500 series or 51x series - What’s the difference?

500 and 51x modules have the same dimensions, only the connector is different.

500 slots use
15-pin EDAC connectors. 51x slots use 18-pin EDAC connectors.

The first 15 pins of the 51x 18-pin connector are used in the exact same way as the original 500 series rack.
51x slots are fully compatible with standard 500 series compliant modules.
You can use 500 modules or 51x modules in a 51x slot.

51x modules can only be used in 51x slots.
Exception to this are the Interphase Audio modules which have been designed to be usable in both 500 and 51x slots.

What are the additional connection points on the 51x slots used for?

These are used for +/- 24 Volt power rails.
The Interphase Audio Ark console runs on +/- 24 Volts power rails, for us it made perfect sense to offer support for 51x modules.
Interphase Audio is the only console manufacturer offering support for 51x modules.

What is the advantage of using 51x slots or modules?
51x modules run on higher voltage than standard 500 modules (+/-24V instead of +/-16V). As a result, 51x modules have an extra 4dB of headroom also resulting in a better signal-to-noise ratio.

Where can I get 51x modules?
There is a large DIY community building modules requiring +/- 24V, like NEVE, Neumann or Telefunken style circuits.
And all Interphase Audio modules are 500 and 51x compatible.

All Interphase Audio 500 series modules have optional connector pins for 51x series.
All our modules can run on +/- 16V or +/- 24V and can be used in 500-series or 51x-series slots.

500 / 51x slots in the Ark console

Ark is the only console which offers support for both 500 and 51x modules.

The middle section of the input channels and/or the master section can have two rows of 8 slots for 500 modules or two rows of 8 slots for 51x modules (for a total of 16 slots per block of 8 channels and/or per master section).

None of these slots are “tied” to the channels.
Actually the slots are totally independent from the rest of the console.
They have their own I/O connectors on the back panel, and even have their own power supply.

Think of it as multiple 8-slot racks which are installed in the
This allows full flexibility, since you can use any 500/51x module (or chain of modules) on any channel.

Our IP508 board has 8 slots for 500 series modules.
Multiple IP508 boards can be installed in the Ark console.

Our IP51x board has 8 slots for 51x series modules.
Multiple IP51x boards can be installed in the Ark console.
(remember that 500 series modules can be used with our IP51x board)

Important !

Ark Console 500 slots are wide open to the inside of the console.
Contrary to a 500 series rack, these slots are vertical.
Make sure to fill these slots with 500 series modules, or to add (and fix) blank panels to the empty slots. (blank panels are available in our webshop)

If you leave slots open, and any metal part is dropped inside the console, a lot of really bad things can happen. You don’t want short-circuits to happen, and we don’t want having to trouble shoot which part of the console got blown up because of these short-circuits.

Interphase Audio 500 / 51x series modules

All Interphase Audio 500 series modules have been electronically designed to accept and run on +/- 16V or +/- 24V, and can be used in 500-series or 51x-series slots.

As standard, our modules come with a 500 series connector.
You can also order the 51x series version, which includes the 51x adapter.
Alternatively you can get the 51x adapter by simple request after ordering the 500 module. Note however that installing the 51x adapter on one of our 500 modules requires a bit of soldering.

This website is about the Ark Console.
main Interphase Audio website has all information about our other products.