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API Reissues Legendary 312 Mic Pre
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
API Reissues Legendary 312 Mic Pre

In the early 1970’s Saul Walker, founder of API, designed his first microphone preamp and named it the 312. It became the first of several successful API mic pres, and quickly gained a reputation for outstanding reliability and sonic superiority. Now nearly 50 years later, API proudly introduces a recreation of this highly sought after classic.

The 312 was originally used as the front end of the first API recording consoles. The circuitry of the unit was housed in card cages under the front “kneespace” of these early consoles, with only the gain pot mounted to the control surface. In contrast, the new 312 is designed to fit into API’s various rack configurations, and offers one of API’s most famous mic preamps in the 500 Series format. Still based on Saul Walker’s original designs, the 312 circuitry is the building block of API’s best-selling 3124V, the 3124MV and the A2D. Utilizing API’s 2520 op-amps and proprietary transformers, the 312 delivers the analog warmth and unmistakable sound for which API is known.

API President Larry Droppa noted, “During our 50th Anniversary year, we released a limited run of serialized 312’s that were exact replicas of the original Saul Walker design. The response was overwhelming. This year, I’m pleased and excited to release the new 312 Mic Pre as a cost-effective option to capture exceptional audio with the sound of API. I’m happy to report that many orders for the new 312 have already been placed throughout API’s international distribution network, and units are now shipping.”

$795 Introductory MSRP

Like all API products, the 312 is backed by API's unique Five Year Warranty. For more information, please visit the 312 Mic Pre page at APIaudio.com.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES INC)
Established over 50 years ago, Automated Processes Inc. is the world leader in analog recording gear, producing legendary recording consoles such as the Vision, Legacy AXS, 2448, 1608-II and THE BOX, as well as its line of analog signal processing equipment.

AUTOMATED PROCESSES INC (API)
8301 Patuxent Range Road – Suite A1
Jessup, MD 20794
USA
Tel +1 (301) 776 7879

www.apiaudio.com
Attached Thumbnails
API Reissues Legendary 312 Mic Pre-front_view_high_resolution_api_312_mic_pre.jpg   API Reissues Legendary 312 Mic Pre-side_view_high_resolution_api_312_mic_pre.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
A $50 less than the 512c intro price (then goes up to 850, same as 512?) is what you call “cost effective“? I don’t really care what API charge for their products, they’re not a brand that needs to race to the bottom but to call that “cost-effective” is just funny and at best a stretch by the marketing dept. I’d just ditch that line altogether; You’re API.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 
jono_3's Avatar
Is there a difference, aside from the meter, between this and a newer 512?
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
Cool. I wonder how it sounds in comparison to the 512C. Also what does the 3:1 transformer tap button do?
Old 1 week ago
  #5
sweet!
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismercifulfate View Post
A $50 less than the 512c intro price (then goes up to 850, same as 512?) is what you call “cost effective“? I don’t really care what API charge for their products, they’re not a brand that needs to race to the bottom but to call that “cost-effective” is just funny and at best a stretch by the marketing dept. I’d just ditch that line altogether; You’re API.
It may have been helpful for you to read the entire introduction text. The 50th Anniversary edition of the 312 was $1500, only 50 were made, and sold out in about 3 days. Due to the overwhelming interest and demand, this 312 is a continuation of that effort in a more 'cost effective' manufacturing method. We think there's a significant market for this one too.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
It may have been helpful for you to read the entire introduction text. The 50th Anniversary edition of the 312 was $1500, only 50 were made, and sold out in about 3 days. Due to the overwhelming interest and demand, this 312 is a continuation of that effort in a more 'cost effective' manufacturing method. We think there's a significant market for this one too.
Thanks for clarifying. I’m looking forward to getting my hands/ears on one.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jono_3 View Post
Is there a difference, aside from the meter, between this and a newer 512?
No high z input.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 
musicalnyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
It may have been helpful for you to read the entire introduction text. The 50th Anniversary edition of the 312 was $1500, only 50 were made, and sold out in about 3 days. Due to the overwhelming interest and demand, this 312 is a continuation of that effort in a more 'cost effective' manufacturing method. We think there's a significant market for this one too.
API Sez is definitely one of the snarkiest manufacturers on forums and social media for reasons I don't understand - really strange for a classic brand. thismercifulfate made a perfectly reasonable comment and despite what you're suggesting above that point is not made clear in Larry's statement or the introduction text.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Wasn’t the 512 preamp a reissue of the 312 in 500 series format? I thought that’s what the 5 in it meant.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Looks nice. I assume they're using the standard, current 2520?
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana View Post
Wasn’t the 512 preamp a reissue of the 312 in 500 series format? I thought that’s what the 5 in it meant.
Mostly. Having owned dozens of APIs and clones from vintage to new I can say the 512C wasn't as close to the 312s as others. I'm very interested in this new 312. And it's beautiful, too.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sam guaiana View Post
Wasn’t the 512 preamp a reissue of the 312 in 500 series format? I thought that’s what the 5 in it meant.
I found this on another thread ..

