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Best 500 series module holding rack in terms of quality?
Old 9th September 2013
  #1
SEED78
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Best 500 series module holding rack in terms of quality?

Best 500 series module holding rack in terms of pure quality?

out of these (or any others), which is made from best parts and has best power supply etc?:
Purple
Cartec
Radial
API
Lindell
Tonelux

I'm looking for a minimum of 8 slots - ideally 19" rack mountable, but not a deal beaker. option to patch them together in different order is useful, but more into build and audio quality than anything else.
Old 9th September 2013
  #2
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Blaine Misner's Avatar
 

I've used the API racks they are great. Would love to hear about the other options as well!
Old 9th September 2013
  #3
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

BAE is good.
Old 9th September 2013
  #4
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
I think the Purple Sweet Ten is kind of the gold standard but a lot of them are looking really good these days.
Old 9th September 2013
  #5
SEED78
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Cartec one caught my eye as their regular rack stuff is so bloody expensive they must stand for quality right? happy

Radial summing options look cool.
Old 9th September 2013
  #6
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stariq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
BAE is good.
+1

11 space rack 19" mountable and external PSU
Old 9th September 2013
  #7
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lleb's Avatar
 

I got the API because theyre built like tanks, and you know the company isn't going anywhere anytime soon (pretty old audio electronics company as is).
Old 9th September 2013
  #8
SEED78
Guest
IGS Audio Panzer 500 - another one I'd not heard of.
Old 10th September 2013
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I think the Purple Sweet Ten is kind of the gold standard but a lot of them are looking really good these days.
Agree with this one. They are CHEAP. Interfacing with the Sweet 10 is the easiest and it the most portable of the 3RU racks. Has the handles + Built in power supply also the thing is built like a tank so good luck trying to break it. Also every 500 series module works with it. Also has a nice power supply which is DC linear. Also linking compressors is easy by using a 1/4 plug. For linking on the API racks for example you have to solder a wire between pins which is nonsense lol.

Also you can add the purple moiyn module to make it into a 8x2 summing mixer as well as regular I/O. So say you have a bunch of CAPI VP28's in it or Neve 1073LB's. Well just turn all your preamps to Line in and now you have Neve or API console summing amp on your hands.

Anyways im not a seller or a reseller im just pointing out how i feel about my purple racks. Im sure the other sellers racks are great too but i think the purple still has a lot more going for it. Only the Radial Work horse compares with the utility of the Purple rack but it isn't nearly as portable and also only 8 space is kind of a bummer for me. The new Aphex USB500 looks pretty cool though im waiting for a 6 slot or a 10 slot version before i'd jump on it. Also im interested in seeing how good the conversion on those are. anyways thats my 2 cents
Old 10th September 2013
  #10
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ionian's Avatar
Radial. Built like a tank, great functionality. Love the external power supply.

Ever since Purple had that big problem with their internal power supply causing noise, I've been turned off of racks that have internal power supplies.

I know Purple eventually solved and fixed that problem but my view was already colored and I don't have time to be stressed wondering if my internal power supply is causing noise so I avoid all racks with internal power supplies.

I used to use BAE but I find them to be a sleazy company so I've been moving everything over to Radial.

Regards,
Frank
Old 10th September 2013
  #11
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
As above, Purple.
Old 10th September 2013
  #12
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ben_allison's Avatar
I have the Purple Sweet Ten. I love it. 10 slots, which is more than some of the other options, plus no external PSU so it plays nicely in your rack.

Highly recommended!
Old 10th September 2013
  #13
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stariq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
Radial. Built like a tank, great functionality. Love the external power supply.

Ever since Purple had that big problem with their internal power supply causing noise, I've been turned off of racks that have internal power supplies.

I know Purple eventually solved and fixed that problem but my view was already colored and I don't have time to be stressed wondering if my internal power supply is causing noise so I avoid all racks with internal power supplies.

