There are two approaches to equalization: precise, tightly controlled "surgical" EQ that is used to correct problems and broad-stroke "shaping" EQ that is used to tune the overall frequency balance and tonality of a signal. The brand-new Dangerous Music BAX EQ falls squarely into the second camp. Inspired by the classic P.J. Baxandall shelving EQ curves popular in the 1960s and 1970s for shaping audio, the new BAX is a stereo unit that offers both lowpass and highpass filters as well as low- and high-shelving EQ bands. The controls are stepped for quick, exact repeatability and identical stereo operation. True hardware bypass is used for the filters and overall bypass, ensuring pristine audio when you aren't using the filters or EQ.
There are seven frequency selections available for the low filter (10, 20, 30, 41, 50, 62, and 71Hz plus bypass) and seven for the high filter (12, 14, 16, 17.5, 21, 26, and 35kHz plus bypass). Both filters use a 2-pole (12dB/octave) Butterworth design. The low and high shelves offer 5dB of cut or boost in 1/2dB steps, with eight frequency points (40, 60, 96, 140, 240, 480, 700, and 1,200Hz on the low EQ shelf, and 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 16, and 19kHz on the high EQ shelf). The two channels share high- and low-frequency settings for the shelves, but there are separate boost/cut controls for each channel. Hook up is simple, with XLR inputs and outputs for each channel. A lighted overall bypass switch rounds out the control complement.
In a word, the Dangerous BAX EQ sounds awesome. I used it on full mixes as well as for delicate solo classical guitar recordings. Even with no boost or cut, the BAX seems to bring a richness and a "reality" to the signal. I found myself running signals through it with no EQ, just to enjoy that flavor. But you'll definitely want to engage the controls and dial in some EQ. And when you do, everything just gets better and better. Both the low and high filters are smooth and unobtrusive - great for removing unwanted low- and/or high-frequency material, and for smoothing the high end before running a signal through a digital-to-analog converter.
The low- and high-shelving EQ bands are just perfect for shaping the sound of a track or a mix. This isn't a heavy-handed smash-it-to-fit EQ; it's a tasteful, subtle equalizer that imparts a great quality to the sound. On the low end, you can dial up thump or fullness, or pull back if things get boomy. On top, the high shelf is sweet and broad. Use it to open up the top end, to sweeten harmonics, and to tame harshness or microphone hype.
Not to rave, but the Dangerous BAX EQ is truly in a class by itself. If you've never worked with a great analog shaping EQ, do yourself a favor and check this one out!