Sound Bites: EQ or not EQ?

EQ OR NOT EQ… ZAT IZ ZE QUESTION

Here’s something you don’t see every day (which is why it’s in my personal collection).

 

Albiswerk 502/72 EQ

Despite what you might think, this stunning 1950s equaliser is a single mono device (and it weighs about 30 kg in total!).Albiswerk 502/72 EQs

The large unit underneath provides high and low cut and boost and the smaller unit above is midrange. Overall, this is a clinical equaliser, offering full bodied control over the entire frequency spectrum. Inside, it’s bristling with meaty inductors and transformers, as can be seen in the photos here.

Before I took the plunge and dug deep to acquire this mass of heavy metal, I had never encountered one before, and I guess that’s what excites me – the rare, the ridiculous and the sonically supreme. However, a little research revealed that the Albis 502/72 Zusatzfilter was an integral part of composer KarlHeinz Stockhausen’s writing and recording rig.

Stockhausen
For those who are unfamiliar with Stockhausen’s work, he was one of the earliest exponents of electronic music, dabbling in sound manipulation, tape loops and early analogue ‘sampling’ techniques years before the likes of Kraftwerk came upon the scene. I assume he was also a closet weight lifter judging by the sheer mass of the loppy-loo Albiswerk eq.

How does it sound? I haven’t yet had time to use it in anger, but my initial reaction is that it’s extraordinary – worth its weight in audio gold. Eccentric. 04.05.16

 


 

 


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