Orban 622B Stereo Parametric Equaliser


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Bob Orban is one of the unsung heroes of recording & broadcasting. For more than forty years his products have been in use in studios around the world and the company is still active and developing new gear

Orban is not as well-known in the UK as in the USA but, in the 80s and 90s, plenty of UK studios had an Orban De-esser, compressor or – if they were lucky – an equaliser. They’re not flashy or high-tech, but they’re flexible, accurate & sound great. They definitely have mojo!

Orban products were aimed primarily at the broadcast industry but found favour in recording studios. The things they bring from the broadcast environment – great build quality, modular construction and attention to detail – make them ideal in a studio environment

The Orban 622B equaliser is a two-channel device in a compact, heavy 2U box. It’s a four-band parametric equaliser with bypass switch, input gain trim, overload LED and EQ controls for each channel. Each band has frequency, Q & boost / cut controls plus an in / out switch so individual bands can be switched in or out for comparison purposes. There’s plenty of overlap between  bands so it’s a very flexible EQ

Channel A controls (repeat for channel B)

  • Input attenuator
  • Peak LED
  • Channel bypass switch
  • Band 1 bypass switch
  • Band 1 frequency control
  • Band 1 Q control
  • Band 1 boost & cut control
  • Band 2 bypass switch
  • Band 2 frequency control
  • Band 2 Q control
  • Band 2 boost & cut control
  • Band 3 bypass switch
  • Band 3 frequency control
  • Band 3 Q control
  • Band 3 boost & cut control
  • Band 4 bypass switch
  • Band 4 frequency control
  • Band 4 Q control
  • Band 4 boost & cut control

Sonically, the 622 is warm, like an old console channel equaliser, but with more flexibility. It reminds me of the very wonderful Klein & Hummel UE400 mastering EQ – both are fully parametric equalisers and both have in / out switches for each band – but the K & H is bland next to the Orban. The K & H is super-clean, as you’d expect from a mastering EQ, whereas the 622B has more character and a ton more mojo

Many describe the 622 as “The Poor Man’s GML 8200”. Turn it around, and call the GML the rich man’s 622B, and I think you have a fairer description

A few quotes from Gearslutz:

“Not really clean, they are more of a fun coloured beast. In a tracking or recording situation they can be great”

“They are full of character. These guys were designed for broadcasting, that’s where I first used one. Loved the EQ curves so much, I got one when I started mastering. It’s truly a poor mans GML”

“I had a bit of use years ago with both a 621B and 622B – certainly lots of vibe”

“I personally prefer the 622. It has more character. I find that its great for electric guitars”

“These things are extremely underrated as EQ’s and sound great. I was a big fan of it on drums especially”

“It’s a pretty cool EQ that’s great for control over low end stuff like kick, toms, bass, tuba or bari sax etc. pretty good with anything else. I also dig that each band is bypassable”

“I still got 2 Orban 622Bs and use them mostly for peaky stuff like drums and percussion. I don’t like them too much on guitars or more RMS signals, but on drums they still kick butt. I’ll keep mine for a while. Of course now the new EQ-2NV is majorly kicking butt and mostly gets the cake over the Orbans, but the 622s are still a good EQ to have around” – M Wagener, 2004

“Mine has the output transformers (do all “B” models have output transformers?), and I would describe the sound as semi-colored and “grabby”… which I’m liking on drums”

“The thing I like about the 622 is that each band is bypassable. You can really hear what each band is doing, or only use one band if you please”

“622b is very colorful (in a nice way) and it has been a workhorse here on my studio, specially on kick, bass and smoothing out problematic singers”

This is an early 622B from the 1970s with the original pale blue front panel, grey knobs, bypass switches with white plastic sleeves and a white plastic toggle power switch. All parts look to be original

An input / output loom with Mogami mic cable and Neutrik XLR connectors is available as an option

Inputs are balanced and outputs are unbalanced on a barrier strip connector. Includes a hand-made XLR loom. Mains input is 220 Volt AC (switchable internally to 110 V) via a captive mains lead with a standard UK mains plug. There is extensive RF filtering on the power input and both inputs & outputs have ferrite beads to prevent RF signals affecting the audio. These are clear signs of the broadcast heritage The capacitors are a mix of tantalum, ceramic & mica and there are no electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. There are four electrolytics in the power supply. These do not require replacement but, if desired,  we can replace them as a precaution
Standard 2U device suitable for 19" racks. Switchable 220 / 110 Volt with a back-panel fuseholder, fixed mains cable with a standard UK mains plug
Operating manual ftp://ftp.orban.com/622/622_Manual.pdf Gearslutz Orban 622B Appreciation Thread https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/77051-orban-622b-impressed.html Gearslutz Reviews https://www.gearslutz.com/board/reviews/707560-orban-622b-parametric-equalizer.html Original Orban Catalogue http://www.preservationsound.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/OrbanCondCatalog.pdf
In exceptional condition. Looks like new inside - I suspect it has had very little use. Tested & working 100% All vintage gear will have case scratches and marks. It may also have, or develop, noisy pots and switches. I make my descriptions as accurate as possible and note any existing defects. I test each item before shipping but please understand that vintage gear will not be perfect and adjust your expectations accordingly