by Lasse Eilers | 4,9 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
API TCS-II Channel Strip

API TCS-II Channel Strip  ·  Source: API


The API TCS-II is an updated version of “The Channel Strip” – the original TCS from 14 years ago. The TCS-II builds on its predecessor but adds several important updates.


The striking 5500 Anniversary Edition may be the biggest eye-catcher at API’s booth at NAMM 2024, but it’s not the only new piece of gear the manufacturer has brought. There’s also a new version of “The Channel Strip”, a hugely popular workhorse that combines all the basic building blocks of the API sound in a compact 1U unit. 

The original TCS included a 512c preamp527 compressor550A EQ, and 325 line driver in a single rack unit. The TCS-II retains the space-saving 1U format and basic layout, but offers several notable improvements and updates.

Most importantly, the compressor section has been updated to the newer 527A circuit. But don’t worry, the THRUST circuit for added punch that has become a signature element of the 527 sound is of course still there.

Furthermore, the API TCS-II features updated controls in the input section. The multi-color LED in the input selector switch has been replaced with three individual LEDs that indicate the active input (Mic/Line/Inst). I think this is a much more practical solution. There’s also a new peak LED, which is of course very handy.


Lastly, the output level knob now features a distinguishable pointer for reference. That’s the kind of thing that seems like a minor detail but can make all the difference in practice.

The rest of the channel strip stays true to the proven design of the original TCS (which is still available at Thomann*). In addition to the 527A compressor, you still get the 512c preamp, 550A EQ, and 325 line driver that helped make this channel strip a favorite of engineers across the world.

Price and availability

The API TCS-II is shipping now for $3495 (MSRP).

More information about the API TCS-II

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  • NAMM 2024 sponsors: REMISE 3
API TCS-II Channel Strip

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