API 535-LA 500 Series Line Amp Module
At long last a company has recognised the need for level/impedance matching.
An awful lot of today's boutique gear is based upon age-old designs that aren't modified to take account of modern needs, so have output levels or impedance unsuitable for matching with current gear. I've long maintained that to get the best out of a rig, proper level interfacing is required and look forward to putting this new API jibby-jobby through its paces.
Assuming it's well designed (and I'm sure it is), it's the kind of accessory that should live in pairs in a rack, hooked up to the patchbay. Different outboard units can then be patched in as required and levels matched for optimum results.
Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if those who can afford it don't end up with a full rack of the little beasts to ensure that levels are accurately matched throughout the chain.
If it does what it says on the tin, the API Audio 535-LA may be an extremely cost-effective and useful accessory for improving audio quality on a mix (along with high quality cables and a decent patchbay).
Modeled after API's highly prized console-based 325 booster cards, the 535 can both amplify and attenuate incoming and outgoing signals for ultimate flexibility - all while providing API's trademark API warmth and tone. The 535 is useful anywhere signal levels need adjusting such as inputs from keyboards, audio playback devices, or from mic preamps or audio processing devices that do not have their own level control. The 535 excels at adding warmth to digital signals such as DAW outputs, and features an LED clip indicator.
The 535-LA also includes a balanced input, a polarity switch, a 20db pad for incoming signal attenuation and a three position toggle switch, which allows for different output gain levels from the transformer. This is designed to drive long balanced lines with low distortion just as the 325 booster card does. Output gain range is from 6dB to 45dB. The 535 utilizes the discrete 2510 and 2520 op amps along with API’s proprietary transformers to create the unique, warm and reliable sound that API users expect.
Like all API products, the 535-LA features API's industry standard 5 year warranty.