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Avalon U5 questions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Mooooooo, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    I've just purchased the U5 but the manual is not helpful at all. Could you U5 owners please help me answering a couple of questions and maybe throw in a couple of usefull tips U5-wise. Thanks in advance!

    1. What is the speaker to input switch? What is it for and how do I use it?

    2. What's the purpose and difference between the two inputs (input and thru) on the front panel?


  2. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    1. The "speaker to input" switch allows you to use an amp as an input to the U5. You get the tone control and coloring of an amp into your DI signal. You MUST use a speaker with the amp tho'-- this NOT a speaker soak and therefore the amp has to see the speaker load. You will damage your amp if you use this feature wihout an appropraie speaker.

    Here's how use the speaker to input feature (note: this is pasted in directly from Avalon's FAQ on their site):

    Q: How do you use the speaker input on the back of the U5?
    A: The set up is as follows:
    1. Connect your instrument to the input on your instrument amplifier.
    2. Connect your amplifier speaker output to your speaker for normal operation
    3. Connect a secondary speaker output from your amp or your speaker cabinet to the SPEAKER INPUT on the rear of the U5.
    4. Press in the SPEAKER to INPUT on the front of the U5
    5. Connect the line output on the U5 to the recording device or mixing console.

    2. There are two 1/4" jacks on the front panel. One is an input, the other is an output.

    The right hand jack (labelled "thru out") provides a 1/4" unbalanced output. For example, when using the U5 as a DI with the rear panel xlr out going to a mixing board for recording or PA, you can use the thru out jack to send your signal to amp for monitoring or mic'ing. You can also use this feature if you just want to use the U5 as a preamp (ie: for input to an amp that requires an 1/4" input as opposed to an xlr).

    The switch labelled "active to thru" applies the gain selected by the gain knob to the output signal of the thru out jack. You can still use the output without the switch depressed, and then you'll basically get the instrument input signal as the output (no gain and no eq).
  3. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    Thanks for the detailed reply! I have two more questions.

    Will the speaker out work with a bass combo in the same fashion?

    Does the gain switch affect the XLR output signal?
  4. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    The speaker out will work if your combo has an amp output (say maybe for an extension cab).

    The gain switch does affect xlr (at all times-- in other words, the active to thru switch only controls the gain and eq for the thru out jack).

    Hope this helps!



    PS: love my U5, and know you will too! Just pure good tone.
  5. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    Thank you very much, Matt! Much appreciated.
  6. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Does the speaker out mode change the ohms your amp sees giving more power to the one cab, IE 8ohm - 4ohm?

    When would you want to use this option?

    Does this help get the sound of the cabinet in your signal chain?

    Thanks for your help.
  7. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    See answers above (inserted inot the quote). Your welcome!
  8. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    I'm having a gig soon and I'm going to try my U5 there. The thing is that would be a short performance and the bass sound seemed quite good to me last time I played at this club (twice actually). I wonder would it be a pain in the arse for the sound engineer if I decide to use the U5 as well as the CRATE combo which they have there. I mean in terms of fine-tuning the sound. I will handle all the connections myself and I will just hand the guy the XLR cable.

    Does the U5 signal need a lot of balancing/work or is it just sort of a 'plug and play' thing? We won't have a lot of time for the soundcheck. That would probably be just a short check-out right before the performance. What do you say, Matt?

    Is there any sense in bringing the U5 with me at all? I was also thinking of a possibility to have one signal clean at all times (bass-->DI-->PA) and the other one (DI-->Big Muff, Phaser-->AMP-->PA) with occasional dirty distorted sound.
  9. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    Yeah, you're describing what I think is the best use of the U5. That's essentially what it was designed to do (IMO). It is totally a plug and play device. Sound men should love it.

    Your idea of a wet/dry setup is a really good way to go. In fact, Geddy Lee uses several signal paths like that and blends them at the mixing board to get his sound. The U5 does clean like no other (IMO) but not dirty.

    I think it's well worth the trouble to carry the U5. I use UA's LA-610 as a pre for tube sound and compression, and it has really high quality transformer output, but I'm still using the Avalon between it and the board. To me, the bottom, depth of tone, and "3-D" quality of the sound that you get from the Avalon is just too good to leave behind.
  10. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    Thanks, man. So what's the best preset in a live situation? Number 4 I reckon? Our line-up is the drums, an electric guitar and the bass.
  11. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    I use 4 or none at all. 2 sounds great if I'm just plyaing alone (practicing with the headphone output) but gets lost in the mix.
  12. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    Yep, that's what I do. Number two in my headphones. :)
  13. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    n00b alert.

    What cable do I need to connect U5 to PA? XLRfemale-->XLRmale or XLR-->jack?
  14. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    a standard mic (xlr) cable will connect the U5 to a PA

    I use the U5 all the time, as my only preamp, with both electric and upright. I run the bass into the U5 and the U5 into either a power amp and/or the PA. I think it's a really fantastic sounding piece of gear

    If you want a dirty sound you could just put a pedal in front of the U5, like a sans amp bass driver.
  15. Mooooooo


    Feb 1, 2006
    Thanks for the tips man.

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