We haven’t talked much about 500 Series modules for a long time, so now’s a good time to take a look at a brand new one from API. The company has recently introduced a series of modules that, as president Larry Droppa explains, gives API “…the technology and experience to engineer and produce audio products that don’t necessarily conform to API’s classic component structure or topography.” One of the first pieces in this new line is an interesting equalizer called the Select SV14.
The SV14 is a 4 band EQ based on the classic APSI 562 EQ. During the 70s, If you’re not aware, APSI was a small boutique console manufacturer out of Boston that built modular desks similar to those of API. They were close enough that API actually distributed some of their products during the 70s and early 80s, and this module was one of them.
While the SV14 might look similar to the legendary 550B, there are some differences. For instance, the SV14 frequency and gain controls are continuous, while the 550B’s are at fixed points. Another is that the SV14’s Q on the frequency controls is fixed regardless of the amount of gain applied, while the 550B is proportional, meaning that the Q gets wider as you push the gain control to its extremes.
One other thing, the SV14 has 24dB of headroom (a little less than API modules), but it has a frequency response that’s nearly flat out to 50k. That means that it’s pretty easy to dial in that elusive “air” that gives the sound a sense of realism.
There’s yet another feature of the Select series, which to some, might be the most important trait of all – they’re less expensive than the standard API modules. The Select SV14 has a retail of $595, but you can find it for a bit less during this introductory time period.
You can find out more about the module on the API site.