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A-Design's Ventura- anyone using it? What's the word?
Old 1st October 2013
  #31
Here for the gear
 
andrewk808's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
For running stereo two of these would be close in price to a Pacifica and EM-EQ2. I wonder what would be better?
Old 1st October 2013 | Show parent
  #32
Lives for gear
 
kittonian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewk808 ➡️
For running stereo two of these would be close in price to a Pacifica and EM-EQ2. I wonder what would be better?
It all depends on what you want. If you want a bit of color/vibe with a Pultec-style EQ the Pacifica/EM-EQ2 package is the way to go. If you want a very neutral/clean sounding preamp/EQ the Ventura is the way to go.

Either solution is going to sound amazing. Just figure out if you want color/vibe in your gear or not.
Old 21st November 2013 | Show parent
  #33
Deleted User
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Love the Ventura. Ridiculously versatile. I'm after a second one right now. Perhaps it's not much to look at, but I think it's a total sleeper that deserves much more appreciation. Best of all, it's a little less than you'd think, but it sounds expensive!

Last edited by Deleted User; 22nd November 2013 at 06:25 AM.. Reason: clarity
Old 22nd November 2013 | Show parent
  #34
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I have heard it many times. It sounds fantastic and as a pre it craps all over avalon 737. Tony Sheppard introduced it to me and it is on my list of must have press...there is on other pre out there that i have heard that is like it and i think it will end up being a classic. He told me the since he got the ventura that his 1073's are feeling a bit neglected.

Tony also turned me on to the Pacifica as well as the Hammer. Tony's got great ears and in fact there has yet to be a piece of gear that Tony has either loved or hated that i have not eventually come to agree with (years later).

The Ventura is a fantastic piece and Peter is the nicest dude.

ej
Old 14th December 2013 | Show parent
  #35
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temp Love ➡️
Love the Ventura. Ridiculously versatile. I'm after a second one right now. Perhaps it's not much to look at, but I think it's a total sleeper that deserves much more appreciation. Best of all, it's a little less than you'd think, but it sounds expensive!
Yea I would love a couple of these: )~ .
Old 26th December 2013
  #36
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I'm a fan of the Ventura for sure. I use it a lot on bass, acoustic gtrs, and vox. The EQ is very musical and versatile. I like it most because I feel like you can can really control the amount of color you want from the pre.
Old 28th December 2013 | Show parent
  #37
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman ➡️
I think you see a lot of Avalons for sale because many people who don't understand what a deep unit that is...
?. Huh? Deep unit? Its a preamp, simple bare bones comp and eq.

Theres not a single deep thing about that. The stuff you pontificate on is pure comedy.

You see Avalons for sale used because they sold a FREAKIN TON of units. I would guess Avalon has moved more 737s than all units sold by Adesigns to date. Its math, not magic.
Old 28th December 2013 | Show parent
  #38
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emwolb ➡️
?. Huh? Deep unit? Its a preamp, simple bare bones comp and eq.

Theres not a single deep thing about that. The stuff you pontificate on is pure comedy.

You see Avalons for sale used because they sold a FREAKIN TON of units. I would guess Avalon has moved more 737s than all units sold by Adesigns to date. Its math, not magic.
I think, honestly, that a lot of people bought them without understanding how to use them. I've had people complain to me that they couldn't get the compressor to do what they wanted (Complaining it's too slow, or some such nonsense), etc. Because they're people who think the vocal should sound mixed after tracking through one.

It's got a lot by way of control. Buttons that allow you change the order in which the EQ and Compressor are chained, side chain controls, etc. It's not a "set and forget" kind of unit. It's a flexible tube channel strip with fairly good Opto and EQ controls. An engineer will know how to use one without blinking, but a "Prosumer"...they're dead in the water when they buy something like this. Either they're too intimidated to bother with learning how things work half the time, or they're too unrealistic about how it should sound.

I'll admit they sold a lot of units so there is probably a contributing factor to second hand sales there, but it's a good product with fairly deep functions and controls, not just a preamp with one or two knobs.
Old 30th December 2013 | Show parent
  #39
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GeneHall's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman ➡️
I think, honestly, that a lot of people bought them without understanding how to use them. I've had people complain to me that they couldn't get the compressor to do what they wanted (Complaining it's too slow, or some such nonsense), etc. Because they're people who think the vocal should sound mixed after tracking through one.

It's got a lot by way of control. Buttons that allow you change the order in which the EQ and Compressor are chained, side chain controls, etc. It's not a "set and forget" kind of unit. It's a flexible tube channel strip with fairly good Opto and EQ controls. An engineer will know how to use one without blinking, but a "Prosumer"...they're dead in the water when they buy something like this. Either they're too intimidated to bother with learning how things work half the time, or they're too unrealistic about how it should sound.