Quote:
According to Paul Wolff:

Differences between 312 and 512:

The similarities are that they use one 2520 op amp and one 2503 transformer each, which is the larger transformer. The differences are that of course, the 512B/C brings out all of the knobs and functions to the front panel, so X that, the differences are that the 312 has no coupling capacitor between the output transformer and the op amp, which means that if the op amp has any offset, it may cook the transformer. The 512c has a very large coupling cap, in parallel with a high frequency cap, in parallel with a resistor for transformer damping. The op amp has a servo to eliminate offset, resulting in two things, increased headroom and the elimination of popping when the phase switch is used.

The 512B and C were the next generation of the original 512 mic pre, which was the first modular mic pre and was used for mics, line amps, summing, and booster/distribution. Different models had meters, banana jacks, input selectors, and pots, in just about every combination, in the original consoles that API made in the early 70's. It is most similar to that instead of a 312 card, which has no features.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
I found this on another thread ..
So basically CAPI did the test marketing, and when they disrupted it enough, API said “at least if we slap our name on it we can get some of those sales back!”

Poor BAE, or maybe not, I mean they have that legendary Avedis op amp
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Here for the gear
 
shadrin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
No high z input.
Hello! Could you please describe the sonic difference between 512 and 312? Benefits of each? I want to get my first api pre and need to make a choice
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrin View Post
Hello! Could you please describe the sonic difference between 512 and 312? Benefits of each? I want to get my first api pre and need to make a choice
what are you looking for in a mic pre - the 512 and the 312 will both give you API flavor and punch, just a slight variance - I have 512's over here and tend to use them for mainly drums
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 
BadYodeler's Avatar
 

API — most innovative company of all time

But hey, whatever works, I guess.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Nut
They keep putting out 500 series mic pre"s... But, no gate?
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Head
 
Warren Duprey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by musicalnyc View Post
API Sez is definitely one of the snarkiest manufacturers on forums and social media for reasons I don't understand - really strange for a classic brand. thismercifulfate made a perfectly reasonable comment and despite what you're suggesting above that point is not made clear in Larry's statement or the introduction text.
I actually thought it was abundantly clear from the second I read it.
This new 312 is a cost effective alternative to the ANNIVERSARY model they released,
NOT compared to the 512. He never mentioned the 512 in this regard
That was the ASSUMPTION the OP of the comment had.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
It may have been helpful for you to read the entire introduction text. The 50th Anniversary edition of the 312 was $1500, only 50 were made, and sold out in about 3 days. Due to the overwhelming interest and demand, this 312 is a continuation of that effort in a more 'cost effective' manufacturing method. We think there's a significant market for this one too.
Please don't take this the wrong way, as I am a huge API fan and it's my go to for a lot of material, but some of what you said is not true. The 50th anniversary edition 312 had 150 units made. I own serial number 125 and 127 and bought these two units in June 2020 (this month). There is one for sale on Sweetwater right now, and also KMR audio if anyone wants one. So I am a bit confused on why you are saying it sold out in 3 days....

For anyone wondering, the 50th anniversary 312 is hand wired and features a gold casing. It DOES NOT have the 3:1 option that the new "cost effective" 312 features.

The "cost effective" 312 in question is NOT hand-wired, and as such may or may not sound as good. Since I only have the gold ones, I will never know (unless I buy a reproduction 312 which I will someday when I need it). Just look at photos of the guts between both units and it's clear as day.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry R View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way, as I am a huge API fan and it's my go to for a lot of material, but some of what you said is not true. The 50th anniversary edition 312 had 150 units made. I own serial number 125 and 127 and bought these two units in June 2020 (this month). There is one for sale on Sweetwater right now, and also KMR audio if anyone wants one. So I am a bit confused on why you are saying it sold out in 3 days....

