Heritage Audio Motorcity EQualizer Review: Amazing 7-band Mono Passive EQ! (2023)

Heritage Audio Motorcity EQualizer

Heritage Audio MotorCity EQualizer Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
  • Reproduction of the “MOTORCITY EQualizer”
  • Historically correct control layout with specially shaped Bakelite buttons
  • 1 Line input: XLR
  • 1 Line output: XLR

Heritage Audio MotorCity EQualizer Review

Heritage Audio, a professional audio producer, primarily based in Madrid, Spain, released a trustworthy replica of McLean’s EQ, which they’ve named the MotorCity EQualizer. As a reference, Heritage used authentic variations of the unit, which have been lent to them by legendary producer and mix engineer Michael Brauer. Because many of the parts were no longer accessible, Heritage Audio created custom re-creations that matched the tolerances of the originals, with lower than 1% variation.

The MotorCity EQualizer is a totally analog, passive EQ design with seven accessible frequency points throughout the tonal spectrum. From the 10-gauge hand-brushed aluminum face plate, and traditionally accurate management structure including custom molded bakelite knobs, the MOTORCITY Equalizer seems to be the part.

Heritage Audio Logo

The Heritage Audio MOTORCITY EQ contains a UTC replica input transformer with a modified turns ratio for better integration into trendy setups. For the output, they’ve opted for a Carnhill-driven output line amp instead of the unique’s Opamp-labs output, which seems to have been a frequent source of faults.

Heritage describes the end result as a ‘dead nut’ replication of Michael Bauer’s units, however with one deliberate exception: they selected to use a tried‑and‑trusted Carnhill transformer for the output stage somewhat rather than try to copy the unique’s op‑amp. Why? Largely because that op‑amp acquired a reputation for being unreliable and the Achilles’ heel of the unique design!

More importantly, the distinctive passive equalization circuit is equivalent and completely devoted to the unique design, together with custom construct mil-spec 1960’S tone capacitors and inductors. The Heritage Audio MOTORCITY Equalizer delivers the identical unmistakably big, punchy, and warm signature sound, making this EQ as traditional as the hits it helped create.

Heritage Audio Motorcity EQualizer

The 2U, single-channel MotorCity EQualizer options bands of 50 Hz, 130 Hz, 320 Hz, 800 Hz, 2 kHz, 5 kHz, and 12.5kHz. It permits you to boost or cut each by as much as 8 dB, in 1dB increments, utilizing the heavy-duty, detented rotary switches, which you regulate with massive, custom-molded Bakelite knobs.

The other controls on the unit are a 3-way switch that turns on and off the power and allows you to toggle the EQ between on and bypass, which is ideal for A/B comparisons. An output Gain management and an old-style, jewel-light power indicator round out the entrance panel.

All rotary switches have easy-to-read from a distance “General Radio” bakelite type knobs recreated to look precisely just like the originals. Lastly, it contains a master gain management (-8db/+8db) with 1dB increments. The straightforward 1960s accurate back panel contains a power provide jack for the exterior energy supply, and an XLR input and output.

Heritage Audio Motorcity EQualizer Rear Panel

The sound of the MOTORCITY EQualizer is precisely what you’d count on. It is a force without sounding sharp or misshapen. Or as Michael Brauer says: It simply has that sound! The Heritage audio MOTORCITY EQ is not a digital equivalent, not a respectfully close duplicate, and never a more appropriate modernized “improvement.” The MotorCity EQualizer is nothing roughly to the genuine article lastly made accessible for the general public.

With its silver faceplate and the custom-molded Bakelite knobs, the MOTORCITY EQ is a great-looking unit for certain, and the specs sound actually promising. In the event you’ve got two items of rack space and the required funds to spare for a single-channel EQ, this could match the bill fairly nicely.

MotorCity EQualizer Brief Features:

  • 100% authentic recreation of Motown Records EQ
  • 3x inductors & 3x tone capacitors per channel, totaling 21
  • Heavy duty rotary switches used for all 7 EQ bands and gain control
  • Exclusive UTC replica input transformer with modified turns ratio for
  • Carnhill-driven output line amp substitutes original Opamp-labs output for better performance
  • In/Out/Off lever allows A/B-ing of EQ
  • Better integration in modern studio
  • All analog EQ circuit

Why You Need the Heritage Audio MotorCity EQualizer

Each studio needs a unit that will give that recognizable coloring to the sound that can be found in many classic records and billboard headliners. Well, maybe it is not the original, but with 1% variation, the Heritage Audio MotorCity EQ will bring you back to that era and add that special flare to your signals.

Maybe it is not a budget unit as we always want to promote, but this is a total grab of a unit. With the power that it has, it is a total no-brainer and if you have the funds, you most definitively should try and grab it.

9.1Expert Score
Heritage Audio MotorCity EQualizer

The MotorCity EQualizer is a totally analog, passive EQ design with seven accessible frequency points throughout the tonal spectrum.

  • Very Versatile EQ
  • Great on Busses and Mix Channels
  • Stepped Knobs
  • Sturdy Quality and Build
  • Not a Budget Unit


As per usual, Heritage Audio again delivered the goods. No need to think twice when you hear this brand name, because it is always connected with the terms “quality” and “professionalism”,

Like all of their other units, this is yet another gem in their assortment and we highly suggest that if you are after an EQ, go ahead and try this one.

In case you are having any questions in regards to this equalizer, feel free to reach out to us in the comment section below or contact Heritage Audio on their customer service page.

Other reviews on Heritage Audio units:


Nikoloski is the founder and main content writer and editor of Mixing Tips. With his experience in audio engineering, mixing, and mastering for over 15 years, will provide hands-on experience and expertise in all the matters covered on this website.

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