UREI 530 Dual Graphic Equaliser #2 (Refurbished & Recapped with new faders)


Vintage proportional Q graphic equaliser from UREI

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This 530 has been completely refurbished. The boost / cut sliders have been replaced with new pots with new knobs. The pots are mounted closer to the front panel which removes much of the stiffness common with the 530 and 535. With all new pots this 530 works better than new

The unit has been recapped with uprated Panasonic electrolytic capacitors in the power supply. The tantalum caps have been replaced with electrolytics, main reservoir caps increased in value and decoupling caps fitted. Finally, all the electrolytics in the audio path have been replaced with uprated Panasonic bipolar caps

Tested & working better than new. Photos show the 530 for sale

Universal Audio was one of the early pioneers in audio equipment. Founded in 1946 by Bill Putnam, UA produced recording equipment as a sideline to his Universal Recording record company. The company was later renamed United Recording Electronics Industries, giving us the famous UREI name & logo

Putnam was responsible for many innovations in recording including the 1176 compressor, the valve Teletronix LA-3A and transistor UREI LA4 levelling amplifiers. UREI produced a wide range of products including a number of graphic equalisers. The 530 is an early model and is highly sought-after for its vintage tone

The 530 is an early UREI two-channel graphic EQ with nine bands per channel and output transformers. Each channel has an in / out switch and an overload LED

“Those older Urei graphics are proportional Q designs, great for getting sounds as they extrapolate the curve into a smooth one”. Jim Williams, Audio Upgrades

“My favorite EQ for electric guitars. Even flat it makes them sound better” – Michael Wagener

“They make ’em sound big and fat. Bring up a little around 100 and 1.6 and dip a little at 50, 500 – 800 and 10K to take off the scratchiness, instant metal, especially when used together with a BBE” – Michael Wagener

“Yes Yes…Almost allways ends up on guitars. I’m glad to hear others are doing the same……”

“I can say that 535s sound awesome on garage-y, distorted gtrs. Slightly gritty, in a cool way”

“I always liked(and still do) the old Urei 530 and 535 graphics. While they don’t sound like an API 560 in any way, they sound great when working well. To my ears they have a much more mellow tone than the API”

“Guitar EQ. Urei 530. Forever and ever, amen”

“My vote goes for the Urei graphics, specifically the 530, and the 535. Very underrated and useable”

“I’ve got an ancient Urei 530, a real Bill Putnam “Classic” that I used on many records in the ’90s, before we got our current lineup of parametrics. It has a color that I find particularly “musical” and pleasing to the ear. Sounds waaay better IMO than any of the subsequent Ureis, and it’s very fast to use”

“My “veteran” audio buddies tell me not to brag on this unit so much, fearing it will:

1. spread the good word
2. let a well kept secret out of the bag
3. increase the demand
4. and drive up the price for the old 530s.

It’s a good sounding unit IMVHO, and as always YMMV. Cool

p.s. the 12.5k band actually sounds pretty good for “air” …as long as hihats & sibilance aren’t a problem”

“I have a mix up right now with the 535 on the “meaty” guitars. None of my other EQ’s (hardware or software) quite worked right on them”

“The 16khz boost on it sounds really grainy and smooth … not sharp like digital plugins. It also has the same transformer as the 1176 rev F inside it…marked 12614”

“The eq gets quite resonant sounding when boosting just one band, but once you create curves there are no sticking resonancies. It isn’t clean for sure, there is certain saturation about the way it boosts frequencies. With some sources it felt grainy, though to my surprise with other stuff it was quite smooth sounding. So far my favourite use was on drum machines”

“I’ve got one, I like it a lot – adds a little harmonic grit, good for complexifying (is that a word?) boringly-recorded guitar/piano/etc. tracks”

“I think they are very musical sounding and lot better than some plugin eqs and lower end consoles. For the money nothing beats them. I say go for it.”

Like all UREI kit from this period it’s built like a tank with a very functional case, secured by the traditional UREI exposed hex-head screws, and a beautifully-finished aluminium front panel. Inside, it’s best-practice, 1970s-style, with a thick circuit board, huge (by today’s standards) through-hole mounted components, massive American transformers and lots of hand-wiring

The 530 is a nine-band equaliser with frequencies at octave spacings. It has a reputation as a great guitar EQ. Each frequency band is wide enough to be smooth, but tight enough to pull out or accentuate specific frequencies. I think the “Guitar EQ” reputation comes from being a favourite of high-profile users like Michael Wagener but, in truth, it’s as flexible & useable as any other good EQ. It’s not as surgical as a parametric or a plugin but, to me, being different is a major part of the appeal

The UREI 530 has tons of sonic character & great visual style. The functional appearance is like some German audio equipment and is so simple & logical that it can’t be improved on. The design is simpler than the 535 and the larger font sizes & more widely-spaced layout make it even more striking. The combination of simplicity, rugged construction & great sonics works as well now as in the 1970s

Great analogue outboard gear never dates and never devalues if it’s as simple, effective and well-designed as a UREI EQ. In that respect, it’s the polar opposite of software plugins. A UREI 530 will sound unlike any other EQ you own and give you two channels of no-faff equalisation for guitars, loops, drum ambience, effects – whatever you like

UREI 530 Filter Centre Frequencies

  • 50 Hz
  • 100 Hz
  • 200 Hz
  • 400 Hz
  • 800 Hz
  • 1.6 KHz
  • 3.15 KHz
  • 6.3 KHz
  • 12.5 KHz

Balanced stereo inputs & outputs are provided on barrier strips and the unit works at a nominal 0 dBm level. The input is electronically balanced and the output is transformer-balanced. Supply voltage is switchable between 110 and 220 Volts via a rear-panel switch. The power cable is captive & fitted with a new UK power plug fused at 3 Amps

2U device suitable for mounting in a standard 19" rack. Connections are via terminal strip. An XLR pigtail loom is available as an option

Installation & Service Manual



In excellent condition for a vintage piece. It has some front panel marks & case scratches but is very good overall. Photos show the 530 for sale

This 530 has been recapped & completely refurbished with new slider pots. With new pots this 530 works better than new, although the overload LEDs on this example do not work

The unit has been completely recapped with uprated Panasonic electrolytic capacitors in the power supply. The tantalum caps have been replaced with electrolytics, main reservoir caps increased in value and decoupling caps fitted. Finally, all the electrolytics in the audio path have been replaced with uprated Panasonic bipolar caps

Vintage gear 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

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