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avalon 737 Condenser Microphones
Old 14th March 2017
  #1
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avalon 737

I haven't used this pre in a while so I decided to track a vocal session with it to change things up. I normally use a blue bottle mic thru a 1073 and a 2-1176.

starting pre production to get a basic vocal sound before i finish the track and mix.

SOMEONE PLEASE SHOOT ME IF I EVER DECIDE TO TRACK ANOTHER VOCAL THRU THE 737 (other than A hip hop vocal) EVER AGAIN…PLEASE.

EJ

Last edited by ejsongs; 14th March 2017 at 03:31 PM..
Old 14th March 2017
  #2
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Why?
Old 14th March 2017
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Why?
It is a blah pre amp. Don't get get wrong, I would never sell it. The eq is fantastic. Also it is great di for bass, or recording hip hop vocals or nylon gtr. The sound on vocals is dry and bland. Not tube warmth in a good way.

Last edited by ejsongs; 14th March 2017 at 03:29 PM..
Old 14th March 2017
  #4
Avalon 737 pre sounding dry? Without reverb any pre would sound dry. The pre has a more neutral sound which is very good in many situations. The tubes adds pleasant smoothness to the signal and with the EQ and compressor you can get some great recordings
Old 14th March 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason rocks View Post
Avalon 737 pre sounding dry? Without reverb any pre would sound dry. The pre has a more neutral sound which is very good in many situations. The tubes adds pleasant smoothness to the signal and with the EQ and compressor you can get some great recordings
Dry is the best way to describe it. It could be that the combo of the telefunken nos tube in the Blue bottle mic and the 737 don't mesh. In fact the only mic that I have heard that sounds fantastic with the 737 is the m149. It has nothing to do with reverb so I will kindly disregard that part of your post. Btw the studio that we were recording at has the following...all of which I have used at some point.

Neve 1073
A designs Pacifica
Chandler tg2
Chandler ltd1
Aphex 1100
Boulder twin servo/John hardy
Overstayer dual nt1
Avalon 737

Not to mention all the other Pres I've used over the years ranging from tube tech to shadow hills to ssl...so I think I might have some basis for my slight disdain
Old 14th March 2017
  #6
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PdotDdot's Avatar
Many high end studios use this pre including Abbey Road. It may not be your bag or may not match your vocal or perhaps you just need to work on dialing it in. Who knows. And of course you are allowed to dislike it as much as you are allowed to like it. :-)
Old 14th March 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
Many high end studios use this pre including Abbey Road. It may not be your bag or may not match your vocal or perhaps you just need to work on dialing it in. Who knows. And of course you are allowed to dislike it as much as you are allowed to like it. :-)
Of this I am aware but there are very few engineers that I have met that would use this as a desert island box or a first choice. Very few. As I said it does have some uses though.

Ej
Old 15th March 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
Of this I am aware but there are very few engineers that I have met that would use this as a desert island box or a first choice. Very few. As I said it does have some uses though.

Ej
I just sold my Avalon but always found it good and unfairly bashed. The pre was always fine to me. I own BAE, m76, mercury, API, Electrodyne, Crane song and always thought the Avalon was good but perhaps not as thick as these which aint always bad. I sold it purely because for rack space reasons and needing stereo Eqs over mono ones. If I"m honest with myself, I did a few blind tests and sometimes could not tell which was which depending on source. For vocals, I always thought Avalon was fairly good. That's me.
Old 15th March 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
It is a blah pre amp. Don't get get wrong, I would never sell it. The eq is fantastic. Also it is great di for bass, or recording hip hop vocals or nylon gtr. The sound on vocals is dry and bland. Not tube warmth in a good way.
I have always said. "It's as exciting as peeing in your pants."
Old 15th March 2017
  #10
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shalimo's Avatar
 

Here we go again, next someone will bash a U87...blah, blah, blah...get over it and use something else...
Old 16th March 2017
  #11
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737 is great on bass
Old 16th March 2017
  #12
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shalimo View Post
Here we go again, next someone will bash a U87...blah, blah, blah...get over it and use something else...
That's not as fun as complaining. Get with the spirit of this forum!
Old 16th March 2017
  #13
Indeed it is! I use it now to record an ampeg baby bass and it is the best I've tried at picking up the piezo pickups that bass uses!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
737 is great on bass
Old 16th March 2017
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
Many high end studios use this pre including Abbey Road. It may not be your bag or may not match your vocal or perhaps you just need to work on dialing it in. Who knows. And of course you are allowed to dislike it as much as you are allowed to like it. :-)
"High end studios" might have it in a rack, but surely it's up to the engineers to use it?! I can't see it getting much use in Abbey Road, that's for sure..!

I can totally understand the OP not liking it if 1073-1176 is their usual bag.
Old 16th March 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
"High end studios" might have it in a rack, but surely it's up to the engineers to use it?! I can't see it getting much use in Abbey Road, that's for sure..!

I can totally understand the OP not liking it if 1073-1176 is their usual bag.
Tru Dat! I actually have no opinion. I just remembered seeing the 737 listed on the Abbey Road "gear" list. I have seen it in other studios as well although I cannot recall which ones. I figure if high end studios have it it must be good enough. Certainly Abbey Road would not buy a piece of gear to attract customers so my assumption was/is that it is there for a reason. But hey, what do I know?