I'll admit they sold a lot of units so there is probably a contributing factor to second hand sales there, but it's a good product with fairly deep functions and controls, not just a preamp with one or two knobs.
That's exactly right mate. I've bagged and grumbled about the 737 a fair bit. In truth, for my workflow, it was my limitations that probably is in fact what **** me about the box. It's not a set it and forget it" Ronco style all in one solution. Heaps on the used market isn't really saying that much negative about the product, tastes change, needs change. Not sure these two units compare evenly but I've not heard the Ventura, only the Pacifica which is surprisingly GOLD on darn near every Source..IMO.
The 737, is a very "deep" unit and whether the adjective was used to fast track a conversation or possibly used as a language (engineering lingo or mother tongue) limitation, I thought the descriptive was appropriate and easy to understand the post' intent.
I'm not so much intimidated by a 737 as I am impatient. What it lacks in intuitive control it makes up for by having essential elements to production that make it a very deep and easily misused and mislabelled box. A box that let's you move eq ahead of comp and vice versa is as handy a function as one could hope for.

Last edited by GeneHall; 31st December 2013 at 03:10 AM.. Reason: grammar
Old 30th December 2013 | Show parent
  #40
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclerico12 ➡️
I got the Ventura a couple weeks ago and haven't looked back since. I used it all over my buddy's covers EP, and it sounds great!!!

Here's a sample. I used it on acoustic guitars here:
https://soundcloud.com/domliberati/high-and-dry

It's a great, clean preamp with a very intensive EQ.


Is there anything that A Designs makes that you don't own?
Old 30th December 2013
  #41
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years


All I could afford! haha
Old 5th January 2014 | Show parent
  #42
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by unclerico12 ➡️


All I could afford! haha
very nice!
Old 6th January 2014 | Show parent
  #43
Gear Addict
 
Ryan Gregory's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman ➡️
Honestly, as much as I think A-Designs is a great company, I think you see a lot of Avalons for sale because many people who don't understand what a deep unit that is buying it since it's a considered to be a "hip hop and RNB classic". The truth is Babyface had them because they were well thought out strips with all the bells and whistles back in the day, and they were affordable. That popularized them, and then fairly...they were used on tons of hit records over the years.

The 737 is a pretty deep unit. It's not the best preamp for everything, but the EQ and the compressor are both pretty darn great for the money. I'm sure that you feel that the overall A-Designs sound unit to unit is more your style Kitonian, but to be fair to Avalon, a lot of people who wouldn't know what half of the buttons are on the Avalon bought one. It's got hard bypass switches on every section for A/B comparisons, EQ before compression switching, four compression controls on a decent Opto design, sidechaining function on it's EQ which link to the compressor...Hi-Z DI...and the ability to plug in after the preamp and use the rest of the strip.

I don't own a 737 (Though I've used them many times over the years) ...and it's not my favorite piece of kit, maybe I'd clearly prefer the Ventura if I tried it by comparison (It's possible since I loved the EM2-EQ.) But I think the biggest issue with the Avalon is that it's clearly for pros who understand it's features, it's not an idiot proof box...and since there's tons of units that the pros like which compete with all the different features on a 737...the pros tend to gravitate towards boxes that do one thing really well most of the time instead twenty years later. Currently there are more great boutique units which are also more affordable than ever in a lot of ways available now, most of which didn't exist when the Avalon came out, following in their footsteps. Now kids who just want to make music won't get the subtleties of this thing at a glance, making stuff with simplifier controls is always a better choice by default in those cases! The pro engineer community who was making hip hop, RNB, and pop with the Avalon in the 90's and early 2000's liked the piece because it was cost effective and fully featured, on the cleaner side so it plays well with other, etc. Even more modern classic pop like Imogen Heap's Hide And Seek were cut with one since it's always been affordable! (Though in Imogen Heaps case she was singing through a TLM 103 as the vocal mic that time, and I HATE that friggin' mic so go figure!) I think the Avalon IS the modern classic people tout it to be in a lot of respects, but to me it's kind of the SM7b of the channel strip world. On some things it's perfect...the rest of the time you probably want something more focused in one direction or another. (Lastly I will note that I think the Mercenary Edition Fletcher had made without the expensive knobs is the better way to go if you want one but whatever.)

