EQP-1A emulation advice/Tube-Tech opinions

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
User avatar
KVRian
716 posts since 22 Feb, 2014

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:36 am

Here's a Pultec EQ Shootout with Sound Samples. Both hardware and software are measured/recorded. FYI, they don't declare a winner or make recommendations.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/pulte ... d-samples/

User avatar
KVRAF
5307 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:09 am

Black Rooster seems to have the best ratio of stability, good sound, efficient programming and good price.
NoiseAsh is quite buggy, I had a lot of crashes and was in contact with the support which is aware of the problem. Therefore no recommendation even if the plugin sounds good.
Softube is also great, a bit more transparent, a bit more expensive but a very good package (but not a Pultec, but a Tube-Tech). Acustica is known to be a CPU hog, they sound good but are often unusable.

User avatar
KVRer

Topic Starter

18 posts since 18 Nov, 2020

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 8:24 am

Didn't know this, thank you! I'll try it out.

KVRist
254 posts since 7 Sep, 2012

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:20 am

Rockatansky wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:03 pm
Anyone care to do the test if the filters are indeed parallel like in the original Pultec, which enabled the 'Pultec trick' in the first place? Or can we just let this unicorn be a horse with a flashy face and move on...
Workhorse, like all of them? I would agree with that and have never implied it would be anything else. I don't think it sounds quite like real Pultec does anyway, but that's just conjecture on my part, I have never had a real Pultec. For me it has too thick in your face sound, which I can see luring people to favor it. Then again, if one is not after the truest possible emulation, especially when many don't know what it would be and wouldn't even care if they did, what does it matter? I know, marketing talk is an issue.

Analog switch raising the noise floor and bumping the 60 Hz area? Well, not the only one with similar thing, is that what "analog" is though? Cascading even or odd order harmonics? Compare the FFT graphs of common emus and both can be seen used. Would be fun to see the output of a real Pultec too. Maybe even fed with actual music input and see how much nice even and odd order harmonics matter when IMD has its say. :D

I still think Apogees EQP-1A is the real emu, even if for nothing else than being the officially endorsed one...and managing to sound very nice. And I still only have PTEq-X.

User avatar
KVRist
397 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:00 am

subterfuge wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 5:08 pm
Maybe you want to discuss the merits of "obsessing" with Ploki who raised the issue, not me?
You're absolutely correct, I inserted the wrong quote. I should've actually quoted VariKusBrainZ, since they were the one to bring it up. My apologies!
Confucamus.

User avatar
KVRist
397 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:25 am

subterfuge wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:20 am
what does it matter? I know, marketing talk is an issue.
This is what matters. The website claims bold things, users on Gearslutz complete a blindtest in its favour, and suddenly all facts are irrelevant, and people claim 'this is the real deal'. It's not. It's a piece of garbage as far as Pultec emulations are concerned. It's the most basic soft clipper with noise and a sine wave. That's it. Its filters are most likely (couldn't be arsed to investigate after it failed so hard already) standard RBJ filters that came with the Gorilla framework they were made in. Totally possible that someone put in the time to make the (suspected) RBJ biquad filter curves morph and behave similarly to the curves in the Apogee EQP-1A plugin, which they kinda do, but that's it.
subterfuge wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:20 am
Analog switch raising the noise floor and bumping the 60 Hz area? Well, not the only one with similar thing, is that what "analog" is though? Cascading even or odd order harmonics? Compare the FFT graphs of common emus and both can be seen used.
The fact of the matter is: in a Pultec, the amplifier sits behind everything else. If noise goes into the device, or is created by the device, the amplifier makes it louder. If a 50/60 Hz spike is created by the device, the amplifier makes it louder. If the filters work, they make everything quieter, so if volume is compensated post-filter, then the signal and circuit noise are also increased, in addition to what the amplifier does. The Ruletec does none of that. Absolutely nothing. Fact, not opinion. And if this allegedly super-accurate model doesn't even get these simple basics right, just how good can the rest of it be?
subterfuge wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:20 am
Would be fun to see the output of a real Pultec too. Maybe even fed with actual music input and see how much nice even and odd order harmonics matter when IMD has its say. :D
Inter-modulation distortion is a completely different can of worms, you're absolutely right about that. But if a simple sine wave and analyzer already show that what goes on in this plugin is so ridiculously wrong, how much would you trust it to be (or, haha, become) accurate when working with actual program material instead?
subterfuge wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:20 am
Workhorse, like all of them?
Here's the thing - there's absolutely nothing wrong with liking or using the Ruletec. If one finds the sound or the behaviour or the UI or anything else about it pleasing and worthwhile, then there is nothing wrong with that. It is, after all, an equalizer that filters, and it does impart (if enabled) noise and a 50 Hz spike as 'character' that some may feel like they need in their projects. As a generic tool in the toolbox, it doesn't matter how accurate this plugin is.

