API’s The Channel Strip is a 500 series compressor, EQ, and preamp all on one rack mountable device. It’s more or less a combination of three of their 500 series processors, so if you own the 512C mic preamp, 550A EQ, and 527 compressor, you won’t notice any major changes in quality. However, if you don’t, it’s great to be able to combine three devices into one and rack mount them out of the way. With 11 different I/O jacks, including XLR channel out and TRS line input, you’ll find plenty of ways to connect devices. The Channel Strip does have a few faults, but it is handy to use and does get the job done.
One of the issues is that the layout of the controls is a bit odd. For one, API didn’t just fuse three products together—the controls on The Channel Strip don’t always match up to the controls on the three individual devices. That’s not too big of a problem, but it does mean you’ll need to get familiar with The Channel Strip before you can really use it effectively. A few other things, such as the lack of a dedicated output gain control on the compressor, are a bit annoying.
The Channel Strip provides top quality results. The EQ sounds amazing, and the preamp is nice and clean unless you decide to push it. The Channel Strip records very balanced sound, sound that can be modified using several different controls. API’s The Channel Strip is more than the sum of its parts, plus it multitasks: you can use the preamp to record while using the compressor and EQ to process separate signals. If you’ve used the three individual devices before, you’ll find that The Channel Strip is just as good, if not better, despite a few lacking details. It retails for $2,995.
For more info be sure to check out the API website: http://www.apiaudio.com/chanstrip.html
Ebay & Amazon Results For The API Channel Strip
API The Channel Strip
List Price: $2,845.25
Sale Price: $2,845.25
API The Channel Strip The result of thoughtful engineering, The Channel Strip includes everything needed to record an audio signal. It all starts with the famed 512c Mic Preamplifier, which includes the benefit of additional Mic, Line or Instrument input switching. Next is the 527 multi-mode Compressor with fully adjustable Threshold, Attack, Release, and Ratio controls on detented pots. The patented THRUST® circuit in the 527 gives your track the "in-your-face" punch that has made this circuit an award winner. Also included in The Channel Strip is probably the most recognized and revered API EQ of all time, the 550A three-band Equalizer with its switchable frequencies and 12dB of boost or cut. The 550A's High and Low frequency bands can be individually switched to be shelving EQs, and the "B.P. Filter" switch inserts a 50Hz to 15KHz bandpass filter. At the output of the unit is the 325 Line Driver, taken directly from API console designs with an output level pot and 10 segment meter. The meter can also be switched to show the output level of the preamp. Each of The Channel Strip's processing pieces can be switched in or bypassed individually, while a flip switch internally routes the compressor after the EQ if desired. Additional features include a sidechain input and the famous API 2520/transformer combination.