7 Best 500 Series Racks

7 Best 500 Series Racks

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The best 500 series racks let you fit modules from various manufacturers, as well as allow you to take them around with you while moving from gig to gig. In this article, we’ll show you the best options available on the market.

Quick answer:

Rupert Neve Designs R6 – Rupert Neve is well respected brand, and the R6 comes with excellent build quality and well-thought-out design.

Midas L6 6-space 500 Series Chassis – The Midas L6 is a very affordable chassis, but it has a solid build, and many satisfied users praise it for being mobile and really convenient to use.


Table of Contents


About Our Top Choices

Rupert Neve Designs R6

Rupert Neve Designs R6See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

More details…

The moment you hear Rupert Neve’s name coming around, you know that that piece of equipment is of the highest quality possible, and you definitely will be delighted by its design. Rupert Neve Designs R6 chassis is very well built, has a good price, and has many happy owners around the world.

Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Minimalistic
  • Well-thought design
Cons
  • A bit too tall to fit in the rack

Midas L6 6-space 500 Series Chassis

Midas L6 6-space 500 Series ChassisSee price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

More details…

The Midas L6 is a very affordable chassis, but it has a solid build, and many satisfied users praise it for being mobile and really convenient to use. This unit has 6 built-in slots and it occupies 3 spaces in a 19″ rack.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Sturdy built
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • It might produce some noise

Top 7 Best 500 series racks

  1. Rupert Neve Designs R6
  2. Midas L6 6-space 500 Series Chassis
  3. Fredenstein Bento 2 2-slot 500 Series Chassis
  4. API 500-6B 6-slot 500 Series Lunchbox
  5. Radial Workhorse Cube 3-slot 500 Series Desktop Chassis
  6. Lindell Audio 510
  7. Cranborne Audio 500R8 USB Audio Interface and 8-slot 500 Series Chassis

Best 500 series racks Reviews


Rupert Neve Designs R6

Rupert Neve Designs R6

Pros
  • Excellent build quality
  • Minimalistic
  • Well-thought design
Cons
  • A bit too tall to fit in the rack
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

The moment you hear Rupert Neve’s name coming around, you know that that piece of equipment is of the highest quality possible, and you definitely will be delighted by its design. Rupert Neve Designs R6 chassis is very well built, has a good price, and has many happy owners around the world.

Best features and specs

Rupert Neve Designs R6 offers a double-shielded internal power supply, switchmode PSU, and internal jumper configuration. As well as XLR, TRS, and DB-25 I/O, LED meter that displays available current, variable-position screw holes for easy installation, and supplying 150% of the required current.

User impressions

Users write their fondness of the R6’s great build quality, and really cool minimalistic looks. Many like that it has a great choice of connectivity options, and power monitoring with the help of an LED meter. Also, users praise the compact form factor and the fact that modules from various manufacturers work great when they are plugged in.

What we think

We like the attention to detail with this unit. The R6 features a double-shielded internal power supply that saves inserted modules from experiencing any magnetic induction.

Bottomline

Rupert Neve Designs R6 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a premium quality chassis that is sturdy build, has really well-thought minimalistic design, and reasonable price.


Midas L6 6-space 500 Series Chassis

Midas L6 6-space 500 Series Chassis

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Sturdy built
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • It might produce some noise
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Midas L6 is a very affordable chassis, but it has a solid build and many satisfied users who praise it for being mobile and really convenient to use. This unit has 6 built-in slots and it occupies 3 spaces in a 19″ rack.

Best features and specs

Midas L6 offers a portable, sturdy built chassis with 6 slots, compressor bus and audio output links, advanced audio routing, high-power power supply with low-noise, Neutrik XLR main and AUX I/O connectors for every channel, top-quality components, 3-year warranty.

User impressions

Users like the Midas L6 because it’s affordable (obviously). Many also comment on its quiet, easy-to-use chassis, and fits in 6 modules without any problems. Also, this chassis looks really cool and doesn’t require a lot of free space. On the negative side, some say it can produce some hissing noise.

What we think

What we like the most about Midas L6 is that there’s no cable involved in the process of connecting modules. Even when we need to daisy-chain them, there is no need for cables either. What a relief!