But it is not in any way the best Pultec emulation there is, not even by a long stretch, because it doesn't behave like a Pultec. It behaves like a very naively coded plugin. If a naively coded plugin does the trick, then it is the right tool for the job. If an accurate Pultec emulation is wanted, then this plugin is far away from it. And that is what p*sses me off so much about it. That people will fight so fiercely over their eagerness to drink the Kool-Aid, and for a chance lap up everything a website claims, without even a hint of a smidgeon of an interest in critical and analytical thinking anywhere to be found. And then they go and spread their unfounded nonsense based on what others claim or because someone on a website liked sample A better than sample B, dishing out the Kool-Aid to others.
Confucamus.

User avatar
KVRist
231 posts since 2 Sep, 2012

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:32 am

I’m not fond of the Ignite Amps version myself for some reason, I prefer Softube or IKM, mainly use the Softube one as it has the mid eq with it and can be used in Console 1. I did an experiment and used only the Softube Tube-Tech eq for a full mix (reggae) and was happy with the result. I don’t have any other Pultec style plugins so those are the only ones I can comment on.

User avatar
KVRAF
9433 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Post Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:49 am

Amazon: why not use an alternative

User avatar
KVRAF
5307 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:20 pm

How does the Lindell PEX 500 compare to some of the newer Pultec emulations like the Pultecs by Blackrooster?

KVRAF
3730 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:54 pm

Which emulations are truly "passive" in nature (cut only / "pre-amp" to boost signal) and is there a way to test for it?

I have wondered why no one has implemented it in a digital EQ (pro-Q / Crave etc)... where for example you boost a shelf at 10k but actually it just reduces everything below 10k and boosts the signal back. I guess it's easy enough to do manually - but having a dedicated mode for it would be nice.

They could market is as a "Mastering EQ" since it follows the "cut, never boost" philosophy many Mastering Engineers swear by.

Did I just give iZotope the idea for their next Ozone module? :P

Tell me this has already been done.

KVRist
343 posts since 3 Oct, 2018 from Spain

Post Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:53 pm

4damind wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:20 pm
How does the Lindell PEX 500 compare to some of the newer Pultec emulations like the Pultecs by Blackrooster?
I found the Lindell PEX to have a more transparent box tone than the BR Pultec. The bass became very boomy fastly. I liked a lot the mid side options and the boost at 16kHz. The BR has a very pleasing warm box tone, you can cranck everything and still will sound natural, like well melt with the original sound. The bass attenuation is great to un-muddy things. Maybe too much coloured for mix buss, but great for example in vocals. You can do a demo of the BR pultec. On the other hand, I didn't like the NoiseAsh pultec, it had something in the highs strange to me, although it seems that a lot of people like it. All of this in my opinion, I have only listened the original hadware isolated in You tube demos. This one is great (starts at at 2:26):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldp3cwS4ljc

KVRian
881 posts since 8 Mar, 2009

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:21 am

MogwaiBoy wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:54 pm
Which emulations are truly "passive" in nature (cut only / "pre-amp" to boost signal) and is there a way to test for it?

