During the early days of audio recording, Eugene Shenk, an impassioned electrical engineer, dedicated his life to advancing the quality of audio recordings. Driven by a profound fascination with music and sound, Eugene established Pulse Techniques, known as Pultec, in the 1950s.
At that time, the recording industry faced a significant hurdle. Despite technological advancements enabling sound capture, the process often resulted in the loss of specific frequencies, particularly in the low and high ranges of the audio spectrum. Recordings lacked depth and warmth, posing a formidable challenge for engineers seeking solutions.
Fuelled by his visionary mindset, Eugene Shenk embarked on a quest to overcome this predicament. Through his ingenuity, he designed a series of audio equalizers that would become the bedrock of Pultec's triumph. His breakthrough achievement materialized in creating the Pultec EQP-1A, a program equalizer celebrated for its distinctive and captivating sonic qualities.
The Pultec EQP-1A showcased a dual-channel design with dedicated controls for amplifying and attenuating specific frequency bands. With features like low-frequency boost and attenuation controls, high-frequency boost, and a mid-frequency attenuator, this revolutionary device empowered engineers to shape sound in unprecedented ways.
Among its notable attributes, the Pultec EQP-1A's low-frequency boost and attenuation section stood out. Employing the remarkable "Pultec trick," it simultaneously amplified and reduced the same frequency, resulting in a unique and pleasing audio effect. This technique garnered widespread acclaim within the recording industry and significantly shaped the signature sound of numerous classic recordings.
The Pultec EQP-1A swiftly gained recognition among recording engineers and music producers, establishing itself as an indispensable tool for shaping the sonic landscapes of recordings. Its remarkable ability to enhance the low and high ends of the audio spectrum solidified its position as an essential asset.
Throughout the years, Pultec remained committed to innovation, expanding its product line to encompass new models and variations of the EQP-1A and other audio processors like compressors and limiters. Upholding unwavering standards of quality, each new offering retained the exceptional standards and distinctive Pultec sound that had become synonymous with the brand.
In the early 2000s, Dr. Steve Jackson, a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Materials Science, endeavoured to recreate Eugene Shenk's original Pultec design. Driven by an unwavering commitment to preserving the integrity of the original design, Dr. Jackson vowed to faithfully recreate the Pultec without compromise or unnecessary alterations. In instances where sourcing original components proved impossible, Dr. Jackson meticulously conducted electrical, mechanical, and chemical characterizations to precisely determine the specifications of those components and build custom replacements.
Over a decade of meticulous work, Dr. Jackson received invaluable guidance, encouragement, and support from Eugene Shenk. This collaboration culminated in successfully recreating one of the most revered pieces of professional recording equipment—the Pulse Techniques (Pultec) EQP-1A3 Program Equalizer. This faithful recreation was hailed as one of the "Holy Grails" in the industry.
Dr. Jackson's unwavering determination and meticulous craftsmanship have been recognized by prominent figures in the recording industry, who acknowledge his products as authentic Pultecs. Expanding the product line, Dr. Jackson introduced the popular MEQ-5 midrange EQ, API 2520 line amp versions of the EQP-1A3 and MEQ-5, and a comprehensive range of mastering products.
The story of Pultec serves as a testament to its enduring legacy and the dedication of individuals like Eugene Shenk and Dr. SteveBack to top.