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API 512 vs Vintech 473 500 Series Preamps
Old 19th December 2010
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

API 512 vs Vintech 473

So I have used my Vintech 473 for a while and love them. I have never used the 512 so I don't know the sound. I have a friend who would like to trade me my Vintech 473 for his API Lunchbox with four 512s. The price range is pretty close to being the same and I have been looking to get some API compressors. This would allow me to expand! Is this a good idea? How would the 512s stack up against my Vintechs? Keep in mind I have other pres that are very "nevish" sounding. Thanks
Old 19th December 2010
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Bump.....anyone?
Old 19th December 2010
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
jmp72's Avatar
if you have others preamp with "neve" sound i think go for it, i worked with both, they are really different preamp the 473 is cleaner, the 512c is more agressive, more mid, great for drum or, in my case, guitar and vocal (metal music)

thumbsup
Old 19th December 2010
  #4
Vum
Lives for gear
 
Vum's Avatar
 

Quote:
So I have used my Vintech 473 for a while and love them
Love 'em and leave 'em?

Do a trial separation and if you're better off without the 473, then keep the 512s. Word of advice -- never trade without a trial. Your friend may not even be aware that there is a problem if there is one - plus - since you LOVE the 473 it will be hard to replace them sonically with an/any API pre.
Old 19th December 2010
  #5
Gear Nut
 
elisasound's Avatar
Do it. Swap for the lunchbox and modules and then trade at least two of the 512c's for Shadow Hills Mono Gama's. You'll get two channels with three settings each (Nickel, Steel and Discrete). Versatile set-up.
Old 19th December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Halloween's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elisasound View Post
Do it. Swap for the lunchbox and modules and then trade at least two of the 512c's for Shadow Hills Mono Gama's. You'll get two channels with three settings each (Nickel, Steel and Discrete). Versatile set-up.

I need a guy like you around all the time. Good brain you got there.
Old 20th December 2010
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmp72 View Post
if you have others preamp with "neve" sound i think go for it, i worked with both, they are really different preamp the 473 is cleaner, the 512c is more agressive, more mid, great for drum or, in my case, guitar and vocal (metal music)

thumbsup
That's strange......as I understand it the Neve sound is more aggressive then the API sound......and the Vintech is supposed to be a Neve 1073 clone right? Have you worked with both? I'm really wanting to know about the two sounds. Thanks
Old 20th December 2010
  #8
API 512 vs Vintech 473

I have always felt the API too be more aggressive and the neve to be rounder and more thunderous. YMMV

Rick
Old 20th December 2010
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwrecordings View Post
I have always felt the API too be more aggressive and the neve to be rounder and more thunderous. YMMV

Rick
I'm almost more confused now. HAHA! Could you go into more detail? Bigger bottom end? Sharper Highs? Ect.........? Thanks
Old 20th December 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwrecordings View Post
I have always felt the API too be more aggressive and the neve to be rounder and more thunderous. YMMV

Rick
I pretty much agree with Rick. I've got a Vintech 273 and the API 3124 and they are very different sounding. Besides the fact the Vintech has Input/Output gain knobs for tweaking the levels to taste, you've got two choices of impedances, and the EQ. The API's are a more straightforward setup, and have a pretty different sound to me. To my ears the Vintech seems smoother/warmer, has some low/mid thickness, rounds of the transients a bit more, and has a more vintage character. While for me the API has tighter bass, it seems more mid forward, captures the transients a bit better, and sounds more modern to me. Obviously sound is subjective, but that's what I hear. Personally, I need both. I use the API's for drums, although I like the Vintech on the Overheads for the smoothness. I usually pick the vintech over the API for Vocals almost all the time, and for Electric guitars, I usually choose the vintech 65/35 % of the time or will use one of both with different mics on the same source. The API's are great workhorses though and are pretty usable if not great on a lot of sources. Tough call for your situation. I agree with another poster who mentioned having a grace period for trying out the trade to see if you get along with the API's and if they work perfectly. Best of luck. - paul
Old 20th December 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I may get blasted for my opinion here... so i'll put up my shields first! I've got both and they are both excellent machines. Myself I turn to the 473 80% of the time. The 473 sound warm, very colored, smooth highs, full and fat, there is something happening in the highs..... distorted yet smoother. I'd use this pre for ANY application. It usually does a great job.

The 512 is also very colored, excited and modern sounding.... feels a little tighter in the lows, making low frequencies feel focused. It has killer articulation and lets plenty of attack and transient through. It feels a little less bright to me than the 473, but its got this bite and presence that is great for loud/hard/whatever/rock.

I'd say that I will usually use the 512 for kick, snare, toms, bass. While the 512 is really amazing on electric guitar, I will usually pick the 473 there.
Old 20th December 2010
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks guys for the replies! I really appreciate you guys who have had first hand experience with both. I am really thinking about going with the lunchbox with the four 512s. Maybe selling 2 and getting some more "Neve" like 500 series pres. This leaves me with 2 more spaces for compressors in the rack. Just what I've been looking for. But, I am going to try the 512s before I do this just to make sure I like the switch. Keep comments coming though! I love to hear what you guys think.
Old 21st December 2010
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

I would still like to hear from anyone who has used (or is using) these two preamps, and what the differences are in the sound (and applications). Thanks
Old 21st December 2010
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
staylor200's Avatar
 

Maybe get the lunchbox and sell two of the 512's and replace them with the new 500 series 1073lb's (just the 1073 pre amp, no eq). A 1073 pre amp for 1k is killer! They're gonna be sold fairly soon exclusively through Vintage King I think.

