Avalon VT-737SP
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Avalon VT-737SP

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VT-737SP, Channel Strip from Avalon.


28 user reviews
Prices starting at $2,965 average price: $2,965

Avalon VT-737SP tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Avalon
  • Model:VT-737SP
  • Category:Channel Strips
  • Added in our database on: 12/05/2004

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Avalon VT-737SP user reviews

Average Score:4.2( 4.2/5 based on 28 reviews )
 15 reviews54 %
 6 reviews21 %
 2 reviews7 %
 1 user review4 %
 2 reviews7 %
Value For Money :
yoTrakkz12/01/2011

yoTrakkz's review"worth it"

Avalon VT-737SP
This is a tube preamp, but using modern technology, it does sound a little different from the classic tube preamps. This has two preamps on it, both of which have the same controls. It needs to be put into a racked unit to work, and you need to either plug directly into it or have it set up in your patch bay to work.


UTILIZATION

The editing on this pre-amp isn't much different than most pre-amps. For each channel, It has an attenuation (input gain) knob. phantom power (+48v), a -20db pad, and phase reverse. Each channel also has an input (Lo-Z) that is designed to perform well with transformerless mics. The manual will explain everything about this pre-amp in detail, and the customer service that comes with it is very good. If you have any questions concerns or issues of any kind all you have to do is call up the people at Avalon and they will take care of you with no questions asked.


SOUND QUALITY

This preamp has a great sound to it. It doesn't color the sound too drastically, although it isn't completely transparent. However, most of the time you don't want something completely transparent anyway, mainly because it'd be a dull sound. The Fearn sounds particularly good with low end instruments like bass and kick drums, but it can be used for all instruments well. It does a particularly good job of bringing out a full, round sound and emphasizing the favorable frequencies.


OVERALL OPINION

I like the sound of this preamp the best. I haven't had the chance to use the Lo-Z input yet, but I look forward to it. The phase reverse and phantom power work fine, and the pad is useful. There isn't much more to say, other than this is a great tube pre-amp with a few modern touches thrown in for good measure.
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mooseherman06/24/2010

mooseherman's review"High-Quality, smooth preamp"

Avalon VT-737SP
This is a vacuum tube based pre-amp. Unlike some other preamps, this one is only one pre-amp per rack unit. There are also compressors and equalizers on this pre-amp too, which makes it a really versatile thing indeed. There are two XLR inputs in the rear, one for mic and one for line inputs. There is also an XLR out as well as a compressor link (1/4"). There is also phantom power, a phase reverse, a button for high gain mode as well as a filter switch for activating the high or low-pass filters.

UTILIZATION

This is actually a somewhat complex piece of machinery. In addition to the mic pre's you have compressors and EQs for each unit, so there's a whole lot of controls for this thing. The dilemma arises when you decide whether or not you want to add compression later, or just do it right away. As far as the pre-amp goes, there are knobs for input gain, a switch to determine whether the input is mic, instrument, or line, and a high pass filter. The compressor has four knobs, Threshold, Compression, Attack and Release. The EQ is four-band (Low, Lo Mid, High Mid, Hi), and there is an output switch right next to it. There are also four filter knobs underneath the EQ. The EQ and compressor can be bypassed by hitting the respective switches.

SOUND QUALITY

In the interest of full disclosure, I don't record anybody else's projects with the compression or EQ on. I like this unit for the sound of the mic pre alone. However, I experimented a few times and found that the compressor is a particularly versatile one when applied in the right situations. I actually found it comparable to many outboard compressors that we own. The EQ I didn't like as much, mainly because it wasn't easy to work with after the fact, during mixing. However, this pre-amp is solid enough that I don't think I'd worry too much about the compressor or EQ. The tone is so clear and warm, and while it's not completely transparent, I have yet to find an instance where it hasn't worked for me. I've used it on everything from drum overheads to guitars and bass, and have had good results.

OVERALL OPINION

I like the fact that this pre-amp has such a good sound. The compressor and EQ are neat features, but I'm wondering what the cost would have been had they not added these features. It might be more worth it to just get this instead of a compressor and EQ, that way you have it all in one unit. Most people, especially those who have a lot of outboard gear, probably wouldn't do that, but home studio owners might. Overall, this is a really versatile and solid machine.
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moosers02/14/2009

moosers's review

Avalon VT-737SP
The Avalon VT-737SP is a vacuum tube based microphone preamplifier. It also has an on board compressor and EQ and is really a full channel strip. It has XLR inputs and outputs in the back and also has a 1/4 inch instrument input in the front. It is a rackable unit and will take up 2 rack spaces.

