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Huge price jump between API style lunch box and rack mount, why?
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ImJohn
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30th October 2005
Old 30th October 2005
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Huge price jump between API style lunch box and rack mount, why?

It may be a supply/demand issue but why for instance is the 6 space API lunch box under $500 street price while the 10 space rack mount is over $600 AND requires a $700 external power supply?!! That's $1300 to run 10 modules, or, you could get two lunch boxes for under $1000 and run 12 modules.

Just wondering.
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30th October 2005
Old 30th October 2005
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I think it's probably mostly supply and demand like you say, but also the power supply to power 10 modules would need to be quite a big bigger (electrically, hence physically), and that would eat up a lot of the extra cost.

Also, the power supply is external on the rack-mount version, which means extra for the casing.

btw - if it's just the preamps you're after, save some money and buy 1 or 2 3124+ units. I got mine from Sonic Circus for just over 2 grand (new), and you could probably get a similar deal if you shop around. Channel for channel, they are a great deal, and they are amazing sounding preamps.
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ImJohn
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30th October 2005
Old 30th October 2005
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Thanks murp,

I've lusted after the 3124 from time to time ( along with all of the other 4 channel pres! ) but currently I'm wanting to try several different colored preamps and I would really like to try the API, Brent Averill, Old School Audio and Shadow Hills pres. so I'm taking a look at what my best option for a rack is. API is the costliest and OSA is the least expensive but the Brent Averill is only $200 more than OSA so . . . I'm getting cornfused . . .
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30th October 2005
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I don't think, there's a "real reason" for the difference in price. The lunchbox was perhaps an attempt to sell a few more modules to smaller studios??

I mean even the rack for only two modules is more expensive than the lunchbox, so it can't be the powersupply that makes the difference. I asked the German distributor about this and he could not really explain it to me either. They are of course selling more lunchboxes than two slot housings, but if the rackmount ones were cheaper, they would sell more of THEM.

I also bought eight channels 3124+ instead of a rack with modules. Even if you buy a ten slot rack and fill it with ten 500 preamps, each channel is still more expensive than each channel on one 3124+. Strange!
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30th October 2005
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Hey John,

You can also check the Old School Audio stuff (Atlas Pro Audio) I think you will find that their 500 series chasis have a much sweeter price point. I own a 3124+ and they are great on drums..............even concert toms I am told

I know that doesen't directly answer your question but it is a much cheaper alternative to consider, cheers!
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30th October 2005
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The 3124 is no doubt the best deal for pres only, reason its less is its not modular, modules are more expensive to build, the 10 space supply is larger..more expensive.
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1st November 2005
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(I’m also trying to figure out the entire lunch box, rack mount issue).
(I lean towards not wanting these pres sitting in a “lunch box” on top of something,
compared to a secure rack mount. But cost difference is not small).

To original question, I don’t have these in hand, but gauge of
metal and amount of metal seems different between lunch box,
and rack mounts. Easy part is power supply for 10 modules
cost more.

Not so easy (cause I don’t own em yet) Are both
supplies same type and quality.
Meaning are they :
Linear or Switching?
Same ripple content? (Filter section of power supply)
Same level of regulation?
Etc, etc. . . .

Part II:
I am hearing that the 3124s and the 512Cs do not
sound “exactly” the same.
Is this true? (512C slightly better?)
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1st November 2005
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Part II:
I am hearing that the 3124s and the 512Cs do not
sound ?exactly? the same.
Is this true? (512C slightly better?)

The components in the 3124 and 512c are the same...have seen inside of both...
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1st November 2005
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i have had a difficult time seeing the price difference as well.
the osa is only $700 and the brent avrill is only $900 both with power supplies.
not knocking api but i have to be missing something as well.
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2nd November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio
Part II:
I am hearing that the 3124s and the 512Cs do not
sound ?exactly? the same.
Is this true? (512C slightly better?)

The components in the 3124 and 512c are the same...have seen inside of both...

I ASK EXACTLY THE SAME QUESTIONS TO SOMEONE AT API A YEAR AGO BEFORE BUYING MY 3124+ AND HE TOLD ME IT SOUNDED THE SAME. I BELIEVE HIM...

