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Looking around, I cannot, for the life of me, find a better deal on a 4-pre package ( of truly world class amplifiers ) than the API 3124+, 2,500 bucks at Mercenary.

Jules, you've got a 3124 unit haven't you? Comments?

Am I missing a better deal? There are good deals on these multi units, like the Drawmer 1960 and Avalon, Phoenix, etc stuff, but where pres only are concerned even the Great River stuff is more money.

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atlasproaudio Wed, 10/31/2001 - 18:26

I'm not sure if you know about the Vintech 1272, but they are in the same general price range as the 3124. API and Neve (a-like) are different sounds for two different applications in my book...but that is a good thing. A painter would be relatively ineffective with just blue or red without the other colors (hell, as least the primaries anyway).

anonymous Wed, 10/31/2001 - 18:36

Hi Baixo,
The 3124,s are a good front end for ProTools as the results are really warm.
The high end detail is not as extended as Neves (200k) etc. which makes it good for digital.
They sound good on all instrument period!
I know I have used them up to 32 x on all tracks on on my last 4 x CD jobs.The more you build your mix with them on every track the warmer the mix gets.
There are a few little annoying things like some of them have the phantom switch on the back which in a 1 x unit rack is not big enough room to get a hand in, in a hurry (good buy ribbons).
They are very simple but they are solid, well worth owning!!!
Regards Michael

atlasproaudio Wed, 10/31/2001 - 18:53

Originally posted by Michael Earth Media:

The 3124s are...really warm.

"warm" is a very subjective word and can be vague and misleading. Perhaps some more critical and objectified descriptions?

The high end detail is not as extended as Neves (200k) etc. which makes it good for digital.

Uhhh, Neve's aren't good for digital, and neither is high end detail??

I would think a Classical engineer would want as much high end detail as they could get, and I don't know of any that currently record to analog tape. I know I want high end detail, and I record mostly guitar based rock of one form or another to digital. By the way, the API is detailed in the highs for how colored it is.

The API's actually sound harder and slightly clearer to my ears (but not like a Millennia or Great River) as compared to a Neve. The lows on the API seem to be centered more in the low mid range, where as the Neve sound is softer, more like one would think of as a stereotypical "tube" sound even though it is solid state (goes to show the design makes all the difference in the world). Even though a graph may say the Neve is more extended in the highs (whether it is or not is not a factor in my point. I could care less what a graph says, I tend to follow my ears rather than eyes or numbers), I would tend to place a Neve on something that I wanted to sit in the lower registers of the freq band of the mix such as guitar cab, bass guitar, kick drum, etc. I think the API excells at percussion and vocals. Both are my bread and butter and I wouldn't feel comfortable tracking Rock and Roll without both, and of course YOMV. :cool:

anonymous Thu, 11/01/2001 - 12:10

As for EQs to tape, it's a blank slate. That's the maddening thing about choosing gear, because so much of it does more than one thing well, like the Vintech or the Drawmer stuff, Avalon, etc.

I don't really use compression like most people do, particularly to tape/DAW, so I'm more interested in a front end of pres and EQs. I'm pushing toward having individual boxes that do their thing without compromise, but it's still a hard choice not to go with a combo unit.

anonymous Thu, 11/01/2001 - 14:32

I have an API 3124 and absolutely love it. Its the peice of gear I never have to give a second thought about, or have any second thoughts about purchaseing. The only thing I have to say is I wish I would have considered the 3124M instead.
Since I got the API's I have offloaded a bunch of other pre's....they just don't hold up. I rarely record more than a few mics at once, so this unit is perfect for me. Its got quality written all over it, and it shows. Its a good feeling to know I don't have to worry about the preamp portion of my signal chain. get the idea....API's are killer.

anonymous Thu, 11/01/2001 - 16:11

Thanks all for your input. I'll check out the Hardies, but the APIs beckon, although the EQ search is on.

So TWO votes for "shoulda got the 3124M". I think you can have API retrofit this to your existing units. The best things about this unit are the size (1U) for one and the fact that you don't get penalised for buying modules which need separate PSUs and racking HW.

I'd love a lunchbox, but there's so much costly hardware involved.

So far as EQs go, that are currently made, that DON'T have a mic pre built in, what's the consensus?

hollywood_steve Fri, 11/02/2001 - 10:55

So far as EQs go, that are currently made, that DON'T have a mic pre built in, what's the consensus?

My favorite are the API 550 series. The current version is the 550b, but I own a pair of the original 550's from the late 60's. That's what is so cool about API; both their "vintage" and new products all sound great.