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User Review

Glints collide's review - API Audio 512C

Single transistor preamp, lunchbox format (500 series).
65 db gain.
API 2520 input transformer on this model.
Very simple to use: a gain knob with LED level meter correspondent.
XLR input to the preamp, line (jack) to the instrument input. It can also plug the mic in the back of the lunchbox.
XLR output only, the rear panel.

A MIC, to activate the preamp or the reverse switch to DI, button 48V Phantom power supply for a button to the CSA -20 db attenuator, and a button POL for phase inversion.


Could not be more simple in config.
Apsect The machine is a bit boring, but do not stop it!


The sound is incredible uneven relief, API is a legend for this:
- A precise and very low content.
- A medium very big, very punchy, dense. For me it is this frequency in the 512 excels! The mediums are striking presence. To compare it to a tube preamp, which, while colorful, is rather mild in terms of mediums, the API has a lot of his potatoes at this level. It can be recognized between 1000 (there are a variety of clones of this series, including "specs" are the same on a lot of points).
- A high rather closed, with little air, but perfectly s'équalise if necessary: ​​we will not choose a song for a variety API for example, but with a couple SM7 (or 57) on a song or hardcore same rock, it fits perfectly!
To try to clarify things a bit, the API is a bit away from the Avalon at the sound, which is more transparent, soft, and actually quite neutral.

The preamp is colored, and it hits hard in (then push the gain to see: p), this means more texture.
Some enthusiasts are even welding a weld resistance in the circuit to exacerbate the sound color (resulting in a loss of "headroom", but an even more typed).

We have a total of five API preamps, 4 512c, and 512b (which is slightly darker), and they stand on any particular percussive instrument:
a battery is the top, also on percussion, a bass, more body than that you die) ...
Rendering on many raw voice is also excellent, a female voice a little shrill, the API will probably stand out very well.
The guitars is great: it has recently been testing with the following pair of microphones: Royer R121 ribbon and SM57 in front of a Peavey 5150 amp + Randall cab with a Les Paul Custom, and although it's just the must! The big sound American rock'n'roll!

You understood, the brightness is not the height of the API, but what's the foie gras, warm, and very concentrated.
All you'll spend in it will sound great, after it is about color ... and taste! We will choose to use this preamp in some cases and not others.

I noticed that the API marry particularly well with dynamic microphones and tape and sound are solid and full as ever.


We have been using for 6 months.

I love like everything that comes in clear and precise large at a time.

I worked with a lot of different preamps (from transparent to colored, transistors and vacuum tube), and API is a must, period!

The 512c and 512b model format lunchbox is secondhand to $ 500 USD for the lunchbox is also a little less. For 800 euros, was a legendary mono preamp, with the possibility of changing to an unbeatable price (lunchbox).

I do it again this choice in a heartbeat. We have to acquire Purple preamps and A-Designs Audio recently, where I also write a review soon.

NOTE: we have improved our system of converters recently, and the difference is affected greatly in terms of API preamps. The full extent of noise preamp expressed bcp better. So a preamp quality requires not only a quality mic, but converters high-end that will make you appreciate the true value of the sound of the machine.