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elysia xfilter Mastering Edition - Now available!
Old 4th December 2019
  #1
manufacturer
 
elysia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Post elysia xfilter Mastering Edition - Now available!

Hi Folks,

we're happy to announce that the xfilter Mastering Edition is available to order.
Please ask your dealer for a price.

+++++ From the PR++++++

The elysia xfilter Mastering Edition is a very sophisticated, handcrafted analog 4-band stereo equalizer, with both channels linked for stereo operation.
All four bands provide a precise control range of +/-5dB.

The xfilter Mastering Edition produces the high-end sound of a Class A equalizer at an amazing value for the money. This fine analog 4-band stereo equalizer produces an absolutely precise stereo image based on the use of computer-selected components with extremely low tolerances. A special feature of this analog equalizer shines through its double flexibility!
It offers high- and low shelf bands which can be switched to high and low pass filters with resonance control. Two bell filters with narrow and wide Q for the mid frequencies as well as additional passive LC stages with shielded coils to refine the treble frequencies.
The extraordinarily open sound, the direct transient reproduction, the solid punch as well as the balanced output stage with up to +27dBu makes the xfilter Mastering Edition the perfect companion in the mastering studio.

The xfilter Mastering Edition Highlights
  • 4-band stereo analog equalizer with real stereo link
  • Precise control range for all four bands of +/-5dB
  • A balanced output stage with up to +27dBu
  • High-quality and light construction in aluminium housing | Made in Germany
  • Class-A Topology
  • Stepped potentiometers (computer selected)
  • High and Low Shelf Bands
  • Hi- and Low Pass Filter with Resonance
  • Two parametric Mids with switchable Q-Faktor
  • Additional passive high-band

Last edited by elysia; 4th December 2019 at 02:12 PM..
Old 4th December 2019
  #2
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Wow, nice!
Old 5th December 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
M Albazy's Avatar
Good luck guys
Old 5th December 2019
  #4
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brightshine's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
What’s the difference between this version and my “regular” edition Xfilter?
Old 5th December 2019 | Show parent
  #5
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polybonk's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightshine ➡️
What’s the difference between this version and my “regular” edition Xfilter?
Pretty sure its better noise floor and headroom.
Old 5th December 2019
  #6
Registered User
 
🎧 10 years
Smaller ranges too. More precise.
Old 5th December 2019 | Show parent
  #7
manufacturer
 
elysia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightshine ➡️
What’s the difference between this version and my “regular” edition Xfilter?
xfilter Mastering Edition
More Output
Balance output stage +27 dBu

new precise control range +/- 5 dB
Old 6th December 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
alleyeseeing's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Haven't seen it for sale at any dealers, point me in the right direction. Also do you think the updated version captures the resonant cut filters from the Museq slightly better than the standard version?
Old 9th December 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Interesting EQ.

Last edited by kellyd; 9th December 2019 at 02:11 AM.. Reason: site answered my questions.
Old 9th December 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Just checked out the site. So it's one set of controls which I prefer. Sorry couldn't tell on my phone from the pic posted.
Old 23rd February 2022
  #11
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augustusarnone's Avatar
Just got mine, will be using it for mostly modern classical ensemble music, especially piano. The only Elysia gear I have so far is a couple Mpressor 500s, which I use a lot when composing electronic music, with lots of Eurorack synth sounds. I'm surprised there isn't more feedback on the mastering edition, considering the pages upon pages on the regular version. I bought mine partly on the advice of some MEs that I know personally. Anyone care to share some real world experiences with it?
Old 9th March 2022 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
 
8ttila's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by augustusarnone ➡️
Just got mine, will be using it for mostly modern classical ensemble music, especially piano. I bought mine partly on the advice of some MEs that I know personally.
Any thoughts after a week with the mastering edition? I've been thinking about trying one but tbh the price difference seems more to do with the word "mastering" on the front panel. Interesting that the ME's would suggest this edition if you were mostly composing.

No doubt higher headroom is good, but it's around 850€ for this alone. The noise floor improvement corresponds to the headroom's, the rest of the EQ having identical specs, except now boost/cuts limited to 5db across the same 41 step pentiometers.

In basically every other product where there's a "mastering" and a standard version. The former's price point is largely due to the expensive switches, and it appears Elysia is using the same parts.

It would have been nice to have a 5/15db switch for a bit more versatility.
Old 9th March 2022 | Show parent
  #13
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augustusarnone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8ttila ➡️
Any thoughts after a week with the mastering edition? I've been thinking about trying one but tbh the price difference seems more to do with the word "mastering" on the front panel. Interesting that the ME's would suggest this edition if you were mostly composing.

No doubt higher headroom is good, but it's around 850€ for this alone. The noise floor improvement corresponds to the headroom's, the rest of the EQ having identical specs, except now boost/cuts limited to 5db across the same 41 step pentiometers.

In basically every other product where there's a "mastering" and a standard version. The former's price point is largely due to the expensive switches, and it appears Elysia is using the same parts.

It would have been nice to have a 5/15db switch for a bit more versatility.
I'm still in the editing phase of the solo piano album I'm working on and haven't used it in earnest yet. I did take it for a brief spin and the basic tone of the box is impeccable. My primary use is classical though I have mastered albums for composers who use electronics and I compose electronic music myself.

