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API Stereo Bus Compressor Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 21st December 2002
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Hobbyist's Avatar
 

API Stereo Bus Compressor

Anyone tried this thing yet?

http://www.apiaudio.com/2500.htm

Any thoughts?

Looking for something, but not sure I want to head in either the tubey Manley or the crunchy Alan Smart direction.

Jerry
Nashville, TN
Old 22nd December 2002
  #2
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drundall's Avatar
 

crunchy good. Tried it on gtrs, very cool.
Old 22nd December 2002
  #3
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Knox's Avatar
 

I'm a BIG API fan and have been looking forward to hearing / getting one.

Thanks Slipperman for the info . . . I swear, for a moment . . it "sounded" like you really do work. You created the "illusion" that you do. It only lasted for a NYC minute though.
Old 22nd December 2002
  #4
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groundcontrol's Avatar
 

Slipperman, I have to give you credit for the quality of your contributions since joining here. I used to really HATE your rec'pit incarnation... Keep the good stuff coming!
Old 22nd December 2002
  #5
>Slipperman, I have to give you credit for the quality of your contributions >since joining here.

Agreed!
He was right about the high end thing also. Suddenly we're talking Neve's and Api's......not that I can afford them.

Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman

Sounds VERY different from it's brother in the critical 'fold the 2' area. That's where I live in mix. Storming the 2. It's much more 'forgiving' before artifacts up there...it just won't 'push the sides out' on the image like it's brother.
(Although it can't make a dirty guitar 'get on your bones' as hard as an LA-3A-Nothing can do that-IMHO).
Whip on a pair of Grados and get to work for a few minutes with the 'shades' dept.
like an Mozart RN, Trident 80C or Neotek Elan that don't develop 'stupid' gain at the 2.
SM.
Not being in the New York studio scene or even a Yank....or maybe it's my age but I couldn't understand half your review. I'm seriously considering a 2500, so what's 'the 2' and what's the critical 'fold the 2' area, not to mention a dirty guitar 'gettin on your bones'?
Old 22nd December 2002
  #6
OK, thinking about it 'the 2' is two buss.
It can get a bit frightening if you don't know that 'bad' is good and 'the ****' is also good.
Old 22nd December 2002
  #7
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

API and high-end

"He was right about the high end thing also. Suddenly we're talking Neve's and Api's......not that I can afford them"

That's what makes API gear so special; it gets mentioned in the same breath with Neve, but costs no where near as much. (not saying that they are the same thing, or even comparable, just that both are considered "high-end") Even allowing for the cost of a rack/PS, the API modules are barely in the mid-level price range. Their newer 19" products cost a little more but also bring more to the table. API gear is a great way for us low budget types to play around with true high-end gear.

steve
[email protected]
Old 22nd December 2002
  #8
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

what IS the cost of the 2500?
Old 22nd December 2002
  #9
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 

api 2500

"what IS the cost of the 2500?"

the best everyday street price I have found is $2545.
Old 23rd December 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
Since you guys are talking Api comps and stereo comps on sub group type things I was hoping you wouldn't mind me getting in on this thread. I have a vintage api 525 that I'm still getting used to, what's your favorite use for it, bass but not kick?
As far as the stereo 2500 what do you use it for other than sub mix or stereo bus, what instruments do you use it on, on the way in? One last question, on hard rock/metal with lots of double kick
cymbals are you likely to use separate comps on mix for kick snare ,toms and overheads and then comp the drum buss too?
I'm in protools so any favorite stereo buss comp plugins?
Thanks
Daniel
Old 23rd December 2002
  #11
Quote:
Originally posted by FOURTHTUNZ
I have a vintage api 525 that I'm still getting used to, what's your favorite use for it, bass but not kick?
I have a pair of 525's.
I've used them occassionaly on the stereo buss. More for effect, the 525 can be very retro sounding and it's been useful for getting a pseudo Fairchild pumping. I've used it on bass also. Not sure if it's the ultimate bass compressor. The best use I've found is for drums; snares and overheads or ambience. The 525 can really go over the top. Great for adding a bit of excitement or customising a dull drum loop.
Old 23rd December 2002
  #12
Jax
Lives for gear
 

slipperman,

You didn't mention using the 2500's THRUST circuit. If you did, it was explained under other terms for the same effect.

Did you engage it or forget?

If you did, how about describing what it does/how it sounds?
Old 3rd January 2003
  #13
Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman
Hello JY.

The stuff I've seen in the $2500 range all suffers from the same malady. Not HUGE headroom. Too much(Red3) or Not enough(Amek9098) color. Just no free lunch I guess.

