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Why so much love for 500 series? 500 Series Preamps
Old 18th September 2011
  #1
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Frost's Avatar
 

Why so much love for 500 series?

Everyone seems to want all things 500 series. This limits designers power supply decisions, isn't cheaper, isn't rack mountable which leads to more clutter. I would rather have half or full rack.
Old 18th September 2011
  #2
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hasbeen's Avatar
That's fine. It's a matter of taste I guess. I love the variety and cost of the 500. I am trading my rack-mount Vintech for a 500 Vintech (and a little $$) because

1: It does cost less. What makes you say it is not "cheaper"?
2: I usually wait to use EQ after tracking.
3: It gives me more $$ to buy other 500 modules.

I still have some rack gear the will never be available in the 500 format, but I am on my second Lunchbox now and am very happy with the palette available and the ability to pick it up and toss it in my car for mobile applications.

Also, my name is hasbeen and I am a 500 module addict.
Old 18th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
LunchboxHo's Avatar
 

Convenience & the modules I have are cheaper. Plus, as was said, mobility.


Oh, yes, & the fact that once you buy a lunchbox & a module, you will feel psychologically compelled to fill the remaining gaps......

But, you know, I am a lunchbox ho!
Old 18th September 2011
  #4
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Jeezo's Avatar
+1 on the power suplly ...as the design isn't the same , i heard that they sound different comapred to their regular sized big brothers ....
Old 18th September 2011
  #5
SRS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
+1 on the power suplly ...as the design isn't the same , i heard that they sound different comapred to their regular sized big brothers ....
"You heard..."? I have to say that in my experience, this simply is not true.
Old 18th September 2011
  #6
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
 

For many of the same reasons you articulated, I have held off on the 500 series route for years. Probably the biggest reason to go 500 (for me) is the portability factor, as 90% of my work these days is done on location, often out of state.

Also, I would point out that there are now many 500 series modules that don't exist in a rackmount version. Not too long ago, the 500 series offerings just seemed to be pricier versions of pre-existing rackmount gear, but that has changed dramatically due to the popularity of the format.

Best,
Chris
Old 18th September 2011
  #7
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post
+1 on the power suplly ...as the design isn't the same , i heard that they sound different comapred to their regular sized big brothers ....

What SRS just said.

PLUS the whole point of an API 512c is to have the sound of the 512c, understand? The Buzz Elixir, the Purple etc are all there for their own individual characteristics. At least in my lunchbox.

And, yes the Vintech 573 does indeed sound like the X73i. That was the crux of me swapping Vintechs.
Old 18th September 2011
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
Everyone seems to want all things 500 series. This limits designers power supply decisions, isn't cheaper, isn't rack mountable which leads to more clutter. I would rather have half or full rack.
Well, I do pause to wonder about the 500 series gear that's already out there and sounds absolutely fantastic to me, and wonder even the point of anyone else making more modules, every 5 seconds? Truthfully, I think what you speak of about designers suggesting limitations, is similar to hacker's complaining about the how the internet works. All that stuff sounds to me like people are not actually designing FOR the format, but some other project. They are kidding themselves about reinventing the magical wheel. Design for the Format, make it work and sound great, if you wanna sell your hardware.
Old 18th September 2011
  #9
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Cost effective, space saver, tons of option that you can mix&match, hence,
the most versatile system atm, stackable, portable, and ALL the biggest
brand in the industry seem to put a lot of effort and attention in this format,
meaning, is always improving always coming out with new interesting products.
Most important, it has some exclusive pieces of gear like Level-Or, Shadow Hills compressors (which you'd have to spend a lot more to have), VOG, Chandler Lil Devil Series and Germ pre, and a lot more..
Now companies started to make 19" version of some that were formerly ONLY
in 500 series like xPressor or A-Design EMPQ but still.. the cost effective and space thing remains
Old 18th September 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Rob The Viking's Avatar
It's definitely cheaper. Once you buy a lunchbox chassis and a module, you might be at the same price as a rack unit, depending on what you buy. but once you have the lunchbox, you have already paid for the power supply for 5 more units. each new module averages in price from 500 to 1300. That's a considerably cheaper average than rack units. Plus it takes up much less space. If you don't like the lunchbox idea, you can get a rack mountable unit that has 10 or 11 slots.
Old 19th September 2011
  #11
Gear Addict
 

I've been thinking of getting a lunchbox for a while, mainly because I'm tired of lugging racks of gear to the studio. 500 series modules like the little devil pre, brute, maag eq4, and ELI docderr has me ready to make the jump, especially since they are only available in 500 series format
Old 19th September 2011
  #12
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drastic's Avatar
When I joined the lunchbox team (2005) the main reason was so I could purchase a little at a time and fill it up as my needs grew. I have a bunch of rack gear now too, but I still love the 500 format. For some reason it's just fun to fill those empty slots. It reminds me of collecting baseball cards, just way more expensive!!!
Old 19th September 2011
  #13
The VP26 preamps pushed me over the edge into 500 series. Looking forward to getting some more analog compressors as well.

