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New API 550A EQ Modules 500 Series EQ\'s
Old 3rd September 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

New API 550A EQ Modules

Looks like the 550A reissue as we know it is being discontinued.

API will be introducing two 550A units this fall. There will be a lower-cost production version with PCB mounted switches. I wonder if it will have a balanced input? There will also be a higher-cost Saul Walker edition with the handwired switches and a custom faceplate. Very interesting.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #2
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666666's Avatar
Really? What is the source of this info?

So the Saul Walker Edition is basically the same as the current reissue, except with a different faceplate?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Read about it on the Sonic Circus website. The way I understand it, the Saul Walker model is the same guts as the current 550a re-issue. Only difference is the faceplate and the price.

I wonder if API is loading the 1608 with the cheaper 550a modules?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #4
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666666's Avatar
Thanks

Wow, quite a difference between the new standard version and Saul Walker version... $1195 verses $2195. I severely doubt they'll be putting the Walker versions in the 1608.

I kinda liked the "reissue" for $1450. But then again, if the new cheaper standard version is essentially the same exact animal sonically as the "reissue", then it allows us to get into a 550A at a lower price, so I guess that's a good thing. Are PCB mounted switches really so terrible? Just need to be a little gentle.

As for the input (balanced or otherwise).....???
Old 23rd September 2007
  #5
So I notice Mercenary now have these at the lower price. $1,025 to be exact.

http://www.mercenary.com/api55ditheq.html

Would be good if it has balanced i/o. Somehow I doubt it.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #6
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by I.T. View Post
Looks like the 550A reissue as we know it is being discontinued.

API will be introducing two 550A units this fall. There will be a lower-cost production version with PCB mounted switches. I wonder if it will have a balanced input? There will also be a higher-cost Saul Walker edition with the handwired switches and a custom faceplate. Very interesting.

i'm not against them marketing a newer cheaper, more affordable version.
But i needed some new real ones to fill out a old 1604.[people I rent to want the real or the reissue handwired ones]

The same handwired reissue with a "custom" faceplate for 4-500 bucks more?!


More Tonelux EQs.heh
Old 23rd September 2007
  #7
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
But i needed some new real ones to fill out a old 1604.[people I rent to want the real or the reissue handwired ones]................
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Think i'll just buy more Tonelux EQs.heh
So how's that going to help out your clients???
Old 24th September 2007
  #8
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

I actually welcome this change.....

At least now we will actually be able to get them... The 550A's have been on a perpetual several month backorder since they were announced a couple of years ago... The problem? The switches are extremely difficult to manufacture in quantity. The answer? Use the switches that their other products use... Seems logical to me and a welcome change. There will always be vintage units if you NEED them.
Old 24th September 2007
  #9
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
So how's that going to help out your clients???
Because we're pushing the T-lux mixer rack for rental specials.its smaller and way easier to tote around.
Some of the older more traditionalist guys are starting to warm to the idea that some of the newer stuff might sound as good or better than the tried and true classics.
its a newer unit than the 1604,but really people like it..especially the EQ's..
Although I think I may have just found a small lot of clean used 550a's .
Old 24th September 2007
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Resonant Alien's Avatar
 

I don't get it. I always thought the reason people bought and paid more for the 550a 3 band over the 550b 4 band was because the 550a was "handwired" and had "better" switches than the 550b. Now that they are both apparently using the same switches and construction, why would you buy the 550a with 3 bands when you can get 4 bands on the 550b for the same price?
Old 24th September 2007
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Resonant Alien View Post
I don't get it. I always thought the reason people bought and paid more for the 550a 3 band over the 550b 4 band was because the 550a was "handwired" and had "better" switches than the 550b. Now that they are both apparently using the same switches and construction, why would you buy the 550a with 3 bands when you can get 4 bands on the 550b for the same price?
Well I presume the 550a still has 2 transformers vs the 1 in the 550b, so I guess there should still be 'that' difference in character, which people rave about. Also, it has a band pass filter switch, which the 550b doesn't have.
Old 24th September 2007
  #12
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Resonant Alien View Post
...why would you buy the 550a with 3 bands when you can get 4 bands on the 550b for the same price?
Because they sound different... at least now. Both are excellent.

