The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
API 225L, 525 compressors 500 Series EQ\'s
Old 16th August 2007
  #1
Gear Addict
 

API 225L, 525 compressors

I have done some searching on these without much luck...

How do you like the API 225L compressor? what is it good for? vocals?
It looks so easy and simple... I like that. But I have a feeling it's like an "average" or "medium" compressor, and not an outstanding great one (judging from the lack of talk about it in here...)
How is it compared to the API 525 compressor? It's almost half the price...
Old 16th August 2007
  #2
Gear Addict
 

anyone??
Old 16th August 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
gsharp's Avatar
 

The 225 is great. I think the size and (lack of) racking options hasn't helped them catch on. But in terms of sound and function they are great. I've got 4 of them in the 4 space rack that API unfortunately doesn't make anymore.

They've got the 2520 op amp in them. Super easy to set up. 3 fixed attack times and fully variable release. They do feedback and feedforward compression. Also has a hard/soft knee selector. Another cool thing is that the output gain is constant so as you crank in compression the output level is maintained. Very easy to hear exactly what you're doing to the sound.

All in all a very good sounding, very versatile little unit. The only thing that sucks is the rack situation.
Old 16th August 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
The 225Ls are awesome. Great secret weapons. Not sure how else to describe them other than: everything that goes through them comes out sounding excellent. The 225Ls give you a lot of options even though they are small. Very smooth and "transparent"... they compress really well without making it obvious. Very natural. The 225L may be my favorite all-around compressor... period.

The racking situation... I think the current API 12-space 200 series rack is excellent. 12-channels of these wonderful comps, or 235L gates, or 215L sweep filters, or 212L mic pres, etc, will fit in a mere two rack spaces! Super compact, really well designed.

My recommendation... pick up a 200 series rack and and least six 225L comps to start.... you won't be disappointed. Yes, you can link the 225Ls in stereo if you need to... requires some very simple modding to the rack... I'm no electronics wiz and I was able to do the mod myself, no problem.

I have a 200 rack with six 225Ls right now, use them all the time,... I like them so much that I soon plan on buying more and selling off some of my other compressors. The 225Ls are just so easy to set up, so easy to get a good sound... you can barely hear them working.... and they take up essentially zero space.

Not just my opinion... an engineer friend of mine stopped by not too long ago and started fiddling with my 225Ls... I had NOT told him how much I liked them... after a short while my friend was like, "WOW, these things sound incredible!"... he was quite blown away.... and he's a very scrutenous, critical and honest character. It was interesting for me to see someone else have such a positive reaction to 225Ls. They're now one of his favorite compressors also.

Bottom line... the 225Ls are excellent... you cannot go wrong with them. Even if you pick up 4 or 6 right off the bat, I'm sure you will keep and use them for years to come. They're solid professional units that get the job done very well.

I just found this quote by Fletcher (on Gearslutz): "...I think that once you get past the frame purchase for the API 200 series stuff... you'll be remarkably happy with the 225... personally, I prefer it to the API 525... it's almost like getting half an API 2500 ... which in my world is a beautiful thing..."
Old 16th August 2007
  #5
Gear Addict
 
dynamo's Avatar
 

They are excellent compressors. I have two. Still don't know if getting two more or two 212L preamps to fill the 4 space rack... The feedback and feedforward switch is pretty cool cause you also get get two different type of "tone". Not as flexible as a Distressor but still...If you do live sound or live recordings there is nothing else like it. You can change the compression parameters on the fly without affecting the output level. Nothing is "average" about it. Never compared to the 525.
Old 17th August 2007
  #6
DRC
Lives for gear
 

But what sources do those of you that have one use it on most? Is it better for drums? Electric Gtrs? Vocals? Or is it good on everything?

