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500 Racks changeover.... 500 Series Preamps
Old 14th November 2012
  #1
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drBill's Avatar
500 Racks changeover....

I recently upgraded my 500 Rack & Lunchboxes to CAPI 51X racks & power supply and thought I'd share my thoughts and some gear pics.... Of course, it all happened right in the middle of busy sessions... In one day, the 51X 500 changeover followed by drum sessions….

Too much music, not enough console...




Simultaneous Drum sessions & 500 Changeover…..what was I thinking....




The rack and backplanes were a simple build, and I finished them quickly, but I've been super busy so I finally got fellow gearslut Brad McGowan to build the 51X power supply for me. I believe in HD power supplies, and the ClassicAPI power supply did not dissapoint. It's super heavy duty, and beautifully designed, and I may be imagining things, but I feel like the 500 modules sounded punchier to me when they were powered by it, but I didn't do a "scientific" test due to schedule. Whatever the reality, they worked out great for my drum sessions.




I cheated gravity and balanced the new racks on top of my lunch-boxes so that I could get the cables to reach while I checked the racks and modules. No modules or racks were damaged in the switchover... :-)







CAPI 51X racks and some big 500 LOVE! DIGGIN' IT!!!

Top Rack :
My 2 Buss Analog Chain
(2) CAPI VP28's > (2) AML 1073's > Serpent 4001 Buss Compressor > (2) Eisen LilPEQr's along with stray VP26. (Isn't "11" a weird number???)

Second Rack :
(2) CAPI Missing Links, (2) Purple Biz's, (2) API 512B's, (2) API 550A's, (3) CAPI VP26's




Finished and ready to go - The Mindseye Tracking Rack #1 :



Drum session went great and the new 51X racks sound GREAT! One happy 500 camper....

I will now liberate the API rack & one of the lunchboxes to some lucky new 500 owner.

Old 14th November 2012
  #2
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jinksdingo's Avatar
Nice! Well Done!
Old 14th November 2012
  #3
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Killer, I just got a CAPI 11 slot too. I will install soon. How do you like the Serpent Audio buss comp Dr Bill?
Old 14th November 2012
  #4
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinksdingo View Post
Nice! Well Done!
Thanks man, sometimes you just gotta share.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by s.d.finley View Post
Killer, I just got a CAPI 11 slot too. I will install soon. How do you like the Serpent Audio buss comp Dr Bill?
Congrats SD! I like the 4001 a lot. Traditionally I have not been a 2 buss compression guy, but since having this, it's lived on my 2 buss. Just barely shaving off some peaks, allowing the printing of a slightly hotter mix. It also helps the analog chain "glue" factor, which I MOSTLY like, although not always.
Old 14th November 2012
  #5
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rob S's Avatar
Nice.
Clean
Old 14th November 2012
  #6
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BradM's Avatar
Looks great, Bill! I had no idea you had so many of those TNC preamps. Nice.

Brad
Old 15th November 2012
  #7
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Hey what are your thoughts on the VP28s? Had my eye on them for some time!
Old 15th November 2012
  #8
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cowrange's Avatar
 

Which pres do you default to for overheads ? Looks great BTW.

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G
Old 15th November 2012
  #9
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Nice.
Clean
That's cause you're looking at the FRONT of the rack Rob.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Looks great, Bill! I had no idea you had so many of those TNC preamps. Nice.

Brad
Yup. And I just got rid of one 73 too. So now I've got 3 73's and 2 84's. Use em when I'm tracking drums mostly. Sometimes guitars, but less now that I have the vp28's. Thanks for building the Power Supply!
Old 15th November 2012
  #10
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker View Post
Hey what are your thoughts on the VP28s? Had my eye on them for some time!
My thoughts used to be well known and heavily documented until one of the Mods got tweaked with all the CAPI threads hitting the high end forum and deleted my vp28 thread.