UTILIZATION

All of the knobs and buttons can be a bit overwhelming at first, but it just adds to its versatility and is easy to figure out what everything does in a bit of time. A lot of times I won't even touch the EQ or compression sections and just use the preamp, which eliminates a lot of the buttons. Overall, it is easy to get a good sound out of this. I don't have a manual but I would definitley think that it would helpful when learning this piece of gear.

SOUND QUALITY

The Avalon VT-737SP is a great sounding preamp. It is warm, but it won't color the sound as it portrays an accurate sound that comes in crisp and clear. I also really like the EQ and the compression on this as both are very helpful and sound great. The EQ is in depth which allows for a great deal of zeroing in on the sound you want.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using the Avalon VT-737SP for about four or five years. In terms of modern outboard preamplifiers, this is one of my favorite. The sound from my microphones comes in clear and I have a great deal of control with EQ and compression. This makes me happy because it allows me to get the sound I am looking for, and can usually get it pretty quickly with this unit. The price is expensive but is probably set right for a high end preamp with an outboard compressor and EQ. Overall I love this preamp and would recommend it to those looking for a great pre amp that also has a compressor and EQ.
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JackLudden08/09/2008

JackLudden's review

Avalon VT-737SP
This is a Fantastic analog tube preamp/channel strip. In addition to a great sounding preamp, there's also a compressor with variable threshold, attack, release, and ratio, and an EQ section. The EQ has a high and low shelf, as well as three sweepable bands with variable frequency and a hi/low Q switch. There is phantom power, a high pass filter with variable frequency, a phase reversal switch, a High Gain switch (hotter, much dirtier signal), and switches to enable/disable the compressor or EQ.You can also set this unit to place EQ before compression, or compression before EQ, which is a handy feature. It also has a nice backlit VU meter. which you can use to meter output or compression attenuation - another handy feature. The connection type is of course XLR. It is a rackmounted strip, taking up two standard rack units.

UTILIZATION

The front panel is laid out very simply considering the amount of options present. You can use this as simply as just being a preamp - basically just using the preamp gain for signal level and also the desired color of the tone, and then the output gain to get the level right. However the other elements are quite easy to use. The controls are laid out in a standard way as far as the parameters for the compression and EQ. One thing that may have a bit of a learning curve is that the compressor attack/release times are not labled in milliseconds - but rather a pot that has fast on one side and slow on the other. So you may want to play with that a bit to get a feel for the times. Avalon provides a very extensive manual, even providing you with some suggested settings to start with on certain instruments.

SOUND QUALITY

This is definitely a preamp that will color your sound - but almost always in a very good way. In addition, the amount of color that is added is something I have found to be variable depending on how hard you have cranked the preamp gain knob, and if you have the compressor working. The compressor has this crunchy, crispy sound that I love. I put a U87 through this preamp for vocals, compress lightly on the way to my DAW, and it sounds fantastic. It is a tube preamp, so if you have the gain set high, there is going to be a saturated tone. If you are looking for something more crystal clear - you may want to go for something like the AD2022 by Avalon.

OVERALL OPINION

I have been using this for about a year. I absolutely love what it does to the sources I put through it. Everything you put through this pre seems to become larger, and more up-front. So that being the case, it is usually best suited for things that are going to be prominent in your mix - perhaps vocals, a lead guitar, or a bass guitar depending on the song. This unit also can record a DI instrument, and I've had great results recording DI bass with the 737. This really is a great pre, and combined with a Neumann U87 mic it's hard to beat for vocals - you've heard this combo on countless hit songs, and actually it is very frequently used for voice overs in film and television. The compression sounds great and has a nice character, and the EQ is very smooth. Especially the highs. You can boost the high shelf at 32k, which sounds silly because you can't hear that high, but it DOES make a difference - it somehow affects the highest part of the spectrum that you can hear in a very attractive way if you need something to be a bit more airy and bright. One thing that I sometimes have a problem with is noise. With 24-bit recording it's tempting to get a very high level, and one shortcoming this pre has is that at the upper limits of the gain it provides, it begins to get very dirty sounding - which sometimes is good and sometimes not. The High Gain switch provided I have found usually introduces too much noise to be useful, unless you want it as an effect. This item is pricey, but I have found it to be a worthy investment. I'd buy it again.
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Other names: vt737sp, vt 737 sp, vt737 sp, vt737spn, vt737 sp n, vt737 spn

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