Considering API are one of the top brands of analogue audio hardware, they will always receive a lot of attention when they announce a new product. With the popularity of 500 series apparently on the increase, the 512v will be no exception and should build on the success of the acclaimed 512c. In typical modern workflows, where signals often feed into an ADC via a preamp or other piece of hardware, a lack of output control can be limiting. This is a feature many will have been hoping for, and also brings with it a neat way to add more API-style saturation.
API 512v Mic Preamp
The 512v is designed to build on the success of 512c by adding additional output controls. This opens up extra flexibility when using the preamp with other equipment in your signal path. It could come in useful in the simplest of scenarios, permitting you to drive the input without overloading the output to your ADC or following hardware. The 512v also sports a 3:1 ‘output transformer tap switch’ that produces a lower output level, giving you the option of driving the transformer more to achieve higher levels of saturation.
When it comes down to personal taste I’m not normally a fan of API hardware, except for certain roles. API have a noticeable character which many love, and the saturation you can achieve is fitting for many situations. I think the 3:1 transformer tap is really interesting and will help boost a quality which these preamps are already recognised for.
The preamp is complete with all the usual features including phantom power, phase reverse, pad, mic/line select and level indication. I think it’s slightly frustrating that there isn’t also a high-pass filter, either as switch or better still, as a sweepable parameter.
You can find all the details and technical specification of the 512v on API’s webpage. Some distributors are already taking orders with prices currently as high as 950 GBP, which I’m assuming will drop slightly. The current 512c is typically 100 GBP cheaper.