I used to use BAE but I find them to be a sleazy company so I've been moving everything over to Radial.
+1 on external PSU

What's so sleazy about BAE?
Old 10th September 2013
  #14
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stariq View Post

What's so sleazy about BAE?
A while back I wanted to buy another BAE rack so I called my sales guy. He offered me a good price on it. I also had some questions about the rack so he said he'd check with BAE and get back to me.

He calls BAE and somehow in the conversation it comes out what he's selling me the rack for and they lose their ****. They threaten to take the BAE product line from his store if he sells the rack to me for under MAP.

Then they tell him that the only people allowed to have BAE products under MAP are celebrity musicians and engineers. Exactly the kind of people who need discounts, right? Everyone else has to pay MAP or the dealer loses the BAE line.

That's pretty sleazy to me.

I mean, what's the big deal about what my dealer wants to sell to me for? He's the one taking the hit, not BAE.

And then to state that only celebrities can have BAE gear for under MAP?

He forwarded me the email from BAE stating all this so I actually read it firsthand.

Obviously I passed on the rack. And I'll never own another BAE product.

I did send them an email pretty much calling them on their sleazy behavior and giving them a chance to explain themselves. As expected, they never responded.

If any of you out there are getting BAE stuff from your dealers under MAP make sure to keep quiet! Both you and your dealers.

As for me, I moved over to Radial. The only thing I have from BAE is the 6 space rack which I'm going to sell anyway just to get their logo out of my studio. I was going to buy an 11 space rack which is what I passed on from them and eventually went with a Radial powerhouse 10 space instead.

Regards,
Frank
Old 10th September 2013
  #15
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
Don't know about BAE pricing, but the 11-space is really well built. Very solid! I also like the external PSU and the fact you get and extra space.
Old 10th September 2013
  #16
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
Don't know about BAE pricing, but the 11-space is really well built. Very solid! I also like the external PSU and the fact you get and extra space.
No, I don't have criticism about the build. Their business practices are questionable but yes, the racks and the power supplies are solidly built.

Regards,
Frank
Old 10th September 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
only people allowed to have products under MAP are celebrity musicians and engineers.
First off what celebrities need a discount? Second, what celebrities would waste their time with that crap?

too funny, like any celebrity would use use anything but a vintage Neve

Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
I mean, what's the big deal about what my dealer wants to sell to me for? He's the one taking the hit
Well I doubt they do high volume, so they have to scrape their profits on one-sie two-sies. If word gets out a dealer will talk price on a certain item then everyone will want a deal. Every time I call my dealer to buy a Neve or whatever, they always try to sell me one. They must be so desperate to get rid of the inventory.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
I did send them an email pretty much calling them on their sleazy behavior
I don't think having a strict street price is half as sleazy a making a living off Neve's image and designs. That's is just a lack of innovation and a total lack of class. Not to mention not one component in their units with the exception of the $1.50 Transistor and the Gain Switch are original to vintage Neve units.
Old 10th September 2013
  #18
Here for the gear
 

I work in the Pro Audio sales world and a lot of companies have minimum prices that going below threaten your dealer contracts with the manufacturer. It isn't just BAE. they are actually really good to deal with.

I've heard a few companies threaten to drop because of MAP violations.
Old 10th September 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 

MAP is pretty standard. But isn't it minimum advertised price? So selling below it is fine but you can't explicitly state the price anywhere.
Old 10th September 2013
  #20
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GYang's Avatar
Didn't like Purple.
One I got didn't look like precise and sturdy piece of equipment.
Love Radial, it is top pro in all aspects.
Have four and dozen of other Radial gears, it can't get better than that.
Old 10th September 2013
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
MAP is pretty standard. But isn't it minimum advertised price? So selling below it is fine but you can't explicitly state the price anywhere.
It is Advertised price, but by having a contract with a manufacturer they can really stipulate anything they want. Although there are ways around it sometimes, there are a lot of hard priced manufacturers. To name a few:
Apogee, Neumann (since August), BAE, Manley, Antelope... even Mesa Boogie.
Old 10th September 2013
  #22
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock View Post
That's is just a lack of innovation and a total lack of class. Not to mention not one component in their units with the exception of the $1.50 Transistor and the Gain Switch are original to vintage Neve units.


