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500 series pre's

Aloha friends,It's been a while. I'm looking for some different flavors in regards to mic preamp's. I've used the p-1 by A designs really loved it . Great prescense, not any real difference from the Pacifica which is cool , A little less mula

My question is what are some of people's experiences with other 500 series's gear and what applications have they used them on ?

Comments

DonnyThompson Sun, 03/15/2015 - 07:44

I remember when the first API "lunchbox' came out; it quickly became a very popular system. Many engineers put together their own portable racks with mods that they felt would be of the most benefit. Some designed their racks to be for vocals, others for drums...
In the years since, many manufacturers have released 500 Series modules, so that you have quite the plethora of choices these days.

I suppose it all depends on what you want to do. Are you looking for transparency or character?

There are several different 1073 mods out there now - Neve, of course, but also respectable knock-offs by companies like Vintech, Heritage and Golden Age. Of course, API also has a slew of choices, too, as does SSL, Harrison, Trident...the list is pretty long.

I've recently been told by a friend that JLM Audio has even developed a DIY LA2A in a 500 format - sans tubes, of course, but still intriguing all the same, and if you were decent with a soldering iron and tools, you could have one for around $400.

Dropbox

Right now, I am using the ADK AP-1 mic pre, which has "pop and swap" architecture, meaning that I can swap out input transformers and op amps, my choices depending on the particular character I'm looking for.
For example, I can use a Jensen JT110k IT with a John Hardy 990C OA, or a Lundhal 1538 with a Seventh Circle.... a Sowter 9820C with an ADK Vint-Op N (which, according to the developer, was meant to emulate a Neve pre, hence the "N" suffix) or, any combination I want, limited only by the components that I have on-hand.

I've found it to be a great pre, not only because of its flexibility, but also because it's dead silent, even with the gain maxed out.

I digress, as I realize you are looking at 500 Series mods.

Again, it really all depends on what you want to do... there's very little that you can't get anymore in this format.

Does your rack have a primary purpose? Vocals? Drums? Guitars?

DonnyThompson Sun, 03/15/2015 - 10:24

Kurt Foster, post: 426362, member: 7836 wrote: wow! $400 for an L3 .....

i really like the JLM pres i have. excellent build quality and great sounding. i would love to have a pair of these. am i reading it right? can we get them assembled for an extra $10?

Uhm... I think that's the added installation charge for the accessories, Kurt... meaning that they will install the breakout cable and the slow attack mod for the cost of the parts plus $10... but hey, maybe I'm mistaken on that.

Sounds awful cheap for an actual full build, though...

If you're gonna look into this, please let us know what you find out.

DonnyThompson Sun, 03/15/2015 - 10:33

Tommy osuna, post: 426372, member: 48582 wrote: Thanks Donny that helps . I did not realize you can also swap transformers that's a new ball game !

The p-1 by a designs reminds me of the punch of a neve and the great high end of a pultec hi pass filter rolled into one. So I'm just looking for different things .

Thanks again .

So far, my personal favorite combination in the AP-1, for vocals - meaning my own vocals - is a toss up between the Lundhal 1538 and the Jensen JT110K Input XFO's, with the John Hardy 990c as the op amp XFO, (which is built based on the API 2500 Series transformers) although, I'm also growing fond of the Sowter as an input XFO over the last few days as well... apparently Sowter Input XFO's have been used in several Soundcraft, Neve and Oram consoles over the years.
Their character is what I would call "mildly" warm, but without any "mud"... and also nice on the top end, without being the least bit glassy.

But again, that's based on my voice, through my 414EB, so your own experience with it may vary.

Kurt Foster Sun, 03/15/2015 - 11:30

DonnyThompson, post: 426373, member: 46114 wrote: Uhm... I think that's the added installation charge for the accessories, Kurt... meaning that they will install the breakout cable and the slow attack mod for the cost of the parts plus $10... but hey, maybe I'm mistaken on that.

Sounds awful cheap for an actual full build, though...

If you're gonna look into this, please let us know what you find out.

i would have to be able to get them built. fat fingers, bad eyes and shaky hands do not make for good construction skills.

DonnyThompson Sun, 03/15/2015 - 13:03

I believe there are numerous FET-based compressors in the 500 format... Hairball, Lindell, and Purple make mods that are 1176 "clones"... some even have the "all buttons in" mode ... usually called something like "Slam" or even simply an "!" symbol, which puts you into that "British / balls to the wall" mode... LOL.

I've not used any of these though, so I can't say if they're the same thing(s) as the 1176 or not. ;)

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