I love em. My favorite all round pre. I need 4 more though. These days those two are constantly in LINE input on my mix buss. So....must build more when I get some time.....

If you want more "specifics" fire away with any questions you might have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowrange View Post
Which pres do you default to for overheads ? Looks great BTW.
Thanks man. It depends. Could be the Biz's if I'm looking for clean with some 3D weight. Some of the D&R's in my console if I'm going ultra clean. Or it could be the vp28's. I used those on my last project which was dirty roots hilbilly / delta blues / americana rock. I've also used the 512B's, but they definitely need the Missing Links after them for some attenuation before conversion. And I really enjoy the ALM 1073's for a vibey 3D weighty slower vibe. So....not a very good answer for a default set of OH pre's was it?
Old 15th November 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
My thoughts used to be well known and heavily documented until one of the Mods got tweaked with all the CAPI threads hitting the high end forum and deleted my vp28 thread.
Too bad, I've been looking for first hand experience info on these.

I showed the VP28 to a buddy of mine who is a killer audio engineer and understands/builds audio electronics extremely well (and also has a Grammy). He called them, and I quote, "the real deal" based on just looking at the PCB and components.

Everything I hear/read calls them high end! Time to get a pair. Thanks Bill.

One question: They are described as a VP26 with a Missing Link on the back end. Do you agree?
Old 15th November 2012
  #12
So nice. I'm loving my CAPI everything. Wishing for a CAPI EQ and stereo comp, really
Old 15th November 2012
  #13
Gear Addict
 

why do you have a console but also have all those outboard eqs and preamps?
Old 15th November 2012
  #14
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BTW are those Electrodyne 511s? And if so why are they yellow?
Old 15th November 2012
  #15
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker View Post
Too bad, I've been looking for first hand experience info on these.
Well, they are KILLER on electric guitars. They take the edge off. The "digitalis" if you will. You can also drive the front end so hard that it can give a 3rd dimension to a distorted guitar. On the abovementioned hilbillyt/delta blues project, I did a ton of Acoustic slide guitar and dobro. I used a Joly modded 205 ribbon into a vp28 instead of my usual KM84/U87/whatever condenser scenario. I was so blown away, that I may never go back to a condenser mic on Ac. Guitar again. Stellar. I also used the 28's on OH on the project. I didn't drive them hard, but they gave a nice punchy API sound with a mellow top end. Just what I needed.

If you have any specific questions, fire away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker View Post
I showed the VP28 to a buddy of mine who is a killer audio engineer and understands/builds audio electronics extremely well (and also has a Grammy). He called them, and I quote, "the real deal" based on just looking at the PCB and components.
Jeff Steiger knows his stuff! If you're looking for something that's anywhere close to an API, you can rest assured that he has split the hairs so thin that his CAPI's are closer to that vintage sound than any other current modern offering from anyone. I didn't HAVE any CAPI gear when I got my engineering grammy, but you can be DAMN SURE that if I did, they would have been all over that project, and it would have sounded even BETTER.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker View Post
Everything I hear/read calls them high end! Time to get a pair. Thanks Bill.
No problem man. You can buy without a doubt in your mind. Jeff makes the real deal. They DEFINE high end. The build quality, design, care, components are all equal or better than anything else I own. ALL high end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker View Post
One question: They are described as a VP26 with a Missing Link on the back end. Do you agree?
Yes, absolutely. The only real difference is the Filters on the Missing link are more comprehensive and the "26/ML Combo" has one more transformer in the signal path. Also, the missing links look SO DAMN COOL. But other than that, sound wise, you assessment is dead on. Oh, ONE thing that favors the vp28 IMO though - Jeff implemented one of my requests - a signal present LED, and I LOVE having that. Very helpful.

Can you tell I like em? Good luck with your search.

