Seventh Circle Audio A12 Mic Pre (Kit)
I have been using Seventh Circle Audio Pre's for at least 10 years. I have used them on countless projects and even grammy nominated/grammy winning projects.
Sonically, they are definitely in the "API" family. Great fast attack, and up front present response. In my opinion they have slightly higher headroom than the current API 512c, but still can get a lovely crunch when pushed a little harder... and it's nice that there is an output trim so that pushing doesn't require a variable pad after the fact as with API.
I have tried a variety of Op Amps in these... including the SCA-25, API 2520, and Scott Leibers Red Dot. I liked the Red Dot the best, and the SCA-25 and 2520 are almost impossible to tell apart.
The build is easy, and there is plenty of help online. Additionally, you can buy them fully assembled.
This pre has all the stuff I like an API pre for. It's great on drums, and I especially love the on High Hat, and strummed Acoustic Guitars.
A great price on a modular pre with no sonic compromises. These sound as good or better than pre's costing twice as much.
3 Thumbs up! :)