API 5500

Dual Equalizer with True Bypass, Range Control, Integrated Power Supply, and 1U Rackmountable Chassis
API 5500 image 1
API 5500 image 1
$2,545.75
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API 5500
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A Classic API EQ Made for the Modern Studio!

The API 5500 dual equalizer puts the great sound and classic design of an API original into a rackmountable package that's even more versatile! Based on the venerable 550 equalizer designed by API founder Saul Walker, the 5500 adds new features such as a Range control for finer adjustments, true hard-wire bypass, and an integrated power supply that lets you apply mutes noiselessly. Two hand-built 2520 op amps (coupled with API's 2503 output transformer) provide plenty of headroom for clean operation. Whether you're tracking, mixing, or mastering, you'll love what the 5500 does for your sound.

API 5500 Dual Equalizer at a Glance:
  • The legacy of a classic API equalizer
  • No ICs in the signal path, plenty of headroom
  • A finer range of control
  • True bypass means no signal loss and no "thumps"

The legacy of a classic API equalizer
The 5500 manages to make a legendary EQ design more relevant and user-friendly than ever. The lineage of the 5500 circuit can be traced back to the original 550 equalizer designed by Saul Walker, the founder of Automated Processes Inc. The 550 was designed as a console equalizer which, due to the architecture of the recording console, uses an unbalanced input. Because the ergonomics of a console dictate that the controls take up little space, sometimes the number of included functions can be limited. The 5500 is specifically designed to address these limitations. It has a balanced input, a true straight-wire bypass, an integrated power supply with noiseless muting, and a range control that expands it versatility to mastering applications.

No ICs in the signal path, plenty of headroom
Like all API products, the 5500 contains no integrated circuits in its signal path. The gain comes from two hand-built 2520 operational amplifiers in each channel. The balanced input is handled by a 2510 discrete operational amplifier, which is similar to the 2520, but without the high current output stage. Besides being a key component of the API sound, the 2520 coupled with the API 2503 output transformer is capable of delivering +30dBm before clipping. With this much headroom, it is unlikely that the 5500 can be driven to distortion unless perhaps another API unit is driving the input!

A finer range of control
The Range control feature gives you a high degree of control over the 55OO. The range of the amplitude controls can be reduced to 1/2 or 1/4 of their stated scale, providing a means of adjusting the tonal balance with finer resolution in an even gentler manner. This should be especially useful for complex program material as contained in stems or submixes, and is ideally suited for mastering purposes.

True bypass means no signal loss and no "thumps"
You'll appreciate the 5500's true hardwire bypass. In this mode the output connector is wired directly to the input. Shortly after the power is first applied, or immediately after it is lost, a special circuit enables bypass mode so signal is never lost and power thumps are never heard.

API 5500 Dual EQ with Range Switch Features:
  • Classic 550B equalizer design
  • Two Range switches individually alter gain steps
  • Useable as a 550B, 550D or 550M
  • Peak/Shelf switch on HI and Lo bands
  • True hardwire bypass
  • Balanced in and out on XLR
  • Unbalanced input on 1/4"
  • EQ In/Out switch
The API 5500 equalizer adds modern functionality to a classic API EQ design!

Additional Media

Signal Processing Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 2
Number of Bands 4
Bypass Yes
Inputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS
Outputs 2 x XLR
Q Type Fixed (12dB/octave)
Rack Spaces 1U
Boost/Cut Range ±12dB
Frequency Response 10Hz-30kHz
Freq Range High 2.5kHz-20kHz
Freq Range Hi-Mid 0.8kHz-12.5kHz
Freq Range Lo-Mid 75Hz-1kHz
Freq Range Low 30Hz-400Hz
Height 1.75"
Width 19"
Manufacturer Part Number 5500

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 7 reviews
Write your review
5/5

THE EQ must be heard!

