Sontec 250 EQ - 500 series

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canidoit

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Apr 6, 2009
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Hi All,

I was browsing through some EQs at Reverb and noticed this Sontec 250 Eq - Sontec MEP-250 Clone 5 band Parametric EQ for API 500 | Reverb Australia

It reminds me of the HRK style of modules and it looks simple in build. I thought the Sontec EQ were more complex than that.

When circuits are simplified, is it possible to get the-same quality results? I checked Dons version and it seems more robust and fuller.

Anyone ever tried one of these units?

Thank you.
 
Wow! Where to begin...

This looks like a poorly executed prototype someone built for himself and he's now attempting to make money out of it.

It's clearly a rip off of onlymeeee's version at the lowest cost possible.

Will it work... probably. But it's missing some key elements to call this a 250.

His total cost is surely under $100 and he's asking for $899...

Please don't encourage him.
 
Some of the parts used in this "250" show a clear misunderstanding of what is responsible for the sound of a real Sontec.
They also state you can fit a API 2520 style IC. The foot print will work, that's about all that is similar with the original Sontec design.

diy noob here. Care to detail why this offering does not cut the mustard? Thanks.
It's not a clone. They've missed out a load of details and as I said above regarding the API 2520 shows a lack of understanding of the circuit. Without a schematic its hard to know exactly what is missing and different. I can see they haven't included the trims for the biasing circuits.

Check this out. the DON classics. All schematics of original and Dave's is on this page. It does not disappoint in anyway.
 
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They also state you can fit a API 2520 style IC. The foot print will work, that's about all that is similar with the original Sontec design.


It's not a clone. They've missed out a load of details and as I said above regarding the API 2520 shows a lack of understanding of the circuit. Without a schematic its hard to know exactly what is missing and different. I can see they haven't included the trims for the biasing circuits.

Check this out. the DON classics. All schematics of original and Dave's is on this page. It does not disappoint in anyway.
Ah yes, been looking at the DON for a while. Looks proper.
What do you think of this, from cursory observation? The single space aspect has me intrigued.

https://www.igsaudio.com/iq505
More pics:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/igs_audio_iq505.htm
 
Ah yes, been looking at the DON for a while. Looks proper.
What do you think of this, from cursory observation? The single space aspect has me intrigued.
There are two considerations sonics and use. It's mostly surface mount, which isn't bad, so a lot more can fit in a smaller package and it is much cheaper to manufacture commercially.

It doesn't use polystyrene caps, does this make a difference in sonics some would say yes. I do not have any experience with swapping out different types of caps to AB in an EQ. The only way to tell how is to listen to the unit and preferably AB it.

As far as the 1 slot package. I discussed with Don Classics about putting his 250EQ in a 1 slot package which is possible, but we decided it would probably be a bit of a fiddle to operate. It's a lot of pots on a small panel.

I Have a couple of 1176 type 500 series. I love how they sound, but much prefer the 2u rack unit in terms of use. Especially in a tracking situation when you quickly need to make adjustments.
 
There are two considerations sonics and use. It's mostly surface mount, which isn't bad, so a lot more can fit in a smaller package and it is much cheaper to manufacture commercially.

It doesn't use polystyrene caps, does this make a difference in sonics some would say yes. I do not have any experience with swapping out different types of caps to AB in an EQ. The only way to tell how is to listen to the unit and preferably AB it.

As far as the 1 slot package. I discussed with Don Classics about putting his 250EQ in a 1 slot package which is possible, but we decided it would probably be a bit of a fiddle to operate. It's a lot of pots on a small panel.

I Have a couple of 1176 type 500 series. I love how they sound, but much prefer the 2u rack unit in terms of use. Especially in a tracking situation when you quickly need to make adjustments.
I would def rather get the Don (and get my feet with DIY) for sure, thing is i require two, and only have a pair of single slots left. It's possible you say? I 'll get in touch with him about this.
 
If you look at the pcb it does seem to include spaces to fit these trim pots. They just appear to not be fitted in the photographs.
Exactly that, why put them on the board and not fit them!

I would def rather get the Don (and get my feet with DIY) for sure, thing is i require two, and only have a pair of single slots left. It's possible you say? I 'll get in touch with him about this.
Possible, but I'm pretty sure he won't have time to redesign the format for two units
 
Hi All,

I was browsing through some EQs at Reverb and noticed this Sontec 250 Eq - Sontec MEP-250 Clone 5 band Parametric EQ for API 500 | Reverb Australia

It reminds me of the HRK style of modules and it looks simple in build. I thought the Sontec EQ were more complex than that.

When circuits are simplified, is it possible to get the-same quality results? I checked Dons version and it seems more robust and fuller.

Anyone ever tried one of these units?

Thank you.

If you look at the pcb it does seem to include spaces to fit these trim pots. They just appear to not be fitted in the photographs.

On close inspection it appears the photo is not an actual real PCB but a print out on paper with some components stuck through it, i.e. its a mock up of some sort.
 
Disagree, you can see solder where the components are soldered in place.
Yeh, that's true I am looking at a higher res image now.
Still its strange to paste what looks like paper over a circuit board and then fill in the components.
The paper is going to have some level of conduction especially in damp conditions.
 
Yeh, that's true I am looking at a higher res image now.
Still its strange to paste what looks like paper over a circuit board and then fill in the components.
The paper is going to have some level of conduction especially in damp conditions.
I don't think it is white paper. Most pcb manufacturers offer a variety of colours for the solder mask & white is normally one of them. It may just be the quality of the photos. If you are basing your assumptions on the photo where the module is angled there are clearly resolution issues which make it possibly look like paper.
 
Yeh, that's true I am looking at a higher res image now.
Still its strange to paste what looks like paper over a circuit board and then fill in the components.
The paper is going to have some level of conduction especially in damp conditions.
This is a regular white PCB with black silkscreen.

The picture clearly has a photoshop effect to make it looks like it was drawn with a pencil !

Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 09.45.31.png
Screenshot 2024-05-30 at 09.46.10.png
 
We see many areas where it appears to have creased (those coatings go on smooth they don't usually crease). And its matt not that glossy colour coating/ solder resist that you usually see on budget PCB's. Also, there is one area where its burned quite an area while soldering (lower left red cap just above the flexible cable strip). And why would they use a rarer and therefore more expensive white matt coating with black ink ident on a budget PCB that's missing components and isn't even spelt correctly in parts - seems unlikely.
 

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