You could like or not BAE, I don't care, but you should start to look inside some units (BAE and others, included vintage Neve's) before judging.

Beside their 10xx pre eq modules you should take a closer look to the 10DC...
You might not like it, that's fine, but lack of innovation and lack of class? I honestly think you're far off the track here..

going back to the thread, BAE have a very solid build quality and their 500 series racks are among the best.. I like (and own) the Purple Sweet ten too, well made and very practical..

Just my 0.02 $,

Cheu
Old 10th September 2013
  #23
SEED78
Guest
Anyone tried the Cartec?

Are the Radial users finding the version with the built in summing mixer a good look?
Old 10th September 2013
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

If you have some spare time and are good with a soldering iron,
you could check out the DIY 11-space 51X Rack.
I' ve built two, and if an idiot like me can, anybody can...

Cheers
//M
Old 10th September 2013
  #25
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock View Post
First off what celebrities need a discount? Second, what celebrities would waste their time with that crap?

too funny, like any celebrity would use use anything but a vintage Neve
Actually most newer big rock bands have the BAE stuff. (Dave Grohl / Foo Fighters before he bought the Sound City console bought a couple BAE racks of their clones for 606, some of which migrated to his home studio for wasting light, Queens of the Stonage, etc.)

The vintage Neves are running out...they're out there, but there's fewer and fewer of them than ever. Many old 80's series consoles even have some BAE channels installed in order to keep the whole thing full up, and most of the active consoles from that era are already owned by deep pockets and not going anywhere. This drives the vintage market prices to highs no one can afford when someone parts out an old desk as a result. So sorry mate...the well is very nearly dry.

This is unfortunately NOT the first time I've heard ugly things on this forum or elsewhere about BAE, or even the first time I've heard about them essentially sticking their own foot into their collective mouth, but it's a small company out in LA...and they are a part of celebrity culture in the music field more than they are a consumer product line. I absolutely do not agree with what they did here and I'm not defending them...but I think it's a shame, in that they do make great sounding kit, but putting the star power of who that draws first over the average customer is not something they should be doing. Especially if it's not effecting them in the slightest when someone offers a friendly discount which won't cut into their profit margin at all. (that hurts the dealers more than anything, and for no reason.)

I have owned several vintage Neves racked by them...and I love how they sound, but really that's a bit silly.
Old 10th September 2013
  #26
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang View Post
Didn't like Purple.
One I got didn't look like precise and sturdy piece of equipment.
Love Radial, it is top pro in all aspects.
Have four and dozen of other Radial gears, it can't get better than that.
I know they had some problems with early units GYang, but the Sweet Ten was revised, did you have your bad experience when they first came out?
Old 10th September 2013
  #27
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post
I know they had some problems with early units GYang, but the Sweet Ten was revised, did you have your bad experience when they first came out?
Yes, indeed.
It was good offer pricewise, so I came to conclusion 'get for you paid for'.
Happy to hear they improved, I like Purple's compressors.
Old 10th September 2013
  #28
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666666's Avatar
Just chiming in to say that I own and use BAE racks and am 100% satisfied with them. I bought my first one brand new back when Brent first introduced them (over 15 years ago). I'm pretty sure this was the very first 11-space 500-rack ever produced, a significant "innovation" at the time.

The new BAE racks appear to be the same design / construction as in the Brent days with the exception of an updated power supply.

So far I've had nothing but good experiences with the most recent incarnation of BAE. A few times I had some tech questions, I received immediate and thorough help from BAE.