Is it fast? Does it have a sound? What other comp would you compare it to? Does it sound like a Daking or an RNC or neither?
Old 17th August 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DRC View Post
But what sources do those of you that have one use it on most? Is it better for drums? Electric Gtrs? Vocals? Or is it good on everything? Is it fast? Does it have a sound? What other comp would you compare it to? Does it sound like a Daking or an RNC or neither?
Hmmm... hard to say... it has a sound... but it doesn't have a sound... it's one of those units that's just kinda hard to describe, one of the reasons I like it so much... not like anything else really. What strikes me hardest about it is its ability to compress without noticable compression effects. Put just about any track through one and the track gets thicker, fatter and louder, but yet it does not sound like it's being "compressed". This may imply that it does not have a "sound", but indeed that character itself, the unit's ability to render such smooth, natural compression, to me IS a "sound"...the sound of truly excellent compression.

But, not to confuse, since the 225L allows various sonic options, you CAN get one to create obvious compression effects if you'd like... you can crush and get the "sound" of typical compression. But, when you desire, you can also run it smooth and natural while still achieving significant dynamic control (and fatness, etc), and it's just a beautiful thing. Once I started using them I was hooked... they make your tracks sound better, plain and simple. Now I know why mixes done on big API consoles sound so good... because some of those consoles have 225Ls on every channel (as well as 550bs and/or 550As, etc)... that's the way to do it.
Old 17th August 2007
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Thanks guys! Great info here thumbsup

225L compared to 525 in terms of color, fatnes, character, personality...?

The 225L is smaller but have more features it seems. And according to Fletcher it's like a half API 2500 comp...

Why is the 525 much more popular???? - though it's twice as expensive with less features! Does it sound bigger, warmer, better or what's the deal...???
Old 17th August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
Thanks guys! Great info here thumbsup
225L compared to 525 in terms of color, fatnes, character, personality...?
The 225L is smaller but have more features it seems. And according to Fletcher it's like a half API 2500 comp...Why is the 525 much more popular???? - though it's twice as expensive with less features! Does it sound bigger, warmer, better or what's the deal...???
As gsharp suggested, the 200 series stuff is not overly popular simply due to the fact that the rack system itself is not overly popular. The 500 series rack system is more universal, at least at this point, so more people are going to have 500 series racks, and thus be more inclined to pick up 525s. The 200 series rack system limits you to just the API 200 modules only, I don't think there are any other manufacturers that make modules that fit... so you have the API comps, gates, DIs, pres and filters... that's it... no full eqs even... and the 12-space 200 system is not necessarily cheap, so it keeps a lot of folks from taking the plunge. But in my opinion, it's worth every penny. I have one 200 rack with six comps and six gates, I may soon get another 200 rack with more comps, etc... once you use the stuff and realize how good it is, you'll be sold on the idea that the API 200 series rack is the way to go. The savings in space alone is an incredible advantage... you could have twelve 2-space mono compressors in your rack (such as 1176s or whatever) taking up a total of 24 rack spaces... OR, you could have twelve 225L compressors in one single 2-space 200 series rack!!!... a savings of 22 rack spaces, or well over 3 feet tall of rack space... that's significant, especially if your control room is not that huge. And the 225Ls perform extremely well and are extremely versatile even though they are small physically... don't let the small size fool you... it's a big sound in a small package.
Old 4th February 2008
  #10
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
(...) Yes, you can link the 225Ls in stereo if you need to... requires some very simple modding to the rack... I'm no electronics wiz and I was able to do the mod myself, no problem.
hi, just found this thread when searching for information about the 225Ls. how did you do the mod. I just have a pair in front of me. great units for mono-sources - and i'd like to use them for stereo too!

thanks in advance, u-)
Old 4th February 2008
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Great thread. I've been trying to get info about the 200 series line lately. If anyone can comment about link or sidechain capabilities of the 200 series rack it would be appreciated.

Anyone here used the 225l live a fair bit?

Also, I don't know why API has never realeased the 225L in a 500 series form factor.. Ive just never had any interest inthe 525. The controls on it just look ****ing ******** IMO. The 525 has no variable attack time and limited ratio selection. Im soley (pre)judging the 525 based on functionality, but for what it costs it looks like a total waste of 500 seres slot.