Seems like a great way to outfit a studio.
Old 19th September 2011
  #14
Gear Addict
 

the 16V rails in the 500 format are definitely a limitation. not to say there isn't great gear available, but lower voltage rails equal lower headroom. i guess everyone can decide for themselves whether or not this matters to them.

this is why the guys over at prodigy came up with the 51x format, it accommodates 500 series modules and also adds 24V rails, so now you can have more circuit types available without having to redesign them around the power limitations (i.e. true Neve type preamps, TG limiter, etc.).

when i jump into the 500 series, i am definitely going 51x. no brainer.
Old 20th September 2011
  #15
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I can come up with $800 for a single channel of 500 series much easier than $1600 + for the usual dual channel 19 inch rack stuff.

If I wanted a Helios Type 69 and a Neve 1073 the total for the 500 series is: $4390 (that includes brand new BAE rack)

19 inch: VK rack loaded with 1073 and VK rack loaded with Helios Type 69 $6690
Old 20th September 2011
  #16
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I was encouraged to go for 500 series gear a few years ago and I just couldn't get my hands around it at the time. Maybe I was worried that it wouldn't last. But I've been converted and am on the verge of making the jump. I'm going for a Workhorse and a few pres to get started. The Workhorse has a capable power supply and a ton of features that fit my needs. I'm psyched!
Old 20th September 2011
  #17
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chrisrulesmore's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by adeptusmajor View Post
the 16V rails in the 500 format are definitely a limitation. not to say there isn't great gear available, but lower voltage rails equal lower headroom. i guess everyone can decide for themselves whether or not this matters to them.

this is why the guys over at prodigy came up with the 51x format, it accommodates 500 series modules and also adds 24V rails, so now you can have more circuit types available without having to redesign them around the power limitations (i.e. true Neve type preamps, TG limiter, etc.).

when i jump into the 500 series, i am definitely going 51x. no brainer.
I was interested in this too but I think the assembly skill required is a bit out of my reach. Does anyone sell the 51x racks assembled?

Chris

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Old 21st September 2011
  #18
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msquared's Avatar
 

There have been pro-level records being made with 500 series stuff for a considerable length of time. While on paper the rail voltage means less headroom, that doesn't translate into anything in real life that is a noteworthy limitation. It just means designers have to be smarter about their builds.
Old 21st September 2011
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by drastic View Post
When I joined the lunchbox team (2005) the main reason was so I could purchase a little at a time and fill it up as my needs grew. I have a bunch of rack gear now too, but I still love the 500 format. For some reason it's just fun to fill those empty slots. It reminds me of collecting baseball cards, just way more expensive!!!
I was going to suggest the similarity to trading MTG cards, but same ideer...

Frost, all this 500-series stuff is an irrational religious cult being perpetuated by a inner sanctum of high priests who can only gain power if more +/- 16v devices are deployed around the mirrorverse. Steer clear, unless you want your life savings to be funneled into the pyramid scheme.
Old 21st September 2011
  #20
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Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRS View Post
"You heard..."? I have to say that in my experience, this simply is not true.
Distributors sources and tech guyz but i never made an A/B test so ....

But To go back on the subject ....the 500 format for me is a BIG plus , and the list of gear availlable speaks for itself ...(quality wise also) , The size , compact is a gift for travelling and to concentrate gears and so control at one spot ...extremily convenient !
And yeah of course : price !

The fact about the power supply get +and minus ....plus : simplified design , cleaner path , the minus : voltage limitation (i'm not an electronic or a hardware pro at all , just some thought that i think are kinda logical ......to me )
Old 18th October 2011
  #21
Gear Addict
Can't disagree with the concept of a modular custom-built rack. However, the power supply limitation is a big one, lower headroom.

But power supply aside, having tried out some different modules, they just don't sound close enough to the full or half rack units they're trying to emulate. The 512c is nice, and it should be, as it was designed for the Lunchbox by API. Vintech, Portico, Grace, similar but definitely not identical.

