Presonus RC500 – Solid State Rackmount Channel Strip

Description

It’s rare to find a truly outstanding solid-state channel strip that can deliver a vintage vibe reminiscent of classic high-end products, yet employs a thoroughly modern design. To find one that you can buy without heavily depleting your bank account is even more rare.

But there is one channel strip that delivers the goods without the big tab: the PreSonus RC 500.

Once upon a time, in the historic city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a white-haired gentleman quietly pored over a chassis filled with circuits. He was clearly designing an analog preamp and processor, which wasn’t unusual for him. But this wasn’t just any fellow puttering around, and his project wasn’t just another preamp and processor. This was Robert Creel, the engineering mastermind behind many of PreSonus’ best analog circuits, including the ever-popular XMAX preamp, and his project was the ADL 700 tube channel strip, which turned out to be a terrific “boutique”-style, high-end channel strip.

At least, the PreSonus team thought his project was the ADL 700. As it turns out, he was doing something more.

In the process of developing the ADL 700, which uses the same high-voltage tube preamp found in the award-winning ADL 600 (codeveloped by PreSonus and Anthony DeMaria), Creel came up with a new design for a very special solid-state preamp that uses a Class A hybrid input stage with discrete transistors and the latest-generation, low-distortion operational amplifiers. Everyone at PreSonus who heard his prototype was so blown away by its transparent, detailed, clear sound that the new preamp immediately became an in-house legend. By popular demand, Creel’s superb preamp became the heart of the new RC 500, named “RC” in Robert Creel’s honor.

The RC 500 combines the custom-designed FET compressor and semi-parametric EQ circuits that Creel developed for PreSonus’ highly lauded ADL 700 tube channel strip with his new ultra-low-distortion, high-gain, solid-state Class A preamplifier design, which delivers consistent, repeatable, transparent, detailed audio. A balanced analog insert sends the source signal out of your RC 500 before the compressor, EQ, and Master Gain stages and returns the signal directly to the compressor stage, allowing you to add external processors.

The result is a top-of-the-line – yet very affordable – channel strip for recording engineers and recording musicians, with a sound that is reminiscent of classic, vintage solid-state preamps. “The sound of the new RC 500 preamp is clean, solid, and has a positively huge low-end presence,” notes Paul Vnuk, Jr. (Recording, December 2013). “Its full thick tone and simple classic-console feel allow it to hold its own with vintage units, rather than simply trying to sound like them.

The RC 500’s FET (Field-Effect Transistor) compressor includes fully variable attack, release, and threshold controls, as well as bypass controls. The compression ratio is fixed at 3:1. This combination provides lots of flexibility without giving you enough rope to hang yourself!

FET-based compressors such as the one in the RC 500 use transistors to emulate a triode tube’s operation and sound. This type of compressor generally provides a faster attack time and better repeatability than the optical compressors that are more commonly found in channel strips in this price class.

The RC 500’s 3-band semi-parametric EQ was designed by Robert Creel to match the preamp and compressor. It combines isolated filters and optimized, per-band Q to provide subtle signal-shaping without harsh artifacts.

All three bands have Gain (i16 dB) and Frequency controls and fixed Q (0.5), and the mid and high bands have overlapping frequency ranges. The low and high bands are switchable between shelving and peak. The EQ can also be hard-bypassed.

Of course, you get +48V phantom power, polarity inversion, and a 20 dB pad! Those features are a given with PreSonus preamps and channel strips. And there’s more!

The main features of the Presonus RC500 Solid State Rackmount Channel Strip include:

  • Transformer-coupled, high gain microphone preamp with a Class A hybrid design
  • FET based compressor using hybrid detection methods with switching relays for hard bypass
  • 3-band semi-parametric equalizer with switching relays for hard bypass
  • +48V phantom power, 80 Hz highpass filter, and -20 dB pad
  • Front-panel 1/4″ instrument and rear-panel XLR microphone and line inputs with Input Select switch
  • VU meter with selectable output level/gain reduction display
  • Analog insert with balanced send and return
  • High grade components: film capacitors, 1% tolerance resistors, and very low-distortion op amps
  • Master output control
  • Balanced output on XLR and 1/4″ TRS connectors
  • Internal toroidal power supply with IEC connector
  • Steel chassis

 

Kazbar Systems Product Demonstration Services:

Contact us to arrange your demo now!

Additional information

Weight 10 kg
upc

Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.