Lindell Audio 503 Power, 6X-
Founded in 2010 by Swedish record producer and longstanding Gearslutz moderator Tobias Lindell, the Lindell Audio mission has always been to produce outstanding affordable technology ‘by engineers, for engineers’. However, please don’t be fooled by the price point, Lindell Audio’s creations are wonderful machines that undoubtedly hold a ground of their own amongst the elite, and certainly punch well above their weight.
Within this feature we shall review what we call a ‘fully loaded’ 503 Power system, which includes the following four products; the 503 Power (500 Series three slot power distributor), 6X-
Before we begin, I would like to discuss the uses of an affordable 500 series system following the purchase of the power supply system. For producers 500 series modules offer a great deal of flexibility. Long gone are the days of paying through the teeth for these modular systems, instead following the purchase of a multi-
Arriving in unremarkable black packaging, our first observation is that the 503 power distributor and individual 500 series modules could benefit from additional packaging and a desiccant inside the box to further safeguard the units during shipping. Inside currently each of the modules are wrapped in a protective opaque bag and placed in a simple black box with a square wedge of foam alongside the transformers to inhibit rattling, no warranty or specification sheets are included. This is the same for all the 500 series modules (ie. 6X-
Designed in Sweden and made in China is, in effect, how Lindell Audio manages to competitively produce these brilliant units for the current retail price; approximately a 65% reduction in comparison with current series 500 modules. However, don’t be fooled, China has become a major player in the Pro Audio market within recent years, and observation of the internal circuitry is both positive and testament to attention to detail. In fact Lindell Audio are so confident that they have released high resolution images of the circuitry on their website for prospecting users to assess. Upon close examination I can confirm that our received unit closely match the images published and I can validate that the workmanship, surface mounted components, gold plated PCB tracks, discreet amplifiers, and hand custom hand wound transformers are present and surprisingly good. Like many other 500 series modules, the PEX, 6X, and 7X do not come in an encased closure. Instead each modules PCB sits on a raised steel platform that does need care when inserting into the power unit, but this goes without saying.
Casting our eyes over the external design, the 500 series modules have a somewhat yesteryear appearance with a brushed aged gold aluminium faceplate and fine screen-
Now, turning our attention to the 503 Power, it has to be said that this has the weight and appearance of a tank. Made from a 3.5mm solid aluminium shell, the 503 could easily withstand the stresses and strains of transportation. On the rear of the unit there are three white label gold plated XLR inputs, three white label gold plated XLR outputs, a standard kettle lead power input, an easily accessible fuse bay with spare fuse slot, ventilation grille, and power on/off flick switch. Unfortunately unlike the 506 or 510, the rear of the unit does not provide a power indicator, although the odds are that you are unlikely to focus your attention to this area.
Detailed specifications of the 503 state that it is operational between 90-
The Lindell Audio 6X-
As a preamp the 6X is possibly what I would call ‘transparent’, but it is like a two-
In terms of the included Pultec style EQ on the 6X I have to say that I like it… a lot. I have always been a fan of ‘old skool’ Pultec’s and I have to say that the sound definitely feels familiar with a gentle, musical, and predictable outcome every time. Opposites attract, and if you pair the transparent forward sound of the preamp with the thick buttery qualities of the Pultec style EQ you have the most beautiful relationship. Just like the original, the EQ on the 6X is as easy as selecting the frequency band and turning the potentiometer… There is literally no experience needed to craft the tone that you are looking for, all you need to do is trust that Lindell Audio has put together a fabulous unit and in a few moments you will have a great sound.
Just like the EQ circuit incorporated into the 6X-
Above we briefly touched upon the characteristics of the Pultec style EQ’s and now, yet again, there is a very similar approach. This time you can change the Q from shelved to maximum ‘boost’. In practice the boost works as anticipated and provides a smooth transition from ‘narrow to wide’. Overall the performance of the PEX is very satisfying with a dreamy, liquid gold, ever so slight shimmery treble performance in both cut and boost, whilst the lows don’t appear to break formation. In summary, the PEX surprisingly manages to maintain a composed transient experience whilst adding a round plumpness that rarely sounds woolly.
The 7X is an FET based single channel compressor limiter unit that is styled upon the classic 1176. On the faceplate you will find twenty LED’s to highlight gain reduction in 1db increments, a true bypass green illuminated push button, and dedicated potentiometers for the input signal, output signal, and wet dry mix for parallel compression. Flick switches are assigned to fixed attack times (slow, medium, fast), release times (slow, medium, fast), compression ratio (marked at 4 to 1, 12 to 1, and the infamous 100 to 1 that, in other words, was created by locking all ratio buttons down on the 1176), and finally a high pass side chain switched in either 100Hz, 300Hz or Off positions on the toggle switch
In use we have found the 7X is a very usable compressor that still retains some of the original charm and ‘improves’ the capability. Being able to mix some of the original signal with the old adds a nice character. Additionally I found that the side chain high pass filer worked well at all settings, I just would have liked if this was a little lower between 220Hz – 260Hz instead of 300Hz.
Unlike the original, the 7X does not rely upon a continuous attack release depending on the input/output. Instead the user will have to select between slow, medium, and fast. This methodology is a different take on the original and the compressor does work well with drums and vocals, although its yesteryear performance can become a tricky on the upper frequencies due to the fact that they become indistinct with the wrong settings. Otherwise, the 7X does sound familiar and has an ability to lift a troublesome instrument to the correct depth without any horrid pumping.
Lindell Audio has set out on a mission to provide 500 series units to the masses. Modelled upon pro audio legends, the 6X-