500 Series EQ

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Calaverasgrande
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500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:52 pm

Looking to expand my outboard. Going to be picking up some EQ modules for channel inserts.
I'm already decided on the SSL 611 and either the RND or API for my main EQs.
But I'll need to fill out the next 4 channels as well. Sadly, my resources are limited. So I have to budget on these.
Looking at the Midas 512, Lindell PEX 500 and DBX 530.
I'm a little shy of the DBX because it is so cheap. The Midas, I am well aware is Behringer in Sheeps clothing. Lindell I have no idea about. But I like the idea of a few channels of passive Pultec style EQ for the remaining channels.

The music I work on ranges from electronic to metal and punk. So character is good.

Anyone have experience with these models? Or can recommend other 'utility grade' or value leader EQ models?
Honestly, when I have the funds I'll want to go with one model of EQ across all channels. API or SSL probably. But you know how it is.

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digitaldrummer
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:46 am

Look at the CAPI stuff. If you can build it, then you'll save. https://capi-gear.com/

Also check out https://barthrk.com/. if you do order, just have patience. It will take a long time to ship (3-4 weeks maybe) and the tracking info will seem like its dead... and then eventually it just shows up at your door. But the prices are great, and the gear is pretty solid. I got a couple of the MP568C "colour" preamps and sold off some more expensive ones because they sounded so close.
Mike
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Recycled_Brains
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Recycled_Brains » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:07 am

digitaldrummer wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:46 am
Look at the CAPI stuff. If you can build it, then you'll save. https://capi-gear.com/
This would be my suggestion. Even if you don't know how to build (yet), it's not that hard. I watched a 20min Youtube vid about soldering (linked from the Hairball Audio website) and went straight to work. The CAPI LC25 is really nice.
Ryan Slowey
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Calaverasgrande
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:18 am

CAPI, how could I forget about those guys?
Spent the last few years building a bunch of Eurorack kits and DIY stuff, so their kits are totally doable.
I'll have to do at least two!
Might get a few extra DOAs just for fun. Such as adding outputs on things.

Calaverasgrande
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:21 am

Gotta say I'm feeling disappointment about the Chameleon Labs 560.
I can get past the ugly knobs (probably by buying some on Tayda)
Bu the lack of any low mid frequencies is a head scratcher.
Am I the only person who is constantly cutting in that area between 250-600?
I think not.
Of course I understand that physics limits what you can do with inductor based EQ. It seems that they decided to give the high and low shelving EQ more freq range, and leave the mid with it's lowest setting at 700hz. (which I actually like for bringing out the throatiness in an SVT).
The HRK stuff is insteresting but it seems very niche. The 80's EQ? I am not sure I would like that, since I have suffered through a lot of 80's mixing boards. Very few of which I would recommend for the EQ!
The colour module stuff is also intriguing. But how are you supposed to use that? Pull out the module and adjust the trimpots? Or mod it so those trims are replaced by front panel knobs. Gotta wonder about some of the design choices.

So I guess now I put in an order for a couple CAPI to see how I like them, and pick up a few 'store bought' EQs in the meantime. My rack just showed up today. Just waiting on Redco now before things get really silly around here.
Would still love to hear from anyone with some of these budget EQs. Are the DBX frightful? Do the Midas sound like Behringer? Is the Trident any good?

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digitaldrummer
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:05 pm

Calaverasgrande wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:21 am
The 80's EQ? I am not sure I would like that
I believe it is based on a Studer 169 console EQ. but I never used either so have no opinion. 8)

As for the colour modules and the MP586C pres I have, you need to use the input gain and the output level to adjust the "color" you get out of the modules combined with the clean signal. You can put 1 or both (or none) of the modules in the signal path. btw, the DIY Colour modules are not his design - they are from the DIYRE site and same modules used in other 500 series boards. anyway, I got the British console and the GT console modules. The one thing i do not like is that the modules might have jumpers to set features that affect sound/levels and those are not accessible unless you pull them out -- so agree the design is limited and annoying at times. so I don't really use mine to run mixes through - only some color on the initial recordings.
Mike
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by digitaldrummer » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:08 pm

also, check out the Klark Teknik EQP-KT. super cheap for a rackmount Pultec style EQ. I had one but my UAD Pultec was so much easier to use and sounded as good to me... so bye-bye EQP-KT... but if you like hardware, it's not bad.
Mike
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:13 pm

yeah I gathered it was supposed to be Studerish.
I've never seen or heard a Studer mixer, though they are supposed to be in high regard. But I'm not sure if that's the EQ or the pre that makes them special. Or just how they look like the Leica of mixers.

