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Best 500 series rack
Old 22nd September 2006
  #31
Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianroth View Post
As "goosey" as ATI/API have been in recent years, it wouldn't surprise me if ATI/API would decide to void their warrenty if an API 500 module was used in anything besides a frame sold by ATI/API.

NOT that I'm condoning that mindset...just basing my thoughts on how ATI has been behaving recently.


Bri
I've been told by api that using a 500 series module in anything other than an api rack would void the warranty. I don't know how they would go about proving that if you just sent the module in, but I guess they would ask about it if it was something apparently caused by the rack.
At first I thought it wouldn't really matter, and went ahead and ordered the OSA rack instead. (this was a year or two ago) When the OSA rack arrived DOA, I got a little freaked out, and went with the API lunch boxes instead. They were closer in price to the OSA rack, which was cheaper at the time. I can say I was really impressed with how Atlas handled my situation, and while I haven't had the chance to buy anything else from him, that experience would lead me back there. It's clear to me that they're one of the good guys in the business.
Dan
Old 22nd September 2006
  #32
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Buy with confidence when you buy OSA. Nathan has gone out of his way to help me, even though I live half a world away. If there is a problem, Nathan will take care of it. I am my own witness... I have the older unit, and it is well made and still going strong. They are pushing OSA and Adesign preamps and it's all good. Love my Mutant preamp... Big bottom with a sweet high end...
Old 22nd September 2006
  #33
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I have the BAE. It seems well built and I haven't had any problems with it. I can't imagine any of them being that much better than the next.
Just a thought. If someone wanted to follow Tim's lead and rewire one with a 5 pin xlr & redo the ground bus, it would seem to be much easier to operate on the BAE since it's hard-wired.
Old 23rd September 2006
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Yes, there is a difference.... I would reccomend the API (for warranty reasons), or the BAE.

I'd suggest the OSA or the BAE.......I own several of each and they are very well made. Haven't seen the current API ones but I'm guessing they are fine.

BTW the older API 500 rack w/ the supply is Ok if you want 10 chls w/ supply in the rack, but it may not have phantom power.

Mark
Old 24th September 2006
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Farrant View Post
The new OSA power supply has plenty of grunt and could easily power 10 of our Elixir preamps (1.5 amps total). Although I don't know the exact current rating of the LP200 API supply, I am told by API it can also power 10 Elixir modules, so I'm guessing it's around 2 amps capacity. I do not know the rating of the larger BAE supply, perhaps someone could find this out.
Tim.
Sorry if this is a double post, my last one disappeared for some reason.

The BAE supply for the 11 space rack contains two seperate supplies. Apparently one large one for the main module power and a smaller one for the phantom power.

The rating for the large section is +/- 15 VDC @1.5 amps. I'm not sure of the rating for the smaller (phantom?) section.

Last edited by ImJohn; 24th September 2006 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 25th September 2006
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn View Post
Sorry if this is a double post, my last one disappeared for some reason.

The BAE supply for the 11 space rack contains two seperate supplies. Apparently one large one for the main module power and a smaller one for the phantom power.

The rating for the large section is +/- 15 VDC @1.5 amps. I'm not sure of the rating for the smaller (phantom?) section.
Thanks John, good to know this. The phantom will no doubt have plenty of capacity, even 10 preamps supplying 10mA to each mic totals 100mA, and it's unlikely to ever reach this level, 5mA per mic is typical, however I know the TLM170 draws about 10mA.

Tim.
Old 25th September 2006
  #37
I was asked to chime in on the 500 series racks.

Since I designed the 500 rack and PSU for API, I would have to lean in that direction, but there are many real reasons.

1 If you look at the vents on the BA PSU, they are pointing down. Not much for air passage. The AMEK APC2000 or what ever that thing was called that they made 2 of had the same vents on the rear panels and they burned up until the rear panels were completely punched out.

1 The API 500 rack has twice the current required to power anything you can plug into it. Hi current is better to minimize the rubber effect. Others with 1.5 amps is just about the requirement. It needs to be big.

2 The 500 Rack is well ventilated and very strong, plus it looks nice.

3 The company has liability insurance, which you may not think is important, but when one of their PSUs burns down your studio, you'll see why it's important.

There is not much improvements that could be done to the rack, as it started out in the late 70's and has pretty much been refined to what it is today.

