The distinctive click of an API 500A changing settings always let you know you were about to hear some awesome-sounding EQ. In fact, engineers used to route signals through API gear in bypass because of the sonic goodness it imparted. Good news! The 500 Series is more popular than ever – and the format is now being supported by a cadre of quality-conscious manufacturers.
The concept is simple. API’s original modules, designed to fit into a console channel strip, were suitably compact. A few years back, API introduced its self-powered Lunchboxes, designed to hold six or 10 modules, complete with 48-volt internal phantom power. The concept caught on, and today you can add processing punch to your studio by choosing from a potpourri of outstanding EQs, compressors, mic preamps, and 500 Series chassis. Typically less expensive than the equivalent full-size processors, 500 Series modules are an affordable way to juice up your sonic palette.
Would it be great to pack both API and Neve gear in your rack? You bet it would. How about Daking, Grace Design, Maag Audio, Vintech, Radial, A Designs, Millennia, JDK Audio, True Systems, or Tonelux? Now that we have your full attention, you can start to see the serious implications of the 500 Series form factor.
Choose Your Vintage
500 Series gear gives you a totally flexible sound-shaping tool kit. Back in the ’70s, you were restricted to the single sound (no matter how awesome) of the console you were using, but today’s reality is somewhat different. Sometimes you want the smooth, warm musicality of vintage signal processing, and other times you need the incisive, surgical precision of modern gear. Now you can combine vintage and modern tones from numerous manufacturers to suit your particular needs and sonic preferences. Some manufacturers are even stepping up to the plate with 500 Series modules that let you “choose your vintage.”
We Can Help
In your quest for the ultimate sound, there’s no limit to how tweaky you can get – while staying within the convenient and affordable 500 Series form factor. With so much great gear to choose from, assembling a 500 Series rack may seem daunting, but your knowledgeable Sweetwater Sales Engineer is here to assist you in this noble endeavor!