I have wondered why no one has implemented it in a digital EQ (pro-Q / Crave etc)... where for example you boost a shelf at 10k but actually it just reduces everything below 10k and boosts the signal back. I guess it's easy enough to do manually - but having a dedicated mode for it would be nice.

They could market is as a "Mastering EQ" since it follows the "cut, never boost" philosophy many Mastering Engineers swear by.

Did I just give iZotope the idea for their next Ozone module? :P

Tell me this has already been done.
Because in a digital enviroment with IIR filters they are one and the same. The only thing with the Pultec is the "magic"the inductors add and how the push-pull amplifier stage at the end of the signal path boost the rest of the sound to be in line with the EQ adjustments you just made, but because you don't need a non-linear line amp or whatever to amplify the signal with DSP i imagine that is why it has never been implemented. Lots of desk EQ's have per band non-linearties and i know for a fact some outboard EQs i have used work that way too, but even some EQ plugins that model those units do not model this behaviour. The nonlinearity in plugins is pretty often just a boring transfer curve at the beginning and end of the signal path with some meagre frequency sensitivity. I don't know if UAD did it this way but it tends to sound most like the Pultecs i have heard and the clones i've had but ultimately didn't keep.

Most of the plugins i have tried just seem to be mimicking the band interactions and sticking a waveshaper at the end of the path. That includes the BRA and Analog Obsession offerings too regardless of what claims are being made about circuit modelling. SPICE just seems to me like a computationally expensive and round about way to get more accurate coefficients for the EQ bands and at least have a more accurate mathematical approximation of the curve of the non-linearity from what i can tell, as none of em really have any of the perceived time domain behaviour of the devices they claim to model. Slight tangential thought, but has some relevance to the topic i guess :scared:

If i was in the market for a Pultec i would just get the Klark Teknik aka Behringer offering and swap out the cheap tubes. It's going to be far more rewarding in terms of sound anyways than any plugin and it costs about as much as a top tier Pultec EQ model. Why waste money on a digital approximation when you can get an analog one :party:
I

User avatar
KVRAF
5307 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:33 am

fcamp wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 10:53 pm
4damind wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:20 pm
How does the Lindell PEX 500 compare to some of the newer Pultec emulations like the Pultecs by Blackrooster?
I found the Lindell PEX to have a more transparent box tone than the BR Pultec. The bass became very boomy fastly. I liked a lot the mid side options and the boost at 16kHz. The BR has a very pleasing warm box tone, you can cranck everything and still will sound natural, like well melt with the original sound. The bass attenuation is great to un-muddy things. Maybe too much coloured for mix buss, but great for example in vocals. You can do a demo of the BR pultec. On the other hand, I didn't like the NoiseAsh pultec, it had something in the highs strange to me, although it seems that a lot of people like it. All of this in my opinion, I have only listened the original hadware isolated in You tube demos. This one is great (starts at at 2:26):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldp3cwS4ljc
Interesting!
NoiseAsh is too buggy for me, the demo crashed so often that I am a bit skeptical about the quality of the programming. Especially since some users said the emulation was wrong and had nothing to do with a Pultec, others think it is the best emulation.

I own the Blackrooster (both) but I did not know that Lindex Pex 500 is also a Pultec emulation.

KVRist
343 posts since 3 Oct, 2018 from Spain

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 12:56 am

Well, it is based on a pultec, but no tubes:
https://www.lindellaudio.se/pex-500.php

User avatar
KVRAF
5307 posts since 17 Aug, 2004 from Berlin, Germany

Post Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:30 am

Ok, then "inspired by Pultec" is the better description.
Probably the PEX then brings to the current emulations like from Blackrooster nothing new that you absolutely need. On Plugin Alliance it is almost given away ($29) :hihi:

Return to “Effects”