API 527 Compressor/Limiter

VCA-based 500 Series Compressor/limiter with 2510 and 2520 Discrete Op-amps
API 527 Compressor/Limiter image 1
API 527 Compressor/Limiter image 1
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API 527 Compressor/Limiter
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Classic and Modern API Compression

The API 527 compressor/limiter brings the same incredible character and response to your 500 Series rack found in their 2500 Stereo Bus Compressor. Featuring both API's newer "feed forward" and original "feed back" gain reduction methods, the 527 covers a wide range of tone - from classic warmth to modern precision. The 527 also offers you API's famous "over-easy" soft knee type, with the option of engaging a hard knee for limiting. A wide range of threshold, attack, and decay settings give you an extended degree of control over your compression, and the 527's detented attack and decay knobs make recalling your favorite settings easy and reliable. And since the API 527 uses both 2510 and 2520 discrete op-amps, it give you signature API sound.

API 527 500-series-format Compressor/Limiter Features at a Glance:
  • Compressor/limiter formatted for use with 500-series racks
  • Continuously variable detented Threshold control
  • Continuously variable detented Attack and Release controls
  • Continuously variable detented Ratio control
  • Audio circuit uses the 2510 and 2520 Discrete Op Amps with transformer output
  • Output Fader level control
  • 10-segment VU gain reduction meter with selector switch
  • Overload warning LED
  • "Link" switch for multiple unit interdependent compression linking
  • "New"/"Old" switch for feed-forward or feed-back compression
  • "Hard"/"Soft" compression curve knee switch
  • Patented "Thrust" switch for frequency dependent side chain control
  • "IN" switch with hard relay bypass when in the "Out" position
Give your 500 Series rack the real sound of API compression, with an API 527 compressor/limiter!

Additional Media

500 Series Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 1
Controls Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release, Output, Thrust, Knee, Type (Old, New), Link, Meter
Threshold +10dBu to -20dBu
Ratio 1:1 to 1:Infinity
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Height 5.25"
Depth 7.5"
Width 1.5"
Weight 2.15 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number 527

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
Write your review

wonderful and effective !!

wonderful and effective compressor and limiter. API 527 compressor is great especially on vocals, guitar, percussion etc. etc. try it and see.
Music background: Singer & Music Producer

Wow! Great Compressor/Limiter

API is truly! the compressor / limiter API 527 is wonderful, natural produce incredible clarity and does not color the signal. Good use on vocals, guitar, percussion, bass etc. etc. Try it and see.
Music background: Singer & Music Producer

Sensational, The new standard!!

I was nervous about this because no one had reviewed it yet, well let me help you out. This is one of the most versatile compressors period! I'm working now with an A-list producer in nashville and he picked this for our lead vocal compressor! It's been great for anything we've tried it on! AMAZING!!!!
Music background: Artist, Writer, Producer


Everything I thought it would be!
Music background: Home Studio, Pro Musician

Good Utilitarian Compressor

This is my first/only outboard compressor for my home studio and when comparing it to the sounds of my plugin comps, well... there is no comparison. I have used this to track vocals (very good in the "new" setting on "soft"), bass and guitars, and it's absolutely fantastic as a limiter in that it's fairly clean (not dark, or bright, just transparent with warmth). I have also run drums, keys, and everything else through this in the mixing process, and it has a lot of attitude and creates the "grab" effect without much coloration. The "Thrust" feature is invaluable for letting you get the top end to sustain and pump without sacrificing the lows. This is an invaluable tool. This is a great all-around compressor. Being able to switch between Old and New modes is like having two types in one, and the ability to link 2 of these is a great way to get close to the 2500 sound on a budget (I want this setup as my buss compressor eventually). Criticisms are that it took me about a month to get used to the settings on this thing: The multiple modes are actually overwhelming and the attack/release/ratio settings are really different from other types of comps I have used. To make matters worse, the old and new settings completely change the character of the unit, making it necessary to readjust between the two (you can't just A/B the switch usually). The sacrifice for versatility is that it's not a "set-it-and-forget-it" type comp. It takes a lot of tweaking to get things right. That being said, this is an all-around great compressor and if you can only have one, this will do everything you need it to. No complaints, other than it's making me want more types of comps!
Music background: Songwriter
See also: 500 Series Compressors, API, API 500 Series Dynamics