API Lunchbox, Sebatron, etc.

Discussion in 'Preamps / Channel Strips' started by therecordingart, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Ok guys...this is my last preamp post!

    -I can get a 4 channel Sebatron for $1700


    -I can get a 2 channel API Lunch Box for $1900 with the capability of expanding for more channels

    Here is my question....is the API only good on drums and guitars? I want something that will be all purpose and sounds great. I want to be able to record a light acoustic rock band one day and then record a death metal band the next. I want the pre to be used on everything and sounding good on everything.

    Which do you prefer or is there something else? The API seems tempting because I can buy the lunchbox for $450 and expand as I save.
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Arthur ...
    The API's are a great way to go ... a lot of great records of all different genre's have been recorded with them.

    That being said, the Sebatron is a wonderful pre amp that offers a wide variety of tones.

    No help I know ... I wouldn't want to be forced to choose myself .. I think I would get the lunchbox at $450 (a great price). But $750 seems a bit too high to be paying for the pre modules.. Last time I checked, (a while ago I admit) they were selling for about $550 each ..
  3. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004

    I'm really stuck in a tough spot. I don't make enough money recording to make these types of purchases, but at the same time I need higher level gear (higher than tascam pres that I have) to start creating bigger and better sounds. Once I can create the bigger/better sounds for my current clients I think it'll be easier to take on bigger projects.

    I started out 2 years ago recording high school level bands. Recently, I moved up to recording college aged bands that play the area clubs. In April I'm recording a demo album for a band on Century Media Records to send to their label and so they can make sure they are happy with what they've written. Then they won't put out a CD that'll they'll grow to hate....hopefully.

    This being said....I'm not neglecting the fact that I still need to work on my ears and mixing skills. I'm getting Moulton Labs: Golden Ears from the local library in hopes that it will help. Plus....I spend a lot of time starting projects from scratch and taking different approaches at mixing.

    Maybe I can take a step back and do things more simplistically? What about a 2 channel Sebatron or other 2 channel?

    With a two channel Sebatron or other pre I can:

    -Mic a kick and snare then use my tascam pres for the toms and OHs
    -Stereo mic an acoustic guitar or guitar cabs
    -Use it as a DI for bass...oh tube loveliness!
    -Obviously vocals

    Later down the road I can pick up an API 3124 and combine those 4 channels with the 2 Seb channels and be able to mic up a good portion of a kit.

    What do you guys think? Remember....I'm a broke bum and don't have enough business to recoup a lot of money.
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    If it were me, I'd go for the Sebatron. You get 4 channels of pre for 200 dollars less than than just the 2 API channels. So not only are you ahead of the game with 4 channels, you already have $200 bucks saved up for your next purchase.

    Probably a good setup, would be to use a the Seb for vox, guitar, bass and the kick drum. Then you've got your other pre's for everything else.

    If your recording live, the 4 channels will definitely be a plus. But if your tracking and overdubbing, you could get by with 2.

    I say go sebatron.
  5. HMNP

    HMNP Member

    Sep 10, 2004
    Im a proud owner of a 4 channel sebatron Pre, and I really love it. Im using it for vocals and overheads. It soundns pretty good on bass and guitar cabs but you've got to know how to ride the tube drive or else its going to sound messy. Im getting 4 API's 512c's in their lunch box plus some OSA pre amps in their 11 rack space. Variety is the key word here. Not everything works on everyone or every style. Im amazed on how good a vocals might sound using my 414 then the enxt day it totally sucks on another vocals, and I have to search for another mic that works. The same with outboard equipment. Once you get familiarize with the way everything sounds you'll know where and how to sue it.
  6. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest


    If you can't afford to make these sorts of purchases based on your recording income why not rent gear on a project by project basis?

    Then you would only be laying out money when money was coming in. You could rent a few different pres (and perhaps comps) and figure out what works for you. In the mean time you could save up cash so that when you figure out what you want, you can afford it.

    I realize this is not as sexy an option as buying some new gear to call your own but i thought i'd throw it out there.

  7. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I actually just got off of the phone with a few rental places in my area (Chicago) and no dice. I can't find a single place that has anything better than mid-level.
  8. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest

    i know a lot of the big music store gear rental places here in toronto tend to stock more live gear than studio gear...

    you may want to check websites of studios in your area as some of them will rent out stuff as a side business.

    either that or find more boutique gear dealers and ask them if they rent.

    hope the recording woks out for you!
  9. omaru

    omaru Active Member

    Sep 8, 2004
    Hey pr0gr4m - thanks for your input. I'm just about to shell out for seb 4000 and it's nice to hear your thoughts, particularly about possible problem areas.


  10. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    I have a Seb and love it. I would also love to get some API stuff as well but like you can't really afford it. I have decided to go for one of the "API CLones" Brent Averill makes a good one but I believe I'm going to go for the Seventh Circle Audio. They have assembled units but they also sell them in "kit" form for much less. I'm pretty handy with the soldering iron so that brings the price to about half of what you would pay for "real" API pre's. Plus they have "Neve CLones" and Jensen type mic pre's that can be mix and matched. So you can have more than one flavor in the same box.
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    There has got to be someone who is renting pro gear in the Chicago area .. you're just looking in the wrong places.

    Contact some of the larger pro studios in the are and ask for a referal to who ever rents them stuff ..
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