At NAMM 2018, pro audio authority API announced the new 529 Stereo Compressor. Available in 500-series module format, the 529 is based on API’s famous 2500 stereo compressor [more information]. It borrows many of its features and controls, shrinking them down to 500-series spec and delivering a wider range of compression options. According to API, the 529 can go from subtle dynamics adjustments all the way to heavy compression, so things are looking pretty versatile here! Just like the 2500 is supposed to be, by the way.
Furthermore, the 529 utilizes API’s patented ‘Thrust’ circuitry for a punchier low-end, in addition to a peculiar Old/New switch for shifting between vintage and modern compression character. Old initiates vintage-style feedback compression whereas New delivers the feed-forward compression making the rounds today. Another function of note is the auto-makeup gain button that allows ratio and threshold adjustments without touching the output level. The Knee (Hard/Medium/Soft) can be specified, and the Thrust feature can be toggled between Loud, Medium, and Normal.
Other controls we see are pretty typical compressor stuff – Gain, Threshold, Attack, Ratio, and Release. The compressor’s architecture is based on discrete op-amps and transformers, staying and sounding true to API form. The similarity with the API 2500 is quite obvious, it’s certainly nice to have this versatile and coveted compressor in rack format.
Priced USD 2195 (introductory price), the 529 will be released in mid-February. It certainly looks like a cool compressor for filling up an empty spot in your 500-series rack! What do you think?