As for a dealer not being allowed to sell below a specified amount, this is common practice and pretty much exists between all manufacturers / distributors and dealers. I've heard plenty of stories from various dealers of how manufacturers have threatened to terminate dealership agreements or in fact DID terminate them due to the dealer selling at prices that were "too low". So this is definitely not a BAE specific issue.

The reason why manufacturers don't want a dealer selling "too low" is because that dealer will then be effectively "undercutting" all the other dealers. And then the other dealers won't sell as many units and will eventually become less enthusiastic about selling that manufacturer's products. The undercut dealers may in fact (and do) complain to the manufacturer for allowing the undercutting to go on and demand that they police it more thoroughly. Ultimately it is not good for the manufacturer to have a bunch of unhappy dealers.

So indeed, whether manufacturers wish to be strict about such discount policies or not, they are pretty much forced to be if they wish to maintain a solid sales force.

So, for those of you looking for discounts, if and when you think you have coaxed your favorite dealer into giving you a really killer price that might possibly be below what he or she is supposed to be selling for, DON'T go around telling everyone! In fact don't tell anyone. Otherwise you might screw your dealer and ultimately screw yourself. Take your discount, be happy and be quiet.

Old 10th September 2013
  #29
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666666's Avatar
Also wanted to mention...

I just recently discovered the "Radial Powerstrip"... a 1U, 500 rack that holds THREE modules! Now THAT'S really cool!

Anyone that knows me here knows that I am really big on space savings and ergonomics when it comes to studio layouts. Any time an inch can be saved, anywhere, it's a big deal to me.

I don't want to take credit for the idea, but several years ago I had already taken THREE of my self-powered Speck ASC-V 500 modules and laid them down on their sides, in a row, on a 1U rack shelf, thereby effectively yielding a layout identical to the Radial Powerstrip. I had always wondered why nobody had yet built a 3-slot, 1U, 500 rack and was actually considering contacting some manufacturers about the idea. But... Radial beat me to it. Gotta hand it to Radial.



Radial PowerStrip
Old 10th September 2013
  #30
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Just chiming in to say that I own and use BAE racks and am 100% satisfied with them. I bought my first one brand new back when Brent first introduced them (over 15 years ago). I'm pretty sure this was the very first 11-space 500-rack ever produced, a significant "innovation" at the time.

The new BAE racks appear to be the same design / construction as in the Brent days with the exception of an updated power supply.

So far I've had nothing but good experiences with the most recent incarnation of BAE. A few times I had some tech questions, I received immediate and thorough help from BAE.

As for a dealer not being allowed to sell below a specified amount, this is common practice and pretty much exists between all manufacturers / distributors and dealers. I've heard plenty of stories from various dealers of how manufacturers have threatened to terminate dealership agreements or in fact DID terminate them due to the dealer selling at prices that were "too low". So this is definitely not a BAE specific issue.

The reason why manufacturers don't want a dealer selling "too low" is because that dealer will then be effectively "undercutting" all the other dealers. And then the other dealers won't sell as many units and will eventually become less enthusiastic about selling that manufacturer's products. The undercut dealers may in fact (and do) complain to the manufacturer for allowing the undercutting to go on and demand that they police it more thoroughly. Ultimately it is not good for the manufacturer to have a bunch of unhappy dealers.

So indeed, whether manufacturers wish to be strict about such discount policies or not, they are pretty much forced to be if they wish to maintain a solid sales force.

So, for those of you looking for discounts, if and when you think you have coaxed your favorite dealer into giving you a really killer price that might possibly be below what he or she is supposed to be selling for, DON'T go around telling everyone! In fact don't tell anyone. Otherwise you might screw your dealer and ultimately screw yourself. Take your discount, be happy and be quiet.

Those are good points...I didn't think about it that way...but sometimes people cut their buddies a break too in this business *(we all haggle) ...if BAE wasn't going to lose out and it was more of a favor, I dunno...it's conflicting but I see your point for sure.
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