A Closer Look At The ART EQ341 Octave Graphic Equalizer

 

ART has made a name for itself as a leading manufacturer of affordable yet power signal processors. Founded in 1984 by a group of audio engineers and music enthusiasts, they continue to refine and reform their catalog of audio gear, always making sure to keep the needs of musicians in mind. Today, we're taking a look at one of their more popular pieces of gear, the EQ341, a powerful 15-band graphic equalizer that is easily one of the best values around.

The Features

At its core, the ART 341EQ is a 15-band, 2-channel graphic equalizer that might not come with a ton of extra bells and whistles but delivers that key features you'd expect from a good quality graphic EQ system. First and foremost, it features a full suite of common connections including XLR, 1/4" TRS, and RCA inputs and outputs, making it usable in nearly any situation. It's also designed to work with a wide variety of signal levels, thanks to the selectable line voltage controls which can easily accommodate -10dB and +4dB signal levels. Furthermore, a clip LED will begin to light 5dBs before clipping. Other key features include a range control switch that allows you to set the maximum boost or cut for each band to either 6dB or 12dB. Each channel also has its own level and bypass controls with LED indicators for easy monitoring, along with 20mm center detent sliders.

eq341ART EQ341 Dual 15-Band Equalizer @ $115.00

Features:

  • Dual Channel 15-Band Graphic Equalizer
  • Constant-Q Filtering
  • Balanced XLR, Active Balanced 1/4", and Unbalanced RCA Input and Output Connectors
  • +/- 6dB or +/-12dB Level Adjustments
  • 20mm Center Detented Frequency Band Sliders
  • Independent Level and Bypass Controls Per Channel
  • Designed for Years of continuous, reliable performance
  • Rugged All Steel Construction
  • One Year Warranty

The Build

The ART EQ341 features a rugged, all-steel construction and was made to take one rack space on any standard 19" equipment rack. Overall, it feels very solid for a device that many would consider falls into the "low-budget" territory (although it's definitely a bit on the light side). The controls themselves feel solid and well-built, with the sliders, in particular, having a smooth yet firm quality similar to that of expensive units. In use, the EQ341 remains silent and cool, another sign of a well-designed system. While it's not going to rival expensive EQ units when it comes to overall build quality, the EQ341 should easily last you years of regular use.

In Use

The ART EQ341 graphic equalizer is actually a pretty versatile tool that can be used in a number of audio situations. For example, you can patch the EQ between your mixing console and power amps which will allow you to change the overall mix to better match your environment. Or you can use the EQ341 between your monitor mixer and monitor power amps to help remove feedback, patch into a channel insert to EQ one channel or track individually, run your instrument directly into the equalizer to enhance its sound before reaching a power amplifier or instrument amplifier, and so on. Long story short, it can essentially do everything you would need a graphic EQ to do, with the bonus of being much more affordable than similar options. Sonically, it keeps your sound clean and uncolored.

Final Thoughts ...

While it might not feature the extra features or elaborate construction of many of the higher prices EQ units, it does everything you would expect from a graphic equalizer. One of the founding principles that ART strives for is finding the perfect balance between function and affordability. WIth the EQ341 and it's price tag of $115, I will definitely say they succeeded.

 

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