Source Audio makes powerful, excellent sounding, and in some ways over the top (in a good way) gear. In this post I'm going to muse about the EQ2, perhaps as an exercise in "thinking out loud" to talk myself out of buying it.
I own the C4 synth pedal and it is a fantastic and versatile pedal. The synth is full-featured and fast-tracking. It also can be used as: an env filter, distortion, chorus, and more to it's uses. I've also used the Android, iOS and Mac OS editors, so I'm familiar with Source Audio's approach to their gear.
The EQ2 was released recently, and it ticked MOST of the boxes of what I had been wanting in an EQ device. This "(p)review" is based on demos and the manual, but not on direct experience.
10 fully sweepable bands with Q (full range 20-20K in fine steps)
Bands 1 & 10 optional shelf
+/- 18 dB per band!
also up to 12 dB clean boost
realtime control via expression pedal in, and/or MIDI (4 matrix slots)
control/edit via USB MIDI and app
Excellent sound quality (24 bit AD/DA, 56 bit internal processing resolution!)
True stereo mode, dual mono, mono-->stereo, stereo-->mono, and A/B switching!
Built-in tuner, noise-gate and limiter
4 presets on pedal (many more with edit app)
Fairly frequent updates
compact form factor, simple controls
simple, readable display
Pricey, $270 USD, so in that boutique price range
On-pedal GUI/control is clunky/crude/limited
Preset switching on unit requires scrolling/stopping through 4 values
Desktop edit software is clunky/crude
Updates are mostly bug fixes, not new features
My experience with the C4 tells me that the EQ2 is probably well worth the price in terms of features, sound and usability on gigs. That it can be used as two EQ's (even on different paths of the pedal board), as well as a gate, limiter, and tuner means that it saves some room on there). I think a person could reasonably use it as a catch all cab modeler (pickup enhancer) in terms of just getting a very specific tonal imprint of some other gear.
On one hand, Source Audio can be commended on how they took a graphic EQ display with basically 8 x 11 pixels, and managed to squeeze other functions out of it.
As a visual reference for the graphic EQ it is fine. It shows fixed bands permanently printed along the bottom row. However, this unit is a 2 x 10 band parametric EQ, so it can fully go well beyond the limits of what the display can reflect. All 10 bands are fully sweepable from 20-20,000 (with external editor).
When the display is used to show text, it is limited to 3 characters at a time. Most things need to scroll left & right to show even abbreviations. Frequency selections/resolution are very limited because only 2-3 digits show on the screen. Full resolution is only available when editing via external device (iOS or Android, Mac or Windows). However, they do make accessing the unit via external device pretty easy.
Because the display shows a fixed graphic EQ, it may not accurately reflect the curve (as bands can overlap and even cross). It would have been better for them to have chosen a different type of display. I suppose there are some advantages to their approach.
Effect noobs don't know what a desert it as been for EQ. This one provides unprecedented tone shaping versatility, sound quality, and realtime control in a compact package. In use, there are some little hurdles to jump through.
July 07, 2020 |
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