This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

The lunchbox / 500-series thread

Discussion in 'Backline' started by GeertSamuel, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. GeertSamuel

    GeertSamuel Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Nieuw-Buinen, The Netherlands
    Or a 200-series thread, just depends on your needs.

    I couldn't find any seriously dedicated lunchbox / 500 series related thread, so I thought I'd just make one. Everyone has a lunchbox, it would be nice if you could review the pieces you've got running in it. And for those who don't have one could ask questions.

    To start of, I'll start with my question.
    For now, I want to buy a lunchbox + 2 preamps. Undoubtedly I want to get 2 API 512's first. However, there are a few different brands of lunchboxes out there, varying a LOT in price.
    - How much difference is there in quality (build, audio and power output)?

    For instance, Lindell is about 30% cheaper than the one from API. And Radial is a again more expensive than the API.

    Over the upcoming 2 years I want to add a new piece every few months. I'm planning on eventually having more than 6 in there. Is it wise to buy a 10 slot rack, or just get a 2nd 6 slot box to continue?

    Unfortunatelly I don't have a retailer near by which has these in stock so I can test or can give my any usefull information/feedback.

    If you have a lunchbox it would be nice if you could list the gear you have and maybe a short (or lengthy) review about it.
     
  2. Severu

    Severu No SSL for you!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Bucharest
    I have an API lunchbox and a 512c pre. I can't tell you about the lunchbox - it's a rack with powersupply and I/O. I guess price differs because of manufacturing location (I believe the cheaper Lindells are made in China). Personally, I don't think it matters that much, if I hadn't bought the lunchbox and the 512 together, I would have bought the Lindell.

    I did a shootout with the 512c against the Digidesign PRE and the UAD LA-610 (with the compressor off, of course). I used a Neumann U87 mic.
    With some vocals, the difference was obvious - the 512c had more low end presence and sounded slightly 'dirtier' - not unlike slapping a L1 plug on the vox channel. The LA was a close second and the Digidesign Pre was far off. On other vox, I couldn't tell the difference between 512c with the pad on and Digi Pre...

    All in all the 512c is a solid and good sounding preamp, but it's got a very hot output and it distorts fairly easy. I mean, I had to use the pad on a (albeit high-volume) singing voice, which seemed to me rather odd. I have to test it with guitars so I can pass a final judgement.
     
  3. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    12,582
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've owned an A-Designs 500HR and a pair of ClassicAPI VP312DIs with the Red Dot opamps. I can vouch for anything A-Designs as far as built quality, and I honestly think the CAPI stuff is the absolute best you can get for the money. Yes, they are DIY kits. They're also about $350/channel for an insanely good sounding preamp.
     
  4. Harley Barley

    Harley Barley Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Personally i've got the radial and i think it blows the API out of the water from what i've researched. the lindell stuff by the way is very very very nice, i've got the pultec EQ and 1176 style compressor and for the money they are NO BRAINERS. you can see a picture of my rack in my sig, also RPQ500 are amazzzzzzzzzzzzzing especially the EQ - dedicated overhead pre's
     
  5. mva801

    mva801 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I have an api lunchbox. 2 Rupert Neve Designs 511 mic pre's. When I get the chance, I'll be getting the Classic API preamps. I have a friend who has three of them and as Jeff said, they are the best you can get for the money.

    I have no complaints about the Neves either. I love them. Plenty of gain. The silk control gives you a bit more "sparkle" on the top if desired. SM7>Neve511>distressor has been amazing on vocals.

    We got the rack ears for the API and it's been amazing.

    What is it about the Radial rack that is so much better than the API? Aren't they just racks with a power supply?
     
  6. Ihsahn1981

    Ihsahn1981 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Got one API HC lunchbox filled.

    2x API 512c:
    Works on just about everything! Great for real aggressive bass guitar.
    Every lunchbox need one.
    Caution! Very hot output!

    2x Great River Harrison 32c eq's:
    My first venture into hardware eq's. I fear I need more...lots more!
    Not a so-called "character" eq but real smooth and I love it on everything except distorted guitars actually.

