The 512V is blisteringly fast and will push the transients of your signal to the very front of your mix - perfect for drums and anything else that needs a hefty dose of punch or bite. It's known for its mid-range forward color which can be magnificent for certain applications, but it's important to keep in mind that this preamp is also capable of being remarkably clean and honest. It's quite hot and doesn't usually require much input gain to get a strong signal, and in that scenario you'll find a lightning fast slew-rate that passes every last ounce of transient detail and you won't hear that classic API color until you lay into the gain a good bit more.
Fortunately, with the 512V, you've got many different ways to push this preamp to its limits, milking it for every ounce of API mid-range color you could possibly want. If you're working with a hot mic on a loud source, you may need to pad the input of this pre, and you'll find a -20dB pad available. If you're looking for the color though, crank the gain, and you can pull back the output strength either by adjusting the output knob or by engaging the 3:1 switch which changes the implementation of the output transformer in the circuit, further emphasizing the color of that transformer as well as lowering the signal strength at the preamp's output.
Engineers have been relying on API's 512 and 3124 preamps for decades, looking for the speed and mid-range color, but until the 512V, they'd have to find creative, often compromising methods to attenuate the signal after exiting the preamp. Compromise no more! Pick up a 512V today!
The API 512v is a mic / line / instrument preamp, world famous for its ability to provide a low noise (-129 EIN) and unusually good sounding front end for all types of audio applications. Sonically, it delivers the instantly recognizable API sound at an affordable price, and in the scalable API 500 Series format. Offering an impressive 65 dB of gain, the 512v includes front panel Variable Output control, switchable 3:1 output transformer selection, phantom power, switchable polarity, -20 dB pad, and Mic or Instrument/Line selector. The front panel Combo-style XLR and 1/4 inch connector combined with rear panel mic access allows for additional flexibility when installed into an API lunchbox®, API's 10 position 500V vertical rack, or into an API console.
The API 512v remains faithful to the circuit designs of API's founder Saul Walker. Artfully combining those circuits with API's proprietary transformers and the incomparable 2520 op-amp, the 512v is a highly musical and rich-sounding analog mic pre, equally at home in commercial recording spaces as it is in smaller home studios. Fully featured and still hand assembled, the 512v exhibits the reliability, long life, and uniformity which are characteristic of all API products.