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API 550A reissues!!!
Old 8th December 2004
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's probably worth mentioning that we don't intend to mass manufacture the 550A. Likewise, we're not looking to find cheaper, easier ways to build them. The idea with the reissue of the 550A was to simply make a very limited production run of them just like we used to 20+ years ago (largely in response to years of nagging by API fans).

Bear in mind the 550A is hand-assembled (just as it's always been), with the exact same hand wired switches, and they carry the same 5 year warranty as do all our products. Tracking down some of the parts and buying them has been expensive, and the units are one of the most labor intensive products we've ever made. Bottom line.

You can't make a small run of 550A's, exactly like they used to be made, with no compromise, and then somehow lower the price...We decided to be true to the original and make no compromises in either the build quality or the resulting price.
Old 8th December 2004
  #32
Lives for gear
 
ray dsr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Are the parts and assemply that much more expensive then the 550B?

Don't misunderstand me, I love my 550A's. And the 7600 is always a go-to piece for me. But this price has lead me to believe the 550A included in the 7600 is compromised.

I've never done a shoot-out with my vintage 550A's and the new 7600 and 550B.

In your opinion, is there a sonic difference?
Old 9th December 2004
  #33
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by ray dsr

I've never done a shoot-out with my vintage 550A's and the new 7600 and 550B.

In your opinion, is there a sonic difference?
THAT'S what I want to know.
Old 14th December 2004
  #34
Gear Maniac
 
rockstar's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by ray dsr
Are the parts and assemply that much more expensive then the 550B?

Don't misunderstand me, I love my 550A's. And the 7600 is always a go-to piece for me. But this price has lead me to believe the 550A included in the 7600 is compromised.

I've never done a shoot-out with my vintage 550A's and the new 7600 and 550B.

In your opinion, is there a sonic difference?
because the A is more sought after. donΒ΄t believe that assembling an A is more expensive than a B. the B has got one more pot an this dual axis pots are not that cheap. on other side the A has got these low and high shelves which i love much.

a friend of me has got 2 A and 2 B and he claims the highs of the A are a bit more silky than of the B.
Old 14th December 2004
  #35
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toolstudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Building the 550A as it originaly was, is definatly more expensive because of the wiring and the hand manufacturing.

We have 2 550b and 6 550a and I use them as different eqs throughout.
There is more changed than the 4th band.
And yes,...the highs are much smoother for my ears on the 550a, that why I want a couple of more 550a, but no more 550b`s (at the moment).
The 20k on the 550b's are great to open up the sound.

btw. our 550b's have Lo/Hi Shelf switches :-)


regards,

wolfgang


toolhouse studios, germany
Old 14th December 2004
  #36
Gear Maniac
 
rockstar's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by toolstudio


btw. our 550b's have Lo/Hi Shelf switches :-)

they have switches? where? custom built?
Old 14th December 2004
  #37
Lives for gear
 
toolstudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by rockstar
they have switches? where? custom built?
They have metal toggle switches on the right hand side, beside the HI and LO bands, labeled HF and LF.
No white switches at the bottom like the 550a's


greetings,

wolfgang

toolhouse studios, germany
Old 14th December 2004
  #38
Gear Maniac
 
rockstar's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ah ok. i see
Old 31st December 2004
  #39
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ray dsr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anyone know if the 550a in the 7600 is compromised somehow?
Old 26th January 2005
  #40
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ray dsr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I can tell you that the 550a portion of the 7600 sounds great to my ears. I also have some vintage 550a's, 560's, and 550b's. The 7600 gets used more than any of them because it's a strip with a great compressor and output level.
At their asking price the new 550a is pointed at collectors only. I think they should scratch it up a bit and have it appear "vintage".
Old 26th January 2005
  #41
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by denial
Dealers generally don't know **** other than the profit margin. I'd gather my opinion from auditioning the unit or from someone who makes their living from using it.
That statement is half true... there are some dealers who know gear very well and audition it themselves and are engineers (I could probably count them on one hand)... Some of them frequent this board (myself included)... But, you are right in that many, if not most dealers don't know ****.
Old 27th January 2005
  #42
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ray dsr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by denial

"Let's wait and see/hear for ourselves before jumping to conclusions."
I wish someone from API would chime in here to answer the comparison question between the reissue 550a and the "original 550a" found in the 7600.

As a 7600 owner I'd like to know.
Old 27th January 2005
  #43
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by ray dsr
I wish someone from API would chime in here to answer the comparison question between the reissue 550a and the "original 550a" found in the 7600. As a 7600 owner I'd like to know.
My guess is that the 550A in the 7600 is on a circuit board with less expensive switches and less hand wiring to keep the cost down. This may not necessarily affect the sound or performance of the unit.
Old 27th January 2005
  #44
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Paul Wolff Designs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by denial
My guess is that the 550A in the 7600 is on a circuit board with less expensive switches and less hand wiring to keep the cost down. This may not necessarily affect the sound or performance of the unit.
Well, I guess I should chime in...