The mastering version ticks the right boxes for me personally. My primary mastering EQ has been a Bettermaker 502/542 combo, which is identical to the 232 EQ. Parametric mids and Pultec high and low bands. It's been great mostly, but sometimes I want a more conventional shelf rather than the Pultec passive design, that's why I got the XFilter. Up to now I've been using SSL X-Rack stereo EQ for an alternative to the Bettermaker but +-15dbs with those thin narrow pots is just not fine enough control for mastering a classical album, though the ultra transparent signal path is great. So the restricted gain range here is just what's needed. The headroom is a factor too, I mostly EQ after compression and I need something that can play well with other high headroom devices like my Avalon 747. There are not many EQs with this kind of fine resolution mastering control and impeccable sonics at this price range, DAV BG3 is one that jumps to mind. But it's a much needed niche I think, otherwise you're spending upwards of 4K.
Old 9th March 2022 | Show parent
  #14
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8ttila's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by augustusarnone ➡️
There are not many EQs with this kind of fine resolution mastering control and impeccable sonics at this price range, DAV BG3 is one that jumps to mind. But it's a much needed niche I think, otherwise you're spending upwards of 4K.
Thanks for your thoughts, sounds like a nice box and a good fit for you. Absolutely 5db of +/- is a pleasure to work with, I tried to master today mostly with my Zähl EQ1 & API5500 in their "fine res" mode and find working with that resolution much more focused somehow. That being said i had no doubt the Xfilter ME sounds impeccable or that the headroom does help.

My wonder is just about pricing in the context of their existing product line. An 850€ leap in price vs their standard Xfilter seems hefty if the differences are the values on some op-amps / resistors on existing schematics and pcbs.
Old 9th March 2022
  #15
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augustusarnone's Avatar
I think part of the problem is their existing line is already priced so low, so looking at it the way you are leads to that conclusion. But it's priced about the same as the Zahl, if you count the chassis. I think being an all discrete Class A design it's still quite a bargain. I don't really know anything about production costs or what the difference with the improved circuitry cost. I do think matching components has to drive cost up, presumably they throw a portion of their components away if they don't fall within spec. It's like that with wine, the difference between a $40 bottle and a $15 bottle is they throw more than half the grapes away to only use the ripe, most ideal ones. Probably same principle here?
Old 9th March 2022 | Show parent
  #16
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8ttila's Avatar
I see your point but I look at it that way because that's the price of the original Xfilter and i'm comparing Xfilter to Xfilter, which should be the most fitting way to ascertain where a cost difference could stem. The price of eq's from other companies doesn't really matter in this context. However where it is relevant is when there are both standard and mastering versions available, of which there are many examples. Mastering versions typically cost a good chunk more but this is because they have attenuator switches, mechanically detented knobs, etc.. the price difference is more easily understood.

I'm not denying either Elysia Xfilter is great value.

Regarding the wine analogy, I think computer matched component tolerances performed by rigs designed in-house is already well-known Elysia MO. Subsequent component rejection is also already included in their marketing. So i doubt selection for the mastering edition is any more accurate, let alone that the pcb's appear identical. Obviously there are differences somewhere but i'm just trying to understand 850€.

The mastering edition is based of the mods done for Bob Katz in 2018, which he explained on facebook he was arranging with Ruben at Elysia when he bought one second hand. He wanted +- 5db on the pots and mentioned that +21db on the output stage could be better but not a deal breaker, and possibly accomplished with a bit of DIY at the output stage given the the Xfilter already ran on +-30v rails.

For the record i'm not trying to throw shade on Elysia's products, I own 5 units from them and love their stuff.
Old 28th September 2022
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Not much chatter about the mastering version so I'll chuck in my experience.

It sounds great. Every thing I put through it comes out just a little bit better, a little more polished. The 5db range is cool, pretty amazing how just a 1db change can improve a mix, bus, instrument, etc. I don't feel like I can achieve that in my DAW. Not sure why, but the xfilter seems to do more with less.

I did a blind test vs the channel EQs in my Spectra console. At first, I was thinking, OK time to sell the xfilter because it also sounds very good just through the (very nice) channel EQ, but then with both engaged, well that was better than either in solo, so yeah, the xfilter still had something to bring to the table. Not to mention the console filters are not really useful in a mastering context because of the tiny knobs and mono channels.

I would think that for the extra coin, the mastering version should add more features. Per-band bypass would be nice, for example.
I also really find the silkscreen/graphic design is lame. Why not write Freq, Gain, etc, in big bold text above or below each knob? Instead they sacrificed valuable information by interrupting the parameter values with the label. So yeah, recall is more difficult than it should be. This goes for my other elysia units, too.

All in all, it's a 1U win. Not sure there is anything else in the price ballpark that could replace it. People mention the DAV BG3 which I haven't heard, but it is 2U afaik.

EDIT: after writing this I remembered some other 1U units in the ballpark: Neve 8803 and Drawmer 1974
Old 28th September 2022 | Show parent
  #18
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augustusarnone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrand ➡️
It sounds great. Every thing I put through it comes out just a little bit better, a little more polished. The 5db range is cool, pretty amazing how just a 1db change can improve a mix, bus, instrument, etc. I don't feel like I can achieve that in my DAW. Not sure why, but the xfilter seems to do more with less.
I know exactly what you mean, I find that in general with plugins vs hardware and I still don't quite know how to account for it. I find most debates about analog v digital filled with disinformation and superstition, and I use both happily, but I too find that smaller changes on my outboard EQs have a bigger effect, and in general seem to be more robust/bigger sounding. Even with a super clean EQ like XFilter.

Anyway, I've used it mastering classical music for solo piano, small wind ensemble, and larger chamber ensemble with voice, and am totally satisfied with the purchase. I have used TDR Slick EQM and SSL X-EQ2 for digital tools, and they will still have their place, but if something is well recorded in a nice space, minor enhancements with XFilter bring out the best qualities in the source without damage, and with a slight but still noticeable tonal color that sounds outstanding. The LF shelf in particular I think really excels. Solid and weighty, but articulate and the transients still sharp as a tack.
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