The new 550B is "cleaner", less colored overall. Incredible tool. Still has the classic API Q-curve and overall vibe.

The 550A has a more noticeable "sound" and character to it. It alters the dynamics. It thickens and also adds a bit of "softness". It can be the "perfect" thing for certain tracks, or not. The 550A will add this color when switched inline even when all freq gain knobs are at 0.

This is why I have an inventory of BOTH the A and B... and both get used always. I use the 550B more as a "tool" when something really needs frequency shaping. The 550A I'll use more as an "effect", just for the sound... and IF I need more frequencies, I'll just stick another eq inline. But indeed the 550A does not have enough frequencies to truly be a stand alone "surgical" eq.
Old 24th September 2007
  #13
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Resonant Alien's Avatar
 

Thanks for the feedback - makes sense.
Old 25th September 2007
  #14
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I actually welcome this change..... Use the switches that their other products use...
So.... does this mean the new 550As will have the same type switches as the 550B? If so, that's just fine with me... I have a bunch of old 550Bs that have seen plenty of service, never once had an issue with a switch.

Now is someone going to say that the handwired switch effects the tone???

Especially if you need to fill a 1608, I think most people will welcome the new "cheaper" switches in the name of saving several hundred $ per module... it adds up fast when you need 8 or 16 of `em.

Will the "new" 550A modules (both the "cheaper" one and the Saul Walker special edition) be appearing at AES???
Old 25th September 2007
  #15
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
So.... does this mean the new 550As will have the same type switches as the 550B?
Yes.
Old 25th September 2007
  #16
84K
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84K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Because we're pushing the T-lux mixer rack for rental specials.
Hey RB, I didn't know you have a rental business. Let me know the website with the gear lists, maybe I will rent some stuff from you next time I am working in LA. (about three weeks)
Old 25th September 2007
  #17
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 84K View Post
Hey RB, I didn't know you have a rental business. Let me know the website with the gear lists, maybe I will rent some stuff from you next time I am working in LA. (about three weeks)
Sure brotha..
its in my sig.
It's called: Audio Verite Rentals

Audio Verite - Pro Audio Rentals


Old 25th September 2007
  #18
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Now is someone going to say that the handwired switch effects the tone???

if the sound passes thru 'x', 'x' affects the tone.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 25th September 2007
  #19
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666666's Avatar
Wow... I finally got to hear a few brand new circuit board mounted switch 550As next to a few "reissue" handwired switch 550As... BIG difference!!! The difference was consistent across all the units... all the handwired units sounded alike and all the circuit board switch units sounded alike. But the handwired switch units had way more coloration, sounded way more authentic in terms of the "original" 550A character. The newer 550As were also excellent, but just less color... a bit cleaner, a lot more towards a 550B vibe. In fact, we tested a few 550Bs at the same time as well and the new 550As seemed to be almost right in-between the handwired reissue 550As and the new 550Bs in terms of degree of color.

Bottom line, they're ALL excellent... but I guess if you want more authentic vintage mega-coloration, the "reissue" handwired is the one to get. Now I understand why API charges so much for the Saul Walker version (handwired). You gotta PAY for that vintage color now.

I cannot imagine that the switches alone are responsible for the very noticeable sonic differences here... there must be other differences. Then again, I have seen pictures of the inside of the handwired switches and there appears to be like 80,000 resistors stuck all over the switches... but on the circuit board switch mounted units, it's small and clean, looks nothing like the handwired... so maybe indeed the switches ARE to "blame" for the big sonic difference??? It appears that the switches indeed provide a very different type of audio path with respect to each other. All those resistors draped all over the handwired switches must have something to do with all this.

With all this in mind, I will likely wish to keep several of EACH in my rack... a few handwired 550As for rich vintage color, depth, fatness, softness, etc, a few circuit board switch 550As for a slightly cleaner response, and some 550Bs for yet the cleanest response with an extra band and more control. It's nice to have all these options.
Old 27th January 2008
  #20
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kreeper_6's Avatar
 

Anybody Know if there is a difference in sonic character with the new switches?
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