To avoid massive build errors, make sure the BOM Revision you follow matches the Revision of the PCB you are building!!
The LC53A-Litz Entire Bundle is a kit comprised of every single part and component needed (sans opamps) to complete an LC53A 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 yellow-zinc plated.
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 Litz wire 2503 output transformer.
Kits with EA2503's are also available
***Please note: The Litz 2503-L wire colors are different than the EA2503. To use the Litz
2503-L on this build, please follow the table on the bottom left of this
The LC53A is basically a very elaborate, hot-rodded 553. The original idea was to emulate the curves and feel of the 550A while using
the "swinging input" topology of the 553. While explaining this to Bill Pearson (aka drBill @ gearslutz), he so graciously donned the EQ the
"Love Child". Coincidentally, the acronym has a double meaning as "LC" also describes the inductor/capacitor topology of the 553 style
Circuit Design and Topology:
Although the "swinging input" equalizer is not that common today, it was very popular in the early 1970's. The filter is comprised of a
series inductor, capacitor and resistor that are connected between a potentiometer's wiper & ground, while the "ends" of the pot are connected between the
inverting and non-inverting inputs of an operational amplifier. Besides the API 553, many great equalizers used this topology. Like old EQ's
from Sphere, Quad-8, Auditronics and many more. They all have the reputation of being very musical and sweet sounding EQ's. The inherent
nature of the filters have a Proportional-Q response much like the 550A, meaning they are more wide at low cut/boost levels and more narrow
as the cut/boost increases.
To achieve the different resonant frequency points of the 550A, we are using different values of inductance and capacitance. This is done by
using custom wound, multi-tap inductors from the bench of Ed Anderson. I sent Ed the required inductance values for each band and he sent me
back a few different inductors to choose from. The compact EP core sounded just as good if not better than the larger and more common RM
To achieve the curves I was after, each of the 3 bands had to be isolated or buffered from each other. Without this isolation, there is some
interaction that skews each filter. Expected response curves were impossible to predict and varied with the position of the adjacent
frequency select switch(s). This is fine and expected in a 553 but not what I was after with the LC53A. So, I went to the design bench and came
up with the DTO5 opamp. I use this little opamp between each of the 3 bands. Simple, elegant and effective. Best of all, it's discrete not
The EQ contains four of Ed's custom inductors. Three of them are naturally used for the peaking filters. The fourth one is used for the low
shelving filter. I took inspiration from 553's low band which also appears as shelving but uses an inductor and is actually
peaking. The LCR filter is always peaking but if the resonant center point is set very low, the filter will have the response of a
typical shelving filter. An inductor used in this way has a very special low end quality and sounds huge!
The last thing to mention is the first thing the input signal hits. That is a 2520 style opamp used as a BTA or balanced transformerless
amplifier. This will insure that there will be no signal loss when used in a stand alone rack. Many have complained about the unbalanced
input of the 550(x) style equalizers and this is a very fine workaround in my opinion.
***This is one of the most complicated builds we have at the store. I do not recommend this for a beginner or inexperienced builder. While
there are no plans of a dedicated "Assembly Guide", our friend and ex-newbie Chunger will be documenting a photo-build-doc like no other
can! This may take a while so keep that in mind before purchasing. As always, I will have a build/support thread running at the GDIY forum.