The Shadow Hills Equinox is like a complete small-format recording console in just 2 rack spaces. It features 2 GAMA mic preamps, 30 channels of analog summing, and a mastering-grade monitor controller.
The mic preamps are the Golden Age Microphone Amps. Each has 60dB of gain, 24 position gold-plated stepped attenuators, 48V Phantom Power, 20 dB Pad, Phase Reverse, and 1/4” DI Input. The most exciting feature of the amplifier section is the switchable output transformers, which allow for several different sonic flavors in the same box. The transformers and characteristics are as follows:
- Steel Transformer (hand wound to match a favorite 1970's American output transformer.) Tight and punchy, the most colored with the biggest low end. The sound of rock and roll.
- Nickel Transformer (hand wound transformer based on a L.A. custom console.) Super clear and wonderful sounding, but with a subtle and musical smoothing of the transients.
- Iron Transformer (modern version of the classic St. Ives 1166 Neve output transformer.) - Warm and round, with a super detailed and present mid-range.
The summing buss is a 30-channel mixer utilizing copper buss bars and esoteric resistors, for simply the finest sounding passive summing. DAW inputs 3-24 are STEREO summed and distributed odd to left and even to right, while DAW inputs 25-32 are sent MONO to both channels of the summing network. The summed signal then passes through the Golden Age amplifiers with selectable output transformers. Effectively allowing the user to choose between the sounds of three different consoles on the mix bus.
The monitor section features: choice of 4 input sources, choice of 3 speaker outputs, 24 step Monitor Level control, Monitor Level DIM switch, switch to engage built-in Talkback Mic, Cue output, and Stereo/Mono switch.
With the INPUT SELECT switch in the:
- DAW 1-2 position the Equinox monitors the stereo mix output of the user’s DAW. In this mode, the incoming DAW 1-2 signal bypasses the GAMA amplifiers and feeds the Monitor Level control. This allows the user to employ the Equinox’s mic preamps standalone and record/monitor them through the DAW’s I/O.
- MIX 3-32 position, the Equinox monitors the summing network after passing through the GAMA’s.
- EXTERNAL position, the Equinox is able to monitor an additional balanced stereo source via rear panel XLR connections.
- MIC PRE position, the Equinox routes the mic preamp output directly to the Monitor Section. This allows the user to monitor the signal coming directly from the preamp, prior to any converter artifacts or intermediate processing.
The monitor section also features 3 pairs of Speaker Outputs and a Cue (or headphone) Output. Both reproduce what the Input Select is set to. Only one speaker output pair may be selected at a time. The speaker output level is control by the Monitor Level knob. The Cue Output is unaffected by the Monitor Level, and switches to the Talkback signal when the Talkback Switch is engaged. Simultaneously, the Monitor Level dims when the Talkback Switch is engaged.
With all these features in a rugged 2U enclosure the Shadow Hills Equinox is equipped for the demands of modern recording, but styled and crafted to the high standards of a bygone era.