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Old 11th July 2012
Lives for gear
Gravity8058's Avatar
Holy Cow -- Classic API of IL (CAPI) VP28-DBL

I'd been aware of Jeff Steiger for a number of years. Mostly as that guy that is so obsessed that he cut his vintage API console in half to get it into his basement studio, then stripped it down to the cards and rebuilt it-?!?!!

More recently a few respected friends recommended his mic pres. After seeing pics, and wrapping my head around his design I got interested.

After auditioning a pair I ordered 4 of his gooyest, oozyest, glueyest, possible configuration-- the VP28-DBL.

Then I ordered 4 more-

Then after getting the picture of how this company operates -( Jeff offered to cut my console in half... :-). -- He's good, and more importantly to me: what he likes about API gear is what I like. Once we could discuss his various Op Amp options via reference to their gooeyness quotient -- I knew we were hearing eye to eye.

I also then ordered a pair of his new 10 space racks with an insanely well built and over engineered power supply.

I've been working with these preamps for a number of months now and I love them. They sound animated! You can get soooo many different tones out of them.

Ok, I can hear the responses already so I'll nip a few at the bud:

In comparison to the other API or API style mic pres, the VP28-DBLs are:

1. BAE 312 (Brent era): wider, warmer
2. BAE 312A: More 3D, not as pointy
3. API 512c: same as 2
4. 3124+: capable of the qualities I like in this Pre, but waaaay more versatile.
5. SH Gama: CAPI may not get as aggressive
6. SH Quad Gama: hard to beat this guy but, while different, Equally versatile.

AND.... With its HPF frequency and slope choices, Stepped pots and OUTPUT FADER! --- it's feature set are unmatched.

Applications? Lots, anything you want to sound warm and 3D. Even sounds good to run a mix through from time to time or on a stereo bus.

On drums-- Never heard a better Pre for kick, toms, and room. Maybe a 31105 (not to be confused with the relatively lame 33115).

Guitars? -- hell yeah! -- (unless you want your guitars to sound like The Fixx, in which case they would suck)


Best Value in Microphone Preamp that EXISTS.

I'll try to attach a pic of them but I'm slammed - but I had to shot out props to by fellow Chicagoan Jeff -- damn dude, well done!