:-)
Old 16th March 2017
  #16
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KRStudio's Avatar
 

If you have much in the way of outboard gear, the 737 gets beat out. I used to own one, it was my first nice channel strip. Once I got a nice solid state mic pre I preferred it for clean and punchy. After buying several tube preamps (ADL600 and Ampex350's) the 737 just didn't hang with any of the preamps I had. Almost any compressor beats the 737. Only the EQ was a winner.
Is it a bad box? hell no. Are there better? Yes, starting with Retro Power strip among others. Again once you start buying other pieces it becomes more and more irrelevant, even for hip hop.
Old 17th March 2017
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
Tru Dat! I actually have no opinion. I just remembered seeing the 737 listed on the Abbey Road "gear" list. I have seen it in other studios as well although I cannot recall which ones. I figure if high end studios have it it must be good enough. Certainly Abbey Road would not buy a piece of gear to attract customers so my assumption was/is that it is there for a reason. But hey, what do I know?

:-)
737 is great mic pre. It came on the market at the tail end of the analog days. It worked very very well on analog tape. There was loads of hype back then. The pre really took off when it came out. It was very clean outboard tube pre sold by major retailers, which was not very common then. As the home studio and DAW became more popular (along with the internet) the hype was unreal. Everyone bought one. Unfortunately 90% of the people who bought them were also tracking on 002s and presonus firefaces. So something had to give eventually

2k+ for mic pre was a lot of money, and no money in the world was going to make a 002 sound good. At that point people realized they needed more distortion and lots of color from mic pres to cover up the rest of their chain chain. 737 wasn't very colored comparatively. That's when all the Neve clones started to appear. Prior to 2000 there were only a couple Neve clones, now they are a 100. That's all people buy now. It killed the 737 hype. It still sells. I'm sure. The TLM103 - 737 "rapper's delight" combo is probably still a big seller at Sweetwaters at Guitar centers. The 737 probably doesn't sell that much at boutique dealers these days since everything is 500 series neve stuff.

If you track acoustic guitars and vocals with a 737 on a A827 deck, it sounds amazing. A 737 through 192s, well not so much.
Old 17th March 2017
  #18
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Grass's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
737 is great mic pre. It came on the market at the tail end of the analog days. It worked very very well on analog tape.

If you track acoustic guitars and vocals with a 737 on a A827 deck, it sounds amazing. A 737 through 192s, well not so much.
Thank you, yes exactly. I use my 737 with an A80, for vocals, grand, drums OH, anything really.
The 737 is almost transparent, and a lot of people are probably looking for something "larger than life", and end up disappointed. For me personally it delivers perfectly onto tape what i put into it. If I want more colour there are loads of other things I could use for that.
Old 17th March 2017
  #19
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

I don't currently own a 737 but have used one many times. I have thought about buying one just to have it in the rack though. I have other channel strips (as well as my console channels) that smoke the 737. I totally agree that it just doesn't do well in the new digital recordings, but it did do well onto tape. About the best reason I could think of to own one is that some people (mostly rappers) know of this piece and have drooled over them for a long time so having one in the rack may help draw more potential clients to use your studio and all of Avalon gear looks fantastic and has lots of 'bling' factor. Once you lure clients into your studio with the 737 then just use something else to actually record them with. I think some places like Abbey Road may do that too but that's just a guess.

For me, I don't do rap at all so I have no desire to lure those customers into my space and my Avalon 2055 adds plenty of bling to my racks and it gets used a lot.
Old 17th March 2017
  #20
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Pred80r's Avatar
 

737sp

I have one, and it has many uses, mainly when I want a VERY clean and transparent mic pre for organic instrument songs (typically called acoustic.) It is excellent for VO work. Like most people I know, I really like it on clean and upright bass tracks.

HOWEVER I found it to be a LOT more useful once I changed the tubes. I replaced the originals with some Sovteks and was really pleased with the difference they made.

As I have mentioned somewhere else in these forums, I am not in love with the compressor, but that is the only part of the unit that I feel falls short.

If you are trying to compare an $1800 unit to the original Neve units that cost $5-6K, shame on you. Of course the Neves sound better...on rock and pop vocals, GTR, etc.

There is a reason that Studios have that big wall of outboard gear...choices.

Right unit for the right application.

Thanx,
Jack
Old 18th March 2017
  #21
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shalimo's Avatar
 

I had the new silver face one...it received little use until I ran into the original purple face unit...something about this one was different the preamp was a little warmer... it might of been the tube, anyway the one weakness the unit had for me was the lazy next to nonexistent compressor, to fix this I performed the faster compressor mod... this one little change made a huge difference in me using the unit all the time. Moral of the story breath new life into this unit by getting the faster compressor mod
Old 19th March 2017
  #22
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i will say this. I used it again on another session and it performed a bit better. I used a violet globe pre this time with the same old skool blue b6 cap and it worked well. I could be that since the blue bottle mic that normally gets used upgraded was upgraded with a nos telefunken tube the bottle and the 737 no longer mesh well. There is another bottle here that has not been upgraded so i'll test the theory just to see.

I agree with many that the eq is fantastic and that it is a great bass di. It also does well for hip hop generally as that was the song back in the day.

The purple version of the 737 was a cheaper version of the 737 but i don't recall the differences.

I will say this. many refer to the babyface mod on the compressor but I can assure you that there are no 737's at his studio and haven't been for sometime. 2022, 2055 and 2044 yes…737…no…just saying.

Last edited by ejsongs; 24th March 2017 at 06:34 PM..
Old 23rd March 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
The purple version of the 737 was a cheaper version of the 737 but i don't recall the differences.
Well, it's sort of vague, because the purples were the original units, and then after a few years they introduced the tackier SP (Special Performance) silverface version, and with that upgraded the preamp transformer for more headroom. They kept on offering the purple, at least for a while, also with upgraded transformer but cheaper because of the non-bling faceplate.
None of them are oil paintings but I do prefer the looks of the purple one.
Old 23rd March 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
Of this I am aware but there are very few engineers that I have met that would use this as a desert island box or a first choice. Very few. As I said it does have some uses though.

Ej
But many would choose it first as a "bury it in the desert" box

It's usable, but overpriced compared to better options for less money for most situations these days.
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