Manley Massive Passive Stereo EQ
(Master gain version also available)
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Manley Massive Passive Stereo Equaliser

Product Details

"It's unlike any other EQ"

Like all Manley Labs gear, the Massive Passive looks great. Its appearance alone won't make you buy one. And neither should it!  But, when you consider some of the comments made by engineers using it for the first time....
"Why does it make everything sound so much better?"
"It's organic and orgasmic."
"It's unlike any other EQ."
"This is IT. The sound I always dreamt of but could never get"
"Like a Pultec on hyper-steroids"

Manley's MASSIVE PASSIVE was designed by their chief engineer Craig 'HUTCH' Hutchison. It's a two channel four band equalizer with additional high pass and low pass filters. "Passive" refers to the fact that the tone shaping part of this very clever EQ design uses no active circuitry. Only metal film resistors, film capacitors and hand-wound inductors sculpt the sound. Super hugely-high-headroom Manley all-tube make-up gain amplifiers deliver your music to another level. "Massive" is a fitting word for this wonderful sounding EQ.

Creating organic acoustic tone is best achieved by employing conventional types of circuitry. The Massive Passive uses simple passive components and exploits their natural qualities rather than forcing a complex circuit to meet an arbitrary design goal. Manley knows that recording and mastering EQs are used to achieve artistic goals - their design often balanced with a little art to compliment the science. The Massive Passive can be used for the most radical EQ sometimes needed for tracking as well as the most subtle shadings for vocals and mastering. It was designed to be a fundamentally different EQ, incorporating the strengths of classic Pultecs, choice console EQs, parametrics and graphics. The difference though, is that the Massive allows twice as much EQ with half the colouration. It allows huge HF boosts without sibilance problems and unbelievable fatness without muddiness. This is unique. Being different also gives it some quirks and idiosyncrasies that will spark your creativity and sense of audio adventure. You really do have to hear it.

The Massive Passive is an excellent companion for Manley's Variable Mu® Limiter Compressor. These two units could just about be the ultimate analogue processing chain. Both are already firm favourites with Mastering engineers on both sides of the Atlantic. With this in mind Manley are now producing a new dedicated Mastering Version too. See next pages for more details.

The Filters

Five frequencies, Hi Pass & bypass plus Lo Pass & bypass. Manley have made them extra steep @36 dB/oct! Why? Well, when you need to remove stuff, this does the trick and allows more of the real music to be untouched. The other reason is that it sounds great when combined with the regular bands. Towards the midranges a degree of steepness can be easily tamed. Manley designed the Massive Passive for "usefulness" not "well, we guess it's standard". Think drums and guitar stacks, and other tough jobs. These filters are passive as well.

High Pass Filters = 22, 39, 68, 120, 220, OFF

Low Pass Filters = 6K, 7K5, 9K, 12K, 18K, OFF

Parametric Frequencies:

LOW - 22, 33, 47, 68, 100, 150, 220, 330, 470, 680, 1K

LM - 82, 120, 180, 270, 390, 560, 820, 1K2, 1K8, 2K7, 3K9

HM - 220, 330, 470, 680, 1K, 1K5, 2K2, 3K3, 4K7, 6K8, 10K

HI - 560, 820, 1K2, 1K8, 2K7, 3K9, 5K6, 8K2, 12K, 18K, 27K

Each band can be bypassed or set to boost or cut. This provides twice the control resolution over conventional EQs. It also eliminates the problem where a centre detent does not guarantee a flat response. Each band is capable of 20 dB of boost or cut combined with amazing headroom and freedom from clipping.
Steep LP and HP filters for maximum effectiveness and achieved passively for minimal colouration. The minimum slope is 18 dB/octave and the 18kHz filter was designed for 60 dB/octave.

A modular design allows for future upgrades and special functions. The Massive Passive is an "EQ platform" with room to grow. Transformer balanced floating outputs for ease of installation and a touch of desirable flavour. These were also custom designed for the Massive Passive to accommodate the huge boosts possible. Manley quality, Manley engineering, and the "Manley Sound".


  • All-Passive tone sculpting circuitry
  • Unique Shelf curves use the "bandwidth" control
  • Overlapping and Interleaved Frequency choices
  • Every band switchable to shelf or bell
  • Vacuum tube make-up gain and line drivers
  • Parallel symmetrical topology
  • Premium components throughout
  • HP and LP Filters plus gain trims

Technical Specifications

Ins & Outs Balanced XLR & 1/4" (accepts unbalanced)
Level +4 dBu nominal, internal switches for -10 operation
Bypass Switch bypasses EQ & tube circuits (not hardwire)
44 Frequencies (roughly 1/4 octave spacing)
Frequency Range: 22 Hz to 27 Khz
EQ Boost/Cut Range : 20 dB boost, 20 dB cut
Nominal Q range: 1.5 to 3 (uniquely active in shelf modes)
Frequency Response: +/- 2 dB: 8 Hz to 60 KHz
Maximum Output @ 1.5% THD +37 dBv; +26dBv @ 20 Hz
THD & Noise (1KHz @ +4 dBu): 0.06%
Noise Floor (referred to +4dBu): -85 dB (A Weight)
Dynamic Range: 120 dB
Tube Complement: 2 x 5751, 4 x 6414
Power Consumption (120/240VAC): 72 watts
Size (3U): 19" x 5.25" x 10"
Weight: Unit 21 lbs. Shipping Weight: 27lbs/12.26kgs

Owners Manual

Owners Manual  Download Owners Manual

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