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Old 20th June 2020
  #2
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First, that SPX version has the output level control, very handy for saturating the preamp and then having some level control into the DAW. So if you have the money, that's the one I would take. Fits in a standard rack.

The N could require a rack (additional cost) if you don't want it just sitting on a table in the way. Depends on your studio layout I guess.

As to the operation, there is more headroom in both of the above. Now as to the sound of the 500 version LB with the LBEQ, I have a pair of these and they are pretty darn close to the SPX and vintage modules I've worked with (no experience with the N). When I saturate the 500 series LBEQ, it's pretty magical, with the insert connection vs series connected. The insert position with the little cable brings the money sound. I've also tried not using the insert and overall it's not as impressive to my ears. Basically a bit sterile. The only thing lacking, as mentioned, is the saturation comes on a little sooner with the 500 products and a little more headroom would occasionally be nice. Sound wise its more in the infield than the outfield in the Neve ballpark.

That's my experience.