Avalon VT-737 question

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by markhan, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. markhan

    markhan Member

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    I'm considering getting an Avalon VT-737 for recording. The ones I've seen in person and in catalogs are the SP version, with metal knobs and black lettering. I saw a used non-SP version with purple knobs and lettering. What, if any, is difference between the models?

    Mark
     
  2. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Technically, there is a difference between the metal knob and purple plastic knob versions, but it's minor. The newer, metal version has a bit more headroom on the input. If you're getting a good price, don't worry about the differences. It's a nice piece with a lot of options for the money.

    The rumor about the knob change is that Babyface had asked Avalon to build him a 737 that matches the rest of his Avalon gear, which is chrome. They stuck with it, and also improved the input transfomer.
     
  3. E-Rock

    E-Rock Member

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    I could be wrong, but doesn't Mercenary Audio have a version that has the high headroom amp, with the plastic knobs, to keep the price down?
     
  4. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    If you are looking for something that gives you character in your sound don't get the Avalon. I know many pro's that don't like these mic pre's for much. They are clean, but most feel they are too clean. I think you would be better off with something else for your money. Check out the Neve Portico mic pre and if you need eq and compression also the Joe Meek VC1Q are extremely underated. You can find those on ebay for 350 and up.

    Chris
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    The Avalon is an excellent mic preamp. I'm one of the many pros who like them. There's an Avalon pre in most of the studios I book for outside sessions, and I have lots of experience with them.

    You'll get more use out of something neutral sounding like the Avalon over the long haul, than something with the very substantial coloration of a Meek. Don't get me wrong, Meeks have their place, but it's when you deliberately want coloration.

    I haven't heard the new Neve stuff, but I can't imagine it being ALL that different from the Focusrite Red and Blue preamps that he designed in the 90s, which I use in my studio. They're also relatively uncolored, and very three dimensional sounding.
     
  6. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    I agree with the comment Les had about the mileage out of one pre. If you are going to only have one then the Meek's and Summit's are not for you. One of my other engineer friends says the Portico is what you would expect out of a neve designed box. It is much along the lines of the focusrite red and blue range, but one half rack space and two channel with a vairiable pad and high pass filter for each channel.
    By the way one of those other focusrite boxes would not be a bad option either.

    I apologize if I was to opinionated on the Avalon. To each his own and I don't want to offend anyone. Especially, Les after the session I read about. I mean this in the humblist sense but It is never my first choice to use the Avalon. But I also need to remember that I am spoiled when it comes to mic pre's in the studios I work at. I also have many tech friends that are always making fun of certain gear and I can become tainted. I think the Avalon is one example the influence.

    Chriswww.rupertneve.com
     
  7. elambo

    elambo Member

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    You should never have to apologize for having an opinion, justicetones.

    Markhan - I can't imagine offering advice on a preamp without knowing what you're recording.

    What are you recording?

    If it's voice-over, a neutral preamp would be great. I'd much prefer a less sterile pre than the 737, though. There are many. If it's guitars, you have a slew of options in the 737 price range, most of which I'd prefer of the Avalon. No offense to Avalon - I have two and they have their uses. The 737 is a decent general-purpose pre, but you could do better.

    What is your budget?
     
  8. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    Thanks elambo, I agree but I was just making sure my opinion did not sound like a bag on a piece of gear. Everyone has their fav toys. In the end if it sounds good in the mix it really doesn't matter how you got there.

    I assumed he was looking for a general pre?

    Chris
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Save your well-intentioned effort... he's gone. :)
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I deleted a previous response to this thread. Suffice to say I would never in a million years describe the Avalon VT-737 as "sterile." I find that description, frankly, absurd.

    Maybe it's just a thing to profess hatred for gear that's considered uncool by internet gear gurus du jour. SSL desks, Neumann mics, Avalon preamps... this is so silly it's almost funny. Do you guys use and listen to this stuff you "hate?"
     
  11. Orren

    Orren Member

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    Yup. It is, appropriately enough, the Avalon 737 Mercenary Edition. :)

    Orren
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    justicetones, no offense taken in any way! i don't even have one of the things. i only posted to say I've had good results with them.

