What you need, but probably don't have a budget to buy is a Presonus StudiolIve, which would give you all the GEQ, compression and FX you need in a package smaller and lighter than the 420!
Mike, I'd seriously consider a 32 band graphic to carve out the sound you want which may get you to a neutral place where you can use your existing mics. I'm really enjoying a second hand Rane DEQ for this cut and thrust stuff.
Neutral mics, remind what your standard mics are, but I'd be surprised if you could find neutral stuff at the price point you mention. And how many?
Seriously consider the 12 channel Presonus, I have the 12 and 24 and my ZED 420 rarely gets used now. I still like it as a desk, but the Presonus has so much more to offer in a small package.