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The sound of API

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by kenn.michael, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. kenn.michael

    kenn.michael Guest

    I'm looking to buy some channel strips to add some color to sources tracked into my digital system. I'll be tracking some synths and occasionally some live stuff... My question is how does something like the API 7600 channel strip compare sonically to something like an Amek Pure Channel, or maybe one of the Neve modules. I'm looking for a "big console sound", and I'm not really familliar with the API sound. Any comments? Thanks.

    Kenn.
     
  2. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    There is no right or wrong...Amek Pure Path, Neve, and API all will provide 'big console sounds'. Just like a painter, I feel we as engineers need all the colors to properly complete the painting. Amek Pure Path is going to give you a less colored version of the original Neve, the Neve is going to be very colored and soft with a huge low end, and the API is a quick hard sounding preamp with full low mids and works better for higher frequency sources than the Neve for my purposes.

    The Amek is probably going to be the most general 'work horse' of the three, but the API and Neve are going to excell at their niche applications a little better IMO. I like API on snare, inside kick, voxs...Neve for me goes on outside kick drum, toms, Electric guitars, bass guitar (and upright bass). I rarely if at all interchange the two on the sources I mentioned. You may also want to consider the Millennia Media (the Millennia STT-1 is sweet), Great River and Vintech for your shopping list, all great units and different price points depending on your application and budget. Good Luck :) !
     
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Nathan:

    You seem to excel at the difficult task of putting descriptions of audio quality into words. So, if you could indulge me, and since you mentioned Vintech, could you attempt to describe for me how you hear the differences (if any) between the Vintech 1272 and the original Neve 1272? Or are the sonic differences between individual "identical" vintage boxes too varying to be able to generalize?
     
  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by littledog:
    Nathan:
    could you attempt to describe for me how you hear the differences (if any) between the Vintech 1272 and the original Neve 1272?


    I have heard two original 1073, and I own a Brent Averill 1272 and of course am very familiar with the Vintech X73 and 1272 being a dealer for them. So I have never heard an original 1272, but between the 5 different units I suppose I qualify enough to tell the differences. From my objective viewpoint I could hear little differences between the fundamental tone of the Vintech and the original Neve (or the 1272 Vintech and Brent A). The original Neves had some very old caps, etc so it was slightly less smooth in the highs than the newer lines, and the other unit was a little noisier and more aggressive sounding.

    I'm not going to claim to be a golden ears, I am a working class engineer like everybody else, but I don't think there is much of a fundamental difference from what I can tell. IMO the X73 and Neve 1073 sound better than a 1272...I suppose it is the extra gain stage, I don't know exactly what it is but they are definitely thicker. Although, IMO a 1272 is better than most gear on the market if you cannot take the financial leap towards 1073 or X73. Here is a link for a
    Mix review
    where they pretty much came to the same conclusions that I have come to. It sounds to me like their original Neve was refurbed quite well.
     
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Thanks Nathan! You're a great resource.

    I actually own a Vintech 1272, and recently bought the API 3124. I like the Vintech a lot - especially on electric bass, but I wasn't sure if i was missing a lot by not having a "real" 1272.

    Having just invested in the API, the 1073 is gonna have to wait for a bit. Thanks again! :w:
     
  6. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    The 1073 (x73) do have an extra gain stage, but it doesn't effect the sound in the at all until you go above 50 db of gain. In other words the 3rd gain stage doesn't even kick in until you surpass 50 db of gain. This is how Vintech explained it to me anyways.
     
  7. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    That is somewhat the beauty of Neve. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the magic lies in cranking the gain for tone variations and adjusting the output to match your tape levels...at least this is how I work it.
     
  8. coldsnow

    coldsnow Active Member

    I usually like the output taper run all the way up. To me I get the strongest signal that way. That is just my opinion. I do respect your opinion Nathan but I don't think it would be worth the extra expense if you don't need the eq.
     
  9. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    If you look at the market for Neve recreations right now (specifically Vintech and Great River), they both fall into a perfect niche price-wise. The 1272 Vintech is dirt cheap for what it is, then the GRNV is basically a 2 channel 1073 with no eq, and then you have the Vintech X73 for about the same price. I agree coldsnow, if you don't need the eq it's probably worth getting some other things to reinforce the signal path. 50db of gain should be plenty for 90% of most applications.
     
  10. the GRNV is basically a 2 channel 1073 with no eq [/QB]

    I have say that sounds like something I read in a Mix Review.

    I spent a good afternoon with both boxes, and those two preamps sound very different. In short, the NV had more transparency, more depth to the highs. Where as the X-73 had a less pronouced high end, and a very thick rich midrange.

    I do not get to use real 1073s hardly at all, yet the X-73 reminded me of the one I have use a deal.
     
  11. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    I'm thinking in terms of gain structure...70db (a 1073 is actually 80db) compared to 50db.
     
  12. ckevperry

    ckevperry Active Member

    Its good to remember that Dan Kennedy of GR wasn't going for a 1073 clone. The NV is more 1073 "inspired." They tried to improve it in some ways, the primary being in the low end. It holds together much better over several tracks in a mix.
     
  13. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Ummm... what is a real 1272? As Geoff Tanner has pointed out many times the 1272 was a line amp that was/is/and can be modifed to be a mic preamp. The only place a 1272 was ever used as mic amp was for talkback.
     
  14. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    A "real" 1272 is a unit with a original vintage Neve parts in it. Regardless of being a modified talkback amp, it is still a Neve (let's just admit it...Rupert's table scraps would be a good design). IMO, the current 1272 copies on the market are better than anything in the lower range of gear, intermediate or lower line console mic pre's, and better than even some of the higher end 40db pre's with a bunch of marketing hype (I won't name names, but you know who). What does it matter if they were talkback amplifiers anyhow? Since when do we as engineers care about anything other than if something sounds good or not? It sounds slightly elitist to me, but YMMV.
     
  15. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Originally posted by atlasproaudio:
    What does it matter if they were talkback amplifiers anyhow? Since when do we as engineers care about anything other than if something sounds good or not? It sounds slightly elitist to me, but YMMV.

    Hey, I'm thinking about buying a set of 4 1272's racked by Mercenary from a friend, I dig 'em. It's just funny to see people ask what a real 1272 sounded like back in the day because they never really existed.
     
  16. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by Jay Kahrs:


    Hey, I'm thinking about buying a set of 4 1272's racked by Mercenary


    They are probably excellent Jay...
     
  17. wiggy

    wiggy Guest

    Amongst all this comparison of Neve and API is the sound.... which sometimes gets lost amongst brand loyalty an the hyperbole that we pro audio guys love to spin!!!!

    FWIW IMO.. i ahve found the API's to be presfereable for drums. Thhey ahve an imediacy and 'Punch' (for want of a better pro audio
    adjective!) that works for most applications iclding electics Gtrs, some vocals, keys, and a multitude of other uses. I ahve found the APIs's to be the bomb IMO on Kik and snare. they have a definate bottom end adavantage over neves and i use a vintage 8024 that has 1073's. I love the 1073's for GTRS and vocals and nearly everything else but the API's have rounder and more mellow and punchy tone. The neves are more 'in ya face'and driven sound from those awesome transformers. Either way i am not ging to complain if I am stuck with one or the other its just that i ahve come realise that I ahve been spoilt by using a neve 80xx series.

    hope this has helped.

    peace
    Wiggy
    2" tape till I die
     

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