by Stefan Wyeth | 4,9 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 4 Minutes
The best EQs under $1000

best EQs under $1000  ·  Source: Wes Hicks / Unsplash

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When tracking vocals and instruments at home, getting a decent quality signal going in is always a challenge. To tackle this problem, we’ve selected some of the best EQs under $1000 to take your input stage to the next level.

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There are many reasons for using EQ while tracking. This goes beyond managing frequencies correctively to avoid doing so in post-production. Instead, the idea is to use the EQ as an extension of the instrument or microphone to create the best performance possible.

Unlike most plug-in EQs you’ll come across, a decent hardware EQ allows you to make extreme frequency boosts across the spectrum whilst still sounding musical. It gives you the power to shape and balance each take to fit a particular section of a song or match voice recordings for more seamless ADR.

How to find the best EQs under $1000?

It’s important to note that some of the best hardware EQs are passive EQs. This means they require preamplification and will benefit from being chained to a compressor with discrete makeup gain.

Building a quality input stage at home is not cheap, but there are ways to save plenty by avoiding the pro studio route.

Klark Teknik EQP-KT

The Klark Teknik EQP-KT is an affordable recreation of the classic Pultec EQP-1A program EQ from the 1950s. Designed with Midas input and output transformers and 12AX7 and 12AU7 tubes, it gives you as close a user experience to the original as you can expect for the money.

Even if you’re not looking for a Pultec-style EQ, the EQP-KT is a good starting point for building your recording front end with outboard gear. Moreover, as a beginner, you’re far more likely to develop a feel for frequencies with this type of EQ than you would using a plug-in.

Klark Teknik EQP-KT

Klark Teknik EQP-KT

Klark Teknik EQP-KT

Klark Teknik EQP-KT

Customer rating:
(188)

Golden Age Project EQ-81 MKIII

Another reasonably priced vintage-style option is the EQ-81 MKIII from Golden Age Project. This 4-band inductor EQ is based on the design of the famous Neve 1081 console EQ from the early 1970s.

You have two switchable bell/shelving filters for your high and low frequencies, each with five selectable bands, and two midrange bell filters with a Hi Q feature.

Overall, it’s a great budget option, especially when racked up and combined with the Pre-73 MKIII preamp to form a more complete Neve-style channel strip.

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Golden Age Project EQ-81 MKIII

Golden Age Project EQ-81 MKIII

Golden Age Project EQ-81 MKIII

Golden Age Project EQ-81 MKIII

No customer rating available yet

SSL 611 EQ

If you’re looking for a high-end EQ sound, 500-series is a great option for building your tracking rig module by module. The 611 EQ from Solid State Logic is a versatile module based on the channel strips in the E-series consoles.

The controls may be tightly laid out to accommodate this format, but you still have the precise level of control you’d expect from an SSL console-style EQ with variable Q on both of the mid bands.

In addition, you can switch between two characteristically different EQ circuits. The “Brown” from the early ’80s is known for its musical sound and allows you to cut or boost by 15 dB. Meanwhile, the “Black” EQ circuit is more precise with a tighter low-end and 18 dB of gain to play with.

SSL 611 EQ

SSL 611 EQ

SSL 500-Series 611 EQ

SSL 500-Series 611 EQ

Customer rating:
(20)

Rupert Neve Designs 551

The RND 551 Inductor EQ is one of the most sought-after EQ modules for the 500-series format. Rupert Neve has designed this module as a modern take on the legacy of Neve console-style EQs.

You get all the warmth and the desirable transformer sound you’d expect from a vintage EQ, with an intuitive layout that really suits modern music production.

Whether you are aggressive or more subtle with your EQ adjustments, the 551 is sure to surprise your ears on any source you decide to use it on.

Rupert Neve Designs 551

Rupert Neve Designs 551

Rupert Neve Designs 551

Rupert Neve Designs 551

Customer rating:
(6)

Summit Audio FeQ-50

The Summit FeQ-50 is a half-rack hybrid EQ unit that gives you the best of both worlds. You get a transformerless 4-band passive EQ with both tube and solid-state outputs on the rear panel.

It’s compact but extremely versatile, as the controls allow you to isolate and carve out a wide range of frequencies across the spectrum.

This makes the FeQ-50 one of the most formidable EQs in this format, whether used in home studios or pro recording environments.

Summit Audio FeQ-50

Summit Audio FeQ-50

Summit Audio FeQ-50

Summit Audio FeQ-50

Customer rating:
(4)

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Image Sources:
  • Klark Teknik EQP-KT: Klark Teknik
  • Golden Age Project EQ-81 MKIII: Golden Age Project
  • SSL 611 EQ: SSL
  • Rupert Neve Designs 551: Rupert Neve Designs
  • Summit Audio FeQ-50: Summit Audio
The best EQs under $1000

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