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EBS -1 vs. Avalon U5 vs. RBI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassPulsar, Feb 7, 2003.

  1. BassPulsar


    Oct 16, 2002
    What's your opinions?
    Mainly I'm looking for something to record (DI), but I also need something that can give me a good sound playing live.
    I know a person that is recording using the EBS and is very, very pleased with it, but everything I read just keeps telling wonders about the RBI and the Avalon. Forget the price tag. ;) (this is not my main concern right now)

    Thank you all in advance!!!!!
  2. Yamarc


    Jun 25, 2002
    Okemos, MI
    My opinion is : U5! U5! U5! This unit is amazing! So DEEP so CLEAR so SWEET! I have an extra unit that I bought for a backup...I have since found that I doubt I will ever need it, these things are built like tanks! Mine is brand new with the factory warranty and the rack ears (additional 70 bucks). I am willing to let it go for a great price, especialy considering it has never even been out of the box except for initial shipping inspection. The tone controls are enough for me, but I don't like to go wild on the EQ anyway, do a search on these things I think you will find a LOT of great info/reviews about these units. Also check out their website at www.avalondesign.com So many famous artists use these things in the studio AND live. Thanks, Marc
  3. I think it depends on what you want to spend and what you are really willing to live with.

    Countryman is a good DI at a decent price point at about $150 or so street. I also own the Sadowsky Preamp/DI (I send ALL my basses through this first. I am the Tom Stanley on the testimonials page for the preamp) and for twice the money you can't beat it. PERIOD!!! Definately worth the difference in the Countryman because it is also a REALLY GREAT bass pre if you are using active or passive basses.

    THE HOLY GRAIL in DI is the Avalon U5. I paid $440 for mine from GC in Raleigh NC WITHOUT the rack ears (another $70) It is 2 spaces tall by 1/2 rack space wide and heavy as hell for a DI (12 LBS) but there is NO other DI that even comes close to it. I run ALL my Basses through the Sadowsky FIRST in my signal chain and then into the Avalon (flat here as it has 6 different EQ curves on a rotary dial) to a console, monitor rig or into my own live rig and my basses sound great. (The U5 straight into a power amp into a quality speaker will tell you volumes about your bass's tone and your technique)

    check out www.avalondesign.com
  4. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    adrian garcia actually had a U5 in his rig at one time but decided to go with the EBS Classic preamp for the long haul. He might be able to share some insight with you.

  5. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Even though I don't yet own one (which I plan to remedy soon), I would vote for the SansAmp RBI.

    I like the simplicity of analog solid state and the versatility of tones available.

    It should be plenty rugged (don't have to worry about tubes deteriorating or jarring loose).
    Its light.
    It sounds great.

    Tubes are the glamorous, romantic thing right now.

    Would I rather have an Aguilar DB680? Well, ideally, I would like to have both the Agie and the RBI.

    Each has sounds the other cannot get.

    You said "Forget the price tag", if cash is not an issue; buy one of each.
  6. BassPulsar


    Oct 16, 2002
    Thank you all for your time!
    I guess the Avalon is, at this time, the winner.
    However, I've read alot of good reviews about the RBI, and my friend just keeps trying to sell me the EBS.
    What should I do?
    Are all these 3 in the same category? Can I do exactly the same things with them (record, play it thru a power amp and a cab,...)?
    I already have a SansAmp BDDI. Is the RBI a step forward?

    I really would appreciate some tips, as I am feeling kind of lost here!

    Thank you!
    Best Regards.
  7. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I just got an Avalon U5. It is awesome! But it really is just a DI. A very, very nice DI at that. This is really what it was designed to be. It will work as a preamp to drive a power amp but seems limited in several functions where the EBS may excel. I do love my EBS Fafner but haven't tried using the onboard DI, yet.

    If you are likely to play where you are working with a pro soundman he will probably want you to use a Countryman DI or something like the Avalon. They very rarely will be willing to hook up to your preamp.

    I bought my Avalon as a backup amp, so to speak. If my amp fails then I can play directly into the PA.

    If you are looking for a DI that is by far the best that you can buy then get the Avalon. If you are looking for a preamp that will do the DI thing if needed then get the EBS.

