Heritage Audio has announced the Motorcity Equalizer, claiming to be the world’s first reproduction of the Holy Grail of classic EQs derived from Motown units owned by eight-time Grammy Award-winning producer and mix engineer Michael Brauer. The unit’s design is down to Motown Chief Technical Engineer Mike McLean, and based on the EQ designed for the film industry and manufactured by Cinema Engineering, Langevin and Altec.

Motorcity EQualizer’s 10-gauge aluminium panel features custom Bakelite knobs as part of its historically-accurate control layout. Inside, a passive equalisation circuit is faithful to the original and further reflects the Heritage’s mission ot offer the only EQ that can rival or better the popular Pultec EQ.

Heritage Audio Motorcity EqualizerThe project received support from Chicago-based boutique audio company Black Lion Audio – Heritage Audio CEO Peter Rodriguez and his European team spent weeks working with Seth Berman from Black Lion Audio’s New York facility, who took the lead in sourcing the in-depth information needed. Made more difficult by the global pandemic lockdowns in Europe and the US, the team overcame many hurdles to realise the Motorcity EQualizer dream – not least that the exceptionally-tight mil-spec Sixties-vintage capacitors and inductors that are no longer available. Alternative replacements were never considered as an option.

Heritage Audio had custom recreations built from scratch instead, each with exact materials, values, and tolerances.

The Motorcity EQualizer is an all-analogue, passive EQ design, with seven bands each having a stepped rotary switch capable of a flat response or up/down up to 8dB in 1dB increments – these graduate from 50Hz, 130Hz, 320Hz and 800Hz, before jumping to 2kHz and 5kHz, peaking at 12.5kHz. Helpfully, the front panel also features a toggle switch with top hat knob (allowing users to A/B the EQ effect settings) and jewel light power indicator.

There is also a (-8dB/+8dB) master gain, again in dB increments. The unit also features a power supply jack, and XLR output and input connections.

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