API 525 Compressor

Single-channel Modular Compressor, 500 Series, Classic Reissue with Variable Threshold and Output Levels, "Ceiling" Control, VU Meter, and De-ess Function
API 525 Compressor image 1
API 525 Compressor image 1
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API 525 Compressor
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A Reissue of a 1970s Classic!

With the API 525, you get to snag the sound of API's famous 525 — a modular compressor originally introduced in the 1970s. This compressor reissue is a "feedback" type of compressor, for classic sonic character and exceptional dynamics control behavior. Onboard the API 525, the cool multi-function "ceiling" control can lower threshold while raising output level to match, so you can adjust dynamics without changing level. As part of API's modular 500 Series, you'll enjoy classic-but-versatile character in a flexible and reasonably priced design, with the API 525.

API 525 500 Series Modular Compressor at a Glance:
  • Reissue of a 1970s classic
  • API's 500 Series: Long-term flexibility, lasting value

Reissue of a 1970s classic
It could be argued that the API 525 is the most successful solid state feedback compressor in history. It delivers dynamics control behavior unlike VCA "feed forward" compressors so common today. A remarkable multi-function "ceiling" control can increase the API 525's gain reduction (lower threshold) while simultaneously raising output level to match, so you can alter dynamics "on the fly" without level changes. Here, this API 525 is an exacting reissue — its design, in fact, as been taken from the original blue prints and spec control drawings, dusted off from the API archives. You get all of that famous sonic character the API 525 was known for in the 1970s — in a new and still-flexible design.

API's 500 Series: Long-term flexibility, lasting value
The beauty of the entire API 500 Series is its long-term flexibility and lasting value — especially when you consider that needs change over time. With a range of mounting frame options, the API 525 will be a valuable asset to your ever-changing studio rigs. It's also ruggedly designed with sound you just won't outgrow — crafted to be your sonic partner for year after year after year.

API 525 500 Series Modular Compressor Features:
  • Reissue of API's original 525 from the early 70's
  • Peak detecting "feedback" compressor/limiter
  • Variable Threshold and Output levels
  • Unique "Ceiling" control combines key functions
  • VU meter for monitoring gain reduction
  • 4 Switchable release modes
  • De-ess function
  • Traditional API fully discrete circuit design
  • Hardwire bypass
API 525 500 Series Modular Compressor Specifications:
  • Input Impedance: > 30 K Ohms, Balanced
  • Output Impedance: 100 Ohms, Transformer coupled, Balanced
  • Operating Levels: -15dBu to +20dBu
  • Maximum Gain Reduction: 25dB
  • Noise: 98 dB below +10dBu output, at 10dB of Compression
  • Harmonic Distortion: 0.5% Max, 30Hz to 20kHz
  • Attack Time: 15 micro seconds
  • Release Times: .1, .5, 2.0, 2.5 seconds
  • De-essing: Inversion of the Voice Energy Curve
  • Slopes: Compression, 2:1, Limit, 20:1
  • Metering: Compression or Limiting-Illuminated Analog dB meter, shows Gain Reduction
  • Frequency Response: +/- .5 dB, 30 to 20 kHz
  • Power Requirements: +/- 12/18 Volts/DC, at 80 ma.
The API 525 is an exacting reissue of API's 1970s-classic solid-state compressor!

Additional Media

500 Series Buying Guide
525 Cue Sheet

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 1
Controls Input, Output, Mode, Ceiling, Release
Ratio 2:1 or 20:1
Frequency Response 30Hz-20kHz
Height 5.25"
Depth 7.5"
Width 1.5"
Weight 1.77 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number 525

Customer Reviews

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How much do I love my 525's?

Enough that I now have 4 of them. My favorite compressor. I got a second pair because I realized the one thing my recordings 'suffered from' when I work at other studios is I didn't have 525's to record through. I am one of those engineer's that records with compression by choice, and the 525 is outstanding for this. Never sounds bad, never squashes it too much, just makes what I'm doing sound better. I was thinking of getting a API 2500 instead, but the main thing I don't like about that particular model is the lack of a Ceiling knob. The Ceiling knob is a 'group' knob for the amount of gain and compression you want. If you want more or less of both, just turn the knob. I know that doesn't sound exciting, but in practice its the genius of this box. I have most of the classic compressors, yet the 525 sees the most action. Try it, you might like it too
See also: 500 Series Compressors, API, API 500 Series Dynamics