OR...MAYBE HE JUST WANTED ME TO BUY THE CHEAPER ONE CAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY?

BY THE WAY...IT'S MY FAVORITE PRE FOR PERCUSSION!

PUPO
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2nd November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpupo74
I ASK EXACTLY THE SAME QUESTIONS TO SOMEONE AT API A YEAR AGO BEFORE BUYING MY 3124+ AND HE TOLD ME IT SOUNDED THE SAME. I BELIEVE HIM...

OR...MAYBE HE JUST WANTED ME TO BUY THE CHEAPER ONE CAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY?

BY THE WAY...IT'S MY FAVORITE PRE FOR PERCUSSION!

PUPO
ouch... my poor ears...
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2nd November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveH
Part II:
I am hearing that the 3124s and the 512Cs do not
sound "exactly" the same.
Is this true? (512C slightly better?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio
The components in the 3124 and 512c are the same...have seen inside of both...
Then it’s the 3124 for me. Same sound, same parts, more convenient package
at a lower total price. (And skip the entire lunchbox issue)
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9th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveH
Then it’s the 3124 for me. Same sound, same parts, more convenient package
at a lower total price. (And skip the entire lunchbox issue)
Hey guys,

Before letting this thread die I want to make an observation.

What happens if one of the channels on your 3124+ needs to be repaired?
You'll need to wait for a couple of weeks without pre's!

On the other hand, if you buy the lunchbox you can just send them the unit that's bad.

Pupo
ImJohn
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10th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kc8mob
Buy a OldSchoolAudio PwrRack. It's 699.00 when its not on sale and the PSU is better. It has more current capacity, and the 48-volt phantom supply is a hell of allot more stable. Oh yeah and this unit will power 11 modules regardless if there EQ's or mic pre's.

I've never heard anyone complain about the capacity or quality of the API power supplies. Is there a noticable sonic improvement when comparing the same module powered by an OSA rack as opposed to an API rack??? What about the Brent Averill rack power?

Is the OSA power supply built into the rack? It's hard to tell from the pictures but it seems so. The API and Averill power supplies are seperate units that sit outside the rack so this would seem like an advantage. . . . for less problems with noise and hum? (although I've never noticed a problem with any of my other pres that have built in power supplies so maybe this is just a problem for units with sloppy designs???)

The OSA racks are definitely the least expensive option right now. The API deal for a free lunch box if you buy 4 modules is really nice and saves you $450 BUT four API pres will cost you about $600 more than four Brent Averill or Old School Audio pres so there is no real advantage there. ( unless you are definitely set on API pres)

And I think API would be smart to offer a discount for people buying several modules and a rack, like, a $450 discount on the rack when you buy 4 modules and maybe a free power supply if you buy 6 modules or whatever.
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10th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn
The OSA racks are definitely the least expensive option right now. The API deal for a free lunch box if you buy 4 modules is really nice and saves you $450 BUT four API pres will cost you about $600 more than four Brent Averill or Old School Audio pres so there is no real advantage there. ( unless you are definitely set on API pres).

I hate to even say this because I don't want people to think I am spamming...but I don't think too many people know about this yet and it seems on topic to John's comments....Atlas is offering a free 8 module OSA TrackPack with purchase of any 8 OSA preamps. Again, sorry for the shameless self promotion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn

Is the OSA power supply built into the rack? It's hard to tell from the pictures but it seems so.


OSA uses an external 3 amp PSU. Here is a picture of the 11 module OSA PowerRack. As you can see from the picture below all slots are open, no room for a PSU. The OSA PSU is about 3/4 the size of this rack.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pwrrk.jpg (25.6 KB, 465 views)
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ImJohn
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10th November 2005
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Thanks for the clarification Nathan. Since I never noticed if it was ever mentioned anywhere that the power supply was seperate, I was wondering if the unit was extra deep and had the power built in behind or something.

And hey, you forgot to mention that if someone buys 1 OSA preamp and an OSA rack from you they will get $100 off the regular price of the rack or if they buy 4 OSA preamps and a rack they will get $200 off the bundle!

Sweet!
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