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Thumbs Up/Down for 500 series Comps/Eq's
Old 17th November 2009
  #1
Thumbs Up/Down for 500 series Comps/Eq's

I thought it would be cool to start a thread for people to offer their detailed experiences with 500 series compressors and equalizers....

i am getting ready to get my first 500 series rack as i am sure others are also due to expanding popularity and options......................

this is an attempt to find models that will suite situations best through others experiences.

thanks!
Old 17th November 2009
  #2
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I have only been using the Actions a few weeks and they are a really great compressor, tracking or using them on the 2 buss is great as well. These pups sound great just with a signal passing through them on off, great vibe and feel.
Old 17th November 2009
  #3
i've definately looked into the Action, some people here seem to report on its harshness, but im assuming you did not encounter this....

i would love to get some of these comps,,,, for using such hi quality components and for the price, im thinking theres nothing else better.
Old 17th November 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
i've definately looked into the Action, some people here seem to report on its harshness, but im assuming you did not encounter this....

i would love to get some of these comps,,,, for using such hi quality components and for the price, im thinking theres nothing else better.
I have not heard the sound of harshness from the Action when tracking about anything, nor the 2 buss either, they are sweet, they are fast if needed and smooth.
I have not read anywhere on here about the Actions being harsh unless they are on the back end of a harsh preamp.
Old 17th November 2009
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
i've definately looked into the Action, some people here seem to report on its harshness, but im assuming you did not encounter this....

i would love to get some of these comps,,,, for using such hi quality components and for the price, im thinking theres nothing else better.
Users on this forum have persuaded other folk TO NOT EVEN TRY the Action.

I would suggest going it alone, without the counsel of this message board, and trying the Action [or anything at all] with your equipment in your environment, so as to make an educated purchasing decision about any product.

Me, I do not think the Action is "harsh". I have passed plenty of "harsh" audio through them though. I can tell you that I think Andrew should disconnect the reduction meter on the action, or make it an output gain meter or something. I put electrical tape over it when I am using it, because I don't think it helps find gentile limiting settings.
Old 17th November 2009
  #6
IMS
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Users on this forum have persuaded other folk TO NOT EVEN TRY the Action.

I would suggest going it alone, without the counsel of this message board, and trying the Action [or anything at all] with your equipment in your environment, so as to make an educated purchasing decision about any product.

Me, I do not think the Action is "harsh". I have passed plenty of "harsh" audio through them though. I can tell you that I think Andrew should disconnect the reduction meter on the action, or make it an output gain meter or something. I put electrical tape over it when I am using it, because I don't think it helps find gentile limiting settings.
So true. I bought a pair, and like them very much, but have found two things to be true: (1) ignore the meters; (2) tweak carefully as relatively small increments on the controls can yield large tonal differences. They are not a "set it and forget it, one setting for everything" unit; each track you use them on requires you to spend a little time with the Action. The quid pro quo is they are pretty versatile, IMO, if you are willing to be a little patient. More than one sound on tap.
Old 17th November 2009
  #7
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Loved my Action but had to sell it to fund a stereo comp... I agree things sound great just going through them the ONLY thing I hated was the feel/grip only when it came to the RATIO knob (because it is stepped switch ya gotta grip down pretty hard with those slippery metal knobs) but beyond that
Old 17th November 2009
  #8
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Gotten cool sounds with the Action. It's my only hardware comp besied the Fatso, so my experience is somewhat limited.

I love the Actions amplifier circuit, + 1000 on just passing audio thru it the comp off.

I'm not wanting to hear comparisons between MC77 and the Action as compressors but how do the amplifier circuits compare?
Old 18th November 2009
  #9
Gear Head
 

Several years ago, I purchased a 500 rack with some eq's and a 200 rack with preamps, gates, compressors, before all of the other available modules from different companies were available, but I've never felt the need really for anything different, even gave away a neve preamp and eq to a friend, and have an oram that doesn't sound bad, but I am just very satisfied with the api gear!!! I really can't say that about most of the other gear I have ever had, was the best investment I ever made for sure!!!
Old 18th November 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superwack View Post
Loved my Action but had to sell it to fund a stereo comp... I agree things sound great just going through them the ONLY thing I hated was the feel/grip only when it came to the RATIO knob (because it is stepped switch ya gotta grip down pretty hard with those slippery metal knobs) but beyond that
I agree, someone with big fingers could make an adjustment on one knob and change another by accident at the same time. I can live with it thought for the sound it delivers.
Old 18th November 2009
  #11
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I still rely on who started it all API (500 series). API 525 and API 550a are industry standard tools..

