In terms of the lore of Vintage King, there is probably no more important piece of audio gear than this vintage API 32-channel console. Previously owned by the Doobie Brothers, this console originally came to our owners Mike and Andrew Nehra during the time period they owned the White Room Studio in the early 1990s. The studio, which was located in Detroit, Michigan, acted as an epicenter for the area's burgeoning rock scene including Kid Rock, Electric Six, Howling Diablos, Detroit Cobras and the Nehra's own Robert Bradley's Blackwater Suprise.
Throughout this time, the Nehras were split between touring with Robert Bradley, working in the studio with other artists and starting the process of buying and selling gear under the name Vintage King. When the company began to take off, the two were forced to make the ultimate decision between life on the road and in the studio or continuing on with their burgeoning company. Ultimately, Mike and Andrew elected to move forward with Vintage King and eventually began selling off some of their gear to support their new business including the storied API console.
Aside from its historic pedigree, this 1971 API console is special because it features rare 515 mic-pre/aux modules that were only available with a small amount of desks. "These were my favorite sounding pres within any classic API consoles. What makes them unique, is not only the early 70's API tone with outstanding color and headroom, but when driven hard would break up with a musical fuzzy distortion heard on so many brilliant classic API recordings made by artists such as Prince, Heart & Aerosmith," says Mike Nehra. "This desk was the punchiest API we have ever come across. You would cut a track thru it and playback was amazingly in your face, with rock solid punch and clarity, but with a musical color that was undeniable."
While the API desk would take a short detour from our care (in the more-than-loving arms of Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan), the console eventually became available again and was brought home to the Vintage King Tech Shop. Since the API's return, our team of technicians have been spending time working on the desk, ensuring that is restored to optimal condition. Now, after months and months of long days and nights, our crew of Console Techs have finally completed the restoration of this storied desk and are preparing to ship it off to its new owners. Get an inside look at the entire restoration process by checking out the photos below in our latest edition of Around The Shop.