Avalon U5 : Questions on usage

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by flicker180, Feb 23, 2006.


  1. flicker180

    flicker180 Member

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    Looking to get a pair of these bad boys and had a couple of questions:

    1.) Avalon states that they have a "High-level speaker input for pristine amp capture" Does this mean that you can go speaker out (from power amp) into the U5 and run a pass through or....what? this was confusing to me...

    2.) Do these units sound pretty decent with electric and acoustic guitars?

    3.) what kind of environment do you recommend usage in? right now, planning on using these live to run to the board...

    thanks,

    Dave
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    There is a switch on the front that says something like "speaker signal to input", and a speaker jack on the back.

    These are used to hook the U5 up to an amp (BTW, the thing MUST be used in conjunction with a speaker cab). However I don't remember the correct order of what goes where, I had to call Avalon the one time I needed to do it, the manual sucks, and I've forgotten the details.
     
  3. stratofied

    stratofied Member

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    I've used the Avalon on Bass and acoustic with nice results.
     
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    There's not much to it. They have it in the FAQ on the web site, which I saved as a text file. Here it is:

    ...confirming what Les said about needing to have a real cab or some kind of power soak connected.

    While we're at it:

    I've never used it for live acoustic guitar, but people do. I think Clapton uses one, but more often you'll see bass players with them. I have a U5 in my studio but I use a ProCo passive DI for my live acoustic.

    I don't know why you'd want to run an electric guitar through a DI live unless you're splitting the signal for some reason.

    In the studio, if you want to record the clean signal from an electric to re-amp later, it would be perfect. Or split the clean signal and drive an amp at the same time, or split the signal from the amp and drive 2 cabs, or use speaker simulation, or print it and send it to a different cab another time.

    For re-amping you would need a re-amp box that does the opposite of a DI, that turns a line-level signal into instrument level or speaker level. The U5 can't do that.

    I mosly use it for bass guitar. It delivers direct bass soooo well! These days I've been splitting off the "Thru" signal to a SansAmp Bass Driver DI and recording two tracks, direct and "amped." They blend real nicely.

    It's a great DI, but it's just a DI. If you want something sexy buy a compressor.
     
  5. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Being able to drive a line level signal, it's tempting to use it without a mic pre. Is anyone actually using their U5 as a traditional DI by feeding a mic pre? If so, have you found it works better with any pre in particular?
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    I use mine with a mic preamp on my console, and it sounds fantastic. I use it mostly for bass. I actually think using it as a traditional DI sounds a little deeper. Obviously, it depends on your mic preamp, eh?
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    With a bass, I compared sending the U5 at mic level to two different preamps vs. direct at line level. The preamps were an Avalon VT737 (no compression or EQ) and Focusrite Red1. I matched the output levels from all three pretty well but they were not dead-on identical. Both the Red1 and U5 have detented gain knobs, so I was locked into that.

    I tried each setup first with nothing in the chain but an Apogee Rosetta A/D, then with a compressor (Focusrite Compounder) inserted before the A/D. I recorded everything in Pro Tools at 24-bit 44.1.

    The U5 direct was the clear winner in both cases, better than using either preamp by far. It was just balls-on perfect.

    Not that the output from the preamps were bad... they were damned good by any standards. But the U5 all by itself was... just better. Cleaner, punchier, more "meat."

    It's what the thing was meant to do by G-d Himself, who am I to interfere?
     

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