API Audio 212L : chrislieck's user review
"The Best Pre Ever"
If you want a Pre Amp that has massive head room and sounds so clean it will blow your mind, then buy API. API is a the industry standard in the larger studios such as mine. This unit is used daily on every and any instrument we record. We always turn to API. API on vocals is a must and on kick and bass. No other pre amp has the headroom and sound of an API. To use an example, we have a great deal of pre amps both new and old. We record everything from bands to singers to songwriters to major records every week of the year. If a drummer is in my room we use the API for kick, snare and bass as well as all our vocals aside from vocalists that need compression while recording live. It has 48V, Pad, very sturdy. On the input stage I usually red line the signal into the unit and I never get any distortion what so ever at any point. I can literally have a kick drum microphone red lined on the input stage and I don't get any distortion into Pro Tools. Same with vocals. I always input vocals very hot into all my pre amps but none can take the high gain inputs that I like to use better than the API. I also like the sound of API more than any other Pre Amp on the market today. It just has such a strong sound. The -20 pad is useful for kicks and snares and we rarely use the pad due to the input headroom.
No need to complicate a pre amp. Set your level and record. There are balanced inputs both line and mic and both sound great. All discrete and it has a great reputation and a great resale value. API has the best resale value of any pre amp you will buy. Most people don't sell their API pre amps unless they are getting out of the business. I have seen some of the older ones get far more than I expected.
100 % transparent and clean. API does not color the sound in any way which is what you want when you are about to spend the kind of money that it cost to buy this pre amp. The sound is clean and transparent and the bass is not enhanced nor is the top or highs or high mids. I can rave enough about why you want to own an API. I like all of their pre amps and have never been into in big time room and they don't have API as one of their main pre amps. It is a universal pre amp that sounds great on any and everything. if you listen to records you are listening to API probably on most all of the instruments recorded. If you have every had the pleasure of working with an API console you will know what I am saying.
I have four of these and they are absolutely the best pre made. Kick drums sound so fat and have 10 db more headroom. I red line mine all day with zero distortion. I know the API reputation so I did not hesitate to buy all my API pre amps. It is the most reputable company around and it is an investment in your studio and shows you know waht the best is.