Oh, and in case you haven't been there yet, you really want to check this out :

Holy Cow -- Classic API of IL (CAPI) VP28-DBL

bp
Old 15th November 2012
  #16
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by manysounds View Post
So nice. I'm loving my CAPI everything. Wishing for a CAPI EQ and stereo comp, really
I second the stereo Comp request, but for EQ's Jeff has the "Love Child" already available and a couple more EQ's "on the way"...
Old 15th November 2012
  #17
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emitsweet View Post
why do you have a console but also have all those outboard eqs and preamps?
Cause I'm a Gearslut???

Seriously, the console is a D&R OrionX, and although I love it, it is EXTREMELY transparent. It was exactly what I wanted when tracking to 2" tape, but now, with a digital world, I often like a little more "iron" in my diet to make up for working in a DAW. So, I'm loving the CAPI and other 500 series pre's for that reason. Also, after tracking during production and mixing, I want to get a transparent path as signals cross thru the console several times. Once I color the front end how I like it, I want a transparent colorless console. Does that make sense? Hopefully.....
Old 15th November 2012
  #18
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Parker View Post
BTW are those Electrodyne 511s? And if so why are they yellow?
Actually those are a pair of the original Eisen Audio LilPEQr's and they are anodized Gold. I got the last 2 available - Sr # 59/60 by freak luck when someone else backed out. They are program EQ's that Jens from Eisen designed with Marinair transformers from an old Neve console. I believe they are a tip of the hat towards Lang program EQ's.

Actually, in Jen's own words :

While utilizing solid-state circuitry, the LILPEQr sonic characteristics were inspired by classic tube-based (aka valve) program equalizers, such as the Lang PEQ-1 and Klangfilm RZ062.

- Big sound, small package.
- High and low frequency shelving EQ with minimal controls and major vibe. 12 dB boost/cut @ 5, 10, or 28 kHz, and 20 dB boost/cut @ 50, 80, or 160 Hz
- As simple as it gets: a passive tone control circuit (just resistors and film/foil capacitors ) wrapped around a single discrete, class A transistor amplifier, with transformer-balanced I/O.
- The passive transformer input circuit can be bypassed (by selecting "IN - DIRECT"), for injecting signal directly into the EQ section. While unfortunately resulting in an unbalanced input and less available HF boost, this also yields greater bandwidth and clarity, for instances where you don't want such a distinctively colorful transformer adding its effect.
- Hardwire bypass for better comparisons.
-Fits all API(TM) and compatible (e.g. BAE, OSA, Avedis, A-Designs, Purple Audio) 500 Series lunchboxes and racks - a popular modular format for 40 years and counting. VPR Alliance application pending.

This Limited Edition of 60 units utilizes vintage Marinair/St. Ives LI.31267 line input transformers. These were used in all of the classic 80 Series Neve(TM) consoles and EQ modules (e.g. 8014, 8068, 1073, 3104), and this particular batch was salvaged from some previously cannibalized Neve 8014 console frames. We jumped at the chance to use this unique transformer because of its rich tone, and designed the rest of the LILPEQr circuitry to sound complementary


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/produ...d-edition.html

I dig em. They are available without the Marinairs from Purple now.
Old 15th November 2012
  #19
very cool
Old 15th November 2012
  #20
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Man, dB, that's a nice compliment of modules. I'm guessing you have $10-15K in that fest? You do seem to be shy on comps, though. What's the deal? Do your console channels have dynamics? ITB? Doh, I see it says Tracking Rack #1. Congratulations on the new racks!
Old 15th November 2012
  #21
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Tom H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post

Simultaneous Drum sessions & 500 Changeover…..what was I thinking....
! Getting new gear in is allways a fest but it also seems to mess up the place a fair bit! Good for you for keeping your head straight at the end!
Old 15th November 2012
  #22
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I did the switch a while back too and couldn't be happier. Looks like we have similar taste in lunchboxes, drBill.



