Square State EQ test drive - under way! Post thoughts here!

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evilaudio
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Post by evilaudio » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:58 pm

OMG, I totally apologize for the cheapness in the shipping. USPS is so damn confusing and misleading... and that was "Priority"! I'm glad to hear it arrived safely. Have fun!!
Blah!

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evilaudio
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Post by evilaudio » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:31 pm

This makes me realize I need to stop procrastinating and get a review up....

Take this all with a grain of salt, for I have ZERO experience with "high-end" EQ's, mind you... only guitar EFX stuff, "budget" rack gear, built-in EQ's in mixing consoles, table-top cassette/digital multi-tracks, home and car stereos, plugins, etc... I'm very familiar with EQ and it's operation and function in audio engineering, however. Anyways, it's nice! Sounds real smooth. I noticed small but worthy improvements over my more "budget" EQ's (Ashly SC66A, Furman PQ6) that I'm used to working with, but those really are different animals, so it's not a fair comparison, but I will say it definitely kicks any plug in's ass (of similar "type") easily. I got to use it on a lot of stuff and what I was most impressed with was distorted electric guitar, cello/contra bass, snare drum, and vocals (particularly female vocals!!). It put this sweet midrange "something" in the electric guitars that my other EQ's just could not beat! It was crazy 'cuz I was not boosting or cutting the mids, but it still seemed to do something (nice) to them. Bypass was clean as a whistle. The build is really high quality. The knobs are like silk, and big, too! It's pretty fun to operate.

I can definitely see myself purchasing one or 2 of these in the near future. If I didn't already have 8 channels of pretty good EQ already, I'd totally buy 2 ASAP!

I am a fan of SSSS!
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By evilaudio at 2010-10-20
Blah!

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Post by drumsound » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:26 am

evilaudio wrote:OMG, I totally apologize for the cheapness in the shipping. USPS is so damn confusing and misleading... and that was "Priority"! I'm glad to hear it arrived safely. Have fun!!
No worries man.

I started a mix, and before i got really into it, I tried the EQ on BD, a couple different sounding electric guitars and miced bass (using distortion on some parts). It soulded reall cool on all the sources, but the 1.5 and 3K settings on the mids KILLED on the bass to the point of deciding for this tune that it was staying there. I dig the box and can see where it could be a great piece to have a couple of in the rack.

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Post by drumsound » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:13 am

The SSST worked really great for Hammond/Leslie on the track I mixed yesterday. There was a pretty basic thick guitar and bit more odd, pointy guitar. There was a bit of a honk in the Hammond/Leslie track (M3/145) that is somewhat common in my set-up. I ended up dipping at 220 on the mids, and boosting the low shelf to make the track work with the pointy guitar. After a few passes I also took some High shell off to let the thin character of the guitar be more obvious. The low mids in the thicker guitar were fine to make the chordal instrument blend sound full, but distinct. Together the trio or instruments makes a great bed for the track.

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Post by drumsound » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:26 pm

I tried the EQ on a few things and it always sounded good. It's a really simple, great sounding unit. The last thing I used it on was snare drum and I was quite impressed with the presence it added.

I reluctantly sent it off to Subatomic Pieces today.

Didn't it look good in my rack?
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Post by chris harris » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:30 am

Got it today! I'll be back in the studio on Monday, and for two days I'll see how this thing behaves with radical applications!!! Can't wait!!

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Post by drumsound » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:25 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:Got it today! I'll be back in the studio on Monday, and for two days I'll see how this thing behaves with radical applications!!! Can't wait!!
I'm glad it made it there. Have fun!

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Post by chris harris » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:44 pm

I did a little experimenting with this thing yesterday. I tested it with some pretty extreme boosting of all three bands, separately and at the same time! I had it across an insert, post compression on some eerie, tremolo vocals. I also used it for adding some serious balls to an otherwise pretty wimpy sounding kick sounds from some 80s Korg drum machine.

I'll be finishing up with it on Thursday and sending it on it's way on Friday. I'll have some more detailed thoughts after Thursday. But, I really do like it quite a bit so far!

