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Avalon 737 Channel Strips
Old 1st February 2013
  #91
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skinnypete View Post
Vintech x73i is around $1400. My engineer friends like that brand.

Sent from my Droid
+1 for the Vintech.

I use the vintech x73i with a dbx160a and a Neumann TLM49 for hip hop vocals. Couldn't be happier.
Old 9th February 2013
  #92
Here for the gear
 
YungNyce's Avatar
i decided to toss out the mbox3pro now i have an apogee symphony but i need a killer mic pre to go with it but my bugdet is now lower due to my symphony purchase do u think a UA 610 OR 710 TWIN FINITY WOULD play nice or does any 1 have better pre amp in the 700 range?? for vocals
Old 9th February 2013
  #93
Gear Addict
 
skinnypete's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by YungNyce View Post
i decided to toss out the mbox3pro now i have an apogee symphony but i need a killer mic pre to go with it but my bugdet is now lower due to my symphony purchase do u think a UA 610 OR 710 TWIN FINITY WOULD play nice or does any 1 have better pre amp in the 700 range?? for vocals
Wrong place for this post dude..

Congrats on the Apogee!! Anyway, I love the Solo-610, but that's because I'm a bass player.Probably not the first choice for rap vocals. Badass engineer friends of mine, who mix and track alot of hip hop vocals, have mentioned mentioned the Great River me-1nv, and the Avalon M5.

If I was you I would get the BAE 1073DMP. The Neve sound is legendary to alot of guys who lay down rap vocals. It does nice things to the sound, but it is also clean. You can also use it for bass or guitar, synths, and MPC drums. I'm sure it would be dope on everything.

Sent from my Droid
Old 15th February 2013
  #94
Gear Maniac
737 good

i bought mine when it first came out. works great for singing, guitar, especially if modest volume, not too fast. many hate the compressor, but seems to me that's because it lacks "attitude." for me, wanting only to smooth out gain, it's fine. never use eq much, tho it's pretty invisible when i've tried it. use stock tubes, which sound fine (many swap out tubes). for country, folk, non-strident tone, i'd say it's a goodie. gain not that high, but works fine on my 77D ribbon (not higher-gain DX model) so enough for my needs.
Old 15th February 2013
  #95
Here for the gear
 
that deryck guy's Avatar
Avalon M5. You can find one for fairly cheap used on eBay. It worked alongside the Sony C800 on countless number 1 hits for JR Rotem for years. Deal with your EQ and compression one you have as good of a source as possible.
Old 13th March 2013
  #96
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobMacki View Post
How would you rate the VC1 with the 737?

I'm on the hunt for a good (better than good) mic pre.
I have a short list to go to Portland with:
Avalon 737
Focusrite Red
Joe Meek VC1
Manley Vox Box

and Flamingo...if I can find one.

You should certainly add the F-rite 430 to your list.
Not a 'colour' box ( but rather nice grey-blue with many yellow knobs)
V. accurate and clean. Loads of flexibility. ISAs are my favourite pres.
I've never really used my 737SP. One day-- and It looks fab in the rack!
Cheers
Old 13th March 2013
  #97
Lives for gear
 

I have owned the Focusrite Red, the VoxBox and the Avalon 737.

I sold the Focusrite within 6 months. It sounded a bit harsh on everything I tried to use it for. Hard to define it, but too crisp, too "pre-radio friendly" is about the best I can do. Not enough mid low definition and too many highs.

I still own the Avalon, and got a VoxBox a few weeks ago. So far, the Avalon is winning hands-down for my purposes, mainly VO recording.

It is chained like this:

Manley RefCard (replaced a TLM 103, which is the mic used on the attached VO demo_

Avalon 737

into a TC Electronics Finalizer 96k. This is used last in the chain and only as a gate because my room sucks. I would have chained it earlier, but it has somewhat limited ins and outs for what I do.

The Avalon is an absolutely stellar sound for my male voice, USA movie trailer-type sound.

To be fair, I have not yet zeroed in with the VoxBox to the extent I want to, and it is already pretty close with only a couple days work.

But the Avalon will be staying in any case. It sounds too beautiful to let go. I understand there are two versions, at least, out there. My Avalon is one of the originals, with a slower compressor. I bought it in 1992 or so. It arrived with plastic purple knobs that were not exactly well made. That was the only weak point I have ever noticed. I sent it to Avalon to fix a power supply issue about 5 years back and they changed out the knobs for some new shiny steel knobs. Looks better now.

Don't believe anyone who calls the Avalon "junk". I believe they simply had no patience to find its sweet spots or are simply parroting the general dislike that has been displayed for the box by unknowing and ignorant posters. It is pure gold and worth far more than Avalon charges, at least in my opinion.

