EQ ONE delivers what you'd expect to see on a good console: shelving high and low, plus two fully parametric mid bands
-TORE STJERNA musician, engineer, producer
Tore Gunnar Stjerna, musician, engineer, producer and owner of Necromorbus Studio based in Stockholm.
Before being drawn into full time engineering and producing Tore has played guitar and drums with Watain, Chaos Omen, Corpus Christi, Funeral Mist, Ofermod, Zavorash, Desolation and In Aeternum.
As for his engineering and production skills, the list is way too long to mention. Check him out at
I started DIYing a bit more than a year ago. I built a couple of guitar pedals but felt that it was a bit too basic, so I quickly jumped head-first into more advanced projects. That's how I found out about Total Audio Control.
First of all, this was a pleasure to build. A very nice kit, with everything you need included. It comes with an easy-to-follow, step by step manual which makes it a suitable project even for beginners. That said, there is also the option to buy it pre-assembled. Even with the additional cost of that, this still puts the product at an extremely good price for what you actually get.
MICPRE ONE is not a copy or replica of previous Amek products, but it builds upon and is similar in design. So rather than trying to imitate products of old, TAC have instead chosen to improve on an already great circuit. This makes it fit very well into today's market where many are seeking a "vintage flavor" but are maybe not so open to the inevitable trade-offs of ignoring later progress in electronic design.
Moving on to features, you'll find input and output gain dials, allowing you to push the input if you wish. It's a transformer-less design though, so you'll not get 73 style saturation so to speak. You can switch impedance between 5k and 600 Ohm on the mic input, or 1.5M/50k/10k on the DI (the last two values are selected with an internal jumper). Talking about the DI, this module has something that, for me, makes most other modules pretty useless in this regard: a thru output. When I work with DI, I practically always want to send the signal on to and amp as well; I rarely ever use it in any other way. So for me, this is essential and it baffles me how rarely this is implemented! The thru port also has the additional feature to monitor straight off the main path which of course just adds even more to the versatility.
Apart from all this, you also find the usual 48V phantom power, phase invert, and a fixed HPF at 120Hz with 6dB/octave roll off. So feature-wise, there's certainly nothing lacking. A full, 8 LED signal bar just makes it even better, instead of just a "signal present" single LED.All buttons also light up when engaged, so you won't make any mistakes there.
Most important though: the sound! It has extremely clean gain and will accommodate for anything you put into it. It has quickly become my go-to for overheads and acoustic guitar. It just captures the transients and high-range in a way that works wonders. It marries beautifully with my Beyer MC930 pair, and the result is a crisp, perfect capture, without the somewhat tinny result that I get with some other, almost too clean, preamps. Since I don't record to tape, I'm very cautious with the upper range and don't want it to be over-represented, yet not by any means dull at the same time. This is where MICPRE ONE perfectly fits the bill.
Paired with the EQ ONE you will get a remarkable signal chain. Both are a lot of fun to build, both both can also be bought pre-built. This is extremely good value for the money, a very solid product. If you don't have one in your rack: get one. Or two. And an EQ. Or two. You won't regret it! I myself have two of these at the moment, but I'm building more in the future, there's absolutely no doubt about it.
As with MICPRE ONE I bought this as a DIY kit, and for that it's really great. It comes as a full kit, components well sorted and marked and with a very easy to understand step-by-step build manual, which makes it an easy build even for beginners. There is a bit more mechanical fiddling to make everything fit right compared with MICPRE ONE, but it's still far from being difficult in any way.
All that said, the module is now also available pre-assembled, so if you don't have the knack or time or energy or whatever for soldering and DIYing, this is still within your reach and still at a more than reasonable price!
While I do love certain "character" EQs such as API, Pultec style and Neve 73 variants, there seems to be a hole in the market for more modern, dare I say "80's style", fully featured eq modules that you will more likely find in large-frame desks than the very popular 500 format. Of course, not everybody has the funds or even the needs to invest in something like that. This is where the EQ ONE slots in perfectly.
Much of my eq is done in the box. With certain elements, especially distorted guitars, the aforementioned EQs simply don't offer enough control. This is why the EQ ONE came as such a very welcome addition to my setup. There are indeed a lot of channel strips on the market nowadays that come with great eq, but be prepared to shell out double what you'd pay for an EQ ONE paired up with a MICPRE ONE
EQ ONE delivers what you'd expect to see on a good console: shelving high and low, plus two fully parametric mid bands, Q adjustable between 0.5 and 3.2. But here's the real kicker: switch the shelving hi/lo over to peak, and you have two more bands with the same level of control! While you often have the possibility to switch between peaking and shelving on other models, rarely do you get control over the Q, and if you do it's most likely just a switch between Narrow and Wide. Add to this an HPF and LPF at 6dB/octave with fully adjustable cutoff frequency. For outboard gear, this is simply astounding! A 3-color LED will keep you from overloading it as well.
I highly recommend this, both to DIYers and just-buy-ers. For an excellent channel strip at a fantastic price, pair it up with the MICPRE ONE and you will have a great setup to use on tons of sources.