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Avalon 737 vs UA LA610 Single-Channel Preamps
Old 1st September 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Avalon 737 vs UA LA610

I cannot find much love for the Avalon 737 here. I have an M5 and am thinking of adding a tube pre - so is the 737 really any good? Is the UA LA610 a better choice?

I appreciate any advice........
Old 1st September 2007
  #2
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HIGHENDONLY's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmiller View Post
I cannot find much love for the Avalon 737 here. I have an M5 and am thinking of adding a tube pre - so is the 737 really any good? Is the UA LA610 a better choice?

I appreciate any advice........
Dude!!! Screw what people think here, Avalon is used my many top engineers with a resume of platinum hits. Most people who knock Avalons here are either strictly rock n roll guys or guys that don't know what the **** their talking about.
Old 1st September 2007
  #3
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Audio Hombre's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmiller View Post
Is the UA LA610 a better choice?

I appreciate any advice........
is the color blue better than the color red?
Old 1st September 2007
  #4
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lpkyer's Avatar
 

What kind of music do you record?
Old 1st September 2007
  #5
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gainstages's Avatar
avalon is great, and versatile.
Old 1st September 2007
  #6
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

They sound completely different. Audition both and decide based on you tastes.

I suppose the 610 sound more like what the average person expects when they think of "tubes".

Had I known then what I know now, I would have bought one of the Tube-Tech pres instead of the 610 myself.

Most of the hatred for the 737 doesn't come from the way it sounds. That said, I'm much more of a 610 man than a 737 man myself, but it has to be used sparingly. You'll find haters of each around here. Truth be told, either can be quite useful, when paired with the right source.

Are you already set with API and a good Neve clone?
Old 2nd September 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 

Um - no. Would you recommend heading there first? What units? I have spent most money on the computer side of things and not so much on outboard but reading this forum is making me rethink - and I am keen to get a better front end. Thanks to all of you who have given advice - this forum is incredibly helpful........
Old 2nd September 2007
  #8
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gainstages's Avatar
the vintech neve clones are great, and pretty affordable. the brent avril really aren't too badly priced either.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #9
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Well, for one thing the 737 has an EQ section that will flat out carve up anything...the 610 has a couple of simple shelves for enhancement. That would be a deciding factor as well.

War
Old 3rd September 2007
  #10
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If you are recording drums don't get the 737 or the 610...for other elements the 737 is great ...way more versatile than the 610...frankly the 610 doesn't do much for me...I think it is way overrated....737 is excellent for vocals....

Nick
Old 3rd September 2007
  #11
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Fletcher's Avatar
The 737 is far more "audiophile" than the 610 which can suffer from a lack of head room if you're ot careful... the 610, when used within it's capabilities does have a sound and a mojo that pretty much comes from nothing else... but as a main / "only" pre it can be a bit much when stacked.

The compressor on the 737 may be it's weakest point though with the "Babyface" mod [which comes standard on all 737sm's] but the cool thing is that you can side chain the mid bands of the 4 band equalizer to control the action of the compressor making available for de-essing use or to duck a prominent note or two without it being a "general compression" event.

The EQ is exceptionally musical... has great "air" and a very tight, focused low end.

I like the thing quite a bit if it's going to be an "only" pre/processor unit for a studio... for a more comprehensive rig it can be 'outgrown' in a few years.

Peace.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #12
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dan p's Avatar
 

737

I use a 737 for more clarity when tracking and a great river mp 2nv to add some grit and warmth when needed.
I track most of my stereo keyboard parts thru the 2nv to disk.
The 737 is great on vocals and clean guitars.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #13
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I still use my 737, for vocals and di'd guitars and basses. Using the 737 as the front end for a guitar makes amp sims sound much better.

The compressor mod is a must, as is getting it re-tubed every few years.

I don't use it for recording guitar amps.

Best...H
Old 3rd September 2007
  #14
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I don't have either but have used both, I don't much care for the 610, seems to crap out early and sounds actually "thin" to me, not very versatile, I would much prefer a 737 between the two, it's clear, sounds like high headroom and has much more versatile eq and has a compressor, but if you are looking at channels check out the Millenia Origin and the Pendulum Quartet, both a cut above the other two.
Old 3rd September 2007
  #15
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thephatboi View Post
I don't much care for the 610, seems to crap out early and sounds actually "thin" to me,

Huh?

Thin compared to what?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #16
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imdrecordings's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thephatboi
I don't much care for the 610, seems to crap out early and sounds actually "thin" to me,
Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
Huh?

Thin compared to what?
Yeah, I missed that one too. heh
My guess is he meant in comparison to the 737.
I've heard the contrary.
610 pre is pretty meaty, to me.
Maybe you should check your tubes.
I like my LA-610...
DI is killer, added 2 band EQ comes in handy.
I mainly got it for the compressor and the pre.
The "highs" are shaved off a bit, on the 610 pre... but that's cool.
I like things that sound older and darker.
I haven't worked with the Avalon stuff, sorry.