The 225L on the other hand... looks like it would fit my workflow very well.

cheers
Old 4th February 2008
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Mad-Max's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1979 View Post

Also, I don't know why API has never realeased the 225L in a 500 series form factor.. Ive just never had any interest inthe 525.
cheers

It's the SAME question I'm keep asking to my self...
I Have one 525...and it's a complete different thing from the 225L (2500)...
it's a kind of a glue machine for a bass Gtr, an acoustic gtr...for example...a kind of soft channel compressor...
but unusuable for example on drums...
not surely so versatile as the 225L...
Old 4th February 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
Anybody ever think of DIY'ing a rack & PSU for these 225L's?
Old 4th February 2008
  #14
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mltamisin View Post
Anybody ever think of DIY'ing a rack & PSU for these 225L's?
That's the problem with 200 series, the rack is so bloody expensive
Old 4th February 2008
  #15
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn View Post
That's the problem with 200 series, the rack is so bloody expensive
But it's well worth it!
Old 4th February 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uphonic View Post
hi, just found this thread when searching for information about the 225Ls. how did you do the mod. I just have a pair in front of me. great units for mono-sources - and i'd like to use them for stereo too!
Check post #26 below

Old 4th February 2008
  #17
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
But it's well worth it!
Is it though? It's £900 here in the UK and that's too much when you're then tied in to a product that only one company makes modules for. At least 500 series has been adopted by many other manufacturers
Old 4th February 2008
  #18
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn View Post
Is it though? It's £900 here in the UK and that's too much when you're then tied in to a product that only one company makes modules for. At least 500 series has been adopted by many other manufacturers
That is a valid assessment, but in my personal opinion, the API 200 series modules are so good that I am not concerned about being "tied" to API 200 modules. I think if you were to try some 225Ls you'd feel a little better about the cost of the 200 series rack.

Of course the rack itself is most cost effective when you fill it 100%. To pay £900 for a rack and then put in only two modules means the rack is "costing" £450 per channel... not too good. But, because this rack holds a whopping TWELVE modules, if you fill it with 12 modules, the effective cost of the rack per channel is only £75 per channel. Not sure off hand how that compares to the average 500 series rack per channel, but it's probably not too far off.

Regardless, those 225L compressors are really killer... it's also really nifty that you can house 12 of these bad boys in a mere two rack spaces. Makes it a lot easier to keep all the knobs sitting within arm's reach of your sweet spot... the smaller the better.

Old 4th February 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
That is a valid assessment, but in my personal opinion, the API 200 series modules are so good that I am not concerned about being "tied" to API 200 modules. I think if you were to try some 225Ls you'd feel a little better about the cost of the 200 series rack.

Of course the rack itself is most cost effective when you fill it 100%. To pay £900 for a rack and then put in only two modules means the rack is "costing" £450 per channel... not too good. But, because this rack holds a whopping TWELVE modules, if you fill it with 12 modules, the effective cost of the rack per channel is only £75 per channel. Not sure off hand how that compares to the average 500 series rack per channel, but it's probably not too far off.

Regardless, those 225L compressors are really killer... it's also really nifty that you can house 12 of these bad boys in a mere two rack spaces. Makes it a lot easier to keep all the knobs sitting within arm's reach of your sweet spot... the smaller the better.

Fair point. I dare not try them though..... it will probably mean me buy 12 modules & a rack
Old 4th February 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevetgn View Post
Fair point. I dare not try them though..... it will probably mean me buy 12 modules & a rack
hehhehheh

I originally picked up just six 225Ls... and I liked them so much I wound up selling some other more expensive compressors I had in order to fund the purchase of more 225Ls.

Yes, a rack full of 225Ls will cost you a bit, but since these puppies are so versatile and so excellent, you will have no problem liquidating a lot of your other compressors in order to raise some funds. This was my experience anyway.

The 225Ls are quite small, but they're VERY powerful. They give you a LOT of sonic options, so they easily replace a lot of other "one trick pony" compressors you may have. They cover a lot of bases.

The 225Ls are also able to achieve performance that most other compressors cannot... they can be incredibly subtle and smooth while still performing decent gain reduction... extremely transparent and musical... you can barely detect any compression "effect", even with fast attack and release, yet compression is indeed taking place... extremely impressive... sorry for the buzz words, not sure how else to describe... you really need to hear `em. I have never yet used another compressor that can do what these things can do... and it's quite obvious once you try `em.