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Post by rhythm ranch » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:33 am

The unit has arrived and will be put through its paces this weekend. Report to follow. :^:

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Post by trodden » Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:10 pm

trodden wrote:Great reports on this!

Has anyone who has had a test drive able to compare it to black lions AM/CHAN1 EQ which is similiar in style (inductor eq) and price per channel, the BLA eq being a two channel model.

The only eq i have besides in the computer are the soundtrac's eq in my board, which I love.
anyone anyone?

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Post by The Scum » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:28 pm

Trodden,

If you want to get in on the tour, you'll notice we only booked 9 out of 10 slots, and it's present last stop is northern California. If you're interested, follow the instructions I posted at the start of this thread.

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Post by chris harris » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:06 am

Alright... Sorry I'm just now finding time to organize my thoughts and write about this.

First things first, this is a KILLER EQ! Build quality is fantastic! Sound quality is great, too!

I'll freely admit that I have no interest in popping open the chassis and peeking inside the gear that I use. I do appreciate extensive feature sets, and I put very precise, very technical gear to use frequently on mastering projects. But, for tracking and mixing, I honestly prefer gear with few options and controls that are very responsive when you start moving or engaging them. I also need the results to be "musical". As I said, there is a time and place for surgical gear. But, when I patch in a piece of gear like the Square State Solid State EQ, I want to have some fun!

It was immediately apparent that the SSSSEQ is much more sensitive than the EQ built into my TAC Matchless console. When I turned the hefty, substantial gain knobs of the SSSSEQ, the response brought an instant smile to my face. So many console EQs feel like you have to turn the knob forever before you hear any difference. Not this guy. I was pumped to finally have my hands on an EQ that really gets in there and works for me.

I use a lot of plug-in EQs. I do also love my console EQs. But, I use them mainly as a basic shaping tool. I could see the SSSSEQ being useful for this task. But, with the high and low shelves available, and the instant mojo I felt like the EQ delivered, I'm much more likely to use it for extreme settings. In a mix, I found the SSSSEQ to be a more fun, more musical replacement for tracks that I'd usually use a UAD Pultec plug in on. I love the Pultec because you can crank on the High and Low end without it ever crapping out and sounding wrong. The SSSSEQ seems to have the same magic character. I did some abusive low shelf boosting on a kick drum sound from some 80s Korg drum machine. I was able to add a ridiculous amount of 75Hz without it ever really sounding "bad".... I did similarly extreme high shelf boosts on some drum room tracks. It actually brought out some of the sound of the room that I didn't even know the microphone captured! Bonus!

I also did some extreme midrange boosting on a tremolo vocal track that was already kind of overdriven. I was able to give it a bite that made the tremolo character really sit right in a dense mix.

The build is awesome. The frequency points are totally thoughtful and useful. The bell or shelf situation on the high and low bands is perfect for me. I won't even try to spill a bunch of adjectives that I'd have trouble explaining to describe the sound. I'll just say, that in my opinion, the sound is fantastic. It just worked in the context of whatever I threw at it.

This piece of gear is musical. And, it's fun to use. Those are my two most important priorities when testing new gear. I'll definitely add a couple of channels of this EQ next year, when the budget allows. It's a ridiculously great deal for what you get!!

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Post by drumsound » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:19 pm

Well said, Subatomic!

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Post by chris harris » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:04 pm

Yeah, my only complaint is the "bypass" switch. I feel like it would make more sense if it were labeled "In" or if the switch were wired in reverse. As it stands now, engaging the "bypass" button actually takes it out of bypass.

Other than that, I loved the thing!

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Post by trodden » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:19 pm

The Scum wrote:Trodden,

If you want to get in on the tour, you'll notice we only booked 9 out of 10 slots, and it's present last stop is northern California. If you're interested, follow the instructions I posted at the start of this thread.
The Scum,

I do not own the black lion EQ , therefore not able to compare the two pieces that my previous post was suggesting. . Thanks for the heads up on the instructions.

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