My $0.02
Old 18th October 2011
  #22
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_mattie View Post
Can't disagree with the concept of a modular custom-built rack. However, the power supply limitation is a big one, lower headroom.

But power supply aside, having tried out some different modules, they just don't sound close enough to the full or half rack units they're trying to emulate. The 512c is nice, and it should be, as it was designed for the Lunchbox by API. Vintech, Portico, Grace, similar but definitely not identical.

My $0.02
I will respectfully disagree about the Vintech. Have not tried the others. I sold my Vintech X73i and got 2 of the 573 modules. With no EQ, the modules were identical to the rack version. Again, my opinion, backed with a timely A/B between the two before making that decision.
Old 18th October 2011
  #23
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_mattie View Post
Can't disagree with the concept of a modular custom-built rack. However, the power supply limitation is a big one, lower headroom.

But power supply aside, having tried out some different modules, they just don't sound close enough to the full or half rack units they're trying to emulate. The 512c is nice, and it should be, as it was designed for the Lunchbox by API. Vintech, Portico, Grace, similar but definitely not identical.

My $0.02
I disagree as well. That is the reason I like the 512, it's not as mid heavy as the 3124.
But I would admit that the Pacifica is better than the P-1, that is the only unit I have used that sounds better in 19 inch brother.
I have been back and forth many times as well and I choose 500 99 percent of the time.
Old 18th October 2011
  #24
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TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
Everyone seems to want all things 500 series. This limits designers power supply decisions, isn't cheaper, isn't rack mountable which leads to more clutter. I would rather have half or full rack.
So go effing buy a half rack or full rack then.

god, why is everyone so pissy and pointless around here. you sound like an effing girl.
Old 18th October 2011
  #25
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I'm sick of all the PSU nonsense as well... as it has been stated many, many times +16 and -16 volts = 32 volts of available power... as for headroom, Max out of 512? = +30 dBu, max for BIZ/MA5? +27, MAX out of a Neve 1073? = 26 dBu!!

The MAX input an Aurora 16 can handle is +20, the MAX of a Lavry = 24, Prism AD2 = +28dbu... seems like the 500 series stuff can play pretty well and in most cases EXEED the input specs of most converters.

As a matter of point - Geoff Tanner told me that the Lights in the Aurora Preamps actually consume more current than the amplifiers in the GTQ2!!!

Buy what you like and what sounds good and gets you the results... I for one have an irrational HATRED of all things 1/2 rack and won't even try them (and I'm sure I am missing out because of it but I've found many other ways to spend my money w/o them!)
Old 19th October 2011
  #26
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

There is not a night and day effect here with either.
I agree, use what works for you, I AM NOT a solid 500 user, I use what I think is the best of both worlds.

Look at this way, does John Hardy make a 500 ?
Old 19th October 2011
  #27
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frost View Post
Everyone seems to want all things 500 series. This limits designers power supply decisions, isn't cheaper, isn't rack mountable which leads to more clutter. I would rather have half or full rack.
some of it sounds great.
i dont want it all.
just the stuff that sounds great.
engineers tend to want gear that sounds great.
Old 19th October 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
I was in the market for more than one high end pre but didn't have all the money. Too me it made sense to pay the 1,100 it would cost for a rack unit and then pay 730 for my second unit with the possibility of future expansion. So it saves me about 340 something per module. Good deal too me! If you only plan on buying one unit or want two of the same unit that exists in a rack already then go for that instead!

Only thing I hate is how some dealers have modules priced somewhat decent from $500-$850 or so and then Neve has everything 1,100 or so over based on hype and name. I like Neve like everyone else, but will go with the other $900 and under offerings first most of the time. Not to mention used prices and DIY kits make it even cooler and affordable. It gives the home professional something they use to only have access to in a big studio. I love my lunchbox!
Old 19th October 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnkenn View Post
I can come up with $800 for a single channel of 500 series much easier than $1600 + for the usual dual channel 19 inch rack stuff.

If I wanted a Helios Type 69 and a Neve 1073 the total for the 500 series is: $4390 (that includes brand new BAE rack)

19 inch: VK rack loaded with 1073 and VK rack loaded with Helios Type 69 $6690
hate to be the one to say it, but the 500 series 1073 is NOT a proper 1073 and does not quite sound the same
Old 19th October 2011
  #30
Harmless Wacko
 

I have recently realized that the 500 series format was designed entirely to have guys get in crazy flame wars on the internot.

And it has been a smashing success.

SM.
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