Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins 2023 (SPL, Pulsar, NI, Manley..)

6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins of 2020 (SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)

As producers, we consider equalizers to be the most important dynamic control tool in music production.

There are many different types of EQ like the Parametric EQ, Shelving EQ, Graphic EQ, and several more. However, one particular type of EQ that seems to be a “fan-favorite” is the Passive EQ. So what is Passive EQ?

Passive EQ is used to create tonal changes without the need for components like tubes, transistors, or opamps. Instead, it uses passive electronic components like inductors, resistors, and capacitors. Passive EQ has no gain loss; thus, there’s no need for an amplifier to compensate for that.

Best Passive EQ Plugins available are:

1. Knif Audio Soma NEW* (Emulation Of The Original Hardware)

2. Pulsar Massive NEW* (Manley Massive Passive Emulation)

3. Acustica Audio Azure2 (Knif Soma Emulation 2)

4. SPL Passeq (Hardware Passeq Emulation)

5. Waves RS56 Passive EQ (RS56 UTC Emulation)

6. UAD Manley Massive Passive EQ (Hardware Massive Passive Emulation)

Passive EQs are fairly simple since they are normally made of around 5 components only, which is a big advantage compared to active EQs, which are made up of a ton of transistors, resistors, capacitors, tubes, and sophisticated opamps.

One of the most popular Passive EQs is the Pultec EQP-1A which was released in 1951. It immediately became a must-have tool for studios due to its unique and pleasing sound characteristics.

6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins of 2020 (SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia) |

Over the years, many developers have attempted to recreate the sound of the original EQP-1A hardware into plugins, and we discuss some of them in this article.

The 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins of 2023

1.  Knif Audio Soma NEW* (Emulation Of The Original Hardware)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)
This passive tube EQ rendition works masterfully in any sound production.

Passive tube EQs are regarded as offering genuine color and warmth to your signal in a characteristic way that differs from parametric or active EQs.

The wider frequency range provided by the “Q adjustment” is one of the reasons why Knif Audio Soma sounds so natural and responsive, directly emulating the behavior of the components involved.

Knif Audio Soma  - The 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Knif Audio Soma  - The 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Key Features:

    • Four-band EQ
      Soma features four frequency bands to adjust freely, and each has similar controls within. For instance, you can set each “Band Gain” value via the top row knobs while the “Band Q-Factor” is set by the middle row knobs, and the “Band Center Frequency” by the bottom row knobs, each affecting a specific band deliberately. Alas, each EQ band can be activated via a dedicated switch.
    • Gain
      Each of these aforementioned bands can achieve a total of +-8dB in gain configuration, operating in steps of +-0.5dB from 0 to +-3dB and in 1dB steps from +-3dB to +-8dB. The subtle gain addition is very detailed and can easily add the necessary color and definition to a certain frequency range while retaining the gain in others.
    • Frequency Control
      Each band’s frequency control is stepped and contains 16 different positions, like “Low Band” (27Hz – 470Hz), “Low Mid Band” (100Hz – 1.8kHz), “High Mid Band” (560Hz – 10kHz), and “High Band” (1.5kHz – 27kHz).
    • AutoListen
      A unique feature included in Soma is the “AutoListen” mode, which lets you focus on a specific band at a time. If a specific Q control or frequency range of an EQ band is selected, everything outside this bandwidth is muted, allowing you to better listen to the effect of a single EQ band in detail.
    • TMT technology
      Brainworx features its trademark “Tolerance Modeling Technology” once more in this plugin. Originating in their bx_console plugin line, this patented technology seeks to recreate the nuances of each electronic component inside a circuit, responding actively to your signal flow and any adjustments you make. This can be more dynamically expressive and generally consistent simultaneously, bringing a closer experience to owning a real EQ unit.


This plugin is available for macOS 10.11 to 12 (64-bit only) and Windows 8 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in VST2, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin formats.


Brainworx is famous for its hardware renditions, with exquisite attention to detail in every subtle aspect involving an EQ, in this case. Knif Soma reveals the power behind a very sturdy equalizer, containing dedicated frequency alterations down to the level of shaping each slightest bandwidth with maximum possibilities.

Of course, you can always count on ready presets to make it work beautifully, but setting the parameters by yourself is just as captivating to do.

2. Pulsar Massive NEW* (Manley Massive Passive Emulation)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)
This complete passive EQ will make it much easier to tailor your frequency spectrum.

Before transistors were popularized, the first EQs were made of passive circuits powered by tubes. This was relative to how they were built and the costs revolving around it, and models such as the Pultec EQP-1 are great representations of how good this can sound.

Pulsar recreated this hardware quality graciously in Massive, allowing for responsive and clear results in every parameter adjustment you make.