There is no point in discussing any changes to the rack, as much as it would be nice to do, you would have a compat problem with about 600,000,000 modules. Hardly worth it.
Old 25th September 2006
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
I was asked to chime in on the 500 series racks.

Since I designed the 500 rack and PSU for API, I would have to lean in that direction, but there are many real reasons.
hi Paul,

I have much respect for you so please know that I'm not trying to start a conflict or anything, I just had some thoughts on your comments I wanted to share. I'm a very pleased BAE customer, just so you know where I'm coming from. (and I do own a API 512c too! thumbsup )

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
1 If you look at the vents on the BA PSU, they are pointing down. Not much for air passage. The AMEK APC2000 or what ever that thing was called that they made 2 of had the same vents on the rear panels and they burned up until the rear panels were completely punched out..
I agree that the BAE vents look small and don't seem angled or positioned in a very useful way, but maybe they don't really run very hot and that's all that was nessesary? I'd hate for people to start assuming that just because the BAE merely looks similar to another brand that had problems, it might also be problematic. My BAE sits behind the racks so I've never felt it after it's been on a while, but next time I'll try to remember. I'll never heard of a BAE supply buring up though. Anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
1 The API 500 rack has twice the current required to power anything you can plug into it. Hi current is better to minimize the rubber effect. Others with 1.5 amps is just about the requirement. It needs to be big.
. . you mean the power supply for the API 500 racks can supply twice the power, correct? (sorry for nit picking!) And if 1.5 is the requirement for 11 modules on average, then the API supply is rated at like 2.75 amps or greater? (that's pretty sweet if so!)

And . . . what is the 'rubber effect'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
2 The 500 Rack is well ventilated and very strong, plus it looks nice.
As far as looks I'd agree that the API looks the nicest! The BAE and OSA as far as I can tell (I haven't seen the OSA in person) look pretty similar to each other. I think they both may want to add a logo on one rack ear and a model on the other etc but . . . probably not a critical thing to worry about! I also like the bit of blue panel on the front of the API and the power status lights (but I went with the BAE because it had one more space!) Also, it was sure nice of API to label those three LEDs. There are three LED's on my BAE supply but I have no idea what they mean since they aren't labeld and there was no documentation with the rack (or on the web site)! I know that someone at BAE or Avedis will be happy to explain it to me . . . .I just haven't taken the time to ask yet. For now I'll assume lights on good, lights off bad!

From what I've seen, the BAE and OSA ventalation is near identical and much better than the API. That said, I haven't noticed any of my modules getting even remotely warm so the extra ventilation may not even be nessasary! And the down side of too much ventilation is that more dust gets in . . .

As far as strength, I think the BAE wins the prize. I'm sure the sheet metal on all three is fine but the API and OSA use a circuit board to mount the card edge and XLR connectors but the BAE has all of the connectors bolted to sheet metal and then hard wired. If someone if going to load up an API or OSA rack and just leave it, maybe only changing modules out occasionally, it shouldn't be a concern. But for someone switching out modules on a regular basis or especially for a mobile recoding unit or military application I would think the BAE would hold up much better.

And from a picture I saw, the OSA looked like the card edge connects weren't even bolted to the circuit board, just held on by the solder??? Nathan or someone who has an OSA rack, can you verify true or false please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
3 The company has liability insurance, which you may not think is important, but when one of their PSUs burns down your studio, you'll see why it's important.
Well, I don't think that would happen, I've heard from a reliable source that the API supplies are top notch! But, it that insurance setup to protect the end users or just protect the company if they get sued???

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
There is not much improvements that could be done to the rack, as it started out in the late 70's and has pretty much been refined to what it is today.

There is no point in discussing any changes to the rack, as much as it would be nice to do, you would have a compat problem with about 600,000,000 modules. Hardly worth it.
Agreed. Probably in time someone will make a module that has a pencil sharpener or a can opener in it, but until then it sounds like the power issue is covered!
Old 25th September 2006
  #39
The rubber effect is when the power rails fluctuate with the music and you get some strange side effects. This is one thing that many don't understand about using transformers with a step up winding ratio. They dump a lot of current into the ground and draw a lot from the rails.

The companies that have liability insurance design their stuff so it won't use it.

In the years that I have made those racks, there has never been a problem with grounding. The big issue was always the unbalanced input of the eqs, but never anything else. No one has ever changed that because of the industry pressure not to change the original design of certain eqs.