Neve 1073LB 500 Series Mic Preamp Module Launches at AES
Old 21st December 2010
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by riffmachine View Post
I pretty much agree with Rick. I've got a Vintech 273 and the API 3124 and they are very different sounding. Besides the fact the Vintech has Input/Output gain knobs for tweaking the levels to taste, you've got two choices of impedances, and the EQ. The API's are a more straightforward setup, and have a pretty different sound to me. To my ears the Vintech seems smoother/warmer, has some low/mid thickness, rounds of the transients a bit more, and has a more vintage character. While for me the API has tighter bass, it seems more mid forward, captures the transients a bit better, and sounds more modern to me. Obviously sound is subjective, but that's what I hear. Personally, I need both. I use the API's for drums, although I like the Vintech on the Overheads for the smoothness. I usually pick the vintech over the API for Vocals almost all the time, and for Electric guitars, I usually choose the vintech 65/35 % of the time or will use one of both with different mics on the same source. The API's are great workhorses though and are pretty usable if not great on a lot of sources. Tough call for your situation. I agree with another poster who mentioned having a grace period for trying out the trade to see if you get along with the API's and if they work perfectly. Best of luck. - paul
Very well descibed comparison. I tend not to prefer the vintech's besause I use a lot of tube compression that adds that sort of softer vintech sound so I actually prefer to have a cleaner pre as a starting point.
Old 21st December 2010
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the replies. BTW My preamp list is this so far:

JC 1272 ----2 channels

Vintech 473 ----4 channels

Gates M-5136----1 channel

Gates M-3638-----1 channel

Joe Meek VC1-----1 channel

Yamaha PM1000----2 channel


I'm thinking I have a lot of fat sounding pres but not a lot of "clean" sounding pres. I'm not a huge fan of really clean pres but I figure if I get two 512 pres and two of something else 500 That might vary my pre list some more. Even though I think it's pretty diverse as is. Keep in mind my main reason for getting rid of the Vintechs and going with the Lunchbox is so I can get some 500 series compressors and EQs. Let me know what you think. Peace
Old 21st December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 

at least the API is smart enough to mute the freakin' mic input when you plug a bass into the Hi-Z input.....

christ.

i remember spending a solid 20 minutes trying to figure out why the hell i was getting room tone on my DI bass.

that was enough to sell me on the idea of buying brands not named "Vintech."
Old 21st December 2010
  #18
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I've never owned a Vintech but based on experience I agree the API should be tighter, brighter, and more aggressive. the neve type circuit should be more "saturated" and warmer/thicker/softer. the best case of course would be to have both and choose between them per source based on your own preferences like people have described here. If you have other neveish stuff already, I'd say go for the API to see how you like them for a while. I loved mine. Now I use CAPI VP series and you can fill up your lunchbox with those for $200 per channel if you can build them yourself, which is easy to do
Old 21st December 2010
  #19
I find that having BAE 1272's and API's pretty much covers all my tonal bases.
Old 21st December 2010
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
thegatsby's Avatar
I have experience with both.
I own 2 channels of API 312's (not the 512's), and I recorded drums for a record where the guy used 2 Vintech 473's on all the drums.
The drums sounded very punchy and neve like.
The Api is very aggressive pre and great on drums, though I use it on everything.
Never did a direct comparison between the two, but it my experience I would never sell one to get the other save up a little money and get both. Both are great.
Old 21st December 2010
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegatsby View Post
I would never sell one to get the other save up a little money and get both. Both are great.
no doubt. I would be very bummed if I had to give up one for the other.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #22
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumstud View Post
So I have used my Vintech 473 for a while and love them. I have never used the 512 so I don't know the sound. I have a friend who would like to trade me my Vintech 473 for his API Lunchbox with four 512s. The price range is pretty close to being the same and I have been looking to get some API compressors. This would allow me to expand! Is this a good idea? How would the 512s stack up against my Vintechs? Keep in mind I have other pres that are very "nevish" sounding. Thanks
i say go for it!
Dallas has a new 500 format clone just around the corner so you could always pick a couple up and have your sound back.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
sonicjosh's Avatar
 

The vintech has EQ for extra tone shaping where as the API is just a straight pre. Something to think about in comparing. I've owned API's and now have a vintech x73 and a Daking IV. Me, I would just add API again in my chain if i want that sound, don't switch, wait till you can afford both.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
 
rene-lemieux's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegatsby View Post
I have experience with both.
I own 2 channels of API 312's (not the 512's), and I recorded drums for a record where the guy used 2 Vintech 473's on all the drums.
The drums sounded very punchy and neve like.
The Api is very aggressive pre and great on drums, though I use it on everything.
Never did a direct comparison between the two, but it my experience I would never sell one to get the other save up a little money and get both. Both are great.
^^^^^

That's Your Answer... You guys should just lend each other your stuff (if you know him well enough)... I have a friend with API pres and he is always borrowing the 473 from my studio... I expect to borrow his anyday soon...
Old 3rd January 2011
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Hey everyone. It's the OP. I have come to the decision to keep the 473s. I like the sound and the main reason for me to get the 512s was mainly for the compressors and eqs I will eventually get. Will not be for a while so....... I did a brief test with my friends 512s and realize that I like my Vintechs better anyways (just me). I did like the 512s but will prob get some latter. Thanks for all the help.
Old 4th January 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Scott Whigham's Avatar
 

Cool - would love to compare the Vintech 73s to my GTQ2 some day. What part of town are you in?
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