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Empirical LabsELQ Lil FrEQ Equalizer


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Empirical Labs ELQ Lil FrEQ Equalizer

The Empirical Labs ELQ Lil FrEQ is an analog EQ under full digital control, for greater control over performance and equalization parameters. The unit features seven frequency shaping controls oriented around a dynamics section. 

The ELQ Lil FrEQ’s High-Pass section axes all frequencies between whatever parameter the user preselects. This type of filter is often referred to as a “colored filter”, as it is extremely steep and boasts a unique shape that prevents frequencies positioned just above the cutoff from thinning out. 

The next section is a High and Low Shelving section, which are essentially high-performance tone controls for adding boost and cut to treble and bass frequencies. This is followed by an exceptionally clean parametric EQ section. 

Finally, the Dynamic EQ section is essentially the combination of filters and a compressor-style circuit for controlling and taming high frequencies, like sibilants. This section features two modes of operation, each with dedicated threshold and frequency select controls.

ELQ Lil FrEQ Equalizer Features

  • Eight sections of processing
  • Two shelving Equalizers, Special 3rd order HP (Low Cut) section with 8 selectable Frequencies, 4 Fully Parametric bands, and one Dynamic Equalizer section.
  • Dynamic Section that can be used for De-essing and high frequency softening.
  • Movable Dynamic Section. For instance, De-essing can be before or after EQ.
  • Highest audio performance of any Parametric EQ ever available. The total harmonic distortion is typically below .0006% with all EQ bands Engaged! (See specs).
  • Empirical Labs had to buy a new analyzer to even measure the distortion.
  • Performance exceeds any digital EQ in terms of Distortion and Noise. There is no Analog to Digital Converter that can currently produce such low distortion and noise.
  • Built in Instrument Preamp/Direct box — Just plug a guitar or bass etc into the front panel and engage the instrument Switch, and you have the highest performance direct box currently available. Distortion is below .0007% on the Instrument Preamp, 114dB dynamic range.
  • Three Outputs, including a Class A transformer output to give you an isolated output with the wonderful soft saturation and beefy low end that you get from your favorite vintage gear.
  • Traditional and digitally controlled analog combined in new topology.
  • Huge "DISTRESSOR" knobs with high resolution numbering - For easy readability and repeatable settings. They also go to 10 1/2.
  • A "BAD!" Hard Clip Indicator lights — A "Bad" Clip LED that lets user know he is within 1dB of hard clipping. It monitors every section of the EQ for internal clipping.
  • Locked, calibrated, output level - Allows speed in setting tape and live mix levels.
  • Foolproof operation - it's almost impossible to clip or get a bad sound.
  • Single height and light weight — More EQ processing than any other single height analog EQ.
  • Discrete and integrated combination -The best of speed/linearity with repeatability. Hand tested & selected components. All metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path - top quality components, most being high temperature military spec parts.
  • Switchable 115/230 volt operation - Extra fuse provided inside unit.
  • True EQ bypass - Know what it's really doing.
  • XLR and 1/4" phone ins and outs - XLR fully balanced design, pin 2 hot. Changeable by user to pin 3 hot!
  • No internal connectors, high reliability parts and military grade switches and relays. All contacts doubled up for maximum reliability.
  • Three year unlimited warranty.
  • Interface and features found nowhere else.
  • Hand wired, calibrated in USA.


  • Freq. Response: 5 Hz to 140 kHz on transformerless inputs and outputs.
  • Transformer Output response is 10Hz to 110kHz.
  • Dynamic Range: 120 dB from maximum output (.1% clipping) to minimum output. Greater than 110 dB signal to noise.
  • Distortion Ranges: between .00056% and .005% depending on mode and settings. DS section has THD < .005%.
  • DC coupled Input and Outputs and one transformer coupled Output
  • High quality audio caps used internally.
  • Dynamic Time Constants: Attack is approximately .5mS. Release .04 sec, fixed internally.
Empirical Labs ELQ Lil FrEQ Equalizer Reviews