Pulsar Massive - The 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Pulsar Massive - The 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Pulsar Massive - The 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Key Features:

    • Parameter locking
      You can lock certain parameters inside Massive, so they won’t be affected if you load any presets, for instance. To lock a specific control, simply right-click or hit Ctrl + click to reveal a menu where the possibility to lock that control will be shown to you. You can confirm that the control is indeed locked by a small padlock symbol next to it.
    • A/B mode
      Among the many presets included, many will sound very good to your ears. Depending on the instrument and the use, you can easily be unsure about which sounds best… To remedy that, Pulsar included an “A/B mode” that lets you compare different presets simultaneously. All you need to do is alternate the click between the “A” and “B” buttons, and if you want to copy the parameter from one state to another, hit the “>” button.
    • Oversampling
      Oversampling is the option that allows your track to be processed at a higher sample rate inside the software, offering higher latency and CPU consumption. This option is deactivated by default, but you can choose between “2x,” “4x,” and “8x” real-time options and also “Offline Resampling” that bears similar configurations that are easier on the CPU consumption while delivering the same high-quality result.
    • Auto Gain
      The dedicated “Auto Gain” button can be easily activated and deactivated depending on your needs. By activating it, you can expect a compensatory gain to be added to your signal depending on the settings already set on each particular frequency band. This can be very useful for maintaining a consistent sound level in all bands while setting the appropriate EQ parameters.
    • Output transformers
      This small switch offers the possibility to change between different output transformers. You can select “Off” to not have any output transformers active in the circuit, but also “1,” which is a concise recreation of the original hardware’s component, and “2,” which is an AC output transformer that has been modified to accentuate some dynamic characteristics that the real unit would present.


This plugin is available for macOS 10.9 or higher (64-bit only) and Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only). It runs in VST2.4, VST3, AAX, and AU plugin formats.


There are many EQ options available on the market nowadays, and it’s always up to you to choose the best one to fit your needs. Pulsar Massive is a nice option to check out because it recreates an iconic audio gear from the past that has undoubtedly a very good sound with some added modern features that make it work brilliantly in any kind of production you might be working on.

In addition, the controls are responsive, and the overall use is very intuitive, in a close manner to many modern EQ plugins.

3. Acustica Audio Azure2 (Knif Soma Emulation 2)

More Info & Price

ACQUA Azure2 Review - The 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Acoustica has always been one of the people’s favorites for delivering some of the finest hardware emulations, and this plugin is up to par with their standards.

Azure2 emulates a passive, tube-based mastering equalizer Knif Soma done with mastering engineer Zino Mikorey. It faithfully captures all of the nuances of the tubes and transformers in the signal chain of the original hardware using convolution technology.

One of the things that Azure2 does differently from the hardware is summing. Instead of the original parallel design, Azure2’s filters or bands work in series. It makes the EQ far more predictable and familiar.

Key Features:

  • Stereo Processing
    There are two sets of identical controls on the interface. Each controls the left and right channels by default. You can control both of them together by activating the “CL” or Control Link button. Further, you can also activate Mid/Side mode and control the mid and side signals individually.
  • Multiple Variants
    Azure2 comes in a Standard variant and a ZL variant. The latter is an acronym for “Zero Latency,” and it does exactly what it says, albeit with a higher CPU usage. You can use it for live performance or even during tracking.
  • 4 Bands
    There are four bands and two filters per channel. What makes the bands noteworthy is their filter shapes. Each of them at a different gain and Q-factor values makes peculiar shapes, giving your audio the original unit’s character.
[VST REVIEW] AZURE by Acustica Audio


Aure2 is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.8 or higher, both 32-bit and 64-bit. It comes in VST 2/3, AU, and AAX formats.


Azure2 sounds phenomenal and remains easy to use. The added quirks like mid/side mode and series summing of the bands make it ready for modern world mastering sessions. However, the plugin tends to be highly CPU and RAM-intensive, so before making the rather expensive purchase, give it a try.

4. SPL Passeq (Hardware Passeq Emulation)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

SPL Passeq Review - 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

The traditional hardware for this plugin came at a price of about $5499 and weighed around 12 kg which meant that only a few people could actually manage to have one.

Thankfully, SPL has managed to release a plugin version that offers similar qualities for a small fraction of that price.

The interface of this plugin may come across as very confusing at first, but the workflow is clear, and you’ll get used to it in no time. Frequency bands are situated whereby the cut knob is on the left, and the boost knob is on the right for every band. You have control over 3 cut ranges, i.e., 1. LF-LMF, 2. MF-MHF, 3. MHF-HF and 3 boost ranges, i.e., 1. LF, 2. LMF-MHF, 3. and HF.

Much like the hardware version, the plugin uses an attenuator to gain control. The reasoning behind it is to maintain a low noise floor, linearity, and have enough headroom space. The main difference between the plugin and the hardware version is in the additional recall buttons, M/S operation, and stereo channel linking. In addition to that, the plugin version has a space-saving Passeq Single, which shows only one set of controls for you working in stereo only.