The shadow hill comps are supposed be killer..
Along with Electrodyne eq that is out.

THUMBS UP!!!thumbsup
Old 19th November 2009
  #12
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Users on this forum have persuaded other folk TO NOT EVEN TRY the Action.

I would suggest going it alone, without the counsel of this message board, and trying the Action [or anything at all] with your equipment in your environment, so as to make an educated purchasing decision about any product.
a bit harsh boss? guess i have not noticed but in the way of ragging the Action?
i have not had the chance to try one so i never have a comment on it. it is on my list to get in here.

i have the
A-Designs EM-PEQ ( a pair ) they give me the vibe i expected, they are not Pultec clones they they do pack some bottom.
very nice on top.
i do use the for vocal at times. they live on my two buss.

API 550A ( have one ) love would not hesitate to use it on what ever i needed.

Arsenal Audio now known as JDK Audio V14 ( have a pair ), i really like these a lot. they are not as surgical as the Speck ASC-V but they can hang. somewhat transparent but just a kiss of vibe.


Electrodyne 511 ( have one ) supper smooth creamy will have more of these soon.

JLM Audio PEQ500 ( have one ) is another EQ that deliver the vibe you expect, again not a clone, but dose deliver the vibe. smooth fat, a bit thick, great EQ!

Speck ASC-V had a pair on lone for about a year, the owner borrowed them back : (~ i will be getting at least one soon ) very versatile, surgical, very much what i would stat as a transparent EQ, love these.

S&M EQSM1 ( have one ) has a vibe of its own, i love this EQ on electric guitar, as well as pushing vibe i know they will deliver.

hope to be getting more in to try as i can, i have a Great river Harrison 32EQ on order. based on my chats with Dan i am very excited to see this EQ show up!!!!

so the 500 format EQs get a very very very big thumbs up from the pan man: )~

Roc, don't let a few pains bother you.
Old 19th November 2009
  #13
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asagaai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Users on this forum have persuaded other folk TO NOT EVEN TRY the Action.

I would suggest going it alone, without the counsel of this message board, and trying the Action [or anything at all] with your equipment in your environment, so as to make an educated purchasing decision about any product.
This is a little rich.

On this board we have people who are manufacturers and dealers commenting on gear which they manufacture/peddle. If there was a horse in a horse race called "Audio Gear pimp pushing gear in stock" I would put my money on it cause at least I know it would be giving its best shot.

So- where there are gear dealers pushing/advocating a product they deal-I am interested in their views but take it with a pinch of salt.

Where there are engineers/musos (non dealers/manufacturers) who have tried gear and report on their experience and compare their experience with other gear they have used- this I take more note of- but again, with caution as it is still subjective. Where there are numerous engineers/musos (non dealers/manufacturers) who express similar findings- I place greater weight on the consensus (although again-with caution because its still subjective).

Now Roc - your bleating that Users on this forum have persuaded other folk TO NOT EVEN TRY the Action is about as worthless as someone bleating that Gearpimps on this forum have persuaded other folk TO TRY the Action.

Really, your views as a gear dealer are valued. But I also value the views of our non dealer members who try gear and give their opinions especially when they have other gear that they are comparing with.

Do you really suggest that Gearslutz should be reduced to a monoculture opinion vehicle for gear dealers expressing views on gear they have in stock!!



GJ
Newcastle/OZ
Old 19th November 2009
  #14
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I have 2, API 550b's and purple odd's.

The API 550b This is my most often called upon eq. If I can't get in the ballpark with this then I shouldn't be eqing.