    1x Lindell PEX-500 eq:
    Not as versatile as the 32c but good for Pultec stuff I guess.
    Didnt wow me the same way as the 32c.
    Maybe I need a 2nd one for some masterbuss or drumbus action.
    Worth keeping considering the price!

    1x Avedis MA5 preamp:
    Used this one last night to record bass guitar and it was lovely.
    Real amazing on vocals. Probably deserves the praise it seems to get everywhere.
    Getting one more wouldnt hurt :)


    Hopefully someone can recommend a good 500 compressor here!
    Pete's Place BAC-500 seems good but wicked expensive.
    Inward Connections The Brute looks good also but not as versatile?
     
  7. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,441
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    NorCal
    Great River - 500NV - great utility preamp. Will do Neve-ish when driven hard but cleans up really well and lacks the Neve low mid build up.

    Daking - MP500 - another great choice for general use. It's faster than the Neve stuff but not quite as aggressive as the API. They aren't pristine, but have a bit of the trident flavor.

    Vintech - 573 - An awesome inexpensive way to get some Neve flavor. More true to that sound than the GR although not quite as gooey as a good Neve.

    API - 512 - A fast, aggressive pre with a ton of mid character when driven hard. You have to own pads with these as the output is absurd.
     
  8. El_Gato

    El_Gato I love this gain

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Spain
    Damn 500 series. They're dope.

    Modules:

    IGS S-type 500: SSL bus compressor style with Dual mono option. I got it for 400€ but they're around 650 I think.

    Lindell pex 500 eq (x2): Vox, bass, 2-bus. Nice sound for little money.

    Lindell 7x: 1176 style compressor. I could live without the others and use some plugins but no plug does what this does on snare, room and kick. Very nice on vox and bass, too.

    Classic API VP28 (x2): These are going nowhere anytime soon, either. Great on drums, guitars and 2-bus. I still go for the GAP 73 on vocals through sm7b, tho. VERY good value for the money.

    Radial workhorse rack: Nicely powered but it doesn't fit some modules on the left slot like the Lindells or CAPI as it's not made according to API specifications.

    Lindell 506 rack: Nice power but it doesn't work with some other modules like my IGS because the IGS is not build on API specs, either. Cheap.

    The thing is different brands have different designs so my advice is do a little research and also ask the brand (not the retailer) before buying.

    Now I'm waiting for Lindell to release a LA-3 style module and probably get another different CAPI pre or the new Don classic's 1176 revA 500.
     
  9. GeertSamuel

    GeertSamuel Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Nieuw-Buinen, The Netherlands
    I've read more about the hot outputs on the API 512C, what kind of attenuator are you guys using, if you're using one?

    Thanks for all the info so far!
     
  10. El_Gato

    El_Gato I love this gain

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Spain
    I got a pair of each one of the models here:

    www.audiogadgets.net/console

    Plus a couple of mic attenuators, too. Last time, I ended up using a 10dB mic pad on snare going into the 512c and then a 20dB line pad after it. Toms and kick just had line pads after the pre's.

    One more good thing about the CAPI VP28 is that it has the gain stage of an old API console added after the pre so you can drive or attenuate the signal. No need for a pad with this, similar flavor and cheaper than the API.

    I have to order some more pads soon.
     
  11. cfh11

    cfh11 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Boston, MA
  12. GeertSamuel

    GeertSamuel Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Nieuw-Buinen, The Netherlands
    Pulled the trigger last week on my lunchbox...this is what I'm starting with.
    Initially I wanted the 10 space lunchbox from Lindell, but there is a delay because of a production problem (or so was I told).
    So I ended up going with the API 6B HC lunchbox, simply because it can be rack mounted.

    Haven't really tried the preamps yet, but I really like the Lindell, so much value for such a (reasonably) low price.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. cfh11

    cfh11 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    +1 to this

    the CAPIs own on guitar and bass
     
  14. Potshot

    Potshot Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    +1 to the CAPIs, got a couple of the 312's in my studio, along with a couple of AMS Neve 1073lbs, couple of Lindell 7X-500's and PEX-500's. <3 500 series gear. Can't speak highly enough of the Classic API stuff, love having output attenuators on the 312's!
     

Share This Page