The Pultec MEQ-5 is the companion to the biggest celebrity of the EQ world, the EQP-1A. Employing the same principle of passive design, the MEQ-5 offers the ‘magic dust’ equalisation synonymous with Pultec devices with focus of the midrange.

The Pultec name is synonymous with prestige in the field of audio processing. Known primarily for the principal product of the company, the EQP-1A, Pultec equalisers are amongst the most celebrated and sought after in the world and the MEQ-5, first appearing in the early 60s, is no exception to this. Where the EQP-1A takes care of the top and bottom ends of the spectral field, the MEQ-5 works in the midrange and has earned a similarly glowing reputation for the effect it has on material passed through it.

As a passive EQ design, the MEQ-5 is largely characterised by the way it handles large EQ moves. Passive EQ by its nature has a sense of transparency about it and extreme gain can be applied without ‘killing’ a sound by taking away its natural character and becoming overbearing. In the midrange, this is particularly useful, as the MEQ-5 allows typically sensitive frequencies to be pushed hard without becoming harsh and intrusive. It is configured with three overlapping bands – a boost-only lower and upper mid band as well as a cut-only band that spans across the full midrange. Its fixed frequency points are set with approaching the ‘power region’ of a source in mind. Indeed, in a broad array of instruments and voices, much of the crucial energy lies around the centre frequencies plotted out on the MEQ-5, making it an excellent tool for getting things just right, without needing to pay much mind to how far it can be pushed. Aside from the forgiving nature of the EQ manipulation itself, the MEQ-5, like the EQP-1A, has an inherent colour as a result of its tube amplification, lending the harmonic warmth of valves before any equalisation is even applied.

In 2011, Pultec started offering once again a reissue of the MEQ-5, amongst with other units, following over a decade of meticulous collaboration with the original designers. These modern units are not enhanced to leverage any modern technology, instead being faithful recreations equal to the original design.

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