An engineer friend of mine stopped by one day and started fooling with my 225Ls... I had previously not said a word to him about the 225Ls, for all he knew at that point I hated them. His first response was something like, "look at these tiny little toys, do they actually work?"... I guess the small size didnt impress him at first. Then he spent an afternoon mixing with them. Later on I saw him and the first thing he said was, "Wow, those little API comps are incredible!!!". I wasn't too surprised at his response but it was re-assuring to know that I wasn't the only one blown away by the 225Ls.

Once you buy the rack (most painful part), the 225L modules themselves are not too expensive compared to other popular "high-end" compressors. Chances are you may own other popular high-end compressors that can bring say $700 - $1,000+ per channel on the used market... then you can buy brand new 225L channels for in the $600 each zone brand spankin' new with warrantee.

And don't forget, you can also use the excellent 212L mic pres in the rack too... also just $600 a pop... you can probably dump a few of your old $1000+ per channel pres on Ebay and replace with new 212Ls, this way you fill up the rack fast and you can pretty much fund the whole thing by dumping some of your old less versatile gear.

Old 4th February 2008
  #21
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
hehhehheh

I originally picked up just six 225Ls... and I liked them so much I wound up selling some other more expensive compressors I had in order to fund the purchase of more 225Ls.

Yes, a rack full of 225Ls will cost you a bit, but since these puppies are so versatile and so excellent, you will have no problem liquidating a lot of your other compressors in order to raise some funds. This was my experience anyway.

The 225Ls are quite small, but they're VERY powerful. They give you a LOT of sonic options, so they easily replace a lot of other "one trick pony" compressors you may have. They cover a lot of bases.

The 225Ls are also able to achieve performance that most other compressors cannot... they can be incredibly subtle and smooth while still performing decent gain reduction... extremely transparent and musical... you can barely detect any compression "effect", even with fast attack and release, yet compression is indeed taking place... extremely impressive... sorry for the buzz words, not sure how else to describe... you really need to hear `em. I have never yet used another compressor that can do what these things can do... and it's quite obvious once you try `em.

An engineer friend of mine stopped by one day and started fooling with my 225Ls... I had previously not said a word to him about the 225Ls, for all he knew at that point I hated them. His first response was something like, "look at these tiny little toys, do they actually work?"... I guess the small size didnt impress him at first. Then he spent an afternoon mixing with them. Later on I saw him and the first thing he said was, "Wow, those little API comps are incredible!!!". I wasn't too surprised at his response but it was re-assuring to know that I wasn't the only one blown away by the 225Ls.

Once you buy the rack (most painful part), the 225L modules themselves are not too expensive compared to other popular "high-end" compressors. Chances are you may own other popular high-end compressors that can bring say $700 - $1,000+ per channel on the used market... then you can buy brand new 225L channels for in the $600 each zone brand spankin' new with warrantee.

And don't forget, you can also use the excellent 212L mic pres in the rack too... also just $600 a pop... you can probably dump a few of your old $1000+ per channel pres on Ebay and replace with new 212Ls, this way you fill up the rack fast and you can pretty much fund the whole thing by dumping some of your old less versatile gear.

Wow, are you on 200 series commision? heh
Space is always a premium so yeah I guess I'll give a go some day.
Old 4th February 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 
nobtwiddler's Avatar
200 series EQ'S

Has anyone ever seen or used the 200 series Eq's?
Not the filter set, but the Equalizers.
I know API made 560's with the sliders angled to fit the 200 series format, and I think there was a 550 EQ style module also?

Anyone have a photo of these?
Old 4th February 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Has anyone ever seen or used the 200 series Eq's?
Not the filter set, but the Equalizers. I know API made 560's with the sliders angled to fit the 200 series format, and I think there was a 550 EQ style module also?
Really??? Never heard of that.

A nice eq for the 200 rack would indeed be super cool. But I'd think that physical space would be a limiting factor for a well featured eq in a one slot 200 format.

My guess is that the 560 / 550 eq was never offered in 200 series size... never heard of such a thing. Maybe just a wishful rumor.
Old 4th February 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Really??? Never heard of that.

A nice eq for the 200 rack would indeed be super cool. But I'd think that physical space would be a limiting factor for a well featured eq in a one slot 200 format.