API 2500 is one of the best I've heard in this range. VERY flexible. Lot's of different colors. If you don't have a big swing at the 2bus, you're golden IMHO.

Divulging the desk type is a little too close to divulging 'me ID' (something I CAN'T do - unfortunately - due to my RecPit shenanigins). But I'll tell ya this.... It was a $600k desk in a VERY proven CR.

33609 was present as was the SSL and The Al Smart(Hey! aren't these supposed to be same/same? - Not AT ALL!), Red 3, Amek9098, 1178(Hello!), Pend6386, PendES-8, Manley Slam, Manley V-Mu, STC-8, etc. etc. Basically me, another 'old' guy and whatever the shop had kicking around.

Jax. 'Thrust' was played with extensively in conjuction with 'link %', 'old/new' and whatnot. I don't know if you've ever used a Paragon desk... but it's borrowed from that bunch. It's basically a 'reverse pink noise' curve or 2 added to the detector SC. Think 3 detector buttons on 'Distressor' all in. Kinda.

Switching all the nobbies around on the 2500 is LOADS of fun 'cause you can REALLY hear big differences. All in all, we spent the better part of 6-8 hrs slapping everything we could get our hands on the 2 and twisting away.

Wish everybody could have been there. It was a real eye opener to hear some of the 'classics' head to head against the 'new crop'.
Not so much of a 'trend' as you might expect... My problem is I can see having 2 of everything, depending on what yer looking for. Ahh me.

API very cool all in all. Best(I've tried) in price range for that application IMHO.

Happy NY fellas. Gotta flee.


SM.
The secret to the RED 3 on the 2 buss is you have to set it to the highest threshold and the lowest ratio. Also med-slow attack and slowest release.

There were two different versions of the Red 3 made. The original Red 3(which is now the Blue 230) and the newer versions. The older ones are the cool ones. They sound closest to the original Focusrite 130 comp(unless you buy a Blue 230). The newer Red 3's are a totally different sound(closer to the mastering Blue 330), they are thinner sounding and not as open.
Old 3rd January 2003
  #14
Was the Cranesong STC-8 in your tests Slippperman?

Old 3rd January 2003
  #15
Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman
Right you iz TF. Both about Red 3 knob posture and new/old model fiasco.

However. That being said.... Even 'old' Red 3's suffer moderately horrific noise floor and seriously hyped top IMO. Also some susceptability to RF and 60Hz line noise downstream. On the older SSL's it works out fine for me as the desk runs out of 'gain real estate' right about the very top "threshold" range of the Red. On the J and the 9098i. Doom. I have to keep backing the individual fader lies down upstream and that really frosts my apricots. Hence my 'No free headroom lunch' decree.

Have you tried the 'Fairman'? I have not.


SM.
The Red's VCA's go after a while, but this can be fixed. I am a bigger fan of the Blue 230(my main 2 buss). Better power supply,repeatable knobs and lower noise floor.

I will try the Fairman(comp and EQ) soon, my partner is setting up a new mastering joint and its one of the pieces he wants to hear.
Old 3rd January 2003
  #16
Ted
Gear Maniac
 

Hey SM or Thrill,

What about the GML?

Thanks,
Ted.
Old 3rd January 2003
  #17
Quote:
Originally posted by Ted
Hey SM or Thrill,

What about the GML?

Thanks,
Ted.

I like the GML 8900. At times I like it better than the STC-8. Its a bitch to setup though, but when you get it right its right.
Old 3rd January 2003
  #18
Ted
Gear Maniac
 

I played with the 2030 at the show right after the STC-8. I will say one thing, the GML is the most transparent box I've ever heard along with the 9500 EQ. After about 15 minutes of working with them I was just saying Wow!, so open and unobtrusive. Guess it just depends on what you are doing. Being the 9098i is SO clean I want a clean comp option in the rack.

Thanks,
Ted.
Old 3rd January 2003
  #19
Lives for gear
 
studjo's Avatar
 

Hi to everybody

nice thread
The Avalon 747 isn't considered as high end I think, but I still like its eq and the tube/solid state switch is nice to play with.
What do you think of the comp?

Cheers and good luck in 2003

Jo
Old 5th January 2003
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Etnier's Avatar
 

Variable release????

Anyone know what's up with the variable release on the API? I was looking over the manual in pdf form and see that there are two release time controls, one stepped and one variable. Seems like an odd thing to do- why not just put a pot in there and forget about it? I must be missing something- can someone explain?
Old 5th January 2003
  #21
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Anybody know if Mercenary carries these? Don't see em on their website. If not, why, and who does carry them?