To the poster, ianmiller
What are you looking for, out of a tube channel strip.
What do you like?
Old 3rd September 2007
  #17
Gear Head
 

What I am looking for is a more immediate and in your face kind of vocal sound. I find the Avalon M5 and TLM103 a little dry and always add EQ for air and some light compression. Was hoping a tube channel strip would capture a better sound at source and so have been looking at the two items mentioned (Avalon 737, UA LA610) as well as things like the SSL Alpha channel and the Neve 8801. I like the price of the UA unit but want to get this right. I also suspect a better Mic is in my future too.

Thanks again for the help and feedback.......
Old 4th September 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
Well I have and really like both. Although I wouldn't consider either really "in your face" kinda sound. Go with API for that. I use the 737 a lot because it has just enough tube sound to take some digital out but not too over done that you can't change things later. For instance, I can add a Neve style eq to get a prerecorded vocal to have that Neve sound, or other thicker tube equipment, or keep it clean etc. It doesn't win a dry shootout with other pre's but always works in a mix and like I say you arn't married to an already done sound. You can later add the sound that fits into the song with the other parts best. THe 610 gives you a certain sound that I sometimes really like on vocals but you arn't going to change the sound much after because it is already so colored. The 610 sounds good on electric guitars but I wouldn't use it on more than one because it isn't a preamp you want to layer too much because of the thick build up. I may be in the minority, but I actually like the solo 610 better than the others because of the continuesly variable input control.
Old 4th September 2007
  #19
jho
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jho's Avatar
 

737 - good clean pre, good eq, lousy compressor.

LA610 - don't know.
Old 4th September 2007
  #20
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

upgrade the tubes in the 737. heh
Old 4th September 2007
  #21
.

the 737 is excellent for recording gunshots, screaming bitches, and yelping pit bulls.

especially with LDCs at x-y 15.7' from a partially reflective ceiling
made entirely of 1" thick bullet-proof glass.


whereas, i would tend to use the 610 with dynamics, to record 7 helium sucking mobster roofers,
being chased around a dining room table by timber wolves on a newly waxed floor in wool sox.


as always, YMMV.


.
Old 4th September 2007
  #22
Gear Addict
 

This is all you need to make hit records son.

MC Blind

"If it isn't grizzy than ya betta get fizzy"

Old 4th September 2007
  #23
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HIGHENDONLY's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC Blind View Post
This is all you need to make hit records son.

MC Blind

"If it isn't grizzy than ya betta get fizzy"

AND ..............
Attached Thumbnails
Avalon 737 vs UA LA610-c800g-large.jpg  
Old 4th September 2007
  #24
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Hell...you can make a hit record on anything decent combo of gear. "WHAT GEAR" will never be a major factor if the song and performance is already great.
Old 4th September 2007
  #25
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Just to clarify, all 737SP units have shipped with the new resistor value "Babyface mod" since May 2007:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/1427364-post14.html

It's no longer a special request, it's standard.

War
Old 4th September 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Just to clarify, all 737SP units have shipped with the new resistor value "Babyface mod" since May 2007:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/1427364-post14.html

It's no longer a special request, it's standard.

War


Blue LED's too?heh
Old 4th September 2007
  #27
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My 2¢:

Don't like the pre on the 737, nor do I like the (stock) compressor, but the EQ can be very useful. I only use the EQ's on the pair we have, unless I run out of any of the other pre's we have here for tracking. I don't think I've ever found a use for the compressors, even with the sidechainable mid band- but maybe I should keep trying, I dunno.

I dig the pre on the LA610, but it is quite colored and the color can build up too much. And headroom can be an issue. The compressor in it can be useful for tracking though, it's not bad.

So it's a decent EQ (737) vs. a decent pre and comp (LA610) as far as I am concerned. Both have their uses. It's not that you can't get good results out of the 737's pre, but it just makes me have to work a little harder to get the sounds I want, where many other pre's don't give me that trouble.

For a tube pre, my personal fav. is an A Designs MP-2A, but of course it doesn't have any extras (EQ, comp) like the LA610 or the 737. I am just as happy with a solid state pre's like Neve, API, Pacifica, TG-2 etc as well.
Old 5th September 2007
  #28
Here is the latest review on the 737
Avalon VT-737SP Revisited
Old 5th September 2007
  #29
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FWIW, I had a 610 and sold it for a 737. I prefer the 737 most of the time. My main mic is a 103. They are both good pres and can produce great results.

I've since bought a Vintech X73i, but the Avalon wins shoot-outs most all of the time.
Old 5th September 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Bucci View Post
Here is the latest review on the 737
Avalon VT-737SP Revisited
Quote:
In regards to the mic pre, it utilizes two cascaded dual vacuum tube triodes configured with minimum negative feedback. The pre has a clean but smooth sound that is very pleasant. In comparison with my Neve Portico, the 737 pre is more even sounding and not as big. I also compared it to the Tube Channel on the new Manley TNT which is basically a Slam pre. The Manley had more depth than the 737 and a more articulate sound. The 737 had more of a filtered sound in comparison. While this is all subjective, I still like the sound of the 737 pre, but on its own, it lacks some of the punch or sparkle that many other pre's have.
good words.

now try it with a better set of tubes. I added a set of Mullards. The stock tubes had some such of hissy noise surround the vocal and seemed to push it back.
When I added the Mullard and really compared closely.... the vocal was no longer cover with a blanket of hissy noise. and it sat more up front.

and all i did before was add the new tubes and made sure they worked. Glad I decided to compare.
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