My guess is that the 560 / 550 eq was never offered in 200 series size... never heard of such a thing. Maybe just a wishful rumor.
Bet you could fit a 550A type EQ in a double slot unit though. That would certainly start making the 200 series look more attractive!
Old 5th February 2008
  #25
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Originally on the drawing board were modules for turning the L200 into a mixer... too bad this never made it into production... but the 8200 followed not too long after and is probably a better mixer solution anyway.

Here are pics from an early L200 brochure:



There was also a 245L De-esser and a 255L Line Driver... not sure if either ever made it into production.

Also note... the first run of 225L modules are different than the ones being sold now... slightly different front panel feature configuration. If buying used, make sure to get the most recent version.
Old 5th February 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uphonic View Post
hi, just found this thread when searching for information about the 225Ls. how did you do the mod. I just have a pair in front of me. great units for mono-sources - and i'd like to use them for stereo too!
thanks in advance, u-)
Howdy!....

Click the below link for a diagram of the rear panel of the L200 rack. This diagram shows you were to connect jumpers to stereo link channels.

First you need to remove the rear section of the rack... comes off easily with phillips screws. Observe the exposed circuit board and compare to the linked diagram below. Solder a jumper wire between the "DC Link" point of say channel 1 and the "DC Link" point of say channel 2 in order to have the modules in channels 1 and 2 be linked for stereo use. Again, you can add a simple switch in the jumper wire to allow you to turn the link on and off. I still suggest you contact API for more detailed info.

If you are good at precision soldering to a circuit board, this should be an easy task. If you have no idea how to solder, you should bring it to an electronics shop and just have them do it... it should be a very inexpensive procedure and should take no more than maybe 15 minutes (enough time to heat the iron). Quick and easy for anyone who knows how to solder well. I had never soldered to a circuit board before (though I have soldered before), I went out and got a very small precision soldering iron, practiced a bit on some old circuit boards, and then did the work myself on my L200 successfully.

On my unit, I connected jumper wires (with switches) between channels 1&2, 3&4 and 5&6 so that I can stereo link my first three pairs of 225Ls... that's enough... channels 7 thru 12 I did not bother with the link mod since I would never really need to link so many. You could of course link all, in any configuration you'd want... you could link channel 1 to channel 9 if you wanted, etc... just a matter of where you solder the jumper wire(s).

Just be aware of the location of the DC Link point on channels 1 and 12... they are not "lined up" physically to the channels... actually, all DC Link points are not quite inline with their respective channels... be sure to observe it all carefully before you start soldering. It's all easy if you pay attention.

API L200 diagram for adding stereo link jumper wires

Old 5th February 2008
  #27
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Howdy Jesse13....
Solder a jumper wire between the "DC Link" point of say channel 1 and the "DC Link" point of say channel 2 in order to have the modules in channels 1 and 2 be linked for stereo use. Again, you can add a simple switch in the jumper wire to allow you to turn the link on and off.
rock'n'roll!!!!

thanks a lot for the information. as soon as i have a switch i'll do the mod!

u-)
Old 5th February 2008
  #28
Lives for gear
 
666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uphonic View Post
rock'n'roll!!!!
thanks a lot for the information. as soon as i have a switch i'll do the mod!
u-)
You bet!

(Sorry for calling you "Jesse13"... ooops... not sure where I got that from... heh)
Old 5th February 2008
  #29
Lives for gear
 
nobtwiddler's Avatar
My mistake.
On API's website there is this quote on the page for a few of the 500 series modules.
It reads:
"Also available in 1.25" version to fit Legacy and Vision consoles"

I guess I mistook it to mean also for the 200 series because they are the same width as the modules in the Legacy and Vision consoles.
I didn't realize that the console used the slimmer modules, but the same height as the 500 series?

Go figure...
Old 5th February 2008
  #30
Gear Nut
 

i can't find the 200 series 4 slot rack. it says on vintage king that it's discontinued. does that mean the 12-slot is the only option for racking if you want to use any 200 series???
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
jandalo / Geekslutz Forum
0
rll / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
1
audiothings / So Much Gear, So Little Time
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump