As a professional audio engineer who has worked with countless hardware EQs, I have to say that the Undertone Audio UTEQ500 really stands out from the crowd. This 500-series module promises to deliver the sound and flexibility of a UTA console EQ in the popular compact format and I think it more than lives up to that promise. With three “Super Parametric” bands that can replicate any other hardware EQ, it offers a wide range of tonal options for both recording and mixing.
In this review, I will go over the features of the UTEQ500, discussing its pros and cons, and ultimately why I think this EQ module is worth the investment.
1. Three Super Parametric Bands: The UTEQ500 is loaded with three bands that offer a high degree of flexibility and control. Each band is equipped with a pair of dual-concentric pots and a three-way toggle switch for boost, cut, and notch options.
2. Extreme Cuts and Phase Adjustment Mode: The notch setting can be used for extreme cuts or can be combined with a gain value of 10 to engage the “Phase Adjustment” mode. This unique feature allows you to blend a filtered reverse polarity signal with the original signal, offering a wide range of tonal options.
3. Wide Frequency Range: The high-frequency band spans from 1.4-22 kHz and the low-frequency band spans from 20-340 Hz. The mid band can be switched between 90 Hz-1.4 kHz (Low) and 390 Hz-6 kHz (Hi) ranges.
4. 10dB of Gain/Attenuation: Each band offers up to 10dB of gain or attenuation, depending on the mode selected.
5. Continuously Variable Q and Filter Shapes: Each band has a Q control range of 0.3-10 and can be continuously blended between peak and shelf filter shapes.
6. Input Pad and Bypass: Two toggle switches provide a -10dB input pad to increase the unit’s headroom and a bypass function.
7. Pricing: The UTEQ500 is available for $1195.
– Super parametric bands with wide frequency ranges offer excellent control and precision when shaping sound. The ability to replicate the curve of any other hardware EQ is a huge plus.
– The unique Phase Adjustment mode can introduce some interesting tonal options and effects.
– The -10dB input pad is a useful feature to handle hotter signals and increase headroom.
– A solid build quality and sleek design make the UTEQ500 a great addition to any 500-series rack.
– The price point of $1195 may be a bit high for some home studio owners or engineers on a budget. However, given the quality of the sound and the unique features, I believe it’s worth the investment.
– The layout of the toggle switches and dual-concentric pots may take some getting used to for users unfamiliar with Undertone Audio’s design aesthetic. However, once accustomed to the layout, it becomes intuitive and easy to use.
The Undertone Audio UTEQ500 is a powerful and versatile EQ in a compact 500-series format, offering a wide range of tonal options and control. With its unique Phase Adjustment mode and ability to replicate any other hardware EQ, it sets itself apart from the competition. Although the price may be a bit high for some, considering the quality of the sound and the features it offers, I believe it’s a worthwhile investment for any serious engineer or producer. Whether it’s adding warmth, removing harsh frequencies, or sculpting the perfect tone, the UTEQ500 can handle it all with ease.