Key Features:

  • The plugin has 2 modes of operation, i.e., the standard stereo and a mono version
  • Mid/side (M/S) processing is available
  • Manages to successfully reproduce the workflow of the original hardware passive eq, which translates into similar sound signatures
  • Made up of 72 filters spread over 6 bands per channel
SPL PASSEQ Plugin Review


The SPL Passeq is compatible with Windows 7 or higher for PC and macOS 10.9 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/VST3/AU/AAX formats and supports 64-bit systems. 


The Passeq by SPL is one of the most powerful passive EQs in the market. This is due to the detailed design of the plugin to perfectly replicate the sound signature of the original Passeq hardware, which was already considered the industry-standard passive equalizer. It comes at a reasonable price for its capabilities, and we definitely recommend that you try it out.

5. Waves RS56 Passive EQ (RS56 UTC Emulation)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Waves RS56 Passive EQ Review - 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Waves have always been flawless when emulating classic hardware units, and this plugin is not different.

The RS56 Passive EQ by Waves is modeled after a hardware unit named EMI RS56 UTC and was introduced in 1951. This was the company’s first attempt at a Pultec-style passive equalizer.

The hardware unit offered you control over 3 bands: the Bass, treble, and top bands. Each band had four stepped frequency settings ranging from 32 to 8092Hz and a few more at 5600Hz and 11200Hz. In addition to that, you can set the gain to a maximum of +/-10dB in 2dB steps. Furthermore, you could choose between 4 peak shapes for each band which are: 1. Blunt, 2. Med Blunt, 3. Med Sharp, 4. Sharp) as well as High End and Low-End shelves.

With the Rs56, the developers at Waves have chosen to stick closely to the original hardware unit design and add a few extra features for more versatility and better flexibility. These features are discussed below.

Key Features:

  • The maximum gain is set at +/- 20dB with a 0.1 dB increment
  • EQ graph for users to view the affected frequency range
  • VU meter is now included in the plugin version of the RS56
  • Waves RS56 comes in mono and stereo versions. The stereo version has 3 modes: M/S, Stereo, and Duo
  • The RS56 plugin by Waves has a very smooth workflow and a simple design


Waves RS56 passive EQ is compatible with Windows 10 for PC and macOS 10.13.6 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/VST3/AU/AAX formats and supports 64-bit systems only.

Waves Abbey Road RS56 Passive EQ plugin EXPLAINED


At this point, any plugin developed by Waves is guaranteed to be of superb quality, high versatility, and simple design. When it comes to emulating classic hardware, Waves are the best, and the RS56 is no exception. On top of that, it comes at a relatively lower price which makes it very attractive for many users.

6. UAD Manley Massive Passive EQ (Hardware Massive Passive Emulation)

More Info & Price

Manley Massive Passive EQ Review - 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Manley Labs is a well-known name in the field of equalizer plugins, and the Massive Passive EQ is another incredible addition to their arsenal as it utilizes a Pultec-style passive EQ as its primary technology.

Massive Passive EQ consists mainly of 4-bands. All the bands are set up in parallel, with each having both lowpass and high pass filters, as well as an all-valve gain make-up stage and transformer emulated balanced output. Bands can be set to have a bell shape or a shelf shape and can be set to either cut or boost frequencies. Frequencies are notched, and there’s a good amount of frequency overlap across bands. The gain is dependant on the bandwidth, so when the bandwidth is at its narrowest, the maximum gain is at 20dB, whereas when the bandwidth is at its widest, the maximum gain is 6dB.

In addition to the Massive Passive EQ, the developers at Manley Labs decided to release the Massive Passive Mastering Version as a separate “extra” plugin based on the original hardware that added both notched bandwidth and gain controls due to users demanding more stereo friendly units. There is a reduction in a maximum gain in the plugin version, which is now set at 11dB for much better accuracy. Finally, master gain trims were added to reduce the overall gain.

Key Features:

  • Includes Parallel EQ design which means that if you EQ the same frequency over 2 bands, the gain doesn’t double
  • Makes use of a fully passive circuitry (discussed in the introduction to this article)
  • Bandwidth control allows you to achieve distinctive shelf curves
  • You can choose between interleaved and overlapping frequency
  • In this plugin, you can set each band to have either a bell or shelf shape
  • Vacuum tubes are used in line and gain drivers, which adds a smooth harmonic distortion, thus giving you a more pleasant-sounding finish
Manley Massive Passive EQ Powered Plug-in Demo for UAD-2


Massive Passive EQ is compatible with Windows 7 or higher for PC and macOS 10.9 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/AU/AAX/RTAX formats and only supports 64-bit systems.


The Massive Passive EQ is one of the most popular equalizer plugins that you can find. It perfectly models the original Massive Passive hardware that many developers have attempted to emulate over the years. However, this plugin by Manley Labs and Universal Audio is the most comprehensive and the closest in terms of sound quality and features to the original hardware unit. It is a relatively more expensive plugin, but many producers and engineers believe that it’s worth it.

