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Api knobs
Old 25th June 2005
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Api knobs

Does anyone know where to get api knobs? I hear you can buy them direct form api but they are super expensive.
Old 26th June 2005
  #2
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Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 

Sorry dude! This are custom knobs.
Your best bet is to find a tech shop that buys them in big orders and gets a better rate.
Old 26th June 2005
  #3
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I have a couple that need replacing too. Does anyone know what API actually charges? Maybe one big order for 'slutz who need a few?

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool API fan, but the knobs have always puzzled me.

Not exactly ergonomic; and the small ones sit up off the panel in a way that almost looks 'DIY'.

I've never taken the colored filler out to see what they look like underneath, but I figure they extrude them.
Old 26th June 2005
  #4
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audioez's Avatar
 

I've actually talked with some people at api about the knob thing...I was refered to the ATI side of things, and it didn't seem like that big of a deal, do you own api gear??? or you just trying to get the knobs for a project???
Old 27th June 2005
  #5
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I just need to replace a couple.

I didn't know ATI used those knobs, though. Maybe you just have to order from ATI. Calling API on the phone can be a varied experience. Great folk for the most part, though.
Old 27th June 2005
  #6
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audioez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
I just need to replace a couple.

I didn't know ATI used those knobs, though. Maybe you just have to order from ATI. Calling API on the phone can be a varied experience. Great folk for the most part, though.
ATI owns API, and it seems like the parts dept. are all one big family, that's all I know.
Old 27th June 2005
  #7
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dave-G's Avatar
I've seen those knobs in some parts catalog at some point in the past few years .. I guess it was from whatever knob company makes them for API.. I could be wrong, but I don't believe they are "exclusively" API knobs... SpectraSonics 610 compressors had them, and some of Bernie Grundman's custom gear has them, and I'm pretty sure there were some other consoles that used them as fader-caps (I think the Olive console recently posted about here had API-style fader-caps).

If I can find the catalog in the bowels of my file cabinet, I'll post about it here.

-dave
Old 27th June 2005
  #8
Here for the gear
 

I want them for a custom attenuator for a 3124+. I'll try contacting ati. If anybody does know the company that would be great as well. I'd rather buy direct.


-sekel
Old 27th June 2005
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
API Knobs

What a fuss a little knob can generate! Let’s bring over the horse and pry his mouth open;

Sorry Dave you won’t find the API knob in a catalog – it is an API custom part and has been for many years now. Waaaay back in the ‘old days’, as they are referred to, the knob was made available to a limited number of other manufacturers of audio equipment, but no longer. Uniqueness is part of the identity of many companies these days.

Here is why they are not available for pennies.
- API owns the extrusion molds to make the knobs (several different types)
- An order from the fab company requires a commitment to several hundred pounds of aluminum for each type of knob
- Each extrusion of around 7 feet must be precisely cross-cut
- The knobs are then tumbled for a few hours to remove hard edges
- The knobs must then be anodized either clear or API blue
- Each knob is then drilled and tapped in 2 places
- A set screw is threaded into each tapped hole
- A colored mylar insert cap is glued to each knob

Attached is a picture of a raw extrusion for the API knob. It comes to us in about 7 foot sections.Anyone wanna buy this and cut it yourself? Just kidding.

Is our price for a few knobs reasonable? We think so. We’d be glad to take your order. You can call us at 301-776-7879.
Attached Thumbnails
Api knobs-api-knobext.jpg  
Old 27th June 2005
  #10
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max cooper's Avatar
 

That was kind of fun!

My point about the ergonomics of the API knobs is this: since the pointer goes all the way to the top of the knob, you can't roll them between your fingertips they way you would with a knob that has either a skirt with a line on it or a pointer that doesn't go all the way up. It's a small point, I know, but it does require a whole different action; I end up turning my entire hand with the knob instead of keeping my hand stationary and moving only my thumb and index finger. With the really little ones, I turn them with one fingertip.

If it were up to me, would I change the way API knobs are made? Heck NO!
Old 16th July 2005
  #11
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ImJohn's Avatar
Thanks API Sez! I enjoy reading info like that.
Old 13th September 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
API knobs

I.T.

Boy, you hit a nerve there!

Matching colors and/or achieving color consistency is a never-ending battle in manufacturing. It is very hard to maintain exactly the same color accuracy even in the same production run when you ANODIZE. The process is a combination of an electrical and chemical science-project. (try Wikipedia or somebody like that for an in-depth description of anodizing). You attach the knobs to a wire and apply a voltage charge, dip the knob in a vat of blue (API Blue mind you) chemicals that has the opposite electrical charge, count to 10, or 15, or 25 depending on how dark you want the color to be, then pull out the piece and let it dry. Depending on how long it was in the chemicals, how large the voltage charge was, and how many times the chemicals have been used before, you tend to get color variations - fun huh?