The switches are the same in the 7600 as the 550B, which are Grayhill and in the 15 years that I owned API, I don't remember replacing one switch. There are no comprimises in the 7600 at all. The difference between the 550A there and the original 550A is that it has more frequencies. The switches on the original and reissue 550A are open Ledex switches, which even though they are open, never seemed to fail either.

The technical differences are that the 550B and 7600/550A have actual values for the frequency caps and are on a PC board, while the original/reissue 550A adds the last value to the next value to get a larger cap value and are hand wired. The Grayhill switch has no ability to add, only to make before break. Otherwise they are all the same, and is why most say they all sound different...
Old 27th January 2005
  #45
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ray dsr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks Paul. Do you have an opinion on the sound differences?
Old 28th January 2005
  #46
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Paul Wolff Designs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, I can only say that everything is different in some way, even matched pairs. Metals aren't the same, transistors, caps etc. The best that anyone can do is to understand that if they want the same then buy old ones and take the risk.

I always said that if it was that important to be identical for sonic reasons, why are these same complainers mixing to MP3s and 44.1/16Bit CDs. It seems contradictory to say the least.

When any re-issues are presented, they can only be as good as the parts available at the time. Companies deserve the credit for taking the time and expense to do that.

On the other hand, if someone says that they are exact, they better hope it is, because the paranas will eat them for lunch if it isn't.
Old 29th January 2005
  #47
Gear Maniac
 
13chroma20's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have a 7600, and although i haven't done a blind a-b test between the 550a reissue and a vintage one, i'd say they're respectably close. i do feel like there's a bit of difference in the sound, but i'm not sure whether that's because i'm listening to all of the rest of the circuitry of the 7600, or whether the reissue isn't 100% identical-sounding. possibly a little of each. but the important issue is that the reissue sounds excellent (in the 7600 at least) and i felt it sounded like what i expected it to based on my experience with vintage 550a's.
although i think i'd still buy a $1k vintage 550a over a $1600 reissue.
Old 1st February 2005
  #48
Dodd
 
Richard's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
OK, I'm meant to be on 'break' but here goes.
last week I was able to test at my own studio the 'early' re issue 550a.
Compared to a 'revised (late manufacture) original 550a the re issue only differed in one sonic respect.
IT WAS BETTER!
The 550a re issue sounded great.
The 550b 's sounded harsh in comparison (I must say that I am not and have never been a 550b fan).
I would suspect that the price point for the limited edition 550a will enable a two tier market.
Reissue and original. Both (if up to spec) are FANTASTIC.
The differences! (very small)
The re issue sounded more 'complete' in the very low end than the 550a comparison module.
I was surprised. It can be done!
This, or 560's is what should be in the board IMHO
Get 'em while you canthumbsup
Old 7th March 2006 | Show parent
  #49
Dodd
 
Richard's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Expensive yes, I went to buy some furniture a couple of days ago, the only 'stuff' worth anything was the 'handmade from solid hardwood'.....
Unlike furniture EQ's are rarely disposable or fashion/trend purchases, but like the handmade furniture can give decades of reliable service and still be worth something when it is time for a change.
I use my 550A reissues as my first choice, working at Blackbird Studios, (where John has everything and a lot of them) I have had the opportunity (Yes, VERY lucky me) to compare these re issue 550A's to various 'original manufacture' examples. In every case the new ones are as good or better (not suffering from age).
I think that API will soon address the issue of 'cost of good gear', they have 'hinted' to me that something new may be on the horizon. If you use analogue EQ and don't own original or re-issue 550A's you are missing out. A lack of 'funds' should be the only reason for not owning them, if you have up to $1000 (half that used) available check out the NTI EQ3d,
Not API but not designed to be either, great value and entertaining too.
Rich
PS. It's been a while since I have posted anything.. Where's the 'spell checker" located?
Old 7th March 2006 | Show parent
  #50
Lives for gear
 
Paul Wolff Designs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
PS. It's been a while since I have posted anything.. Where's the 'spell checker" located?
Can you believe that they actually expect us to spell check our own posts? It continually makes me look like a first grader...
Old 7th March 2006 | Show parent
  #51
Lives for gear
 
MJGreene Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard
Expensive yes, I went to buy some furniture a couple of days ago, the only 'stuff' worth anything was the 'handmade from solid hardwood'.....
Unlike furniture EQ's are rarely disposable or fashion/trend purchases, but like the handmade furniture can give decades of reliable service and still be worth something when it is time for a change.
I use my 550A reissues as my first choice, working at Blackbird Studios, (where John has everything and a lot of them) I have had the opportunity (Yes, VERY lucky me) to compare these re issue 550A's to various 'original manufacture' examples. In every case the new ones are as good or better (not suffering from age).
I think that API will soon address the issue of 'cost of good gear', they have 'hinted' to me that something new may be on the horizon. If you use analogue EQ and don't own original or re-issue 550A's you are missing out. A lack of 'funds' should be the only reason for not owning them, if you have up to $1000 (half that used) available check out the NTI EQ3d,
Not API but not designed to be either, great value and entertaining too.
Rich
PS. It's been a while since I have posted anything.. Where's the 'spell checker" located?
Good to have you back Richard. Hope we can all behave and have you stick around!!!!

Michael Greene
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