Softube Summit Audio EQF-100
Design - 8.5/10
Sound - 9.0/10
Value - 6.5/10
Summit Audio is known around the U.S. and beyond for its high-end hardware. Thankfully, however, the Summit Audio sound isn’t limited to hardware — Softube has come out with a range of Summit Audio emulators that you can take with you on the go. The one we’re looking at today is the Softube Summit Audio EQF-100, a 4-band valve compressor that takes after the hardware version of the Summit Audio EQF-100.
While it’s clear that the plugin is far cheaper than the hardware, is it worth saving the money? We put the plugin to the test to find out.
The interface for the Softube Summit Audio EQF-100 looks exactly as you would expect. It doesn’t really deviate much from the look of the rack-mounted EQ, and you’ll even see light reflecting off of the VU meter covers. That’s good news for those used to the EQ, as you’ll be able to quickly and easily navigate through the interface to get the sound that you want.
Each of the four bands on the EQ offers a selection of seven center frequencies, with the first band going as low as 33Hz and the fourth band as high as 15kHz. That’s perhaps not as low or high as some might want, but it should offer plenty for most circumstances. Each band also has a switch to let you change between a cut or a boost, a bandwidth knob that’s labelled between 1 and 10, and a gain knob that’s labelled in the same way. It’s important to note that, at least with the gain knob, the changes between 1 and 10 aren’t linear — that’s to say that the change between 9 and 10 seems to be a lot more than the change between 1 and 2. You’ll, as always, want to use your ears in your mix rather than the numbers on the screen.
On top of the controls for each band, you’ll also get a gain knob, and a high and low-pass filter, each of which offers three frequency choices.
In general, the Softube Summit Audio EQF-100 is very smooth sounding EQ. It’s known particularly for it’s warm-sounding bottom end. You won’t, however, use this EQ for as an ultra-precise tool, nor is it the best for adding a lot of presence. It’s better as a sculpting tool than a surgical tool, and if you buy it as an EQ to be precise with, you may be disappointed.
That, however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing — different EQs carry different purposes, and this one’s purpose is to sculpt. We found that it sounded particularly nice on a vocal, but it could really be used on anything — it’s very flexible.
The Softube Summit Audio EQF-100 is an excellent choice for those looking to make some more subtle moves in their EQ. Again, this isn’t a great option for more precise EQ’ing, but it’s nice to have in the arsenal nonetheless.
This review of the Softube Summit Audio EQF-100 is part of our new series on the plugins available in the Softube Volume 1 package, which you can buy here. If you want just the EQ, however, check out the links below.