Best Free Passive EQ Plugin

Ignite Labs PTEq-X (FREE)

More Info & Download

Ignite Labs PTEq-X Review - 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

It is really surprising to find a FREE plugin in this market field that offers solid quality, but Ignite Labs has managed to miraculously pull that off with their PTEq-X plugin.

What’s more surprising, however, is the fact that the PTEq-X plugin emulates 3 classic, popular vintage passive equalizer hardware, and it does an excellent job of that too. Every component on the original hardware circuit has been carefully studied and modeled in the best possible way into the plugin version. In addition to that, the developers of this plugin have managed to optimize this plugin for better CPU performance and real-time playability.

Key Features:

  • It consists of 3 different modules for equalization with a smooth curve response that produces analog sound even at very high frequencies
  • It offers you more frequencies to choose from in the PEQ1A model in comparison to the original hardware
  • The filters in the MQ5 and H3C models are more refined for better frequency precision when compared to the original hardware
  • The PTEq-X is optimized for maximum CPU efficiency through tube stage modeling and switchable equalizers
  • Aliasing reduction is made using linear-phase oversampling
  • All control parameters in this plugin are fully automatable
  • The PTEq-X plugin makes use of the preset management system designed Ignite Amps to provide you with functions like import or export presets
EQ Mixing Techniques - Speciality (PTEQ-X)


This plugin requires Windows 7 or higher for PC and macOS 10.7 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/VST3/AU formats and is compatible with 64-bits only.


To find a good plugin that perfectly emulates original passive EQ hardware at a reasonable price is pretty difficult, and for Ignite Labs to do that and for FREE is just mindblowing. The PTEq-X plugin by Ignite Labs is so incredible that it almost feels too good to be true, and we highly recommend it, especially if you have not decided on which passive EQ plugin to buy yet.

Other Great Passive EQs:

1. Softube Tube-Tech Equalizer MKII

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Or Buy Here (Support Integraudio)

Tube-Tech Equalizer MKII - The 7 Best EQ Plugins For Mastering |

Softube’s Tube-Tech Equalizer MkII combines both of the most famous and praised tube equalizers from the ’50s.

The well-loved Pultec sound has had its heritage preserved by a Danish company called Tube-Tech since the mid-eighties. This plugin is the exact recreation of Tube-Tech’s version of the original Pultecs, put together by Softube in an effort to facilitate the workflow.

Key Features:

  • PE1C
    The equalizer at the top is called the “Program Equalizer,” as its main focus is dealing with high and low shelves. It skips the midrange almost entirely, although you can broaden the bandwidth at lower KCS values and reach some of the mids. Even so, it has straightforward functions: the knobs to the left, Boost, Atten, and CPS, control the low frequencies up to 100Hz. By increasing the boost and attenuation values together, you get the classic Pultec curve, which is excellent on the bass and kick drum. The Bandwidth, KCS, and right-hand Boost knobs all control the high frequencies, with the Atten and Atten Sel knobs to the upper right dealing with high-frequency attenuation. Clicking the red light bypasses the unit.
  • ME1B
    The second unit on this plugin handles the mid-range more thoroughly, making the frequency response complete. This is a three-band equalizer but with different controls. The high and low frequencies get a peak, or bell, control, in which you get four frequency options for each and up to 10dB of boost. However, the mids work inversely, making a bell-cut at any of the eleven possible frequencies. The catch here is that the whole equalizer works between 200 and 5000 Hz, making it just a bit wider than the full spectrum’s mid-range. This ensures that you can create peaks and a dip in the midrange and shelving on the lows and highs for the classic Pultec sound when you use both units simultaneously.

Character & Sound:

The reason this tube equalizer has been so coveted for years is its sound. Beyond sounding great at any setting, anything you do makes the processed signal sound round, warm, and full. No other equalizer does that. The fact that this plugin has both the PE1C and ME1B in the same unit emphasizes that feeling and delivers greater tonal control than if it was only one of the two EQs.


The MkII is available as a VST, AU, and AAX plugin for 64-bit only Windows 7 and up and macOS 10.12 and up.


Some classics deserve to live on. That’s what Tube-Tech thought when making their first units, and it’s the same principle behind this astounding emulation by Softube. This plugin sells itself on the original’s history, but it’s not ideal for all mastering situations due to its lack of thorough control.

The EQ curves are particular and sound amazing for their character but render this plugin not as versatile as others on this list. Nevertheless, it’s an amazing tool for mixing, especially for auxiliary bus tracks that you can also use for mastering when the sound is right.

Related Reading:

Top 10 Pultec & FairChild Emulation Plugins (EQs & Compressors)

2. Klevgrand Goto EQ (Vintage Tube-Based)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Klevgrand Goto EQ - Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins |

Goto EQ inspires itself on vintage tube-based equalizers by performing some classic techniques and getting results that acclaimed analog models did back in the day.

