500 series racks - how much power do I need?

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Magnetic Services
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500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:08 am

Hey folks, I'm looking to finally dive into the 500 series world and need some recommendations for a chassis. Here's the backstory:

I recently moved out of my studio, and I'd like to condense my gear into a portable 6U rack case while retaining the capability to record a full band live. I already have the rack, a power conditioner, a MOTU Monitor 8 as the interface/headphone amp, and a MOTU 8pre for some extra preamps. That leaves me with 3U of space, and I figured sticking a 500 series chassis in there was the most efficient way to squeeze in as much gear as possible.

So I'm looking for a powered 500 series rack with 8-10 slots, but I don't want to get stuck with not enough power. Most of the slots will be filled with preamps, maybe a DI or two, maybe a compressor or two. Keeping in mind that all slots might be running at the same time, plus phantom power, how much power should I look for in a chassis? For example, the Radial Workhorse Powerhouse 10-slot chassis is a tempting, inexpensive option, but will its 1.8 amps be enough?

Alternatively, anybody know of power-efficient 500-series preamps?

Thanks!

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by joninc » Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:56 am

The radial ones are great and have lots of power and some nice extra features like easy daisy chaining of adjacent channels.

Plus I used the D-sub in when mixing as well.
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kslight
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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by kslight » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:08 pm

Not to discount the Radial, but on the cheap the Midas L10 looks like a crazy deal. I have an L6 which is just fine for my needs. I like the easy chaining of channels (switch versus patching cables), and 10 year warranty is legit. 8)

Magnetic Services
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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:40 pm

kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:08 pm
Not to discount the Radial, but on the cheap the Midas L10 looks like a crazy deal. I have an L6 which is just fine for my needs. I like the easy chaining of channels (switch versus patching cables), and 10 year warranty is legit. 8)
Do you think the internal switched power supply is a compromise? Seems like higher-end units have external PSUs. Even the Radial has an external brick, although it looks a little cheap.

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by kslight » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:48 pm

Magnetic Services wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:40 pm
kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:08 pm
Not to discount the Radial, but on the cheap the Midas L10 looks like a crazy deal. I have an L6 which is just fine for my needs. I like the easy chaining of channels (switch versus patching cables), and 10 year warranty is legit. 8)
Do you think the internal switched power supply is a compromise? Seems like higher-end units have external PSUs. Even the Radial has an external brick, although it looks a little cheap.
No, and I don't see any correlation between price and external PSUs at glance... You see something like a Purple Sweet Ten with an internal, and the Rupert Neve, both companies that I perceive to command some respect and at least somewhat higher end. And numerous others as well.

From a manufacturing perspective there's 3 reasons I can think of for an external PSU...ease of getting it approved for EU, its a generic power supply, and to cut down on internal shielding on the rack. So if anything...an external PSU could be perceived as a compromise.

From my own standpoint, for a mobile rack, an internal PSU probably makes most sense to me. At the end of the day though, its easier sufficient for the job or it isn't.

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by Magnetic Services » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:00 pm

kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:48 pm
Magnetic Services wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:40 pm
kslight wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:08 pm
Not to discount the Radial, but on the cheap the Midas L10 looks like a crazy deal. I have an L6 which is just fine for my needs. I like the easy chaining of channels (switch versus patching cables), and 10 year warranty is legit. 8)
Do you think the internal switched power supply is a compromise? Seems like higher-end units have external PSUs. Even the Radial has an external brick, although it looks a little cheap.
No, and I don't see any correlation between price and external PSUs at glance... You see something like a Purple Sweet Ten with an internal, and the Rupert Neve, both companies that I perceive to command some respect and at least somewhat higher end. And numerous others as well.

From a manufacturing perspective there's 3 reasons I can think of for an external PSU...ease of getting it approved for EU, its a generic power supply, and to cut down on internal shielding on the rack. So if anything...an external PSU could be perceived as a compromise.

From my own standpoint, for a mobile rack, an internal PSU probably makes most sense to me. At the end of the day though, its easier sufficient for the job or it isn't.
Thanks! I might actually try the Midas. Can always upgrade, after all.

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by Colorblind » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:29 am

If you're handy with a soldering iron you can buy an 11-space rack kit with PSU from CAPI for about $420. Should have more than enough juice for a rack of preamps.

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:42 am

I love my Sweet 10. I think it's pretty forward thinking. It's the only one I have any experience with though, so can't speak to the others. Seems like the Radial could be cool. At this point, I don't think I'd get anything other than the Purple though, should I need a second (I will haha).
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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by roscoenyc » Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:03 am

We bought on Rupert Neve 10 space then bought another because we liked the first one so much.
It gives you a readout on the power on the front panel and it also has stereo linking capabilities.

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by digitaldrummer » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:58 pm

I have an API vpr500 10-slot (with the external linear power supply) and a 500-8B with the external switching power supply. I have never had a power related problem with either and I have lots of different modules (and have had others over the years in and out...). Maybe not the cheapest out there, but they always work for me.

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by cgarges » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:19 am

The Buzz Elixirs (which I love) are a good test for this. They draw A LOT of current. I'm surprised at how many manufacturers say this won't be an issue and then either one of the units won't work or there will be a hum or something. That said, the Purple Sweet Ten is super-solid, dead quiet, built like a tank, has a totally awesome internal PSU, and makes use of the extra unused pin on the 500-series edge connectors, allowing access via an extra jack for each slot.

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Re: 500 series racks - how much power do I need?

Post by Recycled_Brains » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:33 am

cgarges wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:19 am
The Buzz Elixirs (which I love) are a good test for this. They draw A LOT of current. I'm surprised at how many manufacturers say this won't be an issue and then either one of the units won't work or there will be a hum or something. That said, the Purple Sweet Ten is super-solid, dead quiet, built like a tank, has a totally awesome internal PSU, and makes use of the extra unused pin on the 500-series edge connectors, allowing access via an extra jack for each slot.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
I just filled the last slot on my Sweet 10, and after enough forum perusing I half expected the last module to be a little noisy, given the proximity to the PS. Dead quiet, for sure.
Ryan Slowey
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http://maggotbrainny.bandcamp.com

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