I noticed that Tommixx is using a Demeter HBP-1 and an Avalon U5. I use a Dem 201S and have interest in the U5. So I PM'd Tom to get his experiences with these two units. He gave me a lot of useful info and agreed to me sharing it with the rest of you in TB-Land. [I didn't copy my original query, but I think you'll get the gist of it by reading his responses.] It's in the form of two PMs and here they are: ----------------Post #1---------------- Lo-Freq, HI! Happy to help! Hmmm....The U5 is the ULTIMATE DI box....what goes in is pretty much EXACTLY what comes out PLUS a little bit of Avalon magic that is impossible to describe...Words I would use to describe it are Accurate, Full, Even, Articulate, Clean, PRISTINE Audio!!! With the option to add some decent preemphasis by way of the various EQ settings (typically I don't use them on my own basses because I use my onboard on my Sadowsky Bass and my hand position and pickup selection to get the tones I want) depending on the Bassist I am recording (experience levels vary from first call pro monster players to first timers in the studio with minimal chops and poor attitudes!) and their gear will determine whether or not I need to use any of the EQ or not. Fortunately, I have access to great outboard gear as well from Neve, SSL, Manley, API, Focusrite (you get the point) so I have a LOT of options and don't necessarily need to rely on the EQ in the Avalon but I find that it is better to use it when necessary because it does not cause the phase problems you usually get when going to an outboard source. I have owned or used every DI box out there in my work and I promise you anybody who does studio or live work at the top level of the game uses the U5 (I do also use the 737 and the Demeter tube DI to be fair (Randy Jackson is a HUGE Demi fan)for that nice warm fat tubey sound for some things and I know a couple of big name engineers who use them as their "secret weapon" on keys and accoustics! I know 1 guy who will run the 2 out of a drum machine through them!) Anyway, I live and die by the U5 and can not recommend it enough! As far as my Demi goes, all can say is I am very lucky to have picked up a few new old stock 12ax7 tubes from my mentor Tom Dowd before he passed away (do a search sometime if you don't know him) I have no idea where he got them from but I can only imagine in my mind it must have been someplace special! They are definitely the shizzle! I used the original for a while and thought the HBP-1 sounded great but then on a whim I thought I would stick 1 of Tommy's tubes in there just to see what kind of difference there would be......JEEESSSSUUUUS like flipping a switch...almost like removing a "veil" from the sound. The bottom got fatter, the mids came alive and the top end opened up and the "air" was "there". I wish I knew the supplier I would buy as many as I could, add $10 bucks to the price and guarantee the results!! Retubing DEFINITELY makes a BIG difference in my expreience. I don't use the parametric (except for the occasional room smoothing which is very rare) I probably could have gotten the 201 and been happy but though I would be better off with the flexibility of the HBP-1. So far I have not really needed it as much as I thought I would. As far as comparing the AD2022 and the U5 - the U5 is a dedicated DI BOX/PRE and the AD 2022 is a Mic pre and a GREAT one at that, completely transparent with a lot of bite, punch, attack, and transient response. A REALLY hip mic pre right now and a HOT must have item in the big league studios. Most of the rooms I work in have at least 1 of them at this point. It will set you back about $2,500-$2700 for 2 channels of mic pre (also a great instrument DI X 2 as well) HERE comes the Curve - BUT if you want A SERIOUS BASS PRE/DI/COMPRESSOR/EQ check out the Avalon VT-737 SP - The Avalon VT-737SP features a combination of TUBE preamplifiers, opto-compressor, sweep equalizer, output level and VU metering in a 2U space all for only - $1,750 or so at GC, a relative bargain when you think about it (this is the unit that Nathan East, Leland Sklar, Abe Laboriel, TM Stevens and a LOT of the Serious Studio cats use including, on occasion yours truly) Hope this LONG response helps! T ----------------Post #2---------------- Lo-Freq, Just realized that I don't know if I gave a direct comparison of the U5 and the HBP-1 or not so here goes: the U5 is more HIFI obviously where the Demi is more tubey obviously - duh you already knew that... that is the answer anyone is going to give you - but that is the simple truth and the essence of the difference between the 2! The U5 will very accurately reproduce exactly what you play through it and send it back out to both the amp and cabinets that you are feeding and the console (be it house/monitors or recording) the quality of the sound that you get out of the U5 will be DIRECTLY proportional to the quality of the playback capabilty of the playback source (ie the bass rig or monitor rig/console) With my rig I can hear every nuance of my instruments and minute changes in pickup selection, hand position, boost, cut etc. The better the quality of the rig the more you will get the benefit of the U5. With the Demeter it is a lot more about the vibe of the tube - it is more of a feel - the sound just envelopes you - I get more into the groove of the moment and don't really worry about specific tones but more about the sound as a whole. Like this warm, fat bass of doom thing that just happens no matter what bass I play or what song or what style. Its like some kind of syrup forms on you and won't come off!! The net effect I think is that the Demeter fattens up a band situation live a little better BUT the U5 lets me dial in SPECIFIC TONES and is just VERY clean and CUTS through a PA like a Samurai Sword. The Real comparison - I tape EVERY show I do from the 2 buss record out with great results (bad habit - I still say tape LOL!) through an Alesis Masterlink 9600 (VERY happening unit!!!) Every show I tape using my Sadowsky through the U5 the Bass tracks like a million bucks - cuts like a knife - Same Sadowsky through the Demeter rig sounds "better" live (warmer, fatter, juicier, meatier, ballsier) on stage, but on playback seems muddier and not as clean and crisp from tape. Its like "damn that shizzle was happenin on stage but I don't remember it bein that muddy!" Again, great vibe during the gig but did not track as clean or as "great". The compromise....Run the Demi as the front end live (but do not use the direct out) and use the U5 as the DI. That is normally what I do for money shows and when it is on the line. Unfortunately, this adds about 12lbs to your rack by the time you add the rack ears and 2 spaces to your rack, the solution, I use 2 racks! 1 is a Live Rack and 1 is predominantly a record rack and I put the U5 in the record rack! Let me know if you need anything else! Peace and Chicken Grease, T -------------------------------- Very interesting stuff -- Thanks again, Tommixx!