Carry on about the Ventura though, it looks great.
I'd say this is a pretty accurate couple paragraphs. I've used Avalons so many times, and always loved it. However, reading gearslutz I've spent years trying tons of other pres, thinking they're all going to be more to my liking and finding that very few actually are. Of course I have a proclivity towards cleaner sounds, and a lot of engineers (especially rock oriented guys) MUCH prefer colored units. You just always have to take bashing with a grain of salt. That's something I learned the hard way!
Old 6th January 2014 | Show parent
  #44
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Ryan Gregory's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emwolb ➡️
?. Huh? Deep unit? Its a preamp, simple bare bones comp and eq.

Theres not a single deep thing about that. The stuff you pontificate on is pure comedy.

You see Avalons for sale used because they sold a FREAKIN TON of units. I would guess Avalon has moved more 737s than all units sold by Adesigns to date. Its math, not magic.
first of all, your last paragraph is absolutely correct.

Second, when he says it's deep, I think he's speaking relatively. Since it's such a popular unit, a lot of people who are NOT engineers at all, end up buying them. To those folks I think it would seem complicated, though to an actual engineer it is not.
Old 6th January 2014 | Show parent
  #45
Deleted User
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Boys, take it over to the "Why Do The Haters Misunderstand the Avalon 737?" thread. Irrelevant.
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #46
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mml ➡️
To reiterate, this thing absolutely kills on bass. The DI is amazing, or you can run a DI into the mic channel. The midrange EQ on this thing is just supernatural. 12 db of 600 hz? Sure, make it growl and it doesn't sound weird. Reggae subs? No problem and it stays super-tight all the way down. Love it.



+1 but I also agree with the REDDI + pacifica combo for a little more flexibility.
Old 20th January 2014
  #47
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Patching the EQ

I just got a Ventura and I think I'm just gonna love it. Haven't tried the pre yet but I fiddled with the EQ for a bit and it seems sweet.

I did record a bunch of bass using the instrument amp and it was amazing- I may never mic a bass amp again for a pop/rock production.

My question to fellow users is this:

How do you handle patching the EQ ? Can I permanently connect the EQ out to a patchbay normaled back to it's own return so I can easily patch the EQ into a signal chain ? I guess what I'm asking is- is there some way to easily have the EQ accessible at mix time or to track with another pre without going to the back of the unit?
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #48
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer ➡️
My question to fellow users is this:

How do you handle patching the EQ ? Can I permanently connect the EQ out to a patchbay normaled back to it's own return so I can easily patch the EQ into a signal chain ? I guess what I'm asking is- is there some way to easily have the EQ accessible at mix time or to track with another pre without going to the back of the unit?
Yeah, it's easiest to have patch points for each input and output then bridge them if you want the mic/inst into the EQ. Bear in mind you introduce another transformer into the chain this way but that may be a good thing.
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temp Love ➡️
Yeah, it's easiest to have patch points for each input and output then bridge them if you want the mic/inst into the EQ. Bear in mind you introduce another transformer into the chain this way but that may be a good thing.
Hmmm… true I hadn't thought about the extra transformer in the chain!
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #50
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer ➡️
Hmmm… true I hadn't thought about the extra transformer in the chain!
What Ventura mkII wants is a switch like the UTA MPEQ-1, where you choose "separate" uses of the mic and EQ or "mic->EQ" to get the option of running the mic signal internally, even if you're running to a patchbay. Champagne problems, these; the mic output transformer sounds great and shouldn't interfere with the tone.
Old 20th January 2014 | Show parent
  #51
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temp Love ➡️
Champagne problems, these; the mic output transformer sounds great and shouldn't interfere with the tone.
Hahaha I love that- Champagne problems. I gotta add that one to my vocabulary
Old 1st March 2017
  #52
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
A designs Ventura

Just got one a few weeks back. A stellar preamp and eq I must say. I don't have a large collection of mics. I have a u87 and a few Studio Projects mics using either a capi v28 pre or a tonelux mp1 pre...depending on the vocalist and it was and is just fine. The A designs Ventura is a beast of its own. To my ears ...very round and very clear preamp..it's got soul...really it does and the eq is incredibley good.
It will place your vocal where it should be...at least for me it does.
Old 1st March 2017
  #53
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I've had one for about 3 years and like it. It has the same pre as the Pacifica so that should give you an indication of the quality and character of the mic preamp.
The EQ is very intuitive and effective. The Ventura also is a great Bass DI.
Old 1st March 2017 | Show parent
  #54
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvoxx ➡️
I've had one for about 3 years and like it. It has the same pre as the Pacifica so that should give you an indication of the quality and character of the mic preamp.
The EQ is very intuitive and effective. The Ventura also is a great Bass DI.
I`ve owned both and the Ventura most definitely does not have the same preamp as the Pacifica- they sound completely different.
Old 1st March 2017
  #55
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I've had my eye on the EQ on this for a long time. I have too many preamps at this point so I'm not looking for any additional ones although I'm sure these sound fine and would make a worthy addition.