Purple odd, soft and smooth in general. Sweet highs. Easy to use

I sometimes use these in combination with each other for a big fat sound or just for that bit extra. I'll get the tone towards the mark with the purple and finish with the 550b. Tames the aggression of the API and brings out the depth in the odd.
Old 19th November 2009
  #15
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Pan60 thinks I am being a bit "harsh",

asagaai thinks I am trying to turn this place into a melting pot of conformity, so dealers can pimp they're wears and only sell what they have on the shelf.

You guys are too funny.

This is what happens when my opinion is typed.

Sort of the same thing as telling someone NOT TO TRY something they are interested in.

I see this all the time on this forum, from many members. I can give my opinion, just like all of you. And you know what my only opinion was? To not listen to me, and make up your own mind. Now thats conformity at its finest!
Old 19th November 2009
  #16
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asagaai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
I can give my opinion, just like all of you. !
Hey Roc- and I value your opinion, as I do other members.

It was hot here in Oz (Global warming???), had to cancel a bass session on Monday, had to cancel a flight to Melbourne for a rock climbing trip and got slotted cancellation fee- so I was probably a little crappy and jumped on your post which appeared to me to devalue other contributors views- but I agree with you - best to test gear yourself...sometimes not possible though...so then opinions become very valuable ... both gear manufaturers, gear dealers, engineers and musos..

Anyway ...I was a little crabby and crappy

Getting back on point to the initial post:

My meagre 500 gear and view:

Buzz Essence- fantastic comp for vocals/acoustic instruments/FOK -slight thickening from transformer - leaves feel of music intact.

BAC500- Very deep and rich, has a grab that is cool, gives a softer edge- awesome on vocals/piano, drums, saxaphone, electric bass..mix bus..

GJ
Newcastle/OZ
Old 19th November 2009
  #17
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API 550b, 525 compressor, GR pre, API560... liking them all. Have the 550a in the 7600 channel strip and its definitely a bit warmer and fuzzier that the 550b. The 525 makes everything that passes through it fatter than it went in and dips it in the API honey. Have yet to find anything I dont like it on. 560 is surprisingly surgical, nice on snare followed by a Distressor.
Old 19th November 2009
  #18
i have found all the info on this thread very helpful....

thanks slutz!!!! i have also found the action to be critiqued very harsh, knowing that some of those critiques are just people repeating others experiences without actual use of the product.


________________________________________________________________

i would like to get the most unique use out of my 500 rack, some things i was looking into:

1) der-esser
2)standard level-or
3) little devil eq
4)electrodyne eq
5) api 550a (i hear this has more color than the b????????????)
6) odd or peqr
7)buzz essence
8)bac-500

however, there is just so much other stuff that looks cool, it seems pretty mind blowing to enter into this format and have an exact idea of what you want......
seems like you almost just have to flip a coin...

more opinions please.
Old 19th November 2009
  #19
I like my 525b's I got from the classifieds here. I also like the AM660. I haven't tried any others in the 500 series but I'd like to try the Foote systems thing and the Alta Moda ones. And as soon as I get the bread I'll be getting a pair of the Electrodyne EQ's. I do expect I'll get a 200 series rack at some point and fill it with filters and comps.
Old 19th November 2009
  #20
IMS
Gear Maniac
 

In addition to the Actions, I also have a pair of 550a's, a pair of Electrodynes, and a pair of JLM PEQ500's. I picked them because they all are quite different flavor wise, and I am very happy with all three. The API's are a staple, punchy, nice character. The JLM's are warm and smooth, really like the low end in particular. The Electrodynes have more clarity than the JLM's (not a dis on the JLM's, they are just warmer) but still sound very smooth. Like them on vox and guitars.

They all complement each other very nicely. My .02.
Old 20th November 2009
  #21
Baz
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The only 500 series comp I've tried is the 525 but it impressed enough to pickup a 2nd one a couple weeks later *shrug*

As a few have mentioned it does without question add weight and girth to the source,even just passing signal thru it,so if this is what you're looking for,it's there.

I wish I had more control of the attack, as it can get very grabby but its a minor issue.Just be aware that a small move on the threshold does more than the meter is telling you.

