API 550a 500 Series Equalizer

Discrete, classic three-band EQ
MFR# 550A
API 550a 500 Series Equalizer
API 550a 500 Series Equalizer video
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$1,195.00

$1,135.25
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Description

Few equalizers enjoy the respect and admiration of the coveted API 550A.

Designed by the now legendary Saul Walker in the late 60s, the discrete 550A was first used as a modular OEM equalizer.  As the industry rapidly embraced the sonic quality of the 550A, it quickly found its way into many custom console designs by Frank DeMedio and other leading engineers.  Many of these consoles are still in use today.

Forty years later, the 550A remains the standard against which other EQs are measured and it has played a major role in the recording industry for decades.  Still copied but never duplicated, the 550A became API's standard channel module EQ when the company began manufacturing consoles in 1971.  With virtually all existing units spoken for, popular demand for this EQ resulted in API finally resuming production in 2004.

The 550A provides reciprocal equalization at 15 points in 5 steps of boost to a maximum of 12dB of gain at each point.  The 15 equalization points are divided into three overlapping ranges.  The high and low frequency ranges are individually selectable as either peaking or shelving and a band-pass filter may be inserted independently of all other selected equalization settings.  Frequency ranges and boost/cut are selected by three dual-concentric switches and a push-button "in" switch allows the EQ to be silently inserted into the signal path.  A small toggle switch is used to engage the band-pass filter.

The combination of Walker's incomparable 2520 op-amp, and his "Proportional Q" circuitry gives the 550A user an uncomplicated way to generate acoustically superior equalization.

With the long-awaited reissue of this unit, an EQ that has had such a part in the history of recording is continuing to make history in today's music.

Features:

  • Three bands of classic API equalization
  • Each band offers five API selected frequency centers
  • Reciprocal and repeatable filtering
  • Maximum 12 dB of boost/cut per band
  • EQ bands 1 and 3 offer shelf/peak switching
  • "Proportional Q" narrows filter Q at extremes
  • Traditional API fully discrete circuit design
  • High headroom: +30 dB clip level

 

Specs

Additional Information

Condition New
Channels Single-Channel
Chassis 500 Series
Module Slot Count 1 Slot
Digital I/O No
EQ Type Parametric
Reviews
Sweet & natural sounding classic EQ!

a bit pricey but sounds amazing! the eq points are super well chosen and really usable on about anything. tight and punchy low end, sweet mids and top end. Love recording electric and acoustic guitars with them - filter out some lows and add some .8-1.5k to make the 'woody' mids poke thru. Great on snare kick and bass - just about anything. Top end 12.5, 16 and 20k are 'sweet' and airy. One of my favorites in my collection!! The hardware version easily outshines my plugin version when A/B'd

By Tonemaster on May 11, 2017
Luscious!

The eq points provided are magic. Just nail the right musical sweet spots you need to boost or cut

By M. Fallon on May 1, 2017

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