Bottomline

Midas L6 is a great choice for someone who is looking for an extremely affordable and favorable by many users chassis that is sturdy built and really easy to use.


Fredenstein Bento 2 2-slot 500 Series Chassis

Fredenstein Bento 2 2-slot 500 Series Chassis

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Good build quality
  • Quiet
Cons
  • Front LEDs are too bright
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

If you’re searching for a small chassis just for 2 slots and which easily mounts in a standard 19″ rack, Fredenstein Bento 2 is ready to offer you exactly that.

Best features and specs

Fredenstein Bento 2 offers you 2 chassis with 2 horizontal slots, easy linking to the compressor bus, onboard audio routing, 33 mA and 48 V module power, and 0.9 A and 16 V module power.

User impressions

Users say that Fredenstein Bento 2 is very well-designed, affordable, has sturdy build quality, and works quietly.

What we think

What we like about the Fredenstein Bento 2 is its price. This is pretty affordable, and has a sturdy chassis that easily mounts on the standard rack. You get the possibility to daisy-chain two slots one after another by a simple switch.

Bottomline

Fredenstein Bento 2 is a great choice for someone who is looking for an affordable, extremely quiet, sturdy build chassis with 2 slots.


API 500-6B 6-slot 500 Series Lunchbox

API 500-6B 6-slot 500 Series Lunchbox

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Great build quality
  • Minimalistic
Cons
  • None that we know of
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

API 500-6B is a reminder of the rack unit that API produced in the 1970’s, but it’s more modern and designed accordingly to the hustle and bustle of modern life, when you need to be mobile and have your gear in the most compact form factor that you can.

Best features and specs

API 500-6B offers you 6 slots, DB-25 I/O connectors, XLR slots for connecting channels, LED indication, rubber feet and carrying handle, sturdily built chassis, 215 mA for each slot, and 100-250 V switchable.

User impressions

Users like API 500-6B because it’s versatile, convenient to use, portable, durable, and looks just great. Users add that this lunchbox does not have much free space on their desks.

What we think

We like when a manufacturer that started producing various equipment has set a standard and continues producing items that are of the same premium quality. We love API modules, and we sure do love this chassis.

Bottomline

API 500-6B  is a great choice for someone who is looking for a chassis from a well-known and respected manufacturer that is easy to use, has a minimalistic design, and has great build quality.


Radial Workhorse Cube 3-slot 500 Series Desktop Chassis

Radial Workhorse Cube 3-slot 500 Series Desktop Chassis

Pros
  • Well-built
  • Compact
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Controls are hard to access
  • A bit pricey for just 3 slots
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

If you’re constantly on the go and looking for a dedicated unit that would fit in all your 500 series modules, you should check out Radial Workhorse Cube. This unit easily powers up and connects 500 series modules in one single chain.

Best features and specs

Radial Workhorse Cube offers a compact form factor that is mobile, enough power to connect 3 modules in a single chain, and solid build quality.

User impressions

Users write that Radial Workhorse Cube has amazing build quality, it’s very durable and almost indestructible. Users add that this unit works exactly as it’s advertised.

What we think

We value comfort and convenience, among other things, that’s why we like Radial Workhorse Cube, as it offers us a unique opportunity of having 500 series modules to travel in one compact chassis that is very easy to carry around thanks to the convenient handle.

Bottomline

Radial Workhorse Cube is a great choice for someone who is looking for a built like tank, compact, mobile, and easy-to-use chassis with 3 slots. Note that the controls are a bit hard to access.


Lindell Audio 510

Lindell Audio 510

Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Minimalistic
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Power cable is a bit loose
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

If you’re searching for a unit that can be easily mountable into a standard 19″ rack, Lindell Audio 510 is here for you. This chassis has a compact form factor and a simple design.

Best features and specs

Lindell Audio 510 offers you 10 slots, durable and lightweight aluminum rack, protection from overload and short-circuit, gold plated XLR I/O, LED indication, 500 mA of power for each slot, a48 V phantom power, and a removable rack.

User impressions

Some buyers were impressed with the 510’s 10 slots, and it still isn’t that expensive. Others comment on it being extremely easy to mount. However some wished that this unit would have a more attractive look, but it does its job just fine.

What we think

The Lindell Audio 510 is a quiet unit and we like that the most about this device. The chassis uses a high-end external power supply that should guarantee a noise-free recording experience.

