Cranborne Audio have announced the release of the Carnaby Harmonic EQ, a new 500-series equaliser module which the company say boasts the first new analogue audio circuit in 40 years! The device takes a unique approach to equalisation, with its three bands designed to apply increasing amounts of harmonic saturation to the input signal, and also incorporates an innovative new method for linking the controls of multiple units.
Each of the unit's three bands offer ±10dB of adjustment in 0.5dB steps, allowing users to define the amount of saturation added around the band’s centre frequency. The high-frequency control can be set anywhere between 5 and 25 kHz, whilst the mid-range offers settings between 200Hz and 6.2kHz, and the low-frequency band can be placed between 20 and 420 Hz. a pair of input and output controls each provide ±20dB of gain, with the former allowing users to increase or decrease the amount of saturation added by the EQ bands, and the latter offering a way to maintain gain structure.
An LED at the top of the module provides a visual indication of the signal level after the input control, and will illuminate green at levels between -20 and +20 dBu, amber at +21dBu, and red to indicate clipping at +24dBu. The same LED will also turn red in the event of the device’s output exceeding +24dBu. Each EQ band is then equipped with its own dedicated LED, with their brightness displaying how much harmonic saturation is being applied.
In addition to the module’s unique approach to equalisation, Cranborne Audio have also implemented an innovative new technology which they refer to as Optosync, a move that allows one module’s controls to take over the parameters of a second module mounted to its right-hand side in the same chassis. Engaged by a switch on the front panel, the feature works by employing a pair of LEDs on the right of the unit, which then line up with optical sensors on the next, allowing control data to be passed wirelessly between the two devices.
SOS Technical Editor Hugh Robjohns has been putting the Carnaby Harmonic EQ through its paces, and here's what he has to say: "The Carnaby is an EQ... but it’s certainly not EQ as we have come to know it! This genuinely new, innovative design delivers something musically effective that’s truly different from conventional EQs."
Hugh's exclusive in-depth, hands-on review will appear in SOS May 2023 editions but is available for all to read in advance on our website: www.soundonsound.com/reviews/cranborne-audio-carnaby-500-harmonic-eq
Pricing & Availability
The Carnaby Harmonic EQ is available now, priced at £499 including VAT.