UR6QW Audio Processor

UR6QW 8-band EQ v5
UR6QW 8-band EQ v5
UR6QW 8-band EQ v5

Edit: the setup which I use now is detailed in this post. Read on for the review…

I recently bought version 5 of the 8-band EQ from UR6QW in Ukraine. This is a high quality audio processor for your ham radio. I chose to purchase the IC-7300 version for my SSB voice comms. The device has an 8-band graphic equalizer, a low noise microphone preamplifier, an audio compressor, noise gate with variable level and attack/release time, and an echo processor (for those who might want to connect it to a CB radio 😉 !).

According to UR6QW, the device works with both electret/condenser type microphones and dynamic microphones. However, I did measure +5V electret bias voltage on pin 1 of the 8-pin microphone connector (which makes sense since this bias voltage is required to drive the stock ICOM HM-291 electret microphone) and I also measured the same voltage on the tip of the 3.5 mm external microphone jack.

Anyway, I want to use this socket for connecting a dynamic microphone so I installed a DC blocking capacitor in series with the tip connection of the 3.5 mm socket so that there is no DC bias supplied to the dynamic mic. Of course, this 3.5 mm socket will no longer drive electret microphones, but it gives me options. This 5V bias voltage is supplied through a high resistance (several kohms), so it’s incapable of sourcing much current, but I didn’t want it on the dynamic microphone coil at all, so, capacitor it was! I chose a 10 µF, 16 V electrolytic capacitor, connecting the positive side towards the bias voltage. There is no need to use non-polarized capacitors in this application. More information about adding a DC blocking capacitor here.

The device I bought is powered via the IC-7300 microphone connector, and requires no external power supply. It has an external 1/4 inch PTT switch jack on the rear, and a couple of 1/8th inch jacks for a headset (headphone/mic) on the front, as well as a connector for the Icom microphone. Up/Down buttons on the microphone still work when using this processor. For those interested, here is a link direct to UR6QW’s page.

In the past, I’ve given ESSB quite a hard time, and I’ve said that listening to people who use noise gates is tiring on the ears. It seems unnatural. So, here I am with my very own processor capable of producing ESSB with a noise gate. Is this a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them”? Maybe.  ESSB is somewhat difficult to achieve on the IC-7300 since its maximum transmit bandwidth is 2.8 kHz (filter range from 100-2900 Hz) so the deep lows and crisp highs are cut out of the audio whether you like it or not, via the radios internal software. However, it is important to remember that filters don’t just cut off with infinite dB of attenuation. I don’t know the filter profile of the transmit bandwidth filter, but adding 6-10 dB of boost outside of the limits of the transmit bandwidth filter should still yield some boost after the filter.

The UR6QW device is very easy to set up using the monitor function on your radio, but I chose to set it up initially while listening to myself on another radio. I further tweaked the settings over the air with the help of W5IFN and AG5DB.

For the stock HM-219 mic, the settings I eventually settled on for my IC-7300 and processor were as follows. Your optimal settings may be different.

IC-7300 Settings
Compressor Off
Mic Gain 50
Bass 0
Treble 0
TXBW 100-2900 Hz (wide)
UR6QW Processor Settings (numbers relate to the dots around the pots)
80 Hz +6 dB
160 Hz -1 dB
250 Hz -4.5 dB
500 Hz 0 dB
900 Hz +3.5 dB
1500 Hz +2 dB
2500 Hz +6 dB
3200 Hz +6 dB
[Compressor] RATIO 3:1
MIC [Gain] 3.5
GATE [Threshold] 12 (2nd dot from max)
[Gate] TIME switch NORM
ECHO, DELAY 0 (off)
OUT [output level] 7 (half way)
Image showing the HM-219 settings.

When using Behringer XM8500 microphone, the settings I initially settled on for my IC-7300 and processor were as follows.

IC-7300 Settings
Compressor Off
Mic Gain 70
Bass 0
Treble +3
TXBW 100-2900 Hz (wide)
UR6QW Processor Settings (numbers relate to the dots around the pots)
80 Hz +6 dB
160 Hz -3.5 dB (9 o’clock)
250 Hz -3 dB
500 Hz 0 dB (12 o’clock)
900 Hz +3.5 dB (3 o’clock)
1500 Hz +6 dB
2500 Hz +6 dB
3200 Hz +6 dB
[Compressor] RATIO 3:1
MIC [Gain] 5
GATE [Threshold] 12 (2nd dot from max)
[Gate] TIME switch NORM
ECHO, DELAY 0 (off)
OUT [output level] 6
Image showing the XM8500 settings

Then – after a weekend of contesting, using Behringer XM8500 microphone, the settings I finally settled on for my IC-7300 and processor were as follows. I ended up using the compressor in the IC-7300 rather than the compressor in the UR6QW device, since it seemed to provide a much better average SSB power level.

