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500 series boxes

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500 series boxes

Postby Watchmaker » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:20 pm

Well, I've decided to get into the 500 series game and wanted to sound out the opinions of the members.

I believe there were some early issues with compatibility from the original Lunchbox having to do with enough power. Are those still relevant?

My goal would be to have a box that is primarily pre-amp focused though some compression would probably be in there too.

I've been looking at a few six slot boxes -the API lunchbox, Rupert Neve R6 etc.

I'm wondering:

If you bought a 6 slot box, did you immediately outgrow it and wish you'd bought an 8 - 10?

Have you had any issues with connectors in the box not fitting right?

Are there any power requirement issues I should be aware of? too hot, too cold, unstable?

Any modules need to be grounded outside the pins?

Anything else I should think about before jumping into another giant waste of retirement money?

and finally, recommendations? tales of woe and/or wonder? Ideally not looking to spend more than about $750 USD
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Re: 500 series boxes

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:38 pm

There are some modules that require more power rail current than the original API racks could notionally provide per slot space, so you had to be careful in choosing the combination of modules to make sure the total current was within bounds. Most modern third-party racks can provide more than enough current, so this is rarely a problem now.

Different rack manufacturers have bent the original design specs in myriad different ways to add extra features and connectivity options, which often work with their own modules but not others... So if there's some specific functionality you require or would find useful you'll need to bear that in mind in choosing a rack.

If you're looking at compressors there are also different ways of linking them for stereo operation. Some racks use solder bridges, hand-bag links, or slide switches on the back plane, while others have front or rear panel switches.

Several racks now provide means of chain-linking module inputs and outputs, so you can build channels strips of preamp, EQ, compressor modules etc without needing short patch XLR cords across the rear panel.

And some racks now have integrated digital interfacing (ADAT etc) for easier integraton with a DAW interface.

I've not had any grounding issues, but the slot mechanical design (rigidity) and machining accuracy seems to vary a bit between manufacturers.
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Re: 500 series boxes

Postby Watchmaker » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:37 am

Thanks Hugh,

I get the sense, like so often, one kind of has to commit to an ecosystem but I haven't the experience to know the relative merits, or even where the perimeter lies. Likely I'll commit to Neve simply because the 1073s overpower me with their well marketed allure.

Chain-linking is a feature I could see being useful although it looks like the R6 only does pairs.
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Re: 500 series boxes

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:03 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Some racks use solder bridges, hand-bag links, or slide switches on the back plane, while others have front or rear panel switches.

Hand-bag links Hugh? :o

That's a totally new term for me - is it some sort of strap, or is it a connector that sits in the middle of the rack and all the other modules dance round it? :mrgreen:


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Re: 500 series boxes

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:14 am

Martin Walker wrote:Hand-bag links Hugh? :o

...is it a connector that sits in the middle of the rack and all the other modules dance round it? :mrgreen:

:lol: Very good Martin., I like it...

I was referring to the kind of removable jumper links that are often used in this kind of application. Back in the day when I was fixing stuff there was a brand that had a wire loop across the top to simplify removal, so they looked like miniature doll's handbags... and the name caught on!
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Re: 500 series boxes

Postby jaminem » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:28 pm

Quick drive by post

Look at the Fredenstien stuff - the bento 6 or the 10. I would get the 10, in fact I have the 10 its fine.

Preamps, I would look at the CAPI.com and soundskulptor kits and the Camden 500
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