The newer version is a bit different, I hear, with a faster compressor.

The attached VO demo is my voice, into a TLM 103, into the Avalon, and into a TC 96k for the gate. If you, or anyone, want to know the settings I have, shoot me a PM and I will send you a photo of my settings.

I recently changed to the RefCard which I like better than the TLM 103, and I may find settings I like better on the VoxBox to replace the Avalon. But it is far from useless, and has been a big part of my 25 year career doing VO work in just about every country in the world, earning far more than the average VO guy. Of course I must have some talent, or no box would help, but I seriously believe the 737 has been a big part of my success over these decades.

If you can get one to listen to, or demo, let me know and I am happy to share the settings I use. They are probably more extreme, at least in how they look, than most professionals would immediately dial in. That may explain, in part, why so many are divided in opinions over this pre.

The VO demo:

http://www.leonflood.com/audio/LeonFloodTrailer.mp3

Good luck with whatever you decide!
Old 13th March 2013
  #98
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFlood View Post
I have owned the Focusrite Red, SNIP
I sold the Focusrite within 6 months. It sounded a bit harsh on everything I tried to use it for. Hard to define it, but too crisp, too "pre-radio friendly" is about the best I can do. Not enough mid low definition and too many highs.
You really need to spend some time with a Focusrite Red 6, in that case. The EQ is fantastic and can easily deal with any "harshness" you might experience and the crystaline clear quality on snare and acoustic instruments is stunning. Sometimes, too stunning actually.

Back to the Avalon... I've been doing a bunch of "rap" vocal sessions of late and the Avalon 737SP paired with a Neumann U87ai is "the sound". Add a little high end, some basic smoothing from the compressor section and bingo bango, done. I may not like the sound, but the clients and "producers" do. And in the end, that's all that matters!

JMHO
Old 13th March 2013
  #99
Lives for gear
 

Ward,

Thanks for the suggestion. I have used and liked other Focusrite gear, and will happily try out a Red 6 next time I am shopping. I just didn't click with the earlier version. All this comes down to a matter of taste, I think, anyway.

Appreciate the info!
Old 14th March 2013
  #100
Gear Addict
 
Saxon-of-a-son's Avatar
 

I don't think the 737's are junk. They can be used for just about any source, but they are also outperformed by many other high-end preamps/channel strips. I had my pair of 737's for 7 years, used them and really tried to love them. In the end, compared to others I gradually acquired, I found the preamps relatively thin, weak and small-sounding, and the much-vaunted EQ section mushy. I never bothered with the compressor. I was grateful to find a buyer at an acceptable price.

Any UAD software eq's were better for me than the Avalon eq's. Pacifica always won on overheads with any SDC's. Great River crushed the 737's on vocals with any mic. I used the 737's on clean electric guitars without dismay for several years, but then got a real tube preamp--LaChapell 992 with Telefunken tubes. No flipping contest, and the relationship was over. And 2 channels of LaChapelle was less money. I shoulda known.
Old 28th January 2015
  #101
Registered User
 

avalon 737

The Avalon 737 gets a bad rap because it was/is such a great pre for the street price. 1400-1600$. It was such a hot seller that Joe Shmoe believed he needed a good mic pre eq. And WHOa a compressor what's that do. I think I need that. And it looked cool. It's build quality is pretty amazing. So every other mic pre on the market took a back seat and needed to start some bad press about the channel strip that was outselling them 2:1 And by reading the thread it's still alive today.
Whoever said the compressor is unusable.??? Tell that to Dr Dre who only uses it for the compressor. It's a compressor learn how to use it. Not very many sources needs a fast attack on it !
If you said this thing is unusable. It's the operator not the equipment. But everyone else that's says it's a great box for the price BINGO. Way to use your ears n not the sneaky salesmens opinion who needs to sell you the next best thing.
Is there better pre,compressor or eq. Absolutely. BAE , AMS, API, Ssl, alan smart. But we need different flavones to make our wonderful music different then everyone else's. But for the $$$$$ . It's a great first high quality channel strip. So to say this is a piece of junk. No way the avalon 737 is build to last. Your grandson will be looking at it like we look at old gear that still works today.
Put it in your will it might outlive you.

Now what I hate about it. It's hot and It's heavy.

In no way shape or form do I work for any audio company. Use ur ears and your brain not your Ego.
Old 28th January 2015
  #102
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
Hmmm it's been 13 years...I wonder if the OP ever got a 737... lol

If not I have one I'd love to sell him! And it's from the future in relation to his original post!
Old 30th April 2015
  #103
Here for the gear
 

Hi mbvoxx,

even though it was 13 years ago, I for my part am happy the thread exists, so I can first of all greet the community as a new user, and second ask if you still have your 737 you would love to give away?

