Never tried hardware version, but tried a lot of Eqs and tube Eqs as plugins, for the money this does exactly as its description implies and does it extremely well. The added harmonics from each version are definitely its best selling quality. I was stunned after running a drum loop through at its richness and warmth in depth, especially in the low end, this is not your average go to EQ, neither is it one you will constantly use, but, and this is a a big but, this is one serious characterful EQ and if you are after sheer deep lo end and warmth, even better in Mid/side mode, then it is a must have. The two modes each offer various tonal artefacts and for me it is sheer brilliance for taking a poor sample such as a kick drum and or drum loops and running them through as though it were some expensive outboard, the results then speak for themselves. To date I think this is SKnote's best plugin yet, and it beats some of my far more expensive ones too, recommended.