Recording - February 2018 - 38

Maselec MEA-2 Mastering EQ
might sometimes be best served by
another EQ.
That said, I think the real strength of
this EQ is for cleaning up lows and lowmid frequencies. The excellent frequency
choices combined with the clean and
transparent cutting ability are something I
have yet to hear done better by any piece
of hardware or plug-in at any price. The
MEA-2 can add missing lows or low mids
in a natural and musical way without
making things muddy.
With less than 0.0006% total harmonic distortion with all bands engaged,
I think this EQ sets the standard for what a
clean analog EQ can be. The MEA-2 uses
transformerless, electronically balanced
inputs and outputs, which is another
factor in its neutral sound.

In use

The main power switch is located on
the rear of the unit, but there is also a
power switch on the front for easy access;
it operates a relay within the unit. The
MEA-2 offers full bypass when the power
is turned off, which can be handy in
some situations. When the unit is on,
a soothing blue light for each channel
indicates whether it is enabled or bypassed. Heat isn't an issue; while I left
some airflow space above and below
the MEA-2 in my rack, it runs fairly cool
for an analog unit and would probably
be fine sandwiched between two other
pieces of (non-tube) gear.
Before I print any masters through
my analog chain, I always use a test

tone to double-check the left/right balance; even when tested with my most
precise measuring tools, the MEA-2 is
always perfectly balanced between the
left and right channels. Other manufacturers should take note of how to do
this, because in the delicate world
of mastering audio, this is crucially important. The MEA-2 doesn't even need
a gain control for each channel-they
are that perfectly matched.

Final thoughts

If you're looking for an analog EQ
that's intended to add color and character, this is probably not the best one to
start with. However, if you're looking
to add an extremely clean yet musical
EQ as the centerpiece of your analog
chain, I think the MEA-2 is perfect.
The craftsmanship ensures this unit
will be there for you day in and day
out with minimal maintenance (if any)
as the years go by, and the sound is
impeccable all around.
Justin Perkins (perkins@recordingmag.
com) is a mastering and mix engineer
who owns and operates Mystery Room
Mastering in Milwaukee. Learn more at
mysteryroommastering.com.

PRICE: $6915
MORE FROM: Prism Sound,
www.prismsound.com;
Maselec, www.maselec.com

The Maselec MEA-2 On The Mix Bus

I realize that most people will not spend this kind of money on an EQ for the
humble mix bus, but since the MEA-2 was based on a Maselec equalizer retrofit
for the SSL 4000 mixing desk, you could say the MEA-2 was made for mixing.
Given that history, I spent some time with the MEA-2 on my mix bus, placing it
just before my A-Designs Nail compressor as the final audio chain when mixing a
9-song album for the indie-rock-jazz group Early Face.
During the mixdown, I really appreciated the precise subtlety found in this
beast. The micro-stepped switches are hands down the best EQ controls I have
ever used. The EQ is ultra-clean and adds or cuts just the right tones at the right
widths to really help bring a final breadth and polish to a mix without overdoing
it. This box is simply stunning and hi-fi, ultra detailed and yet quite powerful... a
simply magnificent EQ on the mix bus.-Paul Vnuk Jr.

38

RECORDING February 2018


http://www.mysteryroommastering.com http://www.prismsound.com http://www.maselec.com http://mojaveaudio.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - February 2018

Contents
Recording - February 2018 - Intro
Recording - February 2018 - Cover1
Recording - February 2018 - Cover2
Recording - February 2018 - 1
Recording - February 2018 - 2
Recording - February 2018 - 3
Recording - February 2018 - 4
Recording - February 2018 - 5
Recording - February 2018 - 6
Recording - February 2018 - 7
Recording - February 2018 - Contents
Recording - February 2018 - 9
Recording - February 2018 - 10
Recording - February 2018 - 11
Recording - February 2018 - 12
Recording - February 2018 - 13
Recording - February 2018 - 14
Recording - February 2018 - 15
Recording - February 2018 - 16
Recording - February 2018 - 17
Recording - February 2018 - 18
Recording - February 2018 - 19
Recording - February 2018 - 20
Recording - February 2018 - 21
Recording - February 2018 - 22
Recording - February 2018 - 23
Recording - February 2018 - 24
Recording - February 2018 - 25
Recording - February 2018 - 26
Recording - February 2018 - 27
Recording - February 2018 - 28
Recording - February 2018 - 29
Recording - February 2018 - 30
Recording - February 2018 - 31
Recording - February 2018 - 32
Recording - February 2018 - 33
Recording - February 2018 - 34
Recording - February 2018 - 35
Recording - February 2018 - 36
Recording - February 2018 - 37
Recording - February 2018 - 38
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Recording - February 2018 - 40
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Recording - February 2018 - 80
Recording - February 2018 - Cover3
Recording - February 2018 - Cover4
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