API Audio 512C

API Audio 512C

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512C, Solid-State Pre-amp from API Audio.

4 user reviews
Prices starting at $850 Average price: $850

API Audio 512C tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: API Audio
  • Model: 512C
  • Category: Solid-State Pre-amps
  • Added in our database on: 08/15/2005

We have no technical specifications for this product
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Buy new API Audio 512C

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API Audio 512C user reviews

Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 4 reviews )
 3 reviews75 %
 1 user review25 %

moosers's review

API Audio 512C
The API Audio 512C is a solid-state, analog microphone preamplifier.  It has both a 1/4 inch and XLR connection and isn't in a traditional rack mountable form.  It will however fit inside an API lunchbox and I believe that is what it is designed for.  The unit also has buttons for mic/line selection, phantom power, a -20 db pad, and polarity.


The make up of the API Audio 512C is just about as simple as it gets for a mic pre.  If you are familiar with the basic parameters on a mic pre, you'll have no problems at all with this.  It simply has a gain knob to set the level and a variety of buttons that I mentioned earlier that are pretty standard.  I've never seen a manual for this so I can't say how well put together it is, but judging by how easy it is to use I don't think that one is necessary.


As you might expect from API, the 512C is a great mic preamp.  It is perfect for just about any application as I've had success using it for recording vocals, electric and acoustic guitars, and drums.  It really just has a great inherent tone and for this reason I think it would be a good fit for recording just about anything.  The tone is clean and won't color your sound, although it does have a certain quality to it that is present in most API gear.  I can't say enough about the clarity of sound that is possible when this dynamic pre is used in tandem with a great microphone...


Overall, the API Audio 512C is a very impressive piece of gear.  I've come to immensely respect API as they are one of the best in the game when it comes to high quality outboard gear.  While expensive, the 512C has top notch quality and for this reason I would recommend it to anyone looking for top quality regardless of price.  If you are a professional studio owner looking to expand your mic pre collection beyond your console, the API 512C is a must try.
Glints collide03/07/2006

Glints collide's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

API Audio 512C
Single transistor preamp, lunchbox format (500 series).
65 db gain.
API 2520 input transformer on this model.
Very simple to use: a gain knob with LED level meter correspondent.
XLR input to the preamp, line (jack) to the instrument input. It can also plug the mic in the back of the lunchbox.
XLR output only, the rear panel.

A MIC, to activate the preamp or the reverse switch to DI, button 48V Phantom power supply for a button to the CSA -20 db attenuator, and a button POL for phase inversion.


Could not be more simple in config.
Apsect The machine is a bit boring, but do not stop it!


The sound is incredible uneven relief, API is a legend for this:
- A precise and very low content.
- A medium very big, very punchy, dense. For me it is this frequency in the 512 excels! The mediums are striking presence. To compare it to a tube preamp, which, while colorful, is rather mild in terms of mediums, the API has a lot of his potatoes at this level. It can be recognized between 1000 (there are a variety of clones of this series, including "specs" are the same on a lot of points).
- A high rather closed, with little air, but perfectly s'équalise if necessary: ​​we will not choose a song for a variety API for example, but with a couple SM7 (or 57) on a song or hardcore same rock, it fits perfectly!
To try to clarify things a bit, the API is a bit away from the Avalon at the sound, which is more transparent, soft, and actually quite neutral.

The preamp is colored, and it hits hard in (then push the gain to see: p), this means more texture.
Some enthusiasts are even welding a weld resistance in the circuit to exacerbate the sound color (resulting in a loss of "headroom", but an even more typed).

We have a total of five API preamps, 4 512c, and 512b (which is slightly darker), and they stand on any particular percussive instrument:
a battery is the top, also on percussion, a bass, more body than that you die) ...
Rendering on many raw voice is also excellent, a female voice a little shrill, the API will probably stand out very well.
The guitars is great: it has recently been testing with the following pair of microphones: Royer R121 ribbon and SM57 in front of a Peavey 5150 amp + Randall cab with a Les Paul Custom, and although it's just the must! The big sound American rock'n'roll!

You understood, the brightness is not the height of the API, but what's the foie gras, warm, and very concentrated.
All you'll spend in it will sound great, after it is about color ... and taste! We will choose to use this preamp in some cases and not others.

I noticed that the API marry particularly well with dynamic microphones and tape and sound are solid and full as ever.


We have been using for 6 months.

I love like everything that comes in clear and precise large at a time.

I worked with a lot of different preamps (from transparent to colored, transistors and vacuum tube), and API is a must, period!

The 512c and 512b model format lunchbox is secondhand to $ 500 USD for the lunchbox is also a little less. For 800 euros, was a legendary mono preamp, with the possibility of changing to an unbeatable price (lunchbox).

I do it again this choice in a heartbeat. We have to acquire Purple preamps and A-Designs Audio recently, where I also write a review soon.

NOTE: we have improved our system of converters recently, and the difference is affected greatly in terms of API preamps. The full extent of noise preamp expressed bcp better. So a preamp quality requires not only a quality mic, but converters high-end that will make you appreciate the true value of the sound of the machine.

U-FLYstudio's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

API Audio 512C
Pr single transistor amplifier with transformer and opamp of 2520,
trs simple power supply with P48, 30db pad, MIC / DI, and phase.

API 500 is the format currently in vogue trs are many brands manufacture their peripherals and a bunch of clones in this format:

Great River, Avedis Audio, Chandler, A design, audio Lachapelle, Purple Audio, Vintage Audio, Buzz Audio, Brent Averill, Speck ...

* So you can make MIDI box of crazy with all possible colors and inimaginagles,
"The format tends !!!!!"


A bit fragile in a MIDI box, the only thing that Exceeds the box, it is cute but trs knobs small and fragile, therefore if a dedi peli or rack and thought not to dtruire the front!


The current version of my 512 seems rather overdone, it is a pr of 4 or 5 amps inevitable in production, the same way as a Neve 1081 or a GML, the stars of the genre became a grace strong identity but binds a class indniable.
the identity of the 512 is just become a caricature in his fawn to transcribe transients, the 512c is my "little sound", full of punch in the transition, but not much APRS! ! (Even with a Universal Audio 2192 as a converter!)
that being said I find the API rack 3124 with 312 Shma much more convincing than the 512c.

I do not use to much, with acoustic guitar or strings rub my Vintage Design M581 (Shma Neve 1081) and much more convincing, warm and musical, singing the API is not great either or no!

OK, you tell me it's a pre amp which finds its application in the percussive sounds (snare drum, percussions, tom ....)
yeah ben any pre amp channel with a spl transient designer is the same sound, but at least we can settle it !!!!!


In short, I prefried far the 3124, the 512 seems to me far too "small sound" is to clean the beginners decay of the envelope, APRS nothing! I never had the chance to work with the originals of era, but frankly not a cash masses, the grave is small, the mdium OK and clear punch but hey !!!!!!! !

I don not buy it was, if I need one pre amp, and even!
SERIES much as 500 to 312 is a Shma by Brent Averill, more seriousness, I got!

milsabords's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" yes, and re-oui.musicalité presence."

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Other names: 512c, 512 c

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