and fully loaded

Old 15th November 2012
  #23
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Croaker View Post
very cool
Thanks Bro! How's things on the island Tom? Looks like we may be over next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by antithesist View Post
You do seem to be shy on comps, though. What's the deal? Do your console channels have dynamics? ITB? Doh, I see it says Tracking Rack #1. Congratulations on the new racks!
Thanks man. I am a little shy on comps, but there's 8 channels in that rack, and I'm building up my supply. I'm not a big compressor guy anyway though....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
! Getting new gear in is allways a fest but it also seems to mess up the place a fair bit! Good for you for keeping your head straight at the end!
I'm not sure I did keep my head straight Tom, but I'm done and everythings back together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAVD View Post
I did the switch a while back too and couldn't be happier. Looks like we have similar taste in lunchboxes, drBill.
Sweet racks Tom! Yeah, I definitely see some reflections of my rack in yours. Familiar faces. Nice stuff!!! What are those EQ's on the R of your bottom rack?
Old 15th November 2012
  #24
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Nice stuff......but the piece of gear that grabs my attention is that paintbrush.
Without divulging any trade secrets let's have the lowdown!
Old 15th November 2012
  #25
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
Nice stuff......but the piece of gear that grabs my attention is that paintbrush.
Without divulging any trade secrets let's have the lowdown!
Ha! Good for you Rick! I knew someone was going to disect those pics and come up with something bizzare.... I figured I'd get a comment on the razor blade and illicit drug use, but actually I use it to cut tape when I"m taping music together.

But the paint brush? Oh yeah baby....... That is a VINTAGE 25 y/o China Bristle, real horse hair paint brush. It's never seen a day of paint in it's life and is as sweet as silk, no sibilance, and it's got a warm top end like no other, yet remains open and transparent. The U47 of paint brushes. I'm not sure you can even buy them anymore, but if you can, they are no doubt uber expensive, and imported from somewhere that PETA cannot reach. I use it for "dusting" the console. Easy to get into the cracks, doesn't scratch, very nice. Keeps the console tidy. Well, from the pics you can see I haven't used it in a few days..... LOL Seriously, it's the perfect console accoutrement. I'm actually surprised you don't have one sitting on YOUR console alongside the LARC.
Old 15th November 2012
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
Nice stuff......but the piece of gear that grabs my attention is that paintbrush.
I was curious about the razor blade? I didn't see a cutting block
Old 15th November 2012
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
What are those EQ's on the R of your bottom rack?
553 inspired EQ from Peter C, with some custom touches.
Old 16th November 2012
  #28
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
But the paint brush? Oh yeah baby....... That is a VINTAGE 25 y/o China Bristle, real horse hair paint brush. I use it for "dusting" the console.
Now we're talkin'!
Mine is decades old also but has a very sketchy pedigree. Probably bought as a close out at the local hardware store. I've used it only for dusting and the duct tape is the vintage stuff that I can't seem to find anymore. In fact, I don't have a clue why I ever put duct tape on it.............I keep it in a special vault in the back as I'm afraid if I display it on the console it might grow legs and "walk".

.......the mind is a terrible thing to waste
Attached Thumbnails
500 Racks changeover....-dusting-brush.jpg  
Old 16th November 2012
  #29
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emitsweet View Post
I was curious about the razor blade? I didn't see a cutting block
Cutting blocks are long gone I'm afraid, I knew someone was going to ask....see below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I figured I'd get a comment on the razor blade and illicit drug use, but actually I use it to cut tape when I"m taping music together.
Old 16th November 2012
  #30
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Sutton View Post
.......the mind is a terrible thing to waste
I caught someone trying to use mine once for painting. The guy was immediately ejected from the studio, and yes, the mind IS a terrible thing to waste. Unless you WANT it to be wasted that is..... Funny you use one for the same thing and forgot. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by TAVD View Post
553 inspired EQ from Peter C, with some custom touches.
Cool Tom. Any thoughts on them? Always interested in various EQ's....
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