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Avalon U5 help......
Old 20th March 2011
Gear Head

Avalon U5 help......

Newbie here......

I have just bought a U5 to run synths through. It came with no manual worth talking about and there is nothing on Avalon's site regarding connecting things up so I have a couple of questions before I damage anything or maybe simply not get the most out of this thing:

(Question 1) OK, I run a cable from the synth into the HI Z input on the front - should this be balanced TRS or is unbalanced ok (the sockets on the back outputs are balanced) ,I am running no more than about 15 feet.?

(Question 2) - I wil want to play around with this without the need to go into the computer so I will run the two balanced outs on the back into the speakers and if I want to go into the computer I will simply run these into ins 3 and 4 on my M-Audio Profire 610.....right?
Oh, wait a minute....on the two balanced speaker outputs on the back one says "mic level" and the other says "line level" - not two PAIRS of speaker outs, but ONE pair, one being mic level and the other being line I am really confused.

(Question 3) There is a "speaker in" socket on the back......What is this for?

(Question 5) There is an "earth switch" toggle on the back - toggle up is "earth lift" and toggle down is a symbol with a down pointing arrow ....what does this all mean?

Ok, sorry, those "two" questions turned into five but once I know the answers to these I am good to go.
I know this is a simple piece of gear, I just don't want to damage anything before I actually get to use it.

Old 20th March 2011
Lives for gear
goldphinga's Avatar

those are not speaker outs, it's not an interface. They are mic and line level balanced outputs to go into mic pres or your audio interface etc. you don't connect speakers to these.

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Old 20th March 2011
Lives for gear
Johnny Favorite's Avatar

Dude, the DI is mono. Unbalanced to high-z. If you`d like to run it through a pre/compressor, use mic out, or bypass your converter`s pres and run line out into ONE line in.

Speaker in is you can send a speaker out from an amp to it. The amp must be also connected to a cab or dummy load device or you`ll fry the amp.

Earth lift. If it hums, try to see what position it doesn`t, or is least noticeable.
Old 20th March 2011
Gear Head

Thanks guys,

Ok, so the unit is mono unbalanced, so I guess if I want to use it in stereo I need another one - right?

You mention "if I want to bypass the converter's pres" - would I want to go this route if I thought the pres in whatever preamp I use were better than the ones in the audio interface, or are there other reasons for doing this ?

Hey, I have one synth, a Juno 106 and when I hook it up just to play around with no computer - straight into powered monitors the level is VERY low. I assumed this was because I am not using a DI box to boost the signal. So, are you saying the U5 has no use in this set-up, that is, not using a computer?

Anyway, glad I posted here before using the unit as you say, "Jonny Favorite", I could fry an amp using the "speaker in"

Now the "thru out" on the front of the unit - what is this for? My guess is that it is for bypassing the pre on the U5 in preference to using the pre on whatever preamp I go into or for bypassing that pre too in favor of the pres on my audio interface - is this right?

Any more advice on using this unit would ge fantastic.

Thanks for the quick replies guys.
Old 20th March 2011
Lives for gear
AndyFromDenver's Avatar
Avalon Instrument DI, U5 Specs & Details

at the bottom you can download the manual

Just kind of curious. Did someone give you this? What research did you do before acquiring it?

In a live playing situation you would plug into the input. use the thru on the front to go to your keyboard or bass amp (or whatever amp) use the hi cut button to eliminate undesired freq. (or not) and push the tone button in and dial through the different eq curves (or not). On the back a sound man would take either the mic or line signal to run to the house. Or you can use either to run to your converter.
It will sound really good for bass or synth
Start out with the gain low so you don't accidentally blast something.
The cool thing about using two if you decide to get another for stereo is the notched dial to easily match left and right.

So to reiterate for you: Juno out with 1/4" cable to input. Hi cut optional. Tone optional. and out the back either a xlr from the mic or line (depending on the next step in the chain) to your whatever.

When your ready to get fancy pants: as well as above, run out from the thru on the front to an amp and mic the amp for a second flavor (Welcome to the world of phase alignment).
Old 21st March 2011
Gear Head

Anyfromdenver - thanks..............

Yes, I bought it new based on reding this site that I need a DI box for synths. Yes, I saw the link you sent me before but it has no info on connections, that is why I posted here.
I will only be using this in my home studio. The features (tone etc) I understand, it is the whole connection thing that always baffles me at this point.
Old 21st March 2011
Gear Addict

Is this your first DI?

The U5 is a great DI box and you made a great purchase. You will want to go to the input on the front (hi Z). The "Thru" is an output that outputs a high z signal just like the one you plug into the input. This is so if you were recording a bass guitar and wanted the sound of both direct and a bass amp, it would allow you to plug the bass to the U5, then from the through the bass would go to the amp (as far as the amp is concerned it would be the same as the bass being plugged directly into it).

The outs that you want are either the instrument level or line level. The line level out will allow you to plug directly into your interface or converter. If you have a specific mic pre that you want to use or are going through a console (live or studio), use the mic out as it is a lower level signal that won't distort your pre. The speaker input on the back would be used if you wanted to use the "head" of a guitar amplifier but still recorded direct. You would plug the output intended for the speaker cabinet into that jack to be taken direct with the U5.

The earth lift is a fancy term for "ground lift." If you have some buzz in the signal brought on by electrical grounding problems, you can lift the ground and that might solve the problem.

Good Luck
Old 4th August 2011
Here for the gear


i recently brought a Avalon u5 di to use live and and in the studio for my bass guitar.

the other night whilst on a gig it sounded great in sound check the just before we started playing it started giving a weird humming noise to my amp.

when i go home i tested it out and its not as bad, and its not a constant hum its seems to be where the lead is. seems almost like an earthing problem but the switch on the back doesn't really do anything but if i turn the tone of it goes away

i just wondered if anyone had the same thing happen? is it serious or just one of those things you have to put up with


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