With many exciting acts on the sonic shape of any signal, Goto EQ can simultaneously cut and boost the low-end, creating a unique bassy texture and engage in dynamic functions with its Dynamic attenuation knobs that can de-ess or de-harsh the voice.

With the many shelves and bands featured in Klevgrand’s equalizer, you can add more air and clarity to their mixes by setting accurate attenuation values and applying light compression.

Key Features:

  • Pultec Effect
    By allowing you to boost and cut at the same frequency, GotoEQ provides a quick way to achieve the “Pultec effect.” technique. The producer can use the plugin’s designed high and low shelves to perform the Pultec effect, ideally effectively creating an EQ curve that will work wonders on bass.


  • Controls
    GotoEQ features a straightforward interface with easy-to-use controls. Every parameter offers different settings with the knobs present at the plugin’s main panel. Apart from standard input/output, filter, and shelf knobs, the plugin also has handy VU metering. A dynamic process can also happen if the red knobs are operated, giving freedom to compress information in the frequency range.


GotoEQ overview & examples


This plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higherboth 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2/3AU, and AAX formats.


GotoEQ behaves as an efficient and quick-to-operate equalizer. Its highly detailed main panel features many knobs that you can operate to control the frequency spectrum’s dynamics, loudness, boosts, and attenuations. Its helpful shelving knob serves as a crucial tool for allowing producers to get an intense Pultec Effect.

3. NI Passive EQ (Great For Mixing & Mastering)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

NI Passive EQ Review - 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

Native Instruments has collaborated with Softube to develop a plugin that models three pieces of some highly rated and revered valve outboard gear.

As mentioned, the Native Instruments Premium Tube series plugin comprises 3 plugins: a Passive EQ, an Enhanced EQ, and a Vari Comp. Although the developers do not mention exactly which hardware units are modeled in these plugins, we notice a great similarity in terms of the layout and control parameters with some of the popular units by Manley.

It consists of 4 bands, all with sweepable bandwidth and also notched frequencies. Each band is switchable between a bell or a shelf. Finally, Passive EQ includes high and low pass filters.

The Enhanced EQ is a simple 3-band passive EQ with a low shelf, high bell, and high cut parameters with all frequencies notched. Assessing its design, we can say that it is probably modeled after the Manley Enhanced Pultec EQP-1A.

The Vari Comp features 5 recovery/release settings, sidechain gain, and individual dry level/parallel compression. In addition to that, it has controls for input level, threshold, and output level, which enables you to easily add saturation to the process.

Key Features:

  • This plugin is open and organic, making it perfect for both mixing and mastering
  • 2-channel, 4-band EQ that is fully parametric
  • A/B mode, M/S processing, and per-band stereo link
Cleaning Up Muddy Mix With Native Instruments x Softube Mid Side EQ [Mix Talk Monday]


This plugin requires Windows 7 or higher for PC and macOS 10.12 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/AU/AAX formats and only supports 64-bit systems.


Overall, Native Instruments Passive EQ is a very straightforward passive equalizer plugin that offers high-quality filters. We can say that it is reasonably priced because it comes with 2 other important plugins in one pack.

4. IK Multimedia EQP-1A (Emulating EQP-1A hardware)

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

IK Multimedia EQP-1A Review - 6 Best Passive EQ VST Plugins |

We have previously discussed several plugins by IK Multimedia and especially their T-Racks series, which aims to provide you with industry-standard plugins at a reasonable price.

IK Multimedia’s EQP-1A is a superb attempt at emulating the classic EQP-1A hardware. It models 2 classic hardware units, although the developers do not specify them.

The EQP-1A first came into the scene in 1951 and was the first EQ to implement passive circuits technology. Since the passive circuitry was fairly new at that time, the original EQP-1A had some issues that caused the inherent gain loss. A makeup gain control knob at the output was used to compensate for this loss in volume. The output gain control was based on the 12AU7, 12AX7, and 6X4 tubes, which added a more vibrant character to the signal.

The plugin version of the EQP-1A manages to perfectly replicate the sound characteristics and design of the original hardware while being highly functional in the digital world.

Key Features:

  • EQP-1A has one of the most simplistic user interfaces among Passive EQs
  • Offers high-quality oversampling to ensure maximum quality
  • EQP-1A by IK Multimedia is one of the few plugins that manage to accurately model vintage hardware
  • Has latency compensation which makes it usable in real-time
  • Up to 192 kHz of sampling rate is supported
  • This plugin makes use of proprietary IK technologies like the SCC and the DSM to model analog hardware incredibly accurate
T-Racks 5 Plugins Review: EQP-1A (Pultec EQP-1A)


IK Multimedia’s EQP-1A is compatible with Windows 7 or higher for PC and macOS 10.9 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/VST3/AU/AAX versions and only supports 64-bit systems.


