API 512c Discrete Mic/Line 500 Series Preamp


500-Series preamp faithfully reproduces the circuits of the original Saul Walker design

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SKU: API512C Categories: , Brand:

API 512c Discrete Mic/Line Pre is a low-noise, high-output 500-Series preamp that faithfully reproduces the original circuitry designed by API founder, Saul Walker

If you’re a fan of the burgeoning 500-series modules as a means of affording the best preamps pro audio has to offer, you have API to thank for getting that ball rolling. Starting back in the late 60s, when Saul Walker innovated the modular concept that appeared on API consoles, API preamps were known for their clarity and punch. The 512C preamp is a faithful reproduction of Saul’s original design. Thanks to API’s proprietary steel-wound transformers and venerable (and often imitated) 2550 op-amp, the 512c is renowned for its ability to produce a clean, clear signal with plenty of musicality and character. A favorite for aggressive guitars and drums, as well as adding that signature low-end growl to bass and kick, the API 512c is an excellent front-end for both professionals and home DAW users looking to level the playing field.

API 512c 500-Series preamp in one take:

  • Mic preamp with 65dB gain
  • Front- and rear-panel mic inputs
  • Line/instrument preamp with 45dB gain
  • Convenient front-panel line/instrument input
  • LED output level VU meter
  • 20dB pad switch, applies to mic/line/instrument
  • 48V switchable phantom power
  • Traditional API, fully discrete circuit design with legendary 2520 Op Amp
  • Hand assembled
  • API’s unique five-year warranty

INSIDE THE BOX—API 512c Mic/Line Preamp

The API 512c mic/line/instrument preamp, is renowned the world over for its ability to provide a stellar-sounding front end for any and all recording tasks. It delivers the distinctive API sound and sonics at an affordable price, in the scalable API 500 Series format. With a ribbon mic-friendly 65dB of gain with astonishing low noise (-129 EIN), the API 512c remains faithful to the circuit designs of founder Saul Walker. Combined with API’s proprietary transformers and the incomparable 2520 op-amp, the 512c remains a force to be reckoned with in the commercial recording industry. Fully featured and still hand assembled, the 512c continues the legacy and mission of Saul Walker when he founded API: “Build the best-sounding audio gear, use superior components, and give the customer the best warranty in the business.” Five decades later, API remains faithful to Walker’s vision, with a no-hassle five-year warranty and designs true to Saul Walker’s original circuits.

OUTSIDE THE BOX—API 512c Mic/Line Preamp

On the front panel, the 512c has a high-resolution, 7-segment LED VU meter, +48V phantom power switch, polarity reverse switch, -20dB pad button, and a mic or instrument/line selector. Front-panel balanced XLR and ¼” inputs combined with rear-panel mic access allows for additional flexibility when slotted into an API lunchbox, API’s 10-position 500V vertical rack, or an API console.

If you’ve been missing the punch in your drums, or the sound and fury signifying rock and roll in your guitar tracks, it’s most likely because there’s an API 512c missing from your 500 lunchbox. Order one now, or talk with your Westlake Pro Sales Consultant for more information.


API 512c Mic/Line Preamp Specifications:

  • Rear Connector: Output on edge connector, mic input on edge connector,
  • can be defeated
  • Front Connectors: XLR Mic input, Hi-Z 1/4″ unbal Input
  • Gain Range: Mic: 34dB to 65dB (14dB to 45dB w/pad); Hi-Z: 14dB to
  • 45dB (-6dB to 25dB w/pad)
  • Maximum Input Levels: Mic, +8dBu; unbal Hi-Z input, +36dBu
  • Input Impedance: Mic input, 1.5k ohm (150 ohm mic), Hi-Z unbal input,
  • 400k ohms (20k ohm with pad)
  • Output Impedance: Less than 75 ohm, transformer-balanced
  • Clipping Level: +30dBu
  • Frequency Response: +0, -0.3; 30Hz to 20kHz
  • Noise: Equivalent Input Noise: -129dB, mic in. -125dB, un-balanced In.
  • Actual Metered Noise: Mic, -95dBu, un-bal., -90dBu
  • Distortion: Less than 0.05% @ +4dBu out, less than .1% @ +28dBu out
  • Power Consumption: ±12/18 volts/DC, @40 ma.
  • Size (W x H x D): 1-1/2″ x 5-1/4″ x 7″
  • Weight: 1.41 lb.

Additional information

Weight 2 lbs
Dimensions 5 x 7 x 11 in


Phase Reverse


Direct Input



Low Pass


Phantom Power


High Pass


Output Attenuator




Through Output



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