I am a voice actor and I am thinking to push my business to the next level, and heard the 737 is a good choice for that.
Old 30th April 2015
  #104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
Personally with Avalon gear u either love it or hate it..

I hate 737..

Mic -pre is aneamic sounding.

Compressor is the nearly useless in most applications IMHO. Its VERY SLOW and i realise that part of that is the fact that its an opto coupled device etc but still not much chop.

EQ is nice and sparkly but not real ballsy..

DI is best part of whole unit... very good for BASS gtr..

Im sure im gona get flamed hard for slammin this one , givne that its a defeacto standard 'all in one box' but for what i do it dont cut he mustard much.. and im a real colour guy and these like most avalon things dont exhibit much colour.

Now checkout the API 7600 channel strip or Focusrite BLUE ISA 430 'Producer Pack' or ISA 220 'Session Pack'... both far better sounding and useable IMHO... but if u dig the Avalon and it gives u woody go for it..... just use your ears to amke the dfinal decision not the marketing..


PEACE
Wiggy

+1 Here. To my ears the 737 is highly overrated. And its true, many guys love it and will rave about how great they are. its a very subjective channel strip.
Old 30th April 2015
  #105
Gear Addict
 
Pred80r's Avatar
 

737 SP

So the thread still lives and breathes! I have lived with my 737SP for 5 years now, here are my opinions on this beautiful piece of gear.

1. I owned it for 2 years before I changed the stock tubes to Sovteks...big difference in sonic quality and they actually seemed to make that compressor I hated so much...useful.

2. You will have a hard time finding EQ's that are more transparent than the ones on the 737SP. Some are equal but most have a lot more colorization. If that is what you are looking for this is not the box for you.

3. The HI Gain Setting makes those ribbon mics work hard for their money! I now own 3 ribbon mics, A royer, a 44 junior and a reslo that I had refurbished...it turned all 3 mics into cabinet favorites.

4. Coupled with my DCL200 (yes I break the rules and run an all tube signal path into Pro Tools) the Avalon shines. The stock compressor is also very transparent and I am getting more used to it with the new tubes but the DCL200 hads a whole new dimension to this box.

5. My favorite Vocal chain is U47, 737 with Sovteks, DCL200 and then line into Console or Pro Tools. I keep trying others, There is a 414 that I like and a modified (Joly) Oktava mk2500 that pops into the mix but its just such a hard combination to beat.

The 737SP is a high end workhorse, if you don't have one you should. If you cant use it for what you do then sell it to me.

Last edited by Pred80r; 30th April 2015 at 10:32 PM.. Reason: Punctuation
Old 30th April 2015
  #106
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbvoiced View Post
Hi mbvoxx,

even though it was 13 years ago, I for my part am happy the thread exists, so I can first of all greet the community as a new user, and second ask if you still have your 737 you would love to give away?

I am a voice actor and I am thinking to push my business to the next level, and heard the 737 is a good choice for that.
PM me if you're still interested. Haven't checked this thread in a while. lol
but still have the 737
Old 1st May 2015
  #107
Lives for gear
 
PdotDdot's Avatar
737SP

I have checked in on this thread every so often. Like everything here, you get lovers and haters of just about every piece of gear. What I have noticed is that many high end studios including Abbey RD seem to have this beast. Some may buy to bring in clients but I do not think Abbey RD is that type of studio due to its reputation and history. I could be wrong of course but my own personal opinion is that it is like many others a really nice piece of gear. I'll have to look into the Sovtek tubes one of these days but I like the box the way it is so if it gets better how cool is that?
Old 1st May 2015
  #108
Lives for gear
Just want to chime in.. I've had one of these for about 12 years and love it. About 5 years ago, I did the "babyface" mod, sans the blue LEDs. Basically it's a speed multiplier for the compressor. It speeds up the compressor (both attack and release). It was incredibly easy to do. Basically changing a single cap on the little sub board behind the meter. Well worth it.
Old 1st May 2015
  #109
one of the best built quality hardware that you can see heavy like Tank
sound to me
mic pre clean warm noise free -- comp dont like it much-- eq himmmm not bad
so if you have any other compressor or eq unit dont buy it
but if you can only afford one channel strip for everything I think it is good and not hard to sell in the market
Old 2nd May 2015
  #110
Baz
Lives for gear
 
Baz's Avatar
 

I've had good encounters with the 737 and while many call it "boring" (wtf does that actually mean anyways?) was thoroughly satisfied with it. It's maybe over priced new but used is a great deal
Old 3rd May 2015
  #111
I'm looking into the 737..but this thread sheds absolutely no light on its quality at all. Just leads you down a dark cave of uncertainty.