So I had initially purchased the Kush Audio's Electra in hopes that my mixes would translates better as it is a transient equalizer. And it did, but not enough for me to justify the price, it was a constant battle of "ok, Ive got it"--"ok now Ive lost it". The filters are actually quite nice but felt like there was still something missing. I might have settled with it if it wasn't for a scratchy pot on the high frequency gain knob. Decided to shell out the extra funds and dive right into the API5500 and I honestly feel that it was the wisest choice Ive made for my rig. This is a totally different beast in many ways, the range control is simply genius, making subtle boosts and cuts serves a critical purpose while being an absolute delight to have and use when required. I tend to cut more than boost and when I do boost, its done with delicacy and the beauty of the EQ is the way I am able to retain transparency. You can obviously color but I feel this EQ is more about bringing sheer dynamics to your work. The punch on this thing is just...glorious...Mids are hefty without being muddy, everything seems to be placed in their own space grabbing your attention, I could go on for days about the sonic qualities you can achieve with this EQ. Its a piece of gear you've really got to have in-house for a full audition, be cautious though, once in your possession you will not be able to let it go. Worth every penny in my opinion and I am very happy with my purchase. The customer service provided by sweetwater and my rep. Anthony Jenkins was priceless. I am sold to sweetwater, quite unfortunate for my wallet.
Music background: EDM Producer
5/5

absolutely incredible

this was my first hardware equalizer purchase and i must say i made a great choice. no matter what else i get, i will never sell this piece. it sounds just awesome. for bass, it may be the best eq out there. adding punch or weight to drums or a bass is a breeze. i also have the api 2500 and the combination is unreal. for drum buss its incredibly powerful, but i also use it on the mix buss, for guitars and synths, bass lines, and even vocals. i love api.. their stuff always sounds amazing
Music background: producer and engineer
5/5

WOW!

All I can say is wow! This is the best piece of gear I have ever bought. It sounds amazing on the 2 bus. Exactly what I was looking for. Don't think just buy it!
4.5/5

Great Piece of Gear!

When I first purchased my 5500 it was under the pretense that I'd test it out for a few days and return it if I didn't like it. I was on the fence deciding what mastering EQ to run with. Well, its been 2 weeks now and this piece isn't going anywhere. The first thing I did was a shootout: 5500 vs the Waves 550B. Ran all types of sounds through both the unit and plug-in and it blew my mind! The 5500 blows the plug-in out of the water and it was most prevalent in the top and bottom end. Just passing a source through the unit with absolutely no settings dialed in is arguably worth the price alone. Its that analogue mojo! Love how it warms and brings everything forward. The range controls is by far the best, and most used, feature on the unit. Use it in a mastering session at the subtle .5db setting, run a stereo track through it and print back into your session at the 1db setting, or use it in dual mono mode to track vocals, for example, using the standard 2db settings. I think this unit really shines and sounds excellent on Hip-Hop/Rap and Rock material. I also tried to make different source material sound bad by pushing it to the extreme's but I couldn't, it just works. My only wish is that the unit had HP/LP filters on board, otherwise and great piece of gear!
4.5/5

API 5500

GREAT EQ SMOOTH AS BUTTER SOUND IS WARM TRANSFORMER BASE OLD SCHOOL THICKNESS. ANYTHING YOU RUN THROUGH SOUND BETTER. SOUNDS AS GOOD OR BETTER THEN ANY EQ ON THE MARKET. NOT SURGICAL LIKE OUR MANLEY MASSIVE PASSIVE BUT IT TONE IS AS GOOD. HAS IT'S OWN UNIQUE SMOOTHNESS & TONE NOT BRITTLE AT ALL. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT WE USE IT AS A STEREO BUSS, BUT WE HAVE FINALIZED AND MASTERED WITH IT HAS THAT GREAT TONALITY. SUPERB NOT SURGICAL FOR DIALING IN OR OUT NAT HAIRS. WE US THE LIL FREQ AND MASSIVE PASSIVE THOUGH NOT SURGICAL SOUNDS BETTER THEN THE LIL FREQ EMPIRICAL LABS, BUT THE LIL FREQ IS VERY VERY SURGICAL IF THIS HELPS. FOR TONE GO API 5500 ITS THE BOSS.
Music background: Play With Sly & the Family Stone 1974-77 We have Billborad #13 charted Records In The Past
See also: API, API Parametric EQ, API Parametric EQ