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Api 5500 vs 550a?
Old 2nd March 2013
Lives for gear
MREVOL's Avatar

Api 5500 vs 550a?

Hey guys, I have a 5500 and have been reading about people saying they prefer the 550a to the 550b (which the 5500 is based on).

Is it wise to sell the 5500 and get 550a's?

If I get 550a's, which one do I get? To my understanding there's original, hand wired reissue, and pcb reissue. How do I tell them apart if I look to purchase one of them.

Old 2nd March 2013
I think it depends if you want versatility or character. The .5, 1, and 2db steps with the extra band is handy for some things. The 3 bands with character are handy for others. Personally I would stick with the 5500, but that's more useful for my situation.

Sent from my slutzapp.
Old 2nd March 2013
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SRS's Avatar

I have a 5500. I think you would hear very little difference between it and a 550a. Of course I do not have a 550a, but with the flexibility (mentioned above) of the 5500, you would likely miss. I love my 5500 and have no plans in ditching it for any other EQ at this point and time, or in the foreseeable future. It's a fine, fine EQ.
Old 2nd March 2013
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MREVOL's Avatar

I just see a lot of people saying that the 550a's are better. Hopefully some people that have experience with 550a's and b's chime in.
Old 2nd March 2013
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Baz's Avatar

IME, 5500 any day
Old 3rd March 2013
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MREVOL's Avatar

no one with a 550a?
Old 3rd March 2013
I've owned both. I kept the 5500 because of the dB options and the extra band. I'm sure people will say that the 550a is superior because it's a classic API piece, but if you like the 5500 keep it. If you're not digging it then maybe you should try something else.
Old 3rd March 2013
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MREVOL's Avatar

Well, not that I'm not digging it. I just have read a lot of people on here swearing up and down on how the 550a's beat the 550b. People saying that the would never use the 550b for mids as it gets pointy/harsh.
Old 4th March 2013
You've probably read this thousands of times on here, but... trust your own ears and A/B for yourself. Plenty of shops will let you demo out gear. I've learned that a lot of opinions on here conflict with how I personally feel about certain pieces or theory. There are a bunch of people out there with opinions that have no right to voice them. No one knows what's best for the sound you're going for than you.
Old 4th March 2013
Gear Addict

What's the difference between the 5500 and the 550B anyhow, outside of the wider controls (ie. 0.5 or 1dB steps instead of two)? Is it otherwise just two 550Bs in a 1ru box?

I've never directly A/Bed a 550A and B, but I really like the B actually, for the mids on certain things with the extra band, and because the thing is so not surgical- if an SSL desk EQ is a scalpel, this is a chainsaw.
Old 4th March 2013
no difference.

it is not surgical at all but the dB control definitely helps making it more subtle.
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