With dual compressor stages and dual-band, boost-only EQ, the novel Magnum-K shows that high-end outboard needn’t be retro.
Many of today’s new hardware processors are emulations and/or recreations of a relatively narrow range of iconic, vintage mic preamps, EQs and compressors. Thankfully, though, there are still some very talented designers out there who bring different ideas to market. One such designer is Cliff Mäag Senior, a highly respected and experienced studio recording engineer who also has a background in audio hardware development at NTI and Nightpro — he designed the latter’s PreQ3 and EQ3D, with the then-novel ‘Air Band’ concept, in the early 1990s.
Founded in 2009, Mäag’s eponymous company Mäag Audio offer a focused product line-up comprising three 500-series units (the PreQ4, EQ2 and EQ4), two native plug-ins made in association with Plugin Alliance (EQ2 and EQ4, the latter also being available on the UAD DSP platform), the EQ4M, which is a 1U, dual-channel, rackmount version of the EQ4, and the all-new Magnum-K, which is the subject of this review. This 1U, single-channel rackmount unit features two separate, series compressor stages, which run in parallel with Mäag’s EQ2 Air Band equaliser. It’s an intriguing product paradigm that I...
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