    I'm sorry but I know nothing about the RBI.
  8. I went from the Sans Amp BDDI to the RBI and it works great for me and is definitely a step forward.The RBI has much more control over the tone than the BDDI with the Mid control and also seems to get a cleaner sound if you want.I've used it for recording and live use and it gives me the same good sound for either,just like the BDDI only more versitile and I think better sounding.It also has more output than the BDDI to drive a power amp.I haven't tried the Avalon or the EBS and I hear they are great sounding but if you are satisfied with the sound of your BDDI the RBI might be all you need.The best thing to do would be to try them all to see which you liked best but this can be difficult or impossible depending on where you live.Good luck.
  9. Any Guitar Center should have or at least be able to transfer an Avalon U5 into their location...if you don't like it you have 30 days 100% money back guarantee...you will NOT take it back...price should be right around $425 to $450 no more...the rack kit is about $70 on top of that.........
    Should come out to less than $500 TOTAL (plus tax)but you will have to ask for that deal. Standard price is $500 - $525 unless you ask for the discount!!!!!!!
  10. baobab_40k


    Feb 10, 2003
    NYC, NY
    The Avalon is a great DI for just about anything, not just bass.

    Personally, I have a preference for the Aggie...but that's just me :rolleyes:
  11. BassPulsar


    Oct 16, 2002

    Once again I would like to thank you all for your time and attention.
    I didn't make my mind yet. However this is where I am right now:

    1 - I contacted Avalon (by e-mail and got response in 2 days - great!!) and the Managing Director (!!) told me that they don't have a dealer here in Portugal.
    2 - I can get my hands on a RBI in two days! (and everyone likes this one).
    3 - The EBS is way to expensive.

    What do you advice me to do?
    I have a Yamaha TRB6II, and I really like a full, clean, jazzy sound (john Patitucci, Tom Kennedy - from the Dave Weckl Band, etc..).

    Best regards.
  12. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    If I were you i'd stick with the Avalon for that type of sound. You'll truly be amazed how good your basses sound through it.
  13. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I owned an EBS-1 preamp a couple of years ago and I liked the tone of the preamp but I felt that it colored my tone a bit too much. My basses sounded completely different through that preamp than through my SWR SM500. Since I really like the sound of my basses I sold the preamp. It is a great preamp if you are looking for a super aggressive tone with lots of headroom.
  14. Professor X

    Professor X Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2002
    On The Prairie
    I used a U5 on a tour a couple of years ago (the pseudo boy-band Go Fish) and loved it... I thought it couldn't get any better... until I tried a Summit Audio TD-100... I was blown away! Both sound excellent but I liked the summit better for my playing. Worth a moment to check out...Summit Audio
  15. BassPulsar


    Oct 16, 2002
    Altought the Avalon is the best, I think that is going to be very hard to get my hands on this baby. :bawl:

    Don´t you think that I can get the sound I described earlier with a SansAmp RBI??
    As mentioned before, I already have a SansAmp BDDI, and my main concern about the RBI is that i don´t know if the sound of a RBI is much diferent (!!better!!) from the BDDI. What do you think?

    I'm sorry for all this questions...

    Once again, thank you very much!

    Best Regards.
  16. BassPulsar


    Oct 16, 2002
  17. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Save your lunch money, beer money, collect aluminum cans, do whatever you have to do to save the $450 for the Avalon U5
    (at fulldiscount.com).

    I got mine off of ebay last week and almost broke into tears after plugging into it, yea it's that nice!!!

    I set the tone knob to setting #2 and run it through my Eden WT400 to fine-tune the EQ (VERY slight adjustment) and could not be happier. I've bought and sold alot of things over the past 23 years (EQ's,enhancers, Maximizers, octavers, sub harmonizers, tube this and tube that, you name it - I've tried it all!) looking for the rich clear, pure, pretty bass that the Avalon now gives me - I'm done looking!

    Don't skimp. If you're ready to spend $250 - $300 now, save another month or so and raise another $150 and get the Avalon!!!! If not, you will always be wondering about what it is you missed.
  18. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I second the "run out and get one" - they are absolutely great, for both recording and live DI.

    However, it's funny how everyone wants something different - the EQ setting I hate the most is (no offense) #2! :D My favorite is with the tone control off, and if I had to pick a preset, it would be either #3 or #4.