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API pres - 3124 and knock offs

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by MicrophoneMan, Sep 1, 2001.

  1. I'm in the market for some APIs, I've heard the 3124s while working remote truck gigs - and I've still yet to hear sounds that big and that close to what I prefer.

    mainly directed to our moderator..

    1) are there different API preamp flavors on the market - some that are no longer made, I'm not in the know on this.

    2) Buddy of mine told me a buddy of his picked up some preamps made from 312 chips (not Averills though) and that they sounded pretty close - any experience with pres made of those chips?

    mainly - I just want to make sure that the API sounds Ive heard from the rack pres when I was not as knowledged are the same, remember the day well when I left a place with API running through my head over and over.

    eagerly awaiting a brief history lesson
     
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by MicrophoneMan:
    I'm in the market for some APIs, I've heard the 3124s while working remote truck gigs - and I've still yet to hear sounds that big and that close to what I prefer.

    mainly directed to our moderator..


    Hey, watch where you point that thing, it might be loaded!!

    1) are there different API preamp flavors on the market - some that are no longer made, I'm not in the know on this.

    Sure. Over the years the API 2520 opamp [the main building block amplifier in all things "API"] has gone through some changes due to parts availability. The output transformers have changed from time to time over the years as well, again, mostly due to availablility. Different parts, different tone.

    Some incarnations have been better than other incarnations, this goes back to the 70's. Probably the worst incarnation of the 2520 was when 'Datatronics' owned "API", one of the best was made when "Automated Processes Inc." owned the company, but the "Audio Products Inc." versions don't suck, though the later ones are better than the earlier ones.

    2) Buddy of mine told me a buddy of his picked up some preamps made from 312 chips (not Averills though) and that they sounded pretty close - any experience with pres made of those chips?

    A 312 is a card, it has no chips. It does have an API 2520 op-amp in it, as does the 4 channel 3124. Let's look at that model number for a second shall we? Could it have something to do with being '4 channels' of '312', simply being called a 312-4, leave out the "-", and whaddaya get?

    mainly - I just want to make sure that the API sounds Ive heard from the rack pres when I was not as knowledged are the same, remember the day well when I left a place with API running through my head over and over.

    I'll never forget the first time I sat down behind the API desk in the Record Plant Remote truck. There are just some audio experiences that are better than anything, for me, that was one of them. I understand what you're referring to in a big way.
     
  3. tubedude

    tubedude Active Member

    Are the API's generally a good vocal preamp or no?
     
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Personaly I love API pre's on drums :)
     
  5. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Out of curiosity, what's the deal on the Old School Audio (is that the company?) remakes of the 312 modules? Any good? How do they stack up to API stuff (old and new) and does whatever price differential make them a good deal?

    Bear
     
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by tubedude:
    Are the API's generally a good vocal preamp or no?

    They don't suck. There are alot of things that do suck, but API's generally aren't on that list.

    As for the 'old school' stuff, I have no idea. I've never tried it, and I'm not on speaking terms with the only guy I've ever seen pimping it.
     
  7. tubedude

    tubedude Active Member

    Yeah, I know the API's are reputed to be great drum and guitar pres, but I've never heard much about anyone liking them for vocals... or not... maybe they arent a very good vocal color.
     
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Let me go on public record as saying that I've been quite enthralled with the sound of API pre's on many many a vocal over the years.

    In this mighty age of specialization, these are some serious 'general purpose' motherfuckers.
     
  9. alphajerk

    alphajerk Active Member

    i like my api 3124+ alot. i use it on quite a number of things, especially drums and guitar but bass idrect into it rocks pretty hard. i also like my crane song flamingo in FAT mode too for drums, usually the kick and snare. its got better tits but just as good of an ass as the api 312 pre.
     
  10. rivers

    rivers Member

    Ive just about decided to get a "color" pre to compliment my Sytek 4 channel.Im torn b/t a Api or Neve/Neve clone.The Great River Nv looks pretty cool.

    Can someone describe the difference in sound b/t a Neve 1272/1073 and Api 312?(i know this is kinda impossible but try).I dont have enough pres to get a "one trick pony" (even if its a good trick) so is either the Neve or Api more versatile than the other?Im doing mostly indie rock live band stuff
    Thanks
    Rivers
     
  11. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Originally posted by rivers:


    Can someone describe the difference in sound b/t a Neve 1272/1073 and Api 312?(i know this is kinda impossible but try).I dont have enough pres to get a "one trick pony" (even if its a good trick) so is either the Neve or Api more versatile than the other?


    The API stuff I've heard seems to be cleaner and more open then most of the 1272 incarnations. Neither one sucks, but you'll probably get more mileage from the API. Also, spend the extra dough and get a rack rather then two pres. The API EQ's and compressors are pretty bitchin.
     
  12. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by rivers:
    Ive just about decided to get a "color" pre to compliment my Sytek 4 channel.Im torn b/t a Api or Neve/Neve clone.The Great River Nv looks pretty cool.

    Don't forget the Vintech models, very very close to a Neve (see the review in this months mix mag in the back for a nice side by side comparison), and a big bang for the buck.


    Can someone describe the difference in sound b/t a Neve 1272/1073 and Api 312?(i know this is kinda impossible but try).I dont have enough pres to get a "one trick pony" (even if its a good trick) so is either the Neve or Api more versatile than the other?
    Im doing mostly indie rock live band stuff


    Rivers,

    Like Fletcher said above, API is kick ass for voxs, as well as many other sources. I particularly like it on Snare, overheads, room. It has a very "hard" in your face mid range sound with a nice thick low mid range.

    The Neve sound I prefer on Electric guitars , Electric bass, kick drum (API can sound great on kick also), toms. I never have liked the Neve on voxs, it is just not there for me personally. Neve is "soft" with a big thick low end. The high mids can tend to be nasal, but I only really notice it on sources such as higher octave synth or some samples. IMO, for the above uses it sounds great.

    I would say go for the Neve first for indie rock, it will make your guitars and basses sound great which is a huge aspect of that genre. I would personally rather have a Mackie pre and a Neve pre, than a Mackie pre and just API pre for what I do (which is also mainly indie/punk/HC). But the combo of the two is very complimentary and preferable :) . YOMV
     
  13. rivers

    rivers Member

    thanks Nathan and Jay
    seems like im leaning towards a Neve design...(and i agree the Vintech stuff looks cool)
    Is there a big difference SOUND wise b/t a 1272 design and a 1073 design(I know the 1073 usually have eq and a extra gain stage)) but comparing the pre sounds are they really close?i.e is the Vintech 1272 going to sound similar to the X-73 or the Great River Nv ?

    Rivers
     
  14. skygod

    skygod Guest


    Fletch-
    That is the most elegant post I have ever read in any forums --

    Dammit! I wish I had your savvy & diction to write my posts so tersely and to the point without rambling never leaving the reader any room for error in judgment or misinterpretation of stated fact-

    OU8124SURE
    Awesome!

    ~skygod~
     

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