If you’re a fan of API mic preamps—and I don’t know many people who aren’t—you’ll be happy to hear that the company has reissued its 312 mic pre, this time in 500 Series format. The original 312 was the first API mic preamp and was designed by company founder Saul Walker.
As you can see from the photo, it features a vintage-style VU meter and a distinctive API-style Gain control knob. Between that and switches that are color-coordinated with the background of the meter, it’s a real looker.
Of course, sound quality is what’s important in a product like this, and the new 312 Mic Pre promises to provide abundant deliciousness. It features API’s traditional fully discrete circuit design, a 2520 Op Amp, and a proprietary AP2516 Input Transformer.
According to the manufacturer, the 312 Mic Pre will deliver “analog warmth, massive headroom and unmistakable sound for which API is known.”
In addition to the Gain knob—which lets you dial in a maximum of 69 dB—the 312 Mic Pre sports a Peak LED, a 20dB pad switch, switchable 48V phantom power, a polarity reverse switch and a 3:1 Output Transformer Tap Selector. The latter changes the output gain ratio from 3:1 to 1:1.
What’s more, the unit sells for a very reasonable $755, which includes a five-year warranty.