Before buying I tested the Sonalksis SV-517 against a couple of other plugins: Elemental Audio Eqium, Waves Renaissance, Waves Q10 and Logic's Channel EQ.
The Sonalksis sweeped the floor with the other EQs, although I don't know yet how it holds up against URS or Sony Oxford. But for a plugin available directly in AU without the need for additional hardware (Sony Oxford requires TDM or Powercore) or iLok (URS), the Sonalksis seems to be one the best out there.
Interestingly the SV-517 adds a bit of grit to the sound, something that might take a bit of getting used to. I like the fact that it has a sound and isn't sterile - like most other EQ plugins.
Also the SV-517 was way more phase correct than e.g. Logic's Channel EQ (which is laughable). I did a simple test with an Ace of Base track I produced: did an -6dB cut @ 80Hz with a lowshelf (Q=0.71) with both EQs. Interestingly the Sonalksis sounded natural both in the low end and top end while Logic's Channel EQ sounded phase distorted in the low end and the top end was all funny. But even worse: while both EQs were attenuated -4.5dB to avoid clipping (as a result of normal phase shift on a 0dBFS headroom file) the SV-517 peaked at -2.5dBFS (as expected) while Logic's Channel EQ peaked at 0.0dBFS! So thumbs up to Sonalksis of course.
I haven't used the Sonalksis extensively yet but I can recognize a good EQ when I hear it. The Sonalksis will be my EQ of choice for the nearest future.
Overall the price is reasonable for a EQ of this quality. Being one the few quality EQs available in native format (unlike Sony Oxford) and doesn't require additional purchases (such as an iLok for URS plugins) it offers a genuine and high quality alternative.
Apart from the miniscule values below the knobs it really has everything a standard EQ should have, and it does its job remarkably well.
There's a generous 30 days free demo available from www.sonalksis.com so everybody can try out for themselves.
Self-taught producer and audio engineer with 11 years of professional experience. First instrument was the drums at age 7, followed by the piano, and finally the sequencer as the main tool. Received a Danish Grammy nomination as Producer of the Year in 1999 for the group SOAP, and has received more than 50 Gold and Platinum records for more than 6 million sold units.
Tested Sonalksis SV-517 EQ in AU format in Logic Pro 7.1 on a Mac G5 Dual 2.3 running Tiger 10.4.2. Used as channel EQ while mixning a wide variety of music ranging from dance and remixes to pop productions and broadcast/speak.
RME 96/52 sound card in sync with external ADI-8 DS converter through SPL monitoring control to ADAM S2.5A active speakers.