We have changed vendors for the anodizing process a few times over the years and generally do the anodizing in small batches. The result is that we do have some color variation in different production runs of API gear. We try to be consistent, but it is not always possible. (you would not believe how many things we reject when they arrive at the factory for inspection)

We have the same problem with black. We have seen black that looks brown, black that looks purple, black that is really black and black that looks gray. Yet it often times looks perfectly acceptable lined up with a bunch of the same stuff. The color variation only becomes apparent when it sits next to another color variation - something to do with eye-brain cooperation. (try Wikipedia again!)

You likely got your 550a's from different production runs and/or different anodizing vendors of the API knob. While we do try to maintain consistency in everything, there are times when it is just not possible.

Now.......... if they SOUND different ...........

Best Regards
Old 21st September 2007
  #13
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travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
Is our price for a few knobs reasonable? We think so. We’d be glad to take your order. You can call us at 301-776-7879.
Umm..what *is* your price for a few knobs? I want to redo the dashboard in the 1974 MGB I'm restoring/modding.

I'm not kidding.
Old 21st September 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
 
bit mangler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
What a fuss a little knob can generate! Let’s bring over the horse and pry his mouth open;

Sorry Dave you won’t find the API knob in a catalog – it is an API custom part and has been for many years now. Waaaay back in the ‘old days’, as they are referred to, the knob was made available to a limited number of other manufacturers of audio equipment, but no longer. Uniqueness is part of the identity of many companies these days.

Here is why they are not available for pennies.
- API owns the extrusion molds to make the knobs (several different types)
- An order from the fab company requires a commitment to several hundred pounds of aluminum for each type of knob
- Each extrusion of around 7 feet must be precisely cross-cut
- The knobs are then tumbled for a few hours to remove hard edges
- The knobs must then be anodized either clear or API blue
- Each knob is then drilled and tapped in 2 places
- A set screw is threaded into each tapped hole
- A colored mylar insert cap is glued to each knob

Attached is a picture of a raw extrusion for the API knob. It comes to us in about 7 foot sections.Anyone wanna buy this and cut it yourself? Just kidding.

Is our price for a few knobs reasonable? We think so. We’d be glad to take your order. You can call us at 301-776-7879.
Love it when you hear from the horse's mouth..thanks for the information
Old 25th April 2016
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

These Knobs are not API knobs at all that is just Bollocks, the knobs were used by different brands, for example Spectrasonics, the knobs are made by Vemaline you can buy from them although you need to order big quantities:

Widest selection of industrial handles | Handles Unlimited - knobs

3-00 Series Knobs - Contemporary Aluminum On Handles Unlimited
Old 20th May 2016
  #16
Lives for gear
This is the only knob-related thread I could find in this forum, so rather than start a new one, I have been emboldened by [iLCaccilLLo] (who appended #15 to an 8+ year old post) to ask this question:

I am searching for replacement knobs to fit a few pieces of equipment that have 6mm flatted shafts. All over eBay and other purveyors (Selco, Newark, Surplus Sales), I've easily found the 18-tooth knurled knobs in every desirable style. The choices for flatted shaft knobs (D-shaft) are really small in comparison.

Has there been a shift in the industry's use of D-shaft potentiometers, or is this a way of differentiating the 'exclusivity' of the professional market?

As an example of my knob "upgrades", I like the look of my Golden Age Pre-73's with solid brushed aluminum knobs rather than the factory black plastic. It looks more like a LaChapell preamp (before LaChapell went with the darker red paint) than the old-school vibe of the factory Golden Age offering. Another example is that my Focusrite OctoPre LE looks happier with the brushed aluminum knobs than it ever did with the factory black "rice grain" knobs.

[sarcasm_on]
Obviously splined versus flatted is a critical issue of our time; a threat to world peace and sustainability. We must get to the bottom of this!
[sarcasm_off]
Old 30th April 2017
  #17
Don audio Classic British Knobs

Has anyone tried these? https://www.don-audio.com/Classic-Br...ric-Outer-Part

I would like to order a couple for my Seventh Circle A12 preamp. The only issue is figuring out which caps to order with them. I emailed them a while back and never got a response, so I'm trying again. If you know which cap to match with these knobs, do tell. These are the closest to API knobs that I could find. I have some Marconi knobs for my N72 from don-audio and they look good.
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