Now, if some of the cloners don't have the chassis connected, then you are asking for trouble. This is why it might be more expensive, but larger companies generally know things that these guys don't know. I always look at it this way; If there is no chassis connection, then what else have they forgotten or omitted?
Old 25th September 2006
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn View Post

As far as strength, I think the BAE wins the prize. I'm sure the sheet metal on all three is fine but the API and OSA use a circuit board to mount the card edge and XLR connectors but the BAE has all of the connectors bolted to sheet metal and then hard wired. If someone if going to load up an API or OSA rack and just leave it, maybe only changing modules out occasionally, it shouldn't be a concern. But for someone switching out modules on a regular basis or especially for a mobile recoding unit or military application I would think the BAE would hold up much better.
Remember Zeneth TVs? They bragged about hand wired chassis. Hand wiring is 10 times more problematic than PC mounting. With the PC mounted connector, there are 30 connections to the board. With hand wired ones, ther is only the two screws.

You refer to military use, the military spec is usually for being able to take vibration and being puked on. Anything hand wired will unwire itself when vibrating. Especially with the Lead Free directive requiring Silver Solder, which is way more brittle than lead. Vibration will take that stuff out real fast. That is why ( know you history) they developed lead solder in the first place.
Old 26th September 2006
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
Remember Zeneth TVs? They bragged about hand wired chassis. Hand wiring is 10 times more problematic than PC mounting. With the PC mounted connector, there are 30 connections to the board. With hand wired ones, ther is only the two screws.

You refer to military use, the military spec is usually for being able to take vibration and being puked on. Anything hand wired will unwire itself when vibrating. Especially with the Lead Free directive requiring Silver Solder, which is way more brittle than lead. Vibration will take that stuff out real fast. That is why ( know you history) they developed lead solder in the first place.
Thanks for the info Paul!
Old 26th September 2006
  #42
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Just wanted to extend a big "THANKS! " to Paul Wolff of Tonelux for being willing to "step into the pit" as it were and offer his perspective on the 500 series rack.

Best, trans
Old 26th September 2006
  #43
Thank you, Thank you

I would first like to thank my producer, Gil Griffith, the engineer who mixed this, Ryan Hewitt, and of course the band, Kevin, Bill Jimmy and BJ.

I has been a long road, but in the end, we were very happy with the result.

In closing I.......


PAUL PAUL WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Oh, sorry, I must have been dreaming...
Old 26th September 2006
  #44
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lol
Old 13th November 2009
  #45
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great thread, this explains alot


i now dont have the hessitation with buying into the 500 series.
Old 13th November 2009
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Alamo View Post
Anyone who has the BAE as well?
And what about the big price drop of the API's? Do you think this is more like an adaptation to a market with a few more players, or did they actually alter the design (or have a different manufacterer) of their PSU's?
The BAE 11 space rack is great. Definitely the best looking of all the options, in my opinion. Mainly because it's just a blank, black, fully loadable rack, instead of the obnoxious blue API rack that accommodates less modules. I want the focus to be on the modules, not the rack they sit in. The BAE is like a blank canvas, ready to be filled to the brim with 500 goodness.

And I haven't had any problems with it. It's a tank.

The power supply sits on the floor, and that's the hottest component.
Old 13th November 2009
  #47
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I realize this is an old thread and the API rack I have (pictured) is no longer the one they sell, so this is no reflection on the new one. . . I have had this one since the 90s. I can't say I would recommend it if anyone comes across a used one. You could easily make a grilled cheese on the front of this thing it gets so hot. The power supply is in the unit / rack. I have had problems with this thing at times. I suspect this was not APIs crowning accomplishment. It was eventually replaced with the 'blue one' for what I suspect is the 'obvious reason'. Of course the heat is not too good for the modules inside it . . . but when I contacted API about it early on, I got such a smart ass response I just said 'screw it' and put fans on it, not anticipating some of the issues I ended up having . . . . AND I was booked solid and needed it and couldn't send it back. Otherwise I would have sent it to them to replace. (My dumbass) I have often wondered if this thing is distributing power to the modules properly considering the issues I've had OR if it is even got appropriate power. I've always known API to make great stuff though and have been a fan since the 70s. I'm sure the other racks are fine as well . . . just stay away from this one if you come across it. VERY little ventilation! If anyone has any info on the version I have, that would be cool
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Old 13th November 2009
  #48
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Workhorse by Radial...coming soon

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