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Avalon M5
Old 5th February 2009
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
Avalon M5

There is a guy in my area that is selling an Avalon M5 and I am thinking about picking it up today. What do you guys think of these? If i don't get this I will end up getting another Chandler Limited Germanium so i have 2 of those, Vintech x73i, or a UA LA-610. Do you think I should go with the Avalon since it is a good price, or wait and get one of the others that i mentioned? Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks!
Old 6th February 2009
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
the M5 is an excellent mic pre, very widely used by professionals. it's actually one single channel of the AD2022. its sound isn't as close and intimate as their 737 mic pre, but it's definitely larger and more detailed. i own several 737s and 2022s and i consider them to be amongst the strongest gear in my arsenal.

perhaps you're aware of the long-running "i hate avalon" show around here, but believe me, it's just nonsense. everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, but there is no denying that avalon builds truly powerful, awesome machines; people on this forum just tend to prefer a more character-filled sound (select ill-informed buzz word of your choice: warmth, colored, mojo - haha, that last one just makes me cringe). if you're not sure what any of that means, it's simple: in old gear, before technology was refined to the point it is today, unavoidable qualities such as distortion and inherent EQ qualities beefed up the bottom end without killing the desirable upper frequencies, making the sound "fatter" or "darker."

don't get me wrong, i've always loved that sound and i always will, but i think a lot of people are misguided in thinking that it's the ONLY sound. it's merely another color in our big crayon box. sometimes i want that round kinda sound, so i use a vintage neve (usually a 1073 or 1081). sometimes i want a very pure, honest sound so i use an avalon. one isn't necessarily "better" than the other; they are both excellent, high-performance machines that do two completely different things.

arguably, a mic pre is not supposed to color a signal. most of the top designers/engineers in the world strive to produce a machine that doesn't get in the way and amplifies the true qualities of the microphone in use, yet imparts a definite stamp of character on the sound. anyway, excuse my rambling on... i hope this was helpful. the bottom line is: yeah, you should definitely get the M5. in the right hands, it sounds beautiful and if you want to color the sound a bit, just get yourself a nice compressor. better yet, get yourself an empirical labs fatso; it actually gives you all the vintage coloration options you'll need in one analog unit. plus you get a few excellent compressors as well (their settings are fixed, but they're fixed in a very useable way).
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
I pretty much agree with what my man above me stated about the M5. It's not the sound I need to produce hard rock vocals, but that's why I have my API and SM7b. I'm actually selling my M5 so PM me if you want. Not sure what deal you have going, but I'm curious to see what deal you have going. PM me if you want more details about the pre. Best of luck with your search.
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