I keep trying to decide whether to get a second trakker or look into one of these or something similar (when I get the $$$ of course...).
Old 7th January 2003
  #22
Gear Head
 

Having owned/used many stereo comps, the thing that most impressed me about the new API (other than the fact that it sounds quite good) is that, unlike most of the other pieces discussed, it has 4 or 5 quite different and very "useable" sounds. An advantage for those with limited funds/gear.
I've also found that it can do the SSL comp smash, but keeps the integrity of the top end (and width) a lot better.
Old 8th January 2003
  #23
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kosi's Avatar
I own an API 2500 and last month I wanted to buy an Smart C2, so I borrowed one to make some tests.
It turned out that I liked the Smart only for one thing: Copmpression 3:1 long att short rel, gain reduction about 2-3 db for drums. In the sum it was way too fiddely for me, either nearly unhearable or too pumpy ! No sidechains connected.
The API is much more versatile. In "new" mode I could get a pretty similar "grab", like the Smart, but the Smart was always a tad punchier, but over the whole Mix the API sounded much opener.
But the best thing is the "old" mode, you get that coloured and warm sound and you have all the knobs, that most old compressors miss. Very Good to squash a Mix.
The adjustable knee in the tone section is the killer. What I don't like so much on the other hand is the "Thrust" knob, it works pretty good in Norm and Med, but the Loud function eats too many highs, everything get's pretty muffled, cause the highs get more compressed. By the way, the NEW mode eats up bass very fast, like the Smart.
Another great point is the "automatic gain" this means you can fiddle around and compare different settings on the fly. Try this with an 1178 !
The 2 release knobs are some kind of gadget, I always use it in the manual mode, good to ride the release during a mix (but thats normal) Maybe they thought about easier recallin ?

One thing is desastrous about the API. The knobs. Mine come off every 2 months, meanwhile I am very carefulling while dialing...
And yeah, the Link button, you have to hear it, very cool feature.
I own also an Cranesong STC 8 and compared to the API, the STC 8 sounds boring. Okay, it's a firstclass tool , but the API has so much more character. (anyway, it's good to have them both, ahem) Together they build a good team: First API 2500 and then through the STC 8 as peak Limiter, cause the Limiter in the STC is the best I've ever heard.

By the way, I didn't bought the Smart, too small were the differences and too big the price.

Happy new year !
btw, I hate all these abbrevations...

Andreas
Old 8th January 2003
  #24
Jax
Lives for gear
 

It sure has taken ahwile for the 2500 to get some due attention. Not that API pushed it, though. Looks like this will be the flavor of the month for awhile.
Old 8th January 2003
  #25
The 2500 sounds better and better.
The lunchbox compressor (525) sounds wonderfully retro, so I guess they've used that knowledge on the rack unit.
The knob thing is a bit of a concern though. I've seen a few similar comments about the 3124 mic pre unit.
Old 12th January 2003
  #26
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
Slipperman writes:
Quote:
PS. MikeJasper. Thanx so much for sending me the CD. Hicks is totally out of his mind and has been playing 'endless loop' on the 'music on hold/intercom' system for the last 2 days. From me and the staff.... WE OWE YA ONE!
Great to hear. But not surprising. Anyone who likes Carlin, Bruce, Pryor, Rock or Kinneson is definitely going to like Bill Hicks.

Now back to the thread.

Jasper
Old 15th January 2003
  #27
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
all API dealers carry the 2500 comp
Old 31st January 2003
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Etnier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by kosi One thing is desastrous about the API. The knobs. Mine come off every 2 months, meanwhile I am very carefulling while dialing...
So what's that about? The setscrews don't hold? The shafts break?

I just bought one of these boxes and am having a lot of fun, but would rather not be working on fixing the knobs all the time...
Old 31st January 2003
  #29
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kosi's Avatar
the screws, that hold the knob on the shaft are the weak factor. I bolt them on as hard as I can, but after 4 weeks, they start to slide again. I think, it's a construction problem, the screw comes onto the shaft in a wrong angle, so it can't hold proper. Maybe you are luckier.
I also have 4 API EQs and they are mechanical all okay (but there I have different problems... )

fortunateley this don't affects the sound quality

kosi
Old 31st January 2003
  #30
I've got a Api lunchbox with modules from about 4-5 years ago. Everything is rock solid, so it must be a recent thing.
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