API 2500

Stereo Compressor with "Old" and "New" Compression, "Thrust" Circuit, Auto or Manual Gain Makeup, Variable Threshold, and Sidechain
API 2500 image 1
API 2500 image 1
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API 2500
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Your Choice For Incredibly Musical Compression!

If you're after versatile compression, the API 2500 is a stellar pick. This stereo bus compressor sports API's patented "thrust" circuit, which ensures you can snag a hearty, chest-hitting low end. While the API 2500 is set up for stereo compression, you can also use it as two separate units. However you use it, though, you'll have a range of compression styles to dial in - all musical, all incredibly usable. Use the "old"/"new" switch to choose among classic and modern compression vibes with your API 2500.

API 2500 Stereo Compressor at a Glance:
  • This stereo compressor's all about versatility and musicality
  • Mono capabilities and API's auto-makeup gain button
  • API's continuing legacy of innovation and sought-after sound
This stereo compressor's all about versatility and musicality

When you choose API, you know you're getting amazing sonic character. And with the API 2500, you've got a wide range of characters to choose among and dial in. To start, the API 2500 stereo compressor has API's patented "Thrust" highpass filter before its RMS detector, which leads the way to really punchy low end. There are also two types of compression onboard the API 2500 - "old" and "new." The old style uses the feedback type of compression found on the classic API525 while the new style uses a feedforward type, similar to many modern, popular compressors.

Mono capabilities and API's auto-makeup gain button

The API 2500 is stereo ready, but sports a variable link between the left and right channels, so you can put it to work on your mono sources. Whatever way you use it, you'll like having API's auto-makeup gain button on the output stage. It lets you vary the API 2500's threshold or ratio, while automatically maintaining a constant output level.

API's continuing legacy of innovation and sought-after sound

In 1968, Automated Processes Inc. began building quality consoles for broadcast applications. Soon, the company's products found favor with recording studios, and a string of industry-leading advancements (including computerized console automation, the first VCA, and more) followed. API produced the 2520 amplifier, one of the most famous op-amps in the recording industry, and their consoles and products found homes in such iconic studio facilities as Ocean Way, the Record Plant, and Sunset Sound, among others. In fact, there are over 700 classic API consoles around the globe - many of which are still in use. And the company certainly isn't resting on its laurels; today's API products give you the same unbeatable combination of utility, innovation, and great sound.

API 2500 Stereo Compressor Features:
  • API 2520 op-amp
  • Variable threshold between -20 and +10
  • Selectable Ratio, Attack and Release times
  • Patented "Thrust" highpass filter before RMS detector
  • Variable link between left and right channels
  • Old "feed back" or new "feed forward" compression
  • Soft, Medium or Hard Knee for easy to sharp compression
  • Auto or manual gain make up
  • 1/4" balanced side chain inputs
  • Output clips at +30dBm
The API 2500 stereo compressor delivers legendary API sonic quality with both old and new character!

Additional Media

Signal Processing Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 2
Controls Threshold, Attach, Ratio, Release
Threshold -20 dB to 10 dB
Ratio 1:1 to Inf.
Side Chain Inserts Yes
Inputs 2 x XLR
Outputs 2 x XLR
Sidechain I/O 2 x 1/4"
Rack Spaces 1U
Height 1.75"
Depth 10.5"
Width 19"
Weight 9.48 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number 2500

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
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I have several pieces of API and the tone has never let me down. Previously I was using a Chameleon Labs bus compressor. I was never delighted with it's sound but it did do a good job of keeping the bass energy in a mix happening. We recently upgraded our mixing console and mastering loop on the Neve mixer I use, I wanted something to put some final polish on the mixes so the API came to live here. Zero regrets, this is a monster good sounding compressor. Setting the controls on this takes a while to get accustomed too. It's easy to overdo it. After you find the right settings for the material you're working on it's transparent until you bypass it and realize how much it was doing to smooth things out. The vintage feedback style is where I've ended up for topping off a mix and gluing things together. With the API 2500 things sound very smooth and polished plus the sound retains that full bottom end sound we've worked so hard to achieve. My GF/music partner thought I was nuts to spend this much on a stereo compressor but when she came into the control room and heard four live recordings by a three-piece boogie band I mixed yesterday she got it and was grinning ear to ear about our new toy. All the tunes are grooving in a very positive way because all the parts are working together. If you're looking for a powerful stereo compressor that can really pull a mix together you can spend more but you can't do better than the API 2500. Good music to all!
Music background: Pro musician and engineer


This is my first stereo compressor. I have been slowly acquiring gear for my home studio as it is my goal to get out of the box and more into the analog domain. My reasoning for getting out of the box is that I find myself paralyzed by too many options via plug-ins. I just want to make a decision and move on. Since I own no other stereo compressor, I do own a 6176, it is difficult to give a fair comparison. But I can say, without hesitation, that purchasing the 2500 has increased my productivity, inspired me to use my gear more, and increased the quality of my recordings. I am so inspired that I just ordered an API 5500 to boot.

Classic Sound

I bought this compressor as the final link in my analog chain. I primarily use it as the finishing touch on the master buss before printing a mix. I can't quite explain the sound other than its THE sound that you hear on countless famous records. When used correctly, the API 250 has the ability to glue a mix together and really bring out a very polished and punchy sound. The price is high but DEFINITELY worth it. I even use the API for tracking, running any source through it (guitar, drums, vox) on the way in, to add a bit of color and warmth to the source. Though the digital emulation comes close, this box will change the way you approach recording!!
Music background: Recording Engineer

maybe the best buss comp ever...

the api 2500 is a true classic. for drum buss compression, it has the punchiest sound ive ever heard. the thrust lets you totally control your drum sound and its almost impossible to not have an improvement after running it through this box... the sound of the transformers and op amps is just amazing. a little bit of fine tuning and the drums sound just massive. great from rock to rnb to pop to house to dubstep or anything else. its also quite amazing at mix buss compression, although i prefer an ssl type unit for that. if you want to purchase your first stereo comp, you really cannot go wrong with this guy. api is top notch and a classic for a reason.. seriously its worth every cent. if you like the waves plugin, this thing will blow you away!
Music background: producer and engineer

Very Nice!

Glad I bought it before the price jump... I love the plugin version so much I had to get the hardware version! This piece has definitely taken my rack and my mixes to another level!
Music background: Artist, Producer Engineer
See also: Compressors, API, API Compressors / Limiters, API Compressors / Limiters