To avoid massive build errors, make sure the BOM Revision you follow matches the Revision of the PCB you are building!!
The 553F Entire Bundle is a kit comprised of every single part and component needed (sans opamps) to complete a 553F equalizer. This
module is fully VPR compatible. The custom made full metal enclosure has a special notch at the rear to slip over the 18-pin connector in
a 51x rack. So, no worries there and no modifications needed. The aluminum faceplate is wet painted and the custom steel frame/cover are
Following is a list of additional components that are required to complete this build:
(2) 2520 style discrete operational amplifier
PS: DOA's can be added to this kit at the bottom of this page.
This kit ships with a EA2503 output transformer.
Kits with Litz wire 2503's are also available
This equalizer is basically a fairly faithful recreation of the vintage API 553. The 553 has always been know as a great sounding, limited
featured equalizer. My original intention was creating the LC53A.
In working on that, I had the skewed idea that simultaneously whipping up a simple 553 would be a breeze. Nothing is ever that easy
especially when working on multiple modules at the same time.
I decided it would be nice to add a HP and LP filter array in the same fashion as the Missing Link. While each filter has only 3
selectable frequencies, I have retained the handy -6dB/-12dB per octave switchable options. These filters are buffer by the simple 3
transistor discrete followers used 4 times in the 550A.
The 3 equalizer bands are faithful to the vintage counterpart. Low band is shelving only at 100Hz. Mid band is a wide peaking filter at
approximately 2.7kHz and the high band is shelving only at 10kHz. It would have been nice to add more flexibility by adding a few
switchable frequencies. In order to keep the bandwidths consistent though, the inductance values would need to be changed along with the
capacitance values. Things would get too complicated, expensive and move farther away from the original 553 not to mention, I am already
doing this with the LC53A.
Inductor selection was a long process for this EQ. The low and mid bands both require inductors. In discussing the requirements with
Ed Anderson, he felt it would be cool to stay with a toroidal style inductor like the vintage 553. I had expressed the desire to try a
Molybdenum Permalloy Powder (MPP) core inductor. After some time, Ed sent me a pair of MPP core inductors as well as a pair of more common
ferrite core. He said the MPP tested very well but did not know if the increase in price would be worthwhile. While my goal is always to
keep the kit prices low, sound and function do come first. That said, I decided to let the ears be the judge. With 2 complete modules in
hand, I went up to my good friend's Fat Recording Studios
for some listening. Always nice to get my creations out of my cave and into the real world! The ferrite core version sounded very nice.
An excellent choice much along the lines if the vintage 553. Expecting something similar, we were both blown away by the magic of the MPP
core version, especially in the mid band position. Quite euphoric indeed. More expensive yes, but a few bucks very well spent in
my opinion. I am excited for folks to start wrapping their ears around this one.
2520 style balanced receiver stage (no 6dB loss in a VPR rack!)
Fully variable or stepped cut/boost versions will be available
Custom MPP core inductors from Ed Anderson
EA2503 wired 1:3 for 9.5dB of gain (in typical API EQ fashion)
Full and complete zinc plated steel enclosure
100% VPR compatible
This kit also requires the very same CMR calibration that the LC53A and VC528 modules require. The extension test jig makes this a snap.
***This is a fairly simple build especially if the opamps are not kits. The most important thing is to follow my build instructions and DO NOT SOLDER THE BOURNS POTS DIRECTLY
ON THE PCB!!! As always, I will have a build/support thread running at the GDIY forum.