It is not really a hard choice to highly recommend a plugin by IK Multimedia due to its consistency, attention to detail, and reasonable price. The EQP-1A is among the best passive EQs that you can find and is among very few that offer analog characteristics while maintaining quality and low price.

5. PULTEC Passive EQ Collection

More Info 

Or Buy Here (Support Integraudio)

UAD are considered giants in the compressors market with their LA-2A and 1176 plugins, and now this is their attempt at emulating the classic Pultec EQP-1A EQ.

As discussed before, the original EQP-1A was an instant hit at the time of its release back in 1951. Users described its sound characteristics as ‘smooth,’ ‘warm,’ ‘airy,’ and ‘musical.’ Another thing that helped popularize the EQP-1A was its unusual design elements, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

In this collection by UAD, the first plugin is a direct replication of the EQP-1A and features three-stage tone control. It features separate Boost and Attenuate control parameters to allow you to boost and cut frequencies at the same time, which was a huge deal when Pultec first released the EQP-1A. Additionally, the plugin developers have spent time designing the tube amplification for output gain, which resulted in a similar, ‘warm’ sound signature.

The second plugin is called Pultec Mid – Range Equalizer, and it models the MEQ-5 by Pultec. The MEQ-5 is a single-channel, midrange equalizer that offers control over 3 bands: 2  midrange boost bands and 1 midrange dip band. This made the MEQ-5 perfect for use on instruments like guitars and so on.

The last plugin is the Pultec Filter which emulates the HLF-3C. This is for use on higher frequencies. It has 12dB high and low cut filters to allow you to tame annoying frequencies.

Key Features:

  • This plugin has features from well-known engineers like John Paterno, Neal Capellino, and Jacknife Lee
  • Accurate reproduction of the sound characteristics for all the 3 plugins involved
  • The most comprehensive all-around Pultec-style passive EQ collection
Mix 101: How To Use A Pultec EQ |


This plugin is compatible with Windows 7 or higher for PC and macOS 10.9 or higher for Mac. It comes in VST/AU/AAX/RTAS formats and supports 64-bit systems only.


If you are an experienced producer or engineer and would like a passive equalizer that would offer you more control over your track’s dynamic range and sound characteristics, then look no further. The Passive EQ collection offers you exactly what you need in terms of passive EQs, and it does that in 3 plugins to allow for more control.


Passive EQs have over the years become the go-to equalizers for engineers and producers looking for an alternative to the “lossy” active EQs. Passive EQs require no gain compensation because of the minimum to none gain lost when cutting frequencies. It provided tracks with a smooth, silky, and warm feel instead of the choppy and somewhat “lifeless” feel that other types of EQs seem to bring.

When it comes to the plugin market, we have seen that quite several developers have attempted to emulate the EQP-1A like the Pultec Passive EQ collection, Ignite Labs PTEq-X, IK Multimedia EQP-1A, and many others. Other developers like Waves and Native Instruments have decided to model a different hardware unit.

All in all, the plugins differ in looks, price, and sound characteristics. So if you are familiar with traditional Passive EQs, then your choice won’t be very hard. However, if you are a beginner, we highly recommend that you give the Ignite Labs PTEq-X a try since it is a high-quality free plugin.

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Top 12 Free EQ Plugins For Precise Mixing & Mastering

Top 9 Mid/Side EQ Plugins  For Mixing & Mastering (+ 2 Free Tools)

Top 7 Graphic EQ Plugins  (With 3 Best Free EQs)

Top 7 EQ Plugins For Mastering In | And Best FREE Mastering EQs

Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins (Klevgrand, SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)

Top 11 Plugins For Making Metal (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)



Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)

Top 6 Spectrum Analyzer Plugins  – Spectral Analysis Tools

Top 6 Oscilloscope Plugins To See The Waveforms

Top 5 Key Detection Plugins & Software  (+ Best FREE App)


Kontakt Libraries

20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT (And 4 Freebies)

Top 7 Trap Music Kontakt Libraries (And Best Lo-Fi Kontakt Library)

Top 7 Metal & Rock Kontakt Libraries (Best Guitars & Drums)

Top 10 Guitar Libraries For Kontakt (Acoustic, Electric, Bass & Freebies)


Top 7 Trailer Scoring Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

20 Best Free KONTAKT Libraries For Various Instruments

Top 9 Piano Kontakt Sample Libraries  (And 5 Best Free Pianos)

Top 10 Percussion KONTAKT Libraries  (And 3 Freebies)

Top 7 Kontakt Libraries For Horror & Thriller Scoring (No VSTs)


Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:

Top 6 Noise Reduction Plugins (And 3 Best Free Tools)

6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software 

Top 7 Phase Alignment Plugins To Fix Your Bass & Drums

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 


Instrument Plugins: 

Top 6 Vocoder Plugins (Effects & Synths + FREE Vocoder)

11 Best Rhodes VST Plugins (AND 5 Free Rhodes Plugins)

Top 12 Randomizer Plugins Including FREE Plugins

Top 6 Kick Drum Plugins (Best Kick Designer Tools)

