQ features, the SYMPH EQ relies on shelf curves that maintain control of sub-low and ultra-high frequencies by growing the boost/cut level until reaching the asymptotic value—hence the unit's full name, the "Stereo Asymptotic Equalizer." The two EQ bands offer boost/cut values up to 10.5 dB in 0.5 or 1 dB steps, as well as six frequency options per band. Additionally, the high- and low-pass filters have 12 dB/octave slopes and five frequency selections each. This makes the SYMPH EQ extremely adept as a stereo bus processor.
Whether Baxandall EQ is an old friend to you or it all sounds new, Heritage Audio's SYMPH EQ is a special slice of analog mojo. Use the Comments section, below, to let us know how you'd use it on your mixes.