Classic American sound at a breakthrough price
Stam Audio is very proud to introduce what we consider to be the most faithful replica of the legendary API 312 mic preamp produced to date; the SA-312MPA. Simultaneously incredible on vocals, amazing on drums, and quite simply the best preamp available for guitars, this American classic will instantly impart that signature coloration and harmonic distortion in a pleasing and desirable way into to any recording.
While several manufacturers over the years have attempted to recreate this unit, we always felt that there were important details missing that ended up diverting the sound away from the distinctive character you would expect from a vintage 312 card. We have taken our time, researched and tested everything down to the tiniest component to ensure that you can compare the Stam Audio 312MPA side by side with your vintage console or original 312 cards and not perceive a single difference from the original.
Custom British transformers
The SA-312MPA journey began with the most important component, the input transformer. After auditioning dozens of transformers produced by numerous manufacturers worldwide, we found the Sowter 9820 to be the most faithful replica of the AP2622 input transformer manufactured today. The Sowter 9820 provides precisely the same ratio, frequency response and overall low end that is lacking in other offerings. In terms of parity with the original, the Sowter 9820 is superior to all other transformers currently being manufactured.
With no compromise having been made with the Sowter 9820, we had to overcome the challenge of finding a suitable output transformer with the same level of quality. Fortunately, we sourced one immediately with the CineMag CM-3301 transformer. This component boasts 100% metal laminations which provided all the desirable distortion we had hoped for. Although we were pleased with the results, we required more accuracy, so we asked Cinemag to manufacture the transformer with quadfilar bonded wire in the same fashion as the original API output transformers were made. The addition of the bonded wire gave the Stam Audio 312MPA the beautiful results that we demanded.
Handmade faithful 2520 op-amp
With the transformers taken care of, we then focused on the next most important part: the 10-transistor-based 2520 op-amp. After years of testing and building and constantly evaluating our results, we found that most replicas either had the wrong layout in their circuit, which would produce distortion, or the wrong tolerances and values were being used (many clones used Chinese-made 2520 op/amps with poor components). After testing several of them we found a hidden gem, located in the workshop of a masterful engineer by the name of Daniel Oviedo, based in Argentina. Daniel crafts a 2520 op-amp that is not only the most accurate in terms of measurements, but crucially also happens to be the best sounding of all.
The Stam Audio 312MPA is made with premium components
The 312MPA was nearing completion, but there were a few more details to be taken care of. As seen in this picture, the original 312 card used a Philips capacitor and carbon resistors. As they were available to us, we have decided to source the same components, rather than using counterfeit Chinese capacitors and metal film resistors, which would produce inferior results.
The cherry on top of the cake is the inclusion of the custom-made Stam knobs, which recreate the look of the original, but with an individual twist that gives you the classic look and vibe expected from such a wonderful unit.
All of this component-jargon and fixation with accuracy translates into having a huge low end, fast transients, present mids and colouring of your recordings to a standard that has never been achieved before
The 312MPA boasts 70dB of gain, which will allow you to use these preamps on all microphones, whether dynamic, ribbon or condenser with no fuss or effort. We have also included a line level input, so you can add some character to your mixes.
Each unit is hand-wired at our workshop in Chile and every op amp is hand-made.
Unlike other replicas using counterfeit capacitors and budget transformers, we have decided to use the most expensive and finest sounding parts on this preamp. Each unit features a Sowter transformer that precisely matches the original ones in ratio, frequency response and harmonic distortion as well as the same capacitors and carbon resistors used in the 70’s. It also has a fully discrete 10-transistor op-amp carefully replicated to match the original. With the aid of these components and by carefully respecting the original schematic, we have managed to make this unit the best sounding and most faithful replica made to date.
100% satisfaction guarantee – if you don’t love your 312MPA, we’ll refund you
If you’ve used an original API 312 before, we’re extremely confident the Stam Audio 312MPA will put a big smile on your face every time you use it. However, if you’ve never touched the original before, as gear lovers ourselves we understand that the only way to really know if this preamp is for you, is to put it through its paces. That’s why the Stam Audio 312MPA comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. This allows you to get it into your rack and see how it impacts your recordings. If you love it (and we think you will!), great…keep the unit and create amazing music with it. If not, no problems. Just send it back to us and we’ll fully refund your purchase. And don’t worry, Whichever way you decide to go we will remain friends.