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REMIXER31 29th October 2017 02:44 PM

Any alternatives to an API 535 LA?
I'm looking for some clean transparent colorless (if possible) gain in a 500 format. I'm not limited to a 500 format and will consider other options.
It's for a master bus
(you can see the flow of the signal below).
I don't want to break the bank while doing so. Not sure if I'm on the right forum but here it goes.

I have searched and all my results point me to a Api 535 LA
Can anyone suggest any alternative to get clean gain for a stereo signal just like this line amp?
I don't mind getting it in a 500 format as long as the pots are stepped for easy recall.

I have considered the following units.
Black Lion Audio Autuer Mk2- but it's two unstepped pots so matching would be a lil prob and I even went to as far as thinking about modding it with a single dual pot! but it's a mic pre
DIYRE CP5 - but it's a mic pre as well
I've considered a few others but they are all a mic Pre!
Will this work on a non mic signal?
I really don't wanna go with a mic pre because I'm still a bit confused if it's ok to put a line level thru a mic pre with or without a line in option.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Usually the line in is for an instrument and not a full signal which is why I'm still hesitant on the Pres with the di option

Why don't I see more units just for line gain ? In a 500 format or in a rack version, even if it has color or not cos at the end of the day every piece of gear is gonna give some sort of something unique in character. I just don't see many line amps.

So you can see the logic this is my signal flow
2 uad Apollo's >
passive summing >
(insert optional gain stage here) >
500 rack for color (DIYRE) and eq >
(or insert optional gain stage here)>
Back to Apollo for the rest of the gain to then print into the daw Cubase

I'll be gaining the signal in 2 stages
-the much needed gain stage unit
-Apollo's Pres with and without the unison tech
All to reduce the floor noise ( the horrific hiss).
I need the gain back due to the reduction of gian in the DIYRE SB2 summing box

OK I'm rambling on and ranting ,,,,,,
I hope y'all understand the dilemma and help me figure this thing out.
And before y'all ask wth am I doing it this way,
I'm just looking for my own signature sound and unique way of getting certain colors into the signal out of my hybrid system.

Thx, stay blessed!

KevinNYC 29th October 2017 03:29 PM

Capi vc528

REMIXER31 29th October 2017 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by KevinNYC (Post 12930153)
Capi vc528

Thanks Kevin ,
Any particular reason ?
Is it due to the lack of options that are out there? sonics? color?
all of the above?

thanks again

KevinNYC 29th October 2017 08:55 PM


Originally Posted by REMIXER31 (Post 12930601)
Thanks Kevin ,
Any particular reason ?
Is it due to the lack of options that are out there? sonics? color?
all of the above?

thanks again

Superb sounding line amps and filters. Classy way to incorporate the API sound into your 2 bus.

REMIXER31 29th October 2017 10:28 PM


Originally Posted by KevinNYC (Post 12930626)
Superb sounding line amps and filters. Classy way to incorporate the API sound into your 2 bus.

thanks Kevin , I will definitely take it into consideration

Noa 30th October 2017 03:57 AM


Originally Posted by KevinNYC (Post 12930153)
Capi vc528

I suggest not to think about this.

Just buy them. They are called "Missing Links" for a reason. They are heaven. I will never get rid of these. They make everything sound better.

Huge fan.

teleharmonium 30th October 2017 10:03 PM

Line amps are a tool that was necessary in older audio systems for various reasons... long story short it wasn't all just about recording music, and engineers were really engineers, they often built or at least designed and assembled the systems they worked on. You would typically use a line amp to balance and drive a long line, maybe to a transmitter or another building or a remote reverb tank, or as make up gain after a passive device that has an insertion loss, like a fully passive equalizer or mix buss. Amplifiers didn't always have on board volume controls so you would pick one based on your needs, and use passive attenuation if you needed to throw away a little to get it right.

Over time in the pro audio world they tended to become incorporated into other things. Channel strips got switchable mic/line inputs, equalizers got their own built in line amps, and mixing consoles had a master section and various outputs with their own line amps (even if the individual channels didn't necessarily always have their own line outputs).

If you're recording music and need a line amp now, it is probably because you like passive EQs or a passive mix buss, have some console input strips that didn't come with balanced +4 line outs originally, or like recording with low gain channels because you use condenser mics on loud sources. Or maybe you are interfacing some different kinds of gear together, with old broadcast gear, turntables, effects, and homebrew stuff going into a daw.

Since most mic pres now have a fairly wide gain range and a pad on board, they can usually get close enough (at or near their lowest net gain settings) to serve in those applications even if their impedance and gain range is not exactly optimal for a certain job. If that's not close enough for you, that usually means you have very specific needs or preferences about the gain structure of something you are working on. But I'm not getting that from your post.

Is there a reason you don't want the API ? I haven't used one but the site says it has detents on the output.

chinesewhiteman 9th January 2018 03:34 PM

I think DIYRE designed their box with the intention of using a mic pre for make-up gain on the bus. Needs ~45dB of gain restoration. Do Missing Links have that much gain?