Haha
Old 3rd May 2015
  #112
Gear Addict
I've owned a 737sp for several years and still love it. As with any piece of gear, it may not always be the best choice for a given application but it will work on anything. The build quality is as good or better than anything I have used in any price range - it's heavy, solid and I have not had a single problem with it. There is a reason this piece has been in production for so long and so many have been sold. I think it's one of the better deals in channel strips. I have learned that although Gearslutz can be informative, interesting, etc.. I don't always agree with the popular consensus so try one for yourself before you buy if you can. For vocals, it always sounds great with a U87ai (another commonly bashed piece of gear here!), for more colour try boosting the preamp gain & lowering the output
Old 5th October 2015
  #113
Gear Maniac
 
sexyman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattrixx View Post
Just want to chime in.. I've had one of these for about 12 years and love it. About 5 years ago, I did the "babyface" mod, sans the blue LEDs. Basically it's a speed multiplier for the compressor. It speeds up the compressor (both attack and release). It was incredibly easy to do. Basically changing a single cap on the little sub board behind the meter. Well worth it.
is there any info for doing this my self diy?. I love my Avalon 737 would like to pimp her out with lights and speed
Old 6th October 2015
  #114
$0.2 on the 737SP

My partner who does a lot of hip-hop LOVES this mic-pre for vocals. My favorite uses for it are as a bass D.I. and as a channel strip on recorded mono tracks that need some gentle tube coloring. But I think that you cannot go wrong having it in your rack for various uses.
Old 1st April 2018
  #115
Gear Nut
 
RicardoWheelock's Avatar
good piece of gear

I got mine in exchange for a $1000 Fender Super Sonic Amp (not bad right?) It was quite dirty and tubes needed replacement. I took it a tech who made a deep cleanse, change the tubes for Genalex Gold Pins and bam! it’s sound really good!

I own Neve 1073, CAPI VP28 and VP312, Pendulum MDP1, UA6176, Purple Biz MK, Focusrite ISA 828, so you could say I was served with preamps so keeping the 737 was a tough call, but when I changed the tubes I heard a sound the other preamps I have don’t have. It’s like a special kind of clean tube sound, really unique. I would never recommend to have it as a single preamp in a home studio cause it’s not a versatile piece; but it’s definately a useful color to be used more than once. As a Bass DI it’s shines, on par with Pendulum.

Last edited by RicardoWheelock; 1st April 2018 at 04:45 PM..
Old 1st April 2018
  #116
Gear Addict
 

Yeah it absolutely kills on bass. The Eq is amazing, and the comp is fine as long as it has the baby face mod for tracking Vox. It’s no Cl1b or LA2 but it’s not a 3k Compressor either. You want color buy one of the 1000000 veriations of the 1073 that are out there . The pre adds a little something but combined with the comp and eq its great a piece for the money. Also stacks well for backing tracks. It’s just another tool among others not the end all be all pre that doesn’t exist.
Old 1st April 2018
  #117
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob View Post
I am about to buy a mic pre and am thinking of the Avalon 737 which is just in my pricerange. But it has been on the market since 98. Has anyone heard anything about new models coming out?
If you buy used then the el caps could be upwards of 20 years old. In another ten years it could need a recapping. Ever look inside a 737? It might scare you if you want to recap it yourself. Complicated and hard to disassemble.

I had one for many years and sold it. Never missed it. Neither the preamp nor the compressor section sounded world-class to me. I think you're better off buying a Neve 1073 (real or clone) preamp and a CL1-B compressor if you want to get something that sounds substantially better. More flexible too.

Not heard anything about Avalon issuing a new version. I have to hand it to Avalon for holding off on doing that for most of their products. New Release always means the owners of the last release are left holding the bag when it comes to resale value. Also makes you wonder why they didn't get it right the first time.
Old 1st April 2018
  #118
Gear Addict
 

“I think you're better off buying a Neve 1073 (real or clone) preamp and a CL1-B compressor if you want to get something that sounds substantially better” yeah for 5000 dollars more ? And better is subjective, not everyone wants a 1073 colored sound especially when stacking tracks. Here’s a thought get both ? I like the 737 on bass vs a 1073
Old 1st April 2018
  #119
Gear Maniac
 
catfishmusic's Avatar
Impressive job digging up a 16 yr old thread
Old 2nd April 2018
  #120
Lives for gear
 
rob S's Avatar
Let this thread die along with the 737
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