API 512c Reviews4.8/5.0 based on 9 customer reviews
I have a pair of 512c preamps in a lunchbox in my studio that pretty much live on my kick and snare drum, but they also work great on everything I've tried them on...they're forward and punchy, but still very clean. There's a reason that this preamp has been around for over 40 years now with very few changes.
from Atlanta, GA
April 22, 2013Music Background:
Professional Recording Engineer, Producer, Guitarist
Classic pre with A LOT of toneI really love the way this preamp sounds. It's punchy and aggressive, and sounds great on male rap or rock vocals. I've used it with electric and acoustic guitar as well, and it sounds great on that too.
This preamp runs HOT. I read about it in other reviews but had to experience it for myself. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I actually keep the pad switch on for all but the quietest sources. Once the VU meter starts reading yellow you will hear a lot of tone added from the pre, which may or may not be what you want to hear in a particular situation. Because of that, I would encourage folks to use this with a transparent compressor, and to keep a smoother preamp as a backup for session that don't need agressive sounding tone (A vintech or an avalon would be a good backup if you want smoother tone).
Overall I am really pleased with the sound and quality of this preamp. Sturdy build, classic API aesthetics, and agressive tone make this a well-rounded package.
from New York, NY USA
August 2, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Songwriter, Singer
So HotSo HOT. And I mean that in a GOOD way. I track male rock vocals at home in my apartment. Here the signal chain: SM7b dynamic mic, mogami xlr-to-xlr cable, API 512c mic pre, mogami xlr female to balanced 1/4" male, into line input on Avid MBox (input switched pulled for -20dB). This works very well, and I want to write this review to recommend it. While the other gear in this chain is all very good, the API pre is outstanding. I can simply make slight changes to the input gain switch on the API to get solid level into Pro Tools. The sound? Don't get me started... Warm. Crisp. Good level. Love it on male rock vocals!
May 23, 2012
LoveYes, I am in love with an inanimate object. Sigh.
May 14, 2012Music Background:
Awesome Pre!!I absolutely love all of my API pres. I use these on all of my drum tracks. I really like the sound of acoustic guitars miked with a KM184 or U67 running through this Pre. Bass guitars sound good too! This is a do it all Pre. And it being a 500 series Pre makes it even better! If you want this Pre just go ahead and get 2. Because you will want a second one.
April 20, 2012Music Background:
20 + years recording, musician, wanna be music producer
Best 500 series Mic Pre in its classThe API 512c has incredible amounts of gain sounds more transparent than other mic pre's built very well. I tried my R84 Ribbon Microphones with two API's vs. two RPQ 500's I was actually more impressed with the API's. I suspect two or one condenser microphone would knock my socks off but if a ribbon mic can sound wonderful with this item then it would only be even better if you used a dynamic or condenser microphone.
If you want a really good yet inexpensive mic pre for your lunchbox, then by all means don't look anywhere else.
from OKC, OK
April 3, 2012Music Background:
Recording Artist, Music Producer (in training), Performer
MUCH BETTER THAN I THOUGHTI had a chance to check out this Mic Pre and first off I've tried about every mic pre in existence so I have a pretty good feel for what most of them are all about. Anyhow I suspected that the Gain on this Mic Pre wouldn't be too hot definately not for ribbon mic's, however using it mic'ing my 2x12 cab the dial on the mic pre although small packs a big punch. My waveforms were a really good size not too big not too small. Everything sounded right. As a matter of fact, I am selling my Great River MP-2NV Mic Pre and getting two of these API mic pre's. and besides how could you go wrong with API?
from Nashville, TN
July 26, 2011Music Background:
Solid Pre!I recently purchased the 512c for my lunchbox and there is no mystery as to why they are so loved amongst engineers. I have used it on Snares, Guitars, and even Vocals. It is fast, clean, wide open and huge. It is one of the hotter preamps I own but is in no way a flaw. It would be nice to have some type of filter/eq... but I am not gonna knock it just because of that as eq is not needed on most things going through this bad boy. I look forward to grabbing a couple more of these (at least)!
March 22, 2011Music Background:
Great Pre....After 2 hours play around with this, suddenly I found my kick sound was BIGGER!! Snare was punchy,and guitar just rock!!!
The only thing,,this is very hot pre,,,easily clipped my SM57,,,but after I tweaked it,,,it was just great..I Have two btw,,,enough explained???
from Seattle, WA
November 5, 2009Music Background:
My favorite aggressive pre.I admit, I've been lusting after a few of these for awhile, and after spending many sessions with them at a studio, I found that it definitely had its place. I ended up only using it sources that worked well with how driven it can sound at the input. On sessions where I needed a clean RnB vocal, I found that coupled with several different mics, it still wasn't as clean as other pres, even the 6176. Even my musicians could hear the drive on the upper frequencies through their headphones! On the other hand, it is incredible for rock music, especially with a vocalist that needs to have that edge! Snare, bass, and electric guitar are also favorites.