Golden Age EQ-81 MKII Equalizer
The Golden Age EQ-81 MKII Equalizer is 4-band equalizer that is based on the EQ section in the classical 1081.
The class-AB equalizer circuit used in the Golden Age EQ-81 MKII Equalizer is similar to the EQ section in the classic 1081 module, without the high and low pass filters. The sound character is warm, punchy, sweet and musical. These classic characteristics have been heard on countless recordings through the years and it is a versatile sound that works very well on most sound sources and in most genres. The essence of this sound is now available at a surprisingly low cost, making it available to nearly everyone.
The Golden Age EQ-81 MKII Equalizer has stepped frequency controls that offers a wide selection of frequencies from 33 Hz to 15 kHz. The BASS and TREBLE frequency bands are switchable between shelving and bell and the MID frequency bands is of the bell type with a switchable Hi Q setting. The control range is +/- 18dB. All four bands can be set in an off mode.
The Golden Age EQ-81 MKII Equalizer can be used either as a standalone EQ or connected to the insert jack of one of the Golden Age Project preamps. Combining one of our PRE-73 preamp´s and an EQ-81 MKII and using a UNITE rack kit to mount them together, one will get a 19-inch 1081-style unit at a low cost and with a great sound!
Golden Age EQ-81 MKII Equalizer Features
- Vintage Style electronics. No integrated circuits in the signal path when the Insert connector is used
- 4-band with inductor based mid frequency bands
- Stepped frequency selection
- A wide selection of frequencies from 33 Hz to 15 kHz
- Control range up to +/- 18 dB
- Each band has an off mode
- Tantalum capacitors in the EQ signal path
- Can be used together with one of our preamp´s with an insert jack or as a standalone unit
- TRS jack for the INSERT mode in- and output connection, the nominal working level is around -18 dBu
- IC-based in- and output stage for the LINE IN mode with balanced TRS and XLR connectors
- Selectable ground lift jumper
- External power supply to avoid interaction with the audio circuits
- Great sound that suits most sound sources and genres
- A solid build quality that will last many years of normal use
1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews
I purchased 2 of the equalizers for use on my recording stereo mix bus. The EQ sections on Neve 1081's are known for performing very well for that purpose. This Golden Age EQ-81 is reportedly a copy of that design.
The first thing I noticed on these units is that several gain pots didn't line up with the screen printing on the front of the unit. That made it impossible to visually stereo match settings.
After connecting the units for testing, I discovered a
a 60hz hum (possibly the result of the power supply provided). When I moved it closer to the unit, it increased significantly. The high frequency band also exhibited quite a bit of hiss, but that can be considered normal when boosting on many equalizers. As a test to make sure the noise wasn't my cables or other anomalies, I hooked up an older ART graphic equalizer. It exhibited zero 60hz hum and much less noise under the exact same conditions.
Before returning the units I contacted Golden Age Project to see if they could help (their owner Bo Medin personally manages the Facebook page). He saw my messages, but did not reply. You cannot contact Golden Age via their website. They defer all United States customer service to RAD Distribution, who replied to my email inquiry with: "what type of cable are you using for the hook up? thanks" There was no follow up after my detailed reply after that. That sort of customer service is simply unacceptable in any industry these days, let alone the "boutique" audio business.
Golden Age Project=cheap Chinese manufacturing masquerading as clones of legendary gear. I recommend that anyone avoid their products: it's not worth the trouble.