I'm still amazed that Montessi hasn't released the EQs on this as a 500 series module. Even at $1000 each, I'd rather pay $2000 to get two sets of the EQs and cut filters from this unit than have to pay $4000 to get the two EQs and two pre amps that I don't need.

Great looking unit, though. But I'm still holding out, after all these years, that one day the EQs will be released in 500 series.
Old 2nd March 2017 | Show parent
  #56
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbvoxx ➡️
I've had one for about 3 years and like it. It has the same pre as the Pacifica so that should give you an indication of the quality and character of the mic preamp.
The EQ is very intuitive and effective. The Ventura also is a great Bass DI.
I would do some homework before making that statement.
: )
Old 10th March 2017 | Show parent
  #57
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Reducer ➡️
I`ve owned both and the Ventura most definitely does not have the same preamp as the Pacifica- they sound completely different.

Interesting
Which one did you prefer on female vocals in general?

i have Ventura , and just thinking should i add pacifica, or something like manley tnt, maybe 1073 to my setup?

And which pre do you use now for recording vocals?

Thanks
Old 10th March 2017 | Show parent
  #58
Gear Addict
 
Sonic Reducer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hmm man that's tough, they were both SO good on vocals, especially female vocals. Both really have your back when recording bright dynamic female vocals. They never clip- unlimited headroom. The Ventura was clean and tight, was my go-to vocal pre for a while when my other options were API and Helios. The Ventura doesn't interfere with the mic at all. Just great. The Pacifica was also my go-to for a while- it has more mojo and thickness. Different top end too. It's a 'pretty' preamp. Come to think of it, when I had both the Pacifica and the Ventura in the rack, the Pacifica was the go-to all the time for vocals.

I've never tried the TNT so I can't pronounce myself on it.

If you have a Ventura, and don't want to add another Ventura, then I would suggest an AMS Neve 1073. Lot's of mojo and presence vs the leaner more subtle Ventura. Maybe combine the 1073 preamp with the Ventura EQ.

As good as the Pacifica is (probably one of the best price/quality pieces on the market along with everything else A-Designs makes), the AMS is still better. That's what I have and use now and have never been happier as far as transformer based preamps go. I now know why it's the king. I went through the entire gamut of pres- or most of the usual suspects at least- and I'm now down to just that. And I do mean AMS Neve . Not one of the clones like Heritage or BAE. Those are good (great in the case of Heritage) pres in their won right too, but AMS is the only one to really nail the Neve sound in the classic sense of the word. Despite what you'll read on here.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mididim ➡️
Interesting
Which one did you prefer on female vocals in general?

i have Ventura , and just thinking should i add pacifica, or something like manley tnt, maybe 1073 to my setup?

And which pre do you use now for recording vocals?

Thanks
Old 10th June 2017
  #59
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
w have two for two bus channels out of 24. We also use the mic pre. First the instrument in on the front panel is killer, super good on a live bass plug it in as adirect box supreme, A 10+ (Rating). The eq is fantastic sound fat & clean, A 10 (Rating), then the mic pre Good a 9+. The eq section on stereo bus is amazing. Only the Manley Voxbox mic pre I rate better. The eq's kill the Manley Voxbox. The manley has a pultec style eq very, very passive. The Ventura eq's get busy. I have had issue's with my units but Pete @ A Designs takes care of you lickity split. He even came to our studio with his design engineer Russ Johnson and personally took care of all issue's. Can't go wrong with a Ventura or, two or three, or four Etc... PS: I really do like our Vintech X73i which our great. The mic pre's are on par but the EQ's and direct box are superior sounding, plus you can input you mic in a separate input on the unit and bypass your eq section doesn't interfere with our stereo bus connections. Don't have to touch anything. Sonically superior to the Vintech and the Vintech is good...
Old 11th May 2018 | Show parent
  #60
Lives for gear
 
Monotremata's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by superwack ➡️
Actually, it's modeled after the Quad Eight VENTURA
Hehe hate to necro this old thread but just ran across it while looking at something or other in one of the other forums but.. I can definitely confirm that its a Quad Eight based pre. My friends dad Carl is the one that designed it.. Im assuming this is almost the same as the preamps he made us to use but with an added EQ on it. I dont know why but he loves the crap out of the Quad Eight console, I think every preamp he's built is in some way based on it.
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