But as it stands now, there isn't much I'd hesitate to buss to the pair of them.

Hope to get a BAC500 or 2 in the future and would love to try the GR/Harrison EQ
Old 20th November 2009
  #22
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
Pan60 thinks I am being a bit "harsh",
no, not at all, i just don't think i have noticed people slamming the PURPLE gear, maybe i missed something.
that is what i was referring to, and that is why i said

Quote:
Roc, don't let a few pains bother you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
asagaai thinks I am trying to turn this place into a melting pot of conformity, so dealers can pimp they're wears and only sell what they have on the shelf.

You guys are too funny.

This is what happens when my opinion is typed.

Sort of the same thing as telling someone NOT TO TRY something they are interested in.

I see this all the time on this forum, from many members. I can give my opinion, just like all of you. And you know what my only opinion was? To not listen to me, and make up your own mind. Now thats conformity at its finest!
not going to speak for asagaai, but i value your opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asagaai View Post
Hey Roc- and I value your opinion, as I do other members.

It was hot here in Oz (Global warming???), had to cancel a bass session on Monday, had to cancel a flight to Melbourne for a rock climbing trip and got slotted cancellation fee- so I was probably a little crappy and jumped on your post which appeared to me to devalue other contributors views- but I agree with you - best to test gear yourself...sometimes not possible though...so then opinions become very valuable ... both gear manufaturers, gear dealers, engineers and musos..

Anyway ...I was a little crabby and crappy
see i am not alone: )~

Quote:
Originally Posted by asagaai View Post
Hey Roc- and I value your opinion, as I do other members.
as to comps

i have the BAC's with i love, they have some mojo some beef, nice and rich. i also love this on vocals and acoustic anything!

i have the buzz essence comp, love these fast smooth sweet!

i have the STANDARD AUDIO LEVEL-OR, this things is a freak i love it, very cool comp when pushed to the point of being trashy.

i had a PICO in for a while and it was very nice, i would say very much a non colored unit could be pretty fast, i like it a lot.

and i have some other comps i am still checking out, and more on their way. so far i am loving what i see.
Old 20th November 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 

The comps and eq's I have: 2 SH Mono Optographs - I love these things. especially wonderful on vocals, but it's also really nice on guitars (subtle smoothing and tone coloring), drums, and bass. I was recording vox the other day through a U 87ai into a Pacifica and then into the Shadow Hills, I took it out, and it immediately sounded thinner and less smooth. Put it back in, it sounded mixed. Works for me, very sweet. Great for the mixbuss too.

2 Inward Connections ICv500 comps - I initially really liked these, then fell out of love with them, and now I'm back in love with them. I prefer to use them for subtle compression, although you can dig in a bit more with drums and I've found some great love for them on kick and snare. Used them on acoustic guitar and vocals with success as well. Only in mixdown though, no tracking. Minor adjustments with the knobs can really affect things, so you have to listen carefully. You can really smash things with this compressor too if that's your thing. I like using it for subtle compression like I said though. It has a glossy, hi-fi image to it with some good depth. Too much compression and it's way obvious unless that's what you're going for. I haven't used it for parallel yet though. I also have not had any success using these on bass. They always ended up sounding to spongy or squishy to me, but that could just be how I was applying it.

Little Devil Comps - I particularly like the Zener mode. I find the Germanium setting too grabby, but the Zener mode is awesome on drums. It has a nice color too. Even tried it out on the 2bus and it was tasty. But, mostly I've used it for drums and bass with good results. This comp kind of takes some getting used to in order to get results quickly. Or atleast for me it did. I like the mix knob.

