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2-Channel vs. 4-Channel

Member for

20 years 2 months
Well, here it is, yet *another* "Which mic pre should I buy?" question... :)
  • The other features of the Focusrite are nice-to-haves, but not really deal makers or killers (variable impedance, HPF, A/D, etc.).
  • Since these are my first "money pres", I want to be able to say "WOW!" when I first hear them! ;)
    So with all of that in mind, it comes down to the API sound vs. the Focusrite sound, and 2-channels vs. 4-channels.

    What else should I consider? Any other comments?

  • Comments

    Member for

    20 years 9 months

    AudioGaff Tue, 01/13/2004 - 06:44
    Unless you can get the original Focusrite ISA stuff, you not not getting the real Focusrite sound. All of the newer ISA stuff is basicly repackaged Focusrite Red, which is still way above average and pretty good stuff, but in a different league.

    In having both the Focusrite Red and API, and in reading your wants, needs and desires, I would without doubt or hesitation suggest you get the API. You say you won't be able to get any more API to fill that lunchbox until another year, but after you hear and use that API, you'll find a way. Those blank slots will stare you down and get you jones-ing so bad, you won't be able to stop yourself.

    If you only really want the mic pre and don't need the DI or other 512 features, look at the API 200 series (212) for the same mic pre in a smaller, cheaper module.

    Member for

    20 years 2 months

    Doublehelix Tue, 01/13/2004 - 07:14
    Thanks for the reply AG. I looked at the 212's, and there really isn't that much difference in price: The modules are $625 vs. $725...lunchboxes are about the same, although the 200 series lunchboxes hold more modules.

    What is the difference sonically between the two?

    Also, does anyone know the difference between the 2 lunchboxes:

    500-6B (6 position) = $450
    500-B4 (4 position) = $825

    I am obviously missing something here since the smaller one is $400 cheaper. Both say they have a power supply, but other then that, the descriptions on Mercenary don't tell me much.

    Thanks again!

    Member for

    20 years 11 months

    hollywood_steve Thu, 01/15/2004 - 20:52
    Dude, API!

    If the cost difference is bothering you, think ahead a few years. If some catastrophe strikes and you have to sell the preamps, the two API preamps will bring you a good bit more than 4 Focusrite units. (unless you find some "real" Focusrite modules and they'll set you back a LOT more than API modules.

    If you are starting from scratch and are only interested in preamps, the 212 is a great deal. IMHO, you save a few bucks and all you give up are worthless features like a front panel XLR input. But the 500 series does have one big advantage and that is the availability of 550 and 560 series EQ modules. The 200 series only has a nice, but limited HI/Lo filter. (API promised a never ending supply of new 200 series module types, but they haven't introduced anything new in years. I even have a list of modules that were announced and never actually produced, complete with pricing - wonder what happened?) Both the 200 and 500 series offer some interesting dynamics modules, but unless you ONLY are interested in preamps, the 500 series EQ makes the 500 series the better choice. Another advantage of the 500 series is the option of purchasing preamp varieties from other manufacturers, like Brent Averill and OSA. The fit the 500 series enclosures and offer you some interesting alternatives to the standard API models. Personally, I went with the 500 series rack with a pair of 550 EQs (the original 550, no "A", "A-1" or "B") and a pair of API 312 preamp cards wired up by Brent Averill.

    Member for

    18 years 6 months

    Randyman... Fri, 10/22/2004 - 19:21
    'scuse me while I bring this old thread back from the dead.

    What would be the CHEAPEST way to get into a "lunchbox" style enclosure (with PS) and 2 API 512 Mic-Pre modules (or the "200 series" equivalents)?

    Reading the above post, the option for the 500-series EQ sounds cool, but not if it will add an additional $1000 to my initial investment (I need PRE'S, NOW!).

    I have seen a few other brands of "lunchbox" frames, and I am curious how much could be saved here. I really like having an expandable module to add more pre's/EQ's/Dynamics as my budget permits.

    This will be my first "boutique" item (besides my Avalon U5), and I am realizing I need to skip all the "semi-pro" IC stuff, and go for the gold :). All the wonderful people here have beat that into my brain (and I thank you).

    I am very "wet behind the ears" when it comes to this expensive stuff, so PLEASE feel free to enlighten me as much as possible to ALL options in the API familty of pre-amps (and other branded "API" designs, too). These will obviously get used on Drums, and whatever else I see fit.

    Thanks a TON!!! :cool:

    Member for

    20 years 2 months

    Doublehelix Fri, 10/22/2004 - 20:25
    First off, be sure that the API pres are what you want sound-wise. They are not for everyone, and certainly not for all sources. I am not convinced that they are the desert island pre...

    If you decide to go with the 500 series, you can obviously buy the 512 mic pres now, and then add the 550 EQ's later if you need.

    From what I have seen, the API lunchboxes are not that much more than other 3rd party clones, and I'd feel safer knowing that the power supply was supplied by API, but that might just be me...

    Good luck!

    Member for

    18 years 6 months

    Randyman... Fri, 10/22/2004 - 20:35
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I saw Seventh Circle recommended on another thread:

    Has anyone used these "kits"? It appears I could get the 2U chassis and PS, and mix and match the A12 (API) and the N72 (NEVE) modules in a single unit! The price seems VERY affordable, and I am fairly proficient at soldering, and have a basic understanding of electronics (no oscilliscope, though :( )

    I guess I'm just looking for the most bang for my buck (and I DON'T mind building a kit, either).