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Hi there. i just received a brand new Avalon 737 sp today and done some tracking with it. and man...I'm really but really unhappy with what I'm hearing. so i want to know if this is normal since its my first professional preamp. .and i think it may not be normal

before i used to track with

preamps :

-Roland MMP-2
-MOTU Preamps
-Preamps in an old Ecler Stack42 console


-Drawmer Dl441

Mics :

-Shure Beta87c
-Shure Sm57
-Shure Sm58
-Sennheiser md-416u

Interfaces :

- MOTU 828 Mk2
- M-audio Audiophile 192

The Chain i used today was : RODE k2 ---> Avalon 737sp ----> MOTU 828 line in

The problem is everything sounds REALLY but i mean Really squashed and boxy...Almost distorting.

But nothing is clipping...

i mean the MOTU reads like -12db the Avalon read almost the same...

when my female singer sing to close it sounds like almost distorting very sqashed

and when she backs off the it sound really boxy as if the room reflections are all taken by the mic

Im really disapointed cause i though that my Avalon was going to open up the sound and make it clearer. and its almost the contrary...

i also needed to krank the gain pretty much to get something usable...

Man i mean. when the preamps in my 16year old ecler console (that i paid 300$ for 24 channels) sounds better than a 2000$ Avalon i think theres a problem. it may be me that has still to learn how to use it but sh*t for now i kinda buzzed off.

May it be that the Avalon is picking up all the room sound and make the signal appear boxy? where the ecler just seem so clear and open ? could the Avalon has so much detail that it just make the sound appear sh*tty?

for now i'm really disapointed in my purchase and i wonder if all preamps are like that and starting to wonder if i should continue to invest in preamps and gear like that if they are gonna make my recording worse than ever

I know many people dont like the 737 but please be Neutral and explain if you can what is happening cause I'm pretty sure that a 2000$ preamp isn't supposed to sound worst than a 50$ preamp

if someone wants to listen to what i tracked with the Avalon and with the ecler let me know.

Any input is really appreciated

Thanks in advance

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Markd102 Wed, 07/26/2006 - 21:41

Yeah I was thinking that.
While the 737 is certainly not as good as what you would expect for that price, it is still a very good unit. Darn good eye candy for the studio.... impresses the uninitiated LOL.
You could very well be hearing the room, but first bypass the eq and comp and see what the pre alone sounds like. You very well be killing the sound with your eq and comp settings. Very easy to do.

RemyRAD Thu, 07/27/2006 - 00:35

Now you're talking about what I've been talking about! If you know what I'm talking about?

First off, it appears to me that you have properly patched everything? I would be curious as to where you and your input devices level controls set? It is possible that you are pushing your unit into overload, accidentally on purpose and not realizing it? While I find your description of the sound quite articulate and quite fascinating, I'm thinking that perhaps you have become used to the sound of what you have been working with? Good or bad, you have learned how to utilize the tools you have before you. Now that you have heard something completely different, you are confused and bewildered. It may actually be the characteristic total quality of the particular unit you have purchased? Many of us have grown to love the sound of some very peculiar equipment at times. The difference is that we have all learned how to take perhaps what some might consider to be a negative and turn it into a positive that everybody seems to want to emulate. Or as is quite possible with anything new, operator error?

Take into consideration my own Neve console. The performance isn't really truly stellar. It's just that we have all learned how to create a certain sound by utilizing most of the bad things about those consoles. And so, as a woman, it makes complete sense to me when somebody says, "WORK IT GIRL"! I do. It does. I'm in love! I would love to meet Mr. St. Ives?

Don't discount what you're listening to
Ms. Remy Ann David

I'm Jewish, did somebody say discount?

moonbaby Thu, 07/27/2006 - 06:34

I had a 737 a while back , and was initially unhappy with the dynamics section. A bit on the twitchy side in that a little adjustment to the amount made a BIG difference in the affect it had on the program. It was also slow and "squishy", especially when compared to a Drawmer Front End One, Valley, or dbx units. I know that they did do some changes to increase the attack time in later models.
It's like the other posters said. You have to run the mic pre levels very carefully when you drive the compressor. Also, the EQ controls interact with the dynamics, whether you place them in the detection chain or signal path. You really have to be gentle with those settings, too. It's a bit wierd to get used to. Mine was an earlier model PURPLE KNOB monstrosity, and I got rid of it when I started having tube