Killer Mastering EQs- The BUZZ REQ 2.2 MEA + GYRAF G14, A Stupid Comparison


For four years I was relying on the Gyraf G14 as my primary analog equalizer. It was my first real mastering purchase, and I fucking loved it. Its saturation circuit is really my favorite part. It has a very smooth variable harmonic level increase, but to my ear, never gets to the point of mush. Sure, sometimes its just way too much. But more often its just a different aesthetic- not necessarily unpleasant.

The filtering on the G14 is similar in motif. Its soft and pillowy, to use stupid language. To me it feels like soft edges and gentle slopes even with high Q settings. Its cuts are very transparent, but it also can sound overly round or bloated or something.. again sorry for the stupid language.
I mostly used it to cut low mids and occasionally boost the air bands in large bells. But as I added other vibey gear, I felt like a less colorful main EQ would be valuable. And not being very wealthy / about to have my first kid, the G14 had to go.

I found a great used deal on the newest edition (2017 black knob) of the Buzz Audio REQ 2.2 MEA. And I drove to meet Dan at Sun Room Mastering with all my savings in cash, and my apprehensive partner and newborn daughter.
Immediately after installing the Buzz (inserted after the Retro 2A3 / before the API 2500) I noticed how clear the filters were. There's no negative audible effect while either boosting or cutting, and surgery doesn't leave any unpleasantness. I already have a few favorite frequencies to boost (320hz + 16khz so far). And the lows and low mids can cut without softening transients- this was my biggest complaint with the G14. However to be honest, its not my first choice for low frequency work. Don't get me wrong- with the active low band it can absolutely get by. But for me low frequencies require a more fun and rich approach.

I do miss the G14 for its saturation and for its sandy / softly gritty high end, especially considering the saturation on the REQ2.2 is confusing and not nearly as musical. I wish I had space for both, but unfortunately I rarely master acoustic music and bedroom mixes way more often require scalpels.

And as a last note, the REQ is a god damn dream to work on ergonomically. All the knobs click confidently in place which honestly has an effect on my decision making. And if theres ever an issue, I only need to ship a filter card. 

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