APIThe Channel Strip Preamp + Compressor + EQ


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API The Channel Strip

With The Channel Strip, API brings their acclaimed console technology to a 19-inch form factor by combining a preamp, EQ, compressor, and line driver to create a fully-featured input module in a 1U chassis. The Channel Strip has everything you need to take pretty much any sound to the next level. First up is the 512c Preamp, which offers mic, line or instrument inputs, and plenty of gain and headroom on tap. Next is the 527 compressor, offering a 10-segment LED readout with full control over threshold, ratio, attack and release, plus two different knee responses, and the patented Thrust circuit for that distinctive, punchy API tone.

We're not even halfway there—the three-band 550A EQ offers selectable frequencies with 12dB of boost or cut, and the High and Low bands can be switched to shelving EQs for clearing out each end of the spectrum. If you want to use all 3 bands in peak mode, but still have some unwanted rumble or hiss from your source, the handy BP switch applies a low cut at 50Hz and a high cut at 15khZ, perfect for cleaning up the image on pretty much any mid-to-high range program material like a vocal or lead. The final component is the 325 Line Driver, pulled straight from the API console to provide a powerful bridge to the rest of your studio, with a dedicated level control and 10-segment LED meter, which can also be configured to show the output level of the preamp instead.

To top it all off, take a good look at the rear panel and you'll see that a robust patching interface is provided, allowing you to access individual processing units, change up their sequence to suit your applications, or apply effects through dedicated send and return jacks. The Channel Strip means business—you might want to grab a couple of them.

The Channel Strip Features

  • Mono channel strip signal processor with microphone/line/instrument preamp, compressor, 3-band equalizer, and line driver
  • Modular architecture: units can be bypassed, reordered, or individually addressed
  • Discrete API 2520 op amp and custom transformer for classic API sound
  • Parts warranted for five years through industry-exclusive API policy
  • 512C Preamplifier Specifications:

    • Rear Connector: XLR MIC Input, Balanced ¼" TRS LINE Input
    • Front Connector: HI-Z ¼" Unbalanced Instrument Input (INST)
    • Gain Range
      • MIC: 14dB min. 68dB max.
      • INST: 14dB min. 50dB max.
    • Maximum Input Levels
      • MIC: +8dBu
      • INST: +36dBu
    • Input Impedance:
      • MIC: 1500 Ohms (150 Ohm mic)
      • INST: 20 K Ohms
    • Clipping Level: +30dBu
    • Output Peak Indication: +27dBu
    • Frequency Response: +0, -.3, 30Hz to 20kHz
    • Equivalent Input Noise
      • MIC:-129dBm
      • INST: -125dBm
    • Actual Metered Noise
      • MIC: -95dBm
      • INST: -90dBm
    • Distortion: Less than .05% @ +4dBu out, Less than .1% @ +28dBu out

    527 Compressor Specifications:

    • Attack Times: 1 millisecond to 25 milliseconds (typical
    • Release Times: 0.3 seconds to 3 seconds (typical)
    • Compression Ratios: 1:1 to ∞:1
    • Threshold Control Range: +10dBu to -20dBu
    • THRUST® Filter: -10dB/Decade slope, unity @ 1kHz
    • Frequency Response: +/- 1dB 20Hz to 20kHz
    • Total Harmonic Distortion: less than .2% THD, any level below clipping, any compression setting
    • Signal to Noise: Unweighted -100dB below clipping ([email protected]% distortion, no compression)
    • Metering: 10-segment red LED: Gain Reduction scale
    • -1.5dB to -23dB (negative illumination indicator)

    550A Equalizer Specifications:

    • Insertion Loss: None (bridging)
    • Frequency Response (Unequalized): ±0.5dB 30Hz to 20kHz
    • Noise: Unequalized output noise of –90dBm high level strapping, –98dBm low level strapping, 20Hz to 20kHz unweighted
    • Distortion: 0.05% THD max, 30Hz to 20kHz @ +4dBm, 0.07% THD max, 30Hz to 20kHz @ +18dBm

    325 Line-Driver Specifications:

    • Output Fader Control Gain: -∞ to +10dB
    • Clipping Level: +30dBu
    • Clipping Level: +30dBu
    • Output Impedance: Less than 75 Ohms, Transformer Balanced
    • Metering:
      • 10-segment red LED: VU scale
      • -20VU to +3VU (positive illumination indicator)
      • Switchable between 512C Preamp and 325 Line-Driver outputs
API The Channel Strip Preamp + Compressor + EQ Reviews