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Avalon U5 into powered studio monitor?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TestForEcho, Sep 13, 2004.


  1. TestForEcho

    TestForEcho

    Jun 17, 2004
    I'm thinking of building a simple home studio to record some bass tracks and this wierd idea just popped into my head. Just want to see if anyone in the TB community has tried this and what the results were:

    Would it be possible to run a Avalon U5 directly into a powered studio monitor for low-volume practicing?
     
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Absolutely.
     
  3. TestForEcho

    TestForEcho

    Jun 17, 2004
    Excellent. I figured it would work as long as I don't attempt to play too loud, which won't be a problem (I practice very quietly).

    Can you imagine how clean and accurate the Avalon into a high-end studio monitor will sound?

    It's going to be tone heaven.
     
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    If you like the sound of a DI'd bass, you'll be on Cloud 9.
     
  5. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i am ;)
     
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    For no volume practice you could use the headphone jack.
     
  7. newchibass

    newchibass

    May 21, 2004
    Chicago
    I know this has probably come up in here a bunch of times, but does the Avalon U5 carry over in a live setting if that's all you were using as a pre-amp? (I know they kick ass in the studio).
     
  8. I play a similar setup at home, minus the Avalon :) However I do play through my mixer and into my studio monitors. I find the tone is definately full range, but when I move over to my rig, anything I've practised doesn't translate very well. I don't know of many bass rigs that are flat-lined from 80 to 18khz. So, while this may sound great in the studio, beware the transition to your rig ;)

    - Andrew
     
  9. newchibass

    newchibass

    May 21, 2004
    Chicago
    Hmmm, that makes sense. I guess i'll look at the aguilar or demeter stuff. Thanks Andrew.
     
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have to disagree. I use an Avalon U5 for my live rig - as do many others - and it sounds great.
     
  11. SteveC, if you're refering to my post I didn't diss the Avalon, in fact I stated that I don't have one. Sooo.... not really sure what you're refering to ;)

    Every review I've read of the Avalon speaks highly of it.

    What I was refering to is moving from a full-range, flat frequency response to a 1/4 range, skewed frequency response of the typical bass rig. More to do with Studio Monitors vs Bass Cab than anything. The same thing will happen no matter what pre-amp he is using.

    - Andrew
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yes. I've played a lot of gigs going through my U5 directly to the board. It rules. I've also run it directly into a Mackie SR1530 powered 3-way speaker. That also ruled.
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    interesting idea,

    like MJ, i love the sound of the U5 thru the ol' monitors. course, my B-4 makes that "sound" a whole lot more gig worthy. ;)
     
  14. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    I just picked one up today and its wonderful. It has a very high output and is capable of driving big power amps with ease. The headphone amp sounds great, just slightly more smooth than the Raven headohone amp I also use. Testforecho - yes it is tone heaven! :cool:

    Newchibass I A/Bd the U5 against my Demeter VTBP-201s pre and at low volumes they sound almost the same to me (havent had a chance to crank it up yet). The U5 is just slightly more tame/smooth in the highs but both have similar mids and lows. Of course the Demeter is more versatile. It can put out more slam then the U5 with the bass knob turned up.

    I was wondering if the U5 could replace the Dem for live use but it cannot for my uses. The Dem has a lot more eq flexibility but the flat Jensen DI is the clincher. I like to have a post eq to drive my amp and a flat pre eq output to run to the house. The U5 gain controls ALL outputs so its not optimal to use to drive a power amp and run to the house at the same time because if you need to turn up at the amp it turns up the mix in the house. I think Im going to keep both units. Life is full of good choices isnt it? :D
     
  15. zombywoof5050

    zombywoof5050

    Dec 20, 2001
    You could just leave the U5 gain on one setting and then use the gain controls on the power amp to control your rig volume.
     
  16. SteveC

    SteveC Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Andrew - I didn't mean for my post to sound nasty. I guess I read something more into your post than intended. Sorry.

    Steve
     
  17. No hard feelings here :)

    - Andrew
     
  18. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Well this is quite disappointing. I love the tone of the U5 I just picked up this past weekend. It works superbly for recording and as a headphone amp. I was playing my passive jazz (very low output) through it mostly but yesterday I gave it a go with my passive precision. I dont know if my p has a particularly high output or what but with this bass I can clip the U5 big time. If I dig in it starts with the gain at 5/10 but with my normal playing style at 6 and up its distorting pretty bad. I would like to say that the unit is defective but I really doubt it. There is another at the store I can try to make sure.

    Basically this makes it useless (for me) as a preamp which is a big part of what I wanted it for as I have a great DI and headphone amp already. It just surprises me that the U5 would run out of headroom so fast. Ill stick with my Demeter pre. Tons of headroom there.
     
  19. Nightbass

    Nightbass

    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Something's wrong here. You can't clip the input of a U5 with a passive bass. No way. If you hear distortion, then you might be overdriving the input of your power amp.

    The U5 is a little tricky to use. It is not like a regular preamp. The gain knob is supposed to be set at 0 (unity gain) and then if you need gain to make up for the EQ loss, you add more. But it is not like a Demeter where you turn this knob up and turn that knob up.

    Are you getting the blue sweet spot light to flicker? (note that it is NOT a clip indicator!) When it is glowing blue, your signal is at the optimal level.

    5 or 6 on the gain knob is a lot of gain, maybe too much. With my Fenders I never go beyond 2 or 3. A friend of mine with a Smith was having problems with his U5 until he learned to ignore the gain setting and watch for the blue light.

    Don't give up on it. I've got two Demeters as well and the U5 is every bit as good (better, imo).
     
  20. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Thanks for the comments nightbass. I understand very well how the unit works and I agree it seems like something is wrong. It should be able to operate clean even at max gain. Its the U5 distorting not my power amp (my amp clip leds are far from red). Yeah the blue light is on... big time. I can get it to light up with my jazz but with the p its constantly on. Even after a note is muted the light stays on for a second indicating a strong signal. But see it is like a regular preamp. The gain knob has the same function as on the dem or any other pre gain knob. Its used to make your signal stronger for the power amp. Im my case I am definitely overloading the U5 because it distorts through the headphone jack exactly the same as the output going to the power amp. I agree something must be wrong. Im going to try the other unit in the store tonight to see if I have the same result. Will keep you posted...