    BTW, their U5 is my favorite direct box for bass, more headroom and clearer sound than any other DI I've used, including the one on my ISA220. I even liked it better than my beloved Demeter Tube direct. Another good sounding box.

    Of course, I sold it...:rolleyes:

    Then again, what do I care? I'm never going into the studio again. Anyone want a bunch of mint gear? LOL
     
  13. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    Les,

    Thanks, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't misunderstood. I love the demeter boxes also and have had to use the U5 and had good results on bass as well. I have been spoiled by some custom built micpre / di for bass and or some old langevins among others which gave me a chubby. Like I said before I am spoiled by the highly customized audiophile stuff built by some of my friends. These guys are among the best EE tech guys in the music industry. :) If you have any specialized needs I can refer you to one of them.

    By the way I hope you don't quit the music side of your life. You know how satisfying it can be

    Chris
     
  14. markhan

    markhan Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. Here's more details about my situation. I'm putting together a project studio in my home.

    #1 priority is being able to do quality overdubs that I can take back and forth to a pro studio. Budget is, of course, a concern, but I would rather spend the money on a qulaity piece of gear that I'm going to keep instead of spending half as much on something I'm going to want to trade in later. I especially want to record vocals and acoustic and electric guitars. A used Avalon is about the most I would want to pay for a pre & compressor combo.

    #2 priority, in the longer term, is putting enough mics, etc. together to record a full band, possibly location recording. This will be less frequent and I'm willing to make cost tradeoffs here.

    Right now, I'm running ProTools LE w/ digirack 002, a pair of AKG 414 B-XLS, and a couple of old EV PL95A dynamics. Right now, my time budget is pretty tight, and it's tough trying to audition a bunch of equipment. A studio where I took classes has the Avalon, and I thought it sounded good. A classmate is real big on the Hamptone tube pre, and I plan on trying to check his out when I get a chance. I also need to find a mic that works with my voice, under $1.5k. I will also be looking for a pair of small condensors, possibly AKG 451, then monitors, drum mics & stands, headphone system, etc.
     
  15. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    Mark,

    OK budget in mind but quality of sound being noted also you have some good solid mics to build from in the AKG 414's. I am not familiar or can't remember anything about the EV's but I assume they are a basic dynamic mic like a 57-58.

    I am simply throwing this out as an option to entertain but A Focusrite Twin trak Pro, or voicemaster Pro might be a good option for you also. Check them out. I own a Focusrite Twin Trak Pro and was impressed with the sound of it for the money.

    Also you know the Focusrite octopre with the lightpipe out would allow you later to record much larger sessions?

    Of course there are many other options, but for the money the Platinum range is good stuff.

    Chris
     
  16. justicetones

    justicetones Member

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    OK another thought,

    By the way for your vocals do want a bright mic or a dark mic.

    A Neumann M147 is a fairly versatile mic for about $1500. Also the Royer ribbons ($1000-1500 depending on model) are awesome. Everything I have used them for sounded great. Vocals, horns, acoustic and electric guitars all sounded unbelievable.

    OK on this one some might think I am crazy but I was amazed when I went to do a commercial session at a pro built small home studio for a friend. The Studio Projects C3 condenser mic impressed me. I could not believe how good it sounded on Acoustic guitar and vocals. Also Cello (even though I would have preferred a ribbon mic). This mic goes for ($225-350) on Ebay depending on the condition (NEW OR USED) and sounded far better than it's price would suggest. I tried it on a grace pre, Joe meek VC1Q and a Focusrite Twin Trak Pro. Sounded great :dude
    In my opinion a very good mic for the money.

    My last thought is that if you are serious about the music you should buy the best gear you can afford or the stuff you like the sound of.

    Hope this helps.

    Chris
     
  17. elambo

    elambo Member

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    You sensed hatred from someone about the 737? Seems to me that everyone commenting about them is a fan.
     
  18. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    You're right; I take it back.
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Like Justicetones, I think the Focusrite platinum stuff is a bargain, too. It's a shame it's so cheap, people overlook it!

    :eek:
     
  20. markhan

    markhan Member

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    Thanks for all the input. I've heard good things about Focusrite from several sources, and will consider them for solid state preamps, especially the octipre when the time comes to expand.

    In the mean time, I think I'll start another thread for tube preamps.


    Mark
     

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