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Passive equalizers have been around since the early 50s, The most famous of which, the Pultec EQP-1, was the first one that provided simultaneously passive filter circuits alongside high-quality line amplifiers. Although it was able to change virtually any sound, the downside of the EQP-1 was the lack of ability to carry out precision frequency isolation. Many modern equalizers are based on the original EQP-1 in both structure and functionality, and, as such, can be limiting in a modern music environment and production.

The goal of the Gainlab Audio Empress 2x3 Band Tube Equalizer was to improve the classic concept. First, the Empress adds an additional mid frequency filter between the low and high frequency filters in order to improve the versatility of the unit in the modern days music environment. Gainlab left the option of simultaneous cutting and boosting in the low and high band, so all those tricks can be done that a user normally would expect from an equalizer. Furthermore, the shift function can be used on these bands so that the mid frequency of the simultaneous cutting and boosting can be shifted relative to each other. After extensive test bench trials, using the equalizer in real life applications, the versatility of the unit was far beyond expectation. It proved to be suitable from recording to master coloring or can be used in any equalizer task. It is fair to say that it dominates the entire frequency range and most of the time it does sounds great in extreme conditions, hence the name: Empress.



  • 2×3 band setup
  • Applications: mixing, mastering, recording, sound design, and saturator
  • Stepped attenuator design
  • Tube based gain stage
  • Military grade vacuum tubes
  • Nanocrystaline alloy transformers

Gainlab Audio Empress 2x3 Band Tube Equalizer

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