HSE Audio Lab EQ1 designed by R. Huber / Studer (Vintage)
High end Swiss parametric EQ 4 Band Parametric with lo and hi cut filter. Dual Mono or Stereo Linkable 10hZ to 30K. One of 50 production units Rare! Clean variable and precise
Courtesy of Gear Sluts and MajorDom one of the founding members of HSE
HSE Audio Lab are two crazy Swiss guys that both have a Studer heritage. We founded HSE at the time to do some things that Studer would not be interested in but we would have fun to build. Our aim was to set us a target that was out of what had been done and then to achieve it. This is why the EQ-1 has still today functions and attributes that have still today not been matched by any other Audio Equipment manufacturer.
Some of the examples where the frequency range, there is no Analogue EQ out there that has a range from 10Hz to 30KHz. The Q factor is also unmatched only digital EQ’s can have such a small Q factor like the EQ1. You can almost pick out or amplify a single frequency. You would also notice that switching the bands in and out does not have any artifact on the audio. All other EQ’s create a click or other noisy effect when switch in to the audio path. This is not the case with the EQ1. The idea was that you could compare settings in A/B without resetting or forgetting either A or B. It also helps when you use the EQ1 on Stage with the foot-pedal to switch from one sound to the other. There are many things that I could tell you which make the EQ1 unique and splendid in what it is designed to do. The only thing that we never got quite right was the bloody case of it as in the bottom and top panel which sometimes rattled. That was never as perfect as the rest of the unit.
Now to the Stereo matching topic you mention for mastering. We actually had thought to create a version that had step switching so you could get the perfect match but there was no suitable switch in the market with enough steps that could fit and there would have been an unnecessary limitation of choosing the frequency so we did choose not to go down that road. However this does not mean that you can’t use it as a mastering EQ as many people actually do. The potentiometers we used where actually custom made for us due to our required specification and precision we needed. I can’t quite remember the technical stuff but fact is that they match extremely precise one to another and have much tighter tolerances than what you are used to from other equipment. When we assembled the machines we tried to match the knobs very precise to the labeling as in the carving on the knobs to the front panel. By the way those knobs were also custom made. Now check in which position they are and if you match the mechanical setting of the two channels you are likely to be identical down to single percentage or to actual matching. This is how you can use it as a mastering EQ. Just check the positioning and you will be fine. I agree in the age of recall and digital this may be cumbersome but remember music is Art and Art also happens momentary and based on momentary decisions. Something that modern engineers have lost but which we had to do every day back in the days of analogue. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. I must say tough that I enjoy the modern features of recall and undo as well of course.
If you have any further questions on the EQ-1 you are welcome to send them to me and I will try and answer ?
Just to quickly finish the historical part. Back then I left Studer and started another job in IT. Consequently I did not have that much time for HSE and that is how we just simply grew apart and HSE slowed down to almost zero. We did make 50 production units and a few prototypes. We could probably build a few more with the parts we have left and we can certainly service and fix any broken ones or do any type of recalibration if needed. Just get in touch with me through this here for the time being.
Now here the good news, we have today, after our Pizza decided that it would be a shame if HSE would not make any equipment anymore. This is why we have now set ourselves the target to build the world’s finest Microphone preamplifier. As always we have set ourselves the target to go far beyond what you would have seen and heard up until today so if you are a fan of what we did with the EQ1 you will probably not be disappointed with the Mic. Pre that we will come up with in the next few months.