For anyone wondering, the 50th anniversary 312 is hand wired and features a gold casing. It DOES NOT have the 3:1 option that the new "cost effective" 312 features.

The "cost effective" 312 in question is NOT hand-wired, and as such may or may not sound as good. Since I only have the gold ones, I will never know (unless I buy a reproduction 312 which I will someday when I need it). Just look at photos of the guts between both units and it's clear as day.

The reason it's cost effective is because it's not hand-wired. If all the same components are used and the audio path is the same, I'm betting the PCB version probably sounds at least as good if not better. If not audibly better, then better when it comes down to technical spec performance.

The question would be is how different is the design and what components have changed from the 50th anniversary edition. That's where the audible difference would be heard.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau777 View Post
The reason it's cost effective is because it's not hand-wired. If all the same components are used and the audio path is the same, I'm betting the PCB version probably sounds at least as good if not better. If not audibly better, then better when it comes down to technical spec performance.

The question would be is how different is the design and what components have changed from the 50th anniversary edition. That's where the audible difference would be heard.
Agreed. Once I get my hands on the new 312 I'll let you all know! =D
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
jsvalmont's Avatar
This looks really nice! The price point is good too; what’s not to like? I love that meter. What’s the difference between this and the 50th anniversary other than color?
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsvalmont View Post
This looks really nice! The price point is good too; what’s not to like? I love that meter. What’s the difference between this and the 50th anniversary other than color?
See my post above.

50th anni is hand-wired and does not have the 3:1 button.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
So from what I gather, the 312 is easier to break and sounds muddier (warmer). It also distorts (saturates) easier than the 512c.

API preamps kick butt, by the way. The naysayers probably have never used them. The only source they aren't my favorite on are harsh vocalists.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
So from what I gather, the 312 is easier to break and sounds muddier (warmer). It also distorts (saturates) easier than the 512c.

API preamps kick butt, by the way. The naysayers probably have never used them. The only source they aren't my favorite on are harsh vocalists.
I'll have to agree with you on that. But if I want smooth and lush I go with the Bae 1073.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ry R View Post
I'll have to agree with you on that. But if I want smooth and lush I go with the Bae 1073.
And how!
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Here for the gear
 
shadrin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
In the early 1970’s Saul Walker, founder of API, designed his first microphone preamp and named it the 312. It became the first of several successful API mic pres, and quickly gained a reputation for outstanding reliability and sonic superiority. Now nearly 50 years later, API proudly introduces a recreation of this highly sought after classic.

The 312 was originally used as the front end of the first API recording consoles. The circuitry of the unit was housed in card cages under the front “kneespace” of these early consoles, with only the gain pot mounted to the control surface. In contrast, the new 312 is designed to fit into API’s various rack configurations, and offers one of API’s most famous mic preamps in the 500 Series format. Still based on Saul Walker’s original designs, the 312 circuitry is the building block of API’s best-selling 3124V, the 3124MV and the A2D. Utilizing API’s 2520 op-amps and proprietary transformers, the 312 delivers the analog warmth and unmistakable sound for which API is known.

API President Larry Droppa noted, “During our 50th Anniversary year, we released a limited run of serialized 312’s that were exact replicas of the original Saul Walker design. The response was overwhelming. This year, I’m pleased and excited to release the new 312 Mic Pre as a cost-effective option to capture exceptional audio with the sound of API. I’m happy to report that many orders for the new 312 have already been placed throughout API’s international distribution network, and units are now shipping.”

$795 Introductory MSRP

Like all API products, the 312 is backed by API's unique Five Year Warranty. For more information, please visit the 312 Mic Pre page at APIaudio.com.

ABOUT API (AUTOMATED PROCESSES INC)
Established over 50 years ago, Automated Processes Inc. is the world leader in analog recording gear, producing legendary recording consoles such as the Vision, Legacy AXS, 2448, 1608-II and THE BOX, as well as its line of analog signal processing equipment.

AUTOMATED PROCESSES INC (API)
8301 Patuxent Range Road – Suite A1
Jessup, MD 20794
USA
Tel +1 (301) 776 7879

www.apiaudio.com
what is the mic input impedance of 312?
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Marlowe's Avatar
 

Isn't the API 3124 just four 312's in a rackmount? I'd think that was the most cost effective option for the 312 sound.
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