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Neumann PEV – the cream of the passive EQs
Saturday, 18 June 2011 06:39

Neumann PevWe’ve been on the lookout for a set of Neumann PEV EQ’s for a few years now. Why? Because they sound unique and impart a 60’s passive vintage flavour which we knew would compliment our existing more ‘modern’ analog mastering EQ’s.

We finally came across a set in the USA which were in excellent condition and snapped them up – we weren’t going to let them get away!

Originally only found in the early 60’s Neumann vinyl cutting lathes/transfer consoles these rare passive EQ cartridges consist of a 60Hz low shelf, a midrange with seven frequency choices, and a 10kHz high shelf. Effectively they are like an expensive tone control for your audio and can quickly & broadly re-shape the tone of your mix in a very musical manner.

The sound of these EQ’s can be described as ‘smooth’ & ‘broad’. The low end is large and creamy, the mids smooth & buttery, the highs smooth & silky. While not suitable for all styles, we’ve found nothing else that comes close to the tone of these remarkable EQ’s for acoustic, RnB, hip-hop and some rock tracks.

We had the PEV modules carefully restored & set up for mastering in a custom rack by Rob Squire of Pro Harmonics.

We’ve also added a set of ‘active’ Neumann PEV-C modules which were one of the first Neumann designs to utilise the OA10 discrete op amp, and are equally as rare to source. The PEV-C’s sound completely different to the PEV’s which were passive inductor based with transistor (silicon) op amps. They have the same frequency choices & the same basic design but sonically they’re worlds apart – the PEV-C sounds faster, snappier and punchier and suit more electronic or percussive styles of music where the EQ needs to be more up front and aggressive in nature.