API Announces New API 3122V Two-Channel Preamp
Since the 1970s, API has been synonymous the “the sound of rock and roll,” partly thanks to their legendary 312 preamp, which can be heard on countless chart-topping hits over the years. Today, API Audio has announced the new API 3122V ($2,085.25), a two-channel version of the classic 312 preamp that fills the gap between four-channel 3124V and individual 500 Series modules.
In addition to utilizing API’s beloved 2520 op-amp, the 3122V introduces a number of new features in a compact 1U rack unit, including a convenient front-panel XLR input, large VU meters and more. Ready to take a closer look at the new API 3124v two-channel preamp? Let’s dive in!
What You Need to Know About The API 3122V Microphone Preamp
Front-Facing Combo Jacks
The first thing most engineers will likely notice when comparing the new 3122V to the original modules, as well as the four-channel rackmount version, is the front-facing combo jacks. API has made it easier than ever to quickly plug in your favorite mic or instruments for simple recordings or overdubs so you never have to lose another while scrambling to plug in a microphone again. In addition to the front-panel combo jacks, which accept XLR and line-level signals, there are also dedicated XLR inputs on the back for fixed installations. Push-button controls allow you to toggle between front and rear inputs, as well as mic or Hi-Z inputs for tracking guitar and other instrument-level signals.
A classic API volume knob offers gain control with a range from +34 dB to +68 dB for the mic preamp and +14 dB to +48 dB for instruments. A dedicated +48V button enables use of your favorite condenser mics, while controls to switch polarity or add a 20 dB pad make it easy to get your sound right at the source. New to the 3122V is a fixed high-pass filter, offering a 12 dB/octave roll-off below 50Hz to help you clean up unwanted rumble from your tracks.
A variable output level control knob makes it easy to fine-tune your gain staging while recording for clear, polished tracks, free from clipping and unwanted distortion. And if you’re looking for more distortion, try engaging the dedicated 3:1 selector, which toggles the transformer output from a radio of 1:3 down to a ratio of 1:1, enabling you to run a hotter signal and overdrive the preamp for more analog saturation.
Vintage VU Meters
Finally, the new 3122V preamp features two classic API VU meters—one for each channel—just like those found on the 500 Series modules. In addition to providing visual feedback on your gain levels, the VU meters make the rack-mountable 3122V an eye-catching centerpiece for any studio.
Enough talk—let’s hear how this thing sounds! We put the new API 3122V preamp to the test at our Vintage King Nashville showroom while recording vocals, guitar and bass.