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Avalon U5 Question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by outofthedeep, Jun 13, 2004.


  1. outofthedeep

    outofthedeep Guest

    Jan 14, 2004
    East Texas
    I know this has been somewhat discussed before, but I am not sure my question has been answered by runnig a search. My question is this :
    Does anyone own an Avalon U5, and do you use it as a pre- amp, a DI, or both?
    What do you use it for? Studio or live? What is the performance for each?
    I know it is a killer recording tool, but what I need to know is, does it work well in live situations.....
    Thanks in advance...
     
  2. grovest

    grovest

    Feb 26, 2002
    Oregon
    By now you may have searched and found your answers, but I will save you some time in case you haven't.

    Yes, more than a few on this forum use it live. Some have tried it and moved on because they felt the preset EQs were too limiting. Others are very happy with the minimal 'features' because they use the active electronics on their bass or they have additional outboard processing or they simply modify their sound through their fingers. I am sure you won't find anyone report that a U5 sounded 'bad'. All the detractions you will find will be surrounding the [in]flexibility of the product (and maybe the price)- a quality that only you can weigh for your own use.
     
  3. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    Well, said. I love mine and use it live and in the studio. It's my desert island piece of gear.
     
  4. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I have one and I use it every Sunday. My other gear consists of a Smith 6 (BSR 6MW) into the U5 and into a Stew 2.1 in bridge feeding a pair of Epifani 112's (NYC Underground, not untralites). I stay locked in on EQ curve 2 and I use the active electronics on my Smith. ALthough with EQ Curve 2, the Smith in Bypass is a really SCHWEET tone.

    I have tried to make myself buy another pre. Kern, Alembic, or Read Purity even, but I just can't. The Avalon is all I need. The signnal strength is incredibly strong, and I use the XLR outs to feed the Stew, seems to be better than the usual 1/4". But as I was saying, the U5, though limited in EQ options, which I initially feared, has proven to work just fine. The Smith electronics (only 9 volts) are plenty strong to give me EQ options, I don't change my tone much. And haven't found the need to. (BTW, I plan to buy the 18 V option when KEn Smith starts selling them, not that I feel I need to, I am just being greedy. I'll post a review to this thread when I do.)

    It's like going on a low carb diet, it's a lifestyle change. A part of my tone frustrations came from having too many options, too many knobs to tweak and buttons to push. Now, it's just plug and play, and I don't want to go back to anything else.

    I strongly recommend it.
     
  5. outofthedeep

    outofthedeep Guest

    Jan 14, 2004
    East Texas
    Thanks for all the input guys..... I had pretty much made up my mind to get one before, but now, it is definite. With all the live playing I do (mostly at chuch, where tone is more important than volume) and hopefully some upcoming studio work, the U5 seems like the only way to go. Thanks again.
     
  6. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    As with most live set ups, I was thinking of using the U5 as the DI I use to go to the house....not the case. Mine simply acts as a pre amp feeding my power amp. There is an additional DI on the back that I could use to feed the house, but between my Smith being at about 50% and the U5 being between 40 - 70%, the signal was too hot for the house mix. (or so they say, they're merely volunteers with an interest in live sound as opposed to folks that really know what they're doing...same with most church sound guys) So I plug into a DOD DI on the floor and take a feed off of that to send to the U5 in my rack. The tone I'm speaking of is simply my own ego driven sound, not what is being sent to the house. And as a stand-alone pre, I STILL vote for the U5 hands down.

    Yes, it IS a DI in theory, and can function as one, but it just doesn't get used that way in my world. I hope this doesn't change your opinion. It's still the best product for me, I feel because as I said, it's REALLY simple and it sounds so darn good!!
     
  7. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Ive been thinking about a U5 for use as a DI and pre at the same time. Be aware that the gain effects all the outputs. If you are in a live setting and the soundman sets your level in the house and you decide you want to turn up the U5 to drive the amp a little more, the sound guy will have to readjust your level in the PA. A solution could be to use the gain on the power amp to turn up but I dont like to do that. I will have a U5 at some point but it will only be used for either a DI or a pre, not both at the same time.
     
  8. Mario Lewis

    Mario Lewis

    Jul 6, 2001
    Clinton, MD
    I think if I change my approach to the gain structure then using it as both at the same time is possible. The recommendation I just got this morning from another conversation said for me to "set the Smith (the volume on my bass) to where you would with any other amp. Set the U5 gain to satisfy the house (using the 150 ohm XLR) and (using the 600 ohm XLR to my power amp) set the Stew 2.1 to satisfy your ears. That should work...." I'm going to try that this Thursday.
     
  9. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Be sure to let us know how it works out!