The CAPI site heavily reminds me of my journeys in Synth DIY. Everything I want is out of stock and there are numerous reminders to check the BOM version against the PCB version! Just like CGS, Erica and 4MS!

Still, if I can build an oscillator, sequencer and filter, an EQ can't be too much more difficult. Even the DOAs don't look too daunting.
Christ, this time next year I will wonder where my life went.

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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by digitaldrummer » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:08 am

Calaverasgrande wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:13 pm
Even the DOAs don't look too daunting.
The boards are pretty easy. The DOAs require a little extra care. The components and pads are very close together and if you overheat or slop solder, then it shorts and burns. or if you go too fast and insert the transistors backward even though the documentations is clear.... ooops. Did that once. There is not a lot of tolerance for soldering and unsoldering components. Luckily it was only about a $30 oops.
Mike
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:44 am

I've done a few eurorack kits which have similar component density. On end resistors etc. I was about to order the complete kit last night, but now I'm thinking of parsing the BOM for parts I already have.
My workbench has an abundance of 1% resistors and common semiconductors.
If I can get a good deal on a pair of 550s by DIYing. I can save a great deal more by going 'PCB and rare parts'.
Oh whoops, looks like the 50 only comes as full kit. They do have a couple other things that come in partial kit form. Wonder if the 553 is worth building?

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joninc
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by joninc » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:29 am

i'll vouch for the CAPI BT50s - i have a pair of API 550b and this CAPI (although based on the 550a) is more "tone enhancing" and thicker sounding than the API. Considering selling the API as they are worth lots of money and I find them a little "hard" sounding and maybe not totally my style...
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Calaverasgrande
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:03 pm

joninc wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:29 am
i'll vouch for the CAPI BT50s - i have a pair of API 550b and this CAPI (although based on the 550a) is more "tone enhancing" and thicker sounding than the API. Considering selling the API as they are worth lots of money and I find them a little "hard" sounding and maybe not totally my style...
Wow good to know. That is a good nudge in that direction.
With any company like API (or Moog or Ampeg or Musicman) that has been around a long time and changed hands a few times, it is hard to imagine that things could sound the same as the originals. Sometimes minor revisions over time erode what was special. Sometimes the bean counters get control and just ruin it.

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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:00 pm

Just a sidebar. Was distracted into checking out the SSL Xrack offerings. As I have an Xdesk (and sadly not the panda).
I was wondering if the Xrack version of their EQ would have better performance on their own format. Thinking maybe it was 24v rails like a big boy console. Well after some digging turns out it's 15v rails. So on the 500 series racks it goes one more! Volt that is.
Seeing that I do not plan on ever using the meager recall facility provided, and the mix buss link is kind of corny since it only links SOLO and Mix buss. Not FX or cue.
So back to the cheaper, I mean more cost effective 500 series.
Besides, the G Buss compressor on 500 series has a HPF, the Xrack version doesn't? WTF?

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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:12 am

https://www.sphererecordingconsoles.com ... s-outboard

He has some used 500 series Tonelux modules. See if he still has them, they are stellar.

Designed by my friend Paul Wolff, who also designed the API back in the day.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

Calaverasgrande
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Re: 500 Series EQ

Post by Calaverasgrande » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:17 am

Wolff designed the Tonelux EQP5?
That is re-assuring. I am automatically skeptical of anything with such a wide range on it's controls. Makes me think 'quantity over quality'. Like some camera lenses for example that have a staggering zoom range but are never terribly sharp.
Those EQ's seem to fit the bill for flexibility and everything I have read says they sound great, if not especially vibey.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll shoot them an email to ask.
That Sphere Eclipse Alpha 2 looks awesome btw. Glad I didn't see that before I bought my current setup!
Last edited by Calaverasgrande on Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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