The following are the settings which I settled on, and had used for almost six months. They were pretty good ragchew settings, but I ended up compromising between these settings and a more DX-friendly setting. See those settings here.

IC-7300 Settings
Compressor ON (set to 5)
Mic Gain 70
Bass +5
Treble +5
TXBW 100-2900 Hz (wide)
UR6QW Processor Settings (numbers relate to the dots around the pots)
80 Hz +3.5 dB (3 o’clock)
160 Hz -6 dB (minimum)
250 Hz -6 dB (minimum)
500 Hz 0 dB (12 o’clock)
900 Hz +3.5 dB (3 o’clock)
1500 Hz +6 dB
2500 Hz +6 dB
3200 Hz +6 dB
[Compressor] RATIO 1:1 (OFF)
MIC [Gain] 5
GATE [Threshold] 12 (2nd dot from max)
[Gate] TIME switch NORM
ECHO, DELAY 0 (off)
OUT [output level] 6
Image showing the 2nd set of XM8500 settings

Overall I am very happy with my purchase. I received great audio reports over 9000 miles DX. This device packs a punch in your audio. The processor is of a very high quality. Shielding is good, shielded cables are used, and the housing is metal. The legend is silk-screened onto the housing in thick white paint. The knobs are of high quality and the potentiometers feel solid.

This processor is extremely competitively priced considering its high quality build, connector options, and its audio functionality and quality.

So far, I give this 10 out of 10!

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AD5GG

AD5GG works in the real world primarily as a board-level RF designer in the UHF (300 MHz - 6 GHz) range. Occasionally, he posts articles on this very site. Sometimes they're even worth reading.
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14 thoughts on “UR6QW Audio Processor

  1. Good idea… but I don’t know about “mellifluous” !!
    I do have some audio from when I was setting it up. Let me see about getting that thrown up on YouTube with some captions (before/after).

  2. It’s cheap compared to a Heil mic šŸ˜‰
    Sergey can customize this device to work with whatever radio/mic combination you like.
    The stock Icom HM-219 mic isn’t the best – it’s extremely “hot”, and the wind/pop shield is nonexistent (as audibly demonstrated in this video)…
    I’m thinking I might get better results with a dynamic element. Might be worth a shot.
    The processor I have has a microphone/phone 3.5 mm jack input/output on the front, so I should be able to try any microphone I like, really. Just need a PTT footswitch to plug into the back!

  3. This was posted a few weeks ago when I first received the device. I’ve learned a lot about it since then. See above in the main post for a few different setups.

  4. EQ 8 band with compression. Hi. Sent an email before but no answer. I would like one of these for a Yaesu 450D and a Heil pro 6. Would it improve my audio? If so, how much would it cost. Thank you.

  5. Matthew,
    I plan to order one to use with my Yaesu FTdx-5000.
    For the $129.00 price I see he offers on eBay does that include the connecting cord for this radio?
    I gather it does not have a 48vdc supply for studio condenser mics. Is that correct?
    You mention a version number for the unit. I didn’t see anything about version numbers on his ad.
    Finally, does he supply a schematic/parts list with the unit?
    Thanks for your excellent review Matthew.
    73 from Bob KW4CQ

    1. Hi Bob,
      This is AD5GG.
      If you order one of these, you’ll get the latest version. You can also specify what kind of connecting cord you want. UR5QW offers custom configurations for this.
      As for 48V phantom power, no. This unit does not have this feature. You could use an in-line 48V injector though.
      UR5QW does not supply a schematic or parts list, however, it’s an easy circuit to reverse-engineer if you need to.
      73 from Gordon AD5GG

  6. Iā€™m considering purchasing the ver 5 8 band EQ for the ICOM 7300.

    How do I connect my Heil PR 781 microphone to the EQ?

    Will the Heil 8 pin CC-I XLR adapter cable plug directly into the EQ for it to work correctly?

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