Bottomline

Lindell Audio 510 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-use, and minimalistic chassis with 10 slots. Note that the power cable is a bit loose, so you need to be careful while plugging it in.


Cranborne Audio 500R8 USB Audio Interface and 8-slot 500 Series Chassis

Cranborne Audio 500R8 USB Audio Interface and 8-slot 500 Series Chassis

Pros
  • Great build quality
  • Great design
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Not exactly budget friendly
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

If you’re looking for a real game changer, you should check out Cranborne Audio 500R8, which is a total beast of the rack. It already has a few very cool things built in, such as a monitor controller, analog summing mixer, and zero-latency artist mixer. Everything that you need to start working on right away.

Best features and specs

Cranborne Audio 500R8 offers a USB interface, A/D and D/A conversion, studio quality headphone amplifiers and master clock, compatibility with C.A.S.T., and external power supply. Additionally, this unit is carefully designed and meticulously engineered in the UK, so you’re getting the item of the highest quality possible.

User impressions

Users like Cranborne Audio 500R8 for doing exactly what is advertised, though some users wish it would cost a bit less. Also, users say that this chassis is very flexible and has really great built quality.

What we think

We really like when studio equipment is made thoroughly and meticulously designed so that it is almost indestructible. It’s all that can be said about Cranborne Audio 500R8, which is made in the UK by a team of engineers that ensure that such a valuable investment would be a reliable addition to the studio for ages.

Bottomline

Cranborne Audio 500R8 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a huge investment into a studio that is of premium quality, has a superb design, and is extremely versatile. If you’re on a tight budget, you should check other items on the list.


500 series racks Buying Guide

What is a 500 series rack?

A 500 series rack is a small version of the common rack size unit that features a compact form factor and delivers the same performance that a standard rack size unit does.

Why would you need a 500 series chassis?

As you know, the 500 series chassis is very compact and doesn’t require that much space. In addition to that, it’s really flexible because there’s lots of gear, such as EQs, preamps, DIs, etc, that comes in such a form factor. Finally, this module can easily power all the gear that is placed inside, which significantly reduces your expenses on acquiring power supplies for each thing separately.

Important features

When choosing the best 500 series chassis, you should keep in mind the number of slots, form factor, and power.

Number of slots

When choosing a rack, you should mind how much gear you have. Ideally, you should opt for a chassis that has specifically the same number of slots as you have gear that you want to put inside.

Form factor

Some chassis have horizontal slots and others have vertical ones. In the majority of cases, chassis with horizontal slots tend to occupy more space than vertical ones. Also, it’s possible to mount those racks either into a standard rack or place them on the desktop.

Power

It’s crucial that the chassis that you’re looking for is capable of providing power to all of the modules that you plan to put inside. You should sum up all of the power draw from each module connected and make sure that it doesn’t exceed the total mA that you have written on your chassis. Also, you should be attentive to the location of the power supply and whether it’s reliably shielded. Most chassis have an internal power supply, which makes them more compact, but provides a challenge of causing noise and electromagnetic interference.

How to choose the right one for you?

When you are choosing the best 500 series racks, you should take into consideration your budget and the number of slots that you need. If you work from a small home-based studio, then you should look for the chassis with vertical slots, rather than horizontal ones to save some space for other gear. Look closely at the power supply so that all of the modules work perfectly well.


FAQs

How do I connect my 500 series to an interface?

First, you should use an IEC AC cable to hook the chassis to the power supply. After that, you should use a db-25 cable and plug it into the output on the chassis and connect to the interface. Some of the racks are connected to the interface by XLR cables.

How many rack spaces does 500 series take?

It takes 3 spaces and it can fit 11 modules. Or, if you have a lunchbox rack, it can host up to 6 modules.

Are all 500 Series chassis the same?

No, they’re not because they all differ in how many slots they can hold, horizontal or vertical positioning of the slots, and where they should be mounted in the standard rack, or they can be placed on the desk.

Is Eurorack the same as 500 Series?

No, it’s not. Eurorack won’t power any of the 500 series modules. And mostly, 500 series modules require more space deep than Eurorack can afford.

What goes in a 500 series lunchbox?

Anything that has the same form factor and is 500 series gear.

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