Vintage King Audio Restores API Legacy Console

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JJ Wiesler in the control room of Decibelle Recording with the restored API Legacy console

Vintage King Audio, a leading dealer of high-end new and vintage recording equipment, recently completed a full restoration of a 48-channel API Legacy console for producer, engineer and musician JJ Wiesler, who owns and operates Decibelle Recording in San Francisco. Wiesler had previously used a custom 16-channel Quad Eight Sidecar built by Greg McNeer.

When the time came to invest in a new configuration for his studio, Wiesler turned to Mike Nehra, Vintage King Audio's co-owner and director of sales. "I was looking for something that I could sit in front of and make records," says Wiesler. "I wanted it to be the last console I ever had to purchase. I've always liked API gear and this console just felt like the right fit. Believe me, I labored over the decision for almost a year. It was a big investment, but the instant I unwrapped the Legacy in my control room, I knew I had made the right decision. I had a visceral reaction to it; the Legacy feels like it's been there for 25 years."

The API Legacy acquired by Wiesler is said to be one of the first 10 ever issued and was previously part of music business impresario Lou Pearlman's setup at Trans Continental Studios. When Pearlman's assets where dissolved in 2006, Vintage King Audio bought the console and began to restore the desk to it's original condition. Vintage King states that its in-house technical staff devoted more than 450 hours to restoring the classic Legacy console.

"Console restorations are tricky," says Nehra. "They require a high level of technical skill, need to be executed with flexibility to anticipate any complications, but also meet a client's window of time for installation between sessions. When JJ reached out looking for a used console, the API Legacy was a perfect fit for Decibelle's existing setup, and I was confident that our tech crew would not only restore the console, but also make it better than new."

Read the technical summary of the restoration process on Vintage King Audio's Website.

"API Legacy consoles are large, fairly complex desks and notoriously don't travel well," Nehra continues. "Once the console arrived, one of our technicians consulted with JJ via phone for the three-day install. At the end of the process, everything worked as if it had been a part of Decibelle for years. Knowing that JJ's expectations weren't just met, but exceeded, made the entire process a great experience for everyone."

Wiesler has worked with independent artists including Jonathan Richman (on his 2008 release for Vapor Records, Because Her Beauty Is Raw & Wild), Vic Chesnutt, Kelley Stoltz, and Matt Nathanson. Wiesler completed his first session on the new API Legacy with Matador Records artist, GIRLS, for their upcoming release. The project was tracked on Decibelle's Quad Eight and then mixed on the API Legacy, which was installed midway through the project.

The Legacy joins a roster of hand-selected, boutique gear at Decibelle Recording, including a pair of Barefoot Monitors, a Retro 2A3 Dual Program EQ, and two Retro Instruments 176 Tube Limiting Amplifiers that Wiesler also purchased through Vintage King Audio.

For more information on Decibelle Recording and JJ Wiesler, visit and

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