A-DESIGNS BRINGS DOWN THE HAMMER 2 - AudioTechnology
The A-Designs Hammer three-band tube/hybrid EQ has been very popular in project and professional studios alike for its use during tracking and on a mix bus. The company has introduced a new version, Hammer 2, featuring suggested improvements from many engineers and producers.
“Although the original Hammer has certainly developed a very loyal fan base over the past eight years, we’ve been asking our customers if there were ways that it could be made even better,” says A-Designs Audio President Peter Montessi. “Based on the input we got back, we’ve extended the frequencies on the new Hammer 2, as well as added shelving on the lows and highs. So the frequency bands can now nicely overlap into each other and you can really give the bottom end a bit more punch, thanks to the shelving.
“We’ve also now switched over from continuous-sweep pots to 31-detent controls, which will improve setting repeatability. With the new Hammer 2, musicians and engineers can easily recreate the same sounds they’ve loved with the previous model, but now also have access to even more options and tones. The new version really sounds incredible—especially the shelving—and it’s everything the old Hammer was and more!”
The new product is ideal for adding air to vocals, punch to instruments, or right texture to an overall mix. A major benefit of its design is the ability to push it hard without ugly results.
Each channel features six detented rotary controls: three frequency selector knobs (Lo, Mid, Hi), which are stepped switches for easy recall, each with an accompanying gain knob providing continuously variable boost or cut of 12dB. Each band has a selectable centre frequency and overlaps with the other bands.
Both channels also feature individual toggle switches for EQ In/Out as well as Lo Cut (84Hz) and Hi Cut (8kHZ). Mainly intended as a “broad stroke” equaliser, the product’s bandwidth (Q) is self-adjusting (floating), based on a combination of the amount of gain applied and the dynamics and frequency content of the program material.
The Hammer 2’s unique ability to have its Q “move with the music” is one the keys to its incredible musical performance and another reason why it’s practically impossible to make signals sound bad at any frequency or gain setting. Along with its innovative tube-harmonic filtering circuit, a pair of carefully selected 12AT7 tubes—offering the most consistent control of any tube—and a custom, heavy-duty toroidal power transformer add the final touches to the Hammer 2’s signal path.
A-Designs says the secret to the consistently musical results of the Hammer 2 is because its Q can ‘move with the music.’ The tube-harmonic filtering circuit, a pair of 12AT7 tubes, and a heavy-duty toroidal power transformer add the final touches to the Hammer 2’s signal path.
The unit sports a black, brushed 2U faceplate with custom-milled aluminium control knobs, a heavy-duty Carling toggle power switch, and a big blue power indicator lamp.
“The Hammer 2 is an inspired design whose sonic signature is far greater than the sum of its components,” Montessi adds. “Equally at home in tracking applications or as an insert effect on individual channels, the product is the ultimate full-range finishing device for submixes and master outputs. After all, what audio toolbox would be complete without a Hammer 2?”
The street price of the Hammer 2 will be $2495 US.