I feel like a target stepping out in front of people with guns saying this, but other than the N72 (and supposedly the Jensen based one), I haven't heard too great of stuff coming from Seventh Circle. A buddy of mine has the A12's, and he does not like them. He only likes those N72's (as do I), but why buy something for only 1 or 2 good sounds? My API's beat the A12's, and there are other things that give you the N72 sound too.
Personally, what I'd go for instead is either an OSA or Purple 500 series rack, and then do some DIY Eisen modules for it (Eisen Audio, LLC
). This way, you can mix and match things that you can afford with other retail classic pieces like the API's and and A-Designs P1 or a Great River or Chandler, etc. Plus, you can ALSO put in EQ's and Comp's from everybody else. Just look at the ridiculously low prices of the new Purple stuff coming out (Product / Purple Audio, LLC
) like that FET compressor and the EQ.
Myself, I just bought a Purple Biz today to compliment two API 512c's and a custom Eisen with a St. Ives input tranny in it. That's my lunch box. I've got some other sounds (like a DAV BG-1, ADM 780's racked by Brian Roth, and a good ol' JoeMeek VC6Q), but honestly, 90% of the time, I plug into the lunchbox for one reason or another. *Of course, I like the simplicity of being able to unplug one thing and plug into another just to compare sounds for each track on each song.
All I'm saying is eventually, you'll probably want to have some better pre's at your disposal, and the 500 - imho - is the way to go. Plus, when/if it came time to sell anything 500 series that you just aren't digging - or if you need emergency cash, the 500 series has way more users than the 7th Circle. But again, the main advantage is that you can build Eisen kits and/or buy anything else that's pretty much an industry standard and mix and match the two side-by-side.
In my opinion, good instruments, good mics, and good pre's are the most important things to own in any studio because if you know THOSE sounds of your arsenal well, you can always keep those. Converters and interfaces and computers just keep getting better, but the basic technology of recording - at least, in my opinion, when it comes to mics and pre's stays the same.
Just my 2. Maybe start off getting either an API 512c or a Purple Biz, some sort of 500 rack or lunchbox, and buy a few of those Eisen kits - Jens, the owner of Eisen Audio, LLC
- is AWESOME. Also... how much is that BLA mod? Either up your converter now, or save money to REALLY up it later.
Sometimes, mods are worth it, depending on how good the mod can make something sound and how long you plan on keeping the piece. But other times, it's wiser to save your money and get something really good.
P.S. Let me know if you're looking for a Purple Biz. I can probably still get you one for 600 bucks shipped. The guy I bought from has one more.