Little Devi EQ's - I really like these. Great color. Love them on guitars or for adding any mid range sweetness. Just running a guitar signal through it with no boost/cutting even adds a nice addition to the sound. I've also had really nice results getting some great low mid warmth and fatness for bass guitar. When these EQ's work on something they are great. When they don't fit, things can sound too harsh or hyped. The Hi-Mid and Low-Mid knobs, when engaged, are very powerful. Sometimes you want a little in that area, and all you get is too much, so they may not work. Although, I've found that cutting in the low and high mids is very smooth and still adds some hype. Interesting. Anyway, my 2 cents. - paul
Old 20th November 2009
  #24
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ianbryn11's Avatar
 

i love the BAc 500... HAd an action. It was cool, but like someone else said, the ratio knob was very difficult for me to turn, and in fact, at times i couldnt do it...... seriously.... thats why i sold it... That being said, i miss haveing a third comp....

I also have and love the electrodyne e511. Very simple and intuitive... Sounds great!!! Also have an avedis e27 which i highly recommend. in fact, i would be happy with more of each... bac, e27 or e511..... all great... Had an api 550a for a while, but had to return it due to lack of funds.. Loved it. though, probably gonna gt another one some day....
Old 20th November 2009
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

I have a pair of Actions, and I pretty much agree with what's been said; I simply do not understand the meter, and the ratio knob is terrible.

I must confess, I was pretty disappointed when I first got them. I have a MC77, and was expecting the Actions to be more like the MC. The MC I can pretty much leave in Dr Pepper and just weak the input and output, but the Action you need to fiddle around a bit more.

Now I know them alot better, and I will not get rid of them anytime soon! Harsh? I don't think so.

Petter
Old 21st November 2009
  #26
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
no, not at all, i just don't think i have noticed people slamming the PURPLE gear,


see i am not alone: )~


Not only that, I never see a ODD on GS or ebay, I assume people must like em and keeping.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #27
a quick question for you 500 series users about racks...

i was wondering if your using all ten modules extesively, because of power drainage would this result in a weakend functioning of the modules?????

similar to when you use too many plugins on one computer, they start to not work as well due to lack of power, can this happen with 500 mods and racks?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #28
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asagaai's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Reid View Post
Are we meant to feel sorry for you ?

Freezing over here..
Half your luck man- its 43 decrees cetntigrade here- and its still spring

Quote:
Tapehiss "i was wondering if your using all ten modules extesively, because of power drainage would this result in a weakend functioning of the modules?????

similar to when you use too many plugins on one computer, they start to not work as well due to lack of power, can this happen with 500 mods and racks"
Hey Tapehiss- if your 500 series gear is set in power requirements of power unit- should not be an issue.

Too many plugins is not so much a lack of power- ie voltage juice, but is rather probably an issue of requiring the DAW and computer to do too much maths.

The beauty of 500 series is that you can have say 6 or 10 units in one power chassis which I understand has the same power usage of an equivalent 1 rack unit, so where you have not upgraded your power in the studio you potentially can run more gear with 500 series than using full rack gear.

GJ
Newcastle/OZ
Old 22nd November 2009
  #29
IMS
Gear Maniac
 

I have seen people posting about voltage in 500 series racks generally being "inadequate" and that 500 series modules are therefore inherently inferior to their equivalent full rack units (if there are equivalents available) because the full rack units have beefier voltages. I don't know if that is true or not. Even if it were, I would think it would be more relevant to preamps than to comps or eqs, since pres (I think) would generally have higher current demands. Maybe someone with more technical knowledge can address this.

All I know is I like mine--the space saving element is critical, and I think the units I have sound excellent.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #30
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
I love my Buzz essence. I am scared to call it my favorite since there are so many different awesome compressors, but i think it really might be everything I personally wanted from a vocal tracking compressor. Its super smooth and damn near idiot proof. If I screw up the initial setting and get a huge peak the essence has by back!!! I found the opposite to be true with the purple actions. They are not flexible enough for vocal recording IMO. It just can't respond to the wide range of dynamics a vocal performance offers. Its either doing close to nothing or slamming. I actually had to pull it from the chain every time i tried it on vocals. Much more suited to something with a more consistent and predictable attack like guitar, bass, or drums. I would imagine its also not a great choice for solo instruments as well. Of course you can get a workable sound, but when compared to the buzz it feels crude and aggressive. The buzz lets you get a nice sound very quickly. The buzz also works extremely well on a wide variety of sources and there isn't anything it can really do. Its a desert island piece for me.
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