Top 12 Woodwind Plugins (And KONTAKT Libraries)

Top 10 Double Bass Plugins (Best Upright Basses)

Top 5 Strings VST Plugins (AND 4 Best Free Instruments)


Top 6 Sampler Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Classical Guitar Plugins & Kontakt Libraries (And FREE Guitars)

Top 7 Wavetable Synth Plugins 

Top 12 Sub Plugins (Best 808 & Bass Tools For Massive Low End)

Top 10 Plugins On PluginBoutique (And 7 Best Free Plugins)

Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance 

Top 7 Acoustic Guitar Plugins (And 4 Best Kontakt Libraries)


9 Best Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies)

Top 6 Electric Guitar Plugins (Best PAID & FREE Picks)

Top 10 Arpeggiator VST Plugins (Best Synths, MIDI Effects & Tools)

Top 10 Modular Synth Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Choir Plugins & Sample Libraries (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins (And FREE Plugins)


Top 8 Piano Plugins (Best Sounding Pianos & 5 FREE Piano Plugins)

Top 6 Organ Plugins Ever Made  (And 3 Best Free Organs)

Top 14 VST Plugins For Beginners (And 9 FREE Plugins)

Top 9 Drum Machine Plugins (And Groovebox Plugins)

4 Best Banjo Plugins (Best Banjo Instruments)


The 5 Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

Top 13 Synth Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Synths Plugins)

Top 13 Sequencer Plugins  (Synth, MIDI & Step Sequencers)

The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians (Synths, Mixing & Mastering)


Processing & Sound Design:

8 Best Lo-Fi Plugins (PAID & FREE)

Top 11 Plugins For Mixing Vocals  (For Home Studio)

Top 12 Saturation Plugins (Best Mixing & Mastering Tools)

Top 6 Pitch Shifter Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Pitch Shifters)

Top 6 Chorus VST Plugins For Musicians (And 3 FREE Plugins)


Top 6 Limiter Plugins For Precise Mastering & Mixing

The 8 Best Filter Plugins For Precise Cuts & Boosts (+ 5 Free Filters)

6 Best Autotune Plugins To Improve & Enhance Your Vocals

Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 7 Enhancer Plugins (For Bass, Drums, Vocals & Harmonics)


Top 6 Flanger Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Flanger Emulators)

Top 7 Phaser Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Phasers)

Top 10 Plugins For Mixing Drums (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 7 Bitcrusher Plugins (And 4 Best FREE Bitcrushers + 3 Bonuses)

Top 6 Plugins For Voice-Over & Dialogue Cleaning (Post Production)

Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins (Best Old & Modern Picks)


Top 5 Multiband Limiter Plugins 

Top 7 De-Esser Plugins For Better Vocals (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives)

Top 6 Chord Generator Plugins That Inspire Melodies (+ FREE Tools)

7 Best Exciter Plugins For Mixing & Mastering

Top 7 Channel Strip Plugins (And 2 Best Free Plugins)


Top 11 Distortion Plugins (And 4 Top Free Plugins)

Top 5 Comb Filter & Resonator Plugins | Melda, Kilohearts, Tritik

The 7 Best Vibrato VST Plugins | Audec, Audiority, Melda

The 7 Best Tremolo Plugins | Eventide, Melda, SoundToys, Kuassa…

The 7 Best Harmonizer Plugins | Eventide, Melda, Aegean Music

7 Best Sidechain Plugins (VST, AU, AAX) | Xfer, Cableguys..


Top 10 Noise Gate Plugins (And 6 FREE Free Gate Tools)

The 6 Best Ring Modulator VST Plugins | KiloHearts, Melda

7 Best Autopan VST Plugins | CableGuys, Melda, Waves, Soundtoys

The 6 Best Frequency Shifter VST Plugins

Top 11 Granulizer Plugins For Future Sound Design

29 Best Sound Design VST Plugins


Compressor Plugins

Top 11 Free Compressor Plugins (VCA, Vari-Mu, FET, Digital)

Top 7 Multiband Compressor Plugins (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 5 Diode-Bridge Compressor Plugins 

Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins: Complete VST Solutions 

Top 10 FET Compressor Plugins 

The 7 Best VCA Compressor Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 11 Mastering Compressor Plugins (And 2 FREE Plugins)

Top 10 Opto Compressor Plugins For Transparent Sound

The 7 Best Vari-Mu Compressor Plugins (And 2 Best FREE Tools)


Reverb & Delay Plugins:

Top 12 Reverb Plugins (And 5 FREE Reverb Plugins)

The 6 Best Spring Reverb VST Plugins | AudioThing, GSi, u-he, Eventide

Top 12 Delay Plugins For Music Production In (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 10 FREE Delay Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

The 10 Best Convolution Reverb Plugins 


Amps & Preamps:

Top 10 Guitar Amp Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Simulators)

Top 10 Bass Amp Plugins (And 5 Best Free Simulators)

Top 9 Preamp Plugins (For Vocals, Guitars & More!) + Free Preamps


Other Recommended Gear:

Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget

Top 10 Midfield Studio Monitors For Home Recording

Best Biggest Studio Monitors (FarField Monitors)

Top 10 Guitar Pickups for Low Tunings 

Top 10 Analog Compressors For Mixing & Mastering (On Any Budget)

Top 12 USB Audio Interfaces Under 150$, 200$, 300$ 400$ (Any Budget)


Top 12 Hardware Equalizers (Analog EQs For Mixing & Mastering)

Top 6 Analog Hardware Limiters 

Top 6 Solid State Bass Amps (On Any Budget)

Top 6 Ribbon Mics On Any Budget (For Vocals, Drums & Guitars)

Top 6 Cheap Dynamic Mics For Vocals Under 50$, 100$, 200$ & 300$


Top 6 Chorus Guitar Pedals (On Any Budget)

6 Best 61-Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

9 Best 49-Key MIDI Keyboards Under 100$ & 200$

Top 5 Best 25 Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

Top 12 Acoustic Drums (Best Kits/Sets On Any Budget)


Guitar/Amp Focused:

Can I Put Nylon Strings on a Steel-string Guitar?

Do Electric Guitars Sound Good Unplugged?

Buying Your First Guitar: 2 Things To Know

Are Tube Amps Worth It? (Tube vs Solid-State Amps)

How Often Does A Guitar Need a Setup?

Can I Play Classical Guitar On A Steel-String Guitar?


How often guitar necks need reset?

Can You Play Two Guitars Through One Amp?

Can a 6 String Bass Be Tuned Like A Guitar?

Can I leave My Guitar Tuned Down a Step? Yes, But Is It Safe?

Should I Learn 4, 5 Or 6 String Bass Guitar & Why?

How To Know If your Guitar Amp Is Broken?

How To Fix Distorted Bass Guitar Sound?


Do Fender Guitars Appreciate In Value?

Should You Put Stickers On A Bass Guitar?

How Acoustic And Electric Guitars Are Made?

Is Electric Guitar Too Loud for an Apartment?

Does a Preamp Improve Sound Quality?

If I Learn Acoustic Guitar Can I Play Electric Guitar?

How Many Hours A Day Should You Practice Bass Guitar?

Do I need an AMP/DAC To Run Bookshelf Speakers?

How to Record Electric Guitar Into Logic Pro X?

Do headphones get worse with age?


DAW Related:

Best DAWs For Musicians Available (With FREE DAWs)

How To Develop DAW Software?

What’s The Most CPU Efficient DAW? – 5 DAWs Compared

How To Make Music Without Using A DAW?

Pro Tools Guide: How To Use AutoTune & Pitch Correction?

Ableton Review: Is It Worth The Money? (Cons & Pros)

Logic Pro X Review: Is It Worth It? (Cons & Pros)

How To Use Auto-tune & Pitch Correction In Cubase?

How To Fix Ableton Crackling, Crashing & Freezing? Step By Step


Plugin Related:

What Are Audio Plugins? Different Types of Plugins Explained

What Are The Best Tools To Develop VST Plugins & How Are They Made?

Cost of Developing Audio VST Plugin: Several Factors (With Table)

VST, VST, AU and AAX – What’s The Difference? Plugin Formats Explained

Complete Guide To Noise Gate – What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It?

How To Clip My Drums? Here Is How & Audio Teasers (Before/After)


Complete Guide To Limiter: How To Use It (+ Best Plugins & Analog Limiters)

Mixing With Reverb: How To Add Life To Your Mixes

Linear Phase vs Minimum Phase EQ – Full Guide

Difference Between LUFS, RMS & True Peak Loudness Meters

How And When To Use Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb In Your Mix?

Difference Between Active EQ, Passive EQ and Dynamic EQ


Headphones & Studio Monitors:

Do headphones get worse with age?

Monitors vs Studio Headphones For Mixing & Mastering

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 

Does Heat Damage Headphones?

Are Noise-Canceling Headphones Good For Music Production?

Can Headphones Break in Cold Weather?

Why do headphones & cables get sticky?


Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss?

How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown?

Side Effects Of Sleeping With Your Headphones On

Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?

Do Headphones or Earphones Damage Your Brain?

Can Headphones or Earphones cause Deafness or Toothache?

FarField, MidField & NearField Monitors – Their Uses, Pros & Cons


MIDI & Synths:

Should I Buy A MIDI Keyboard Or Synth? (Are Synths Worth It Anymore?)

Why Is Audio Gear So Expensive? (Especially Synths)

Top 12 Synth Brands – Analog, Digital & Modular Synth Manufacturers

11 Tips How To Choose MIDI Keyboard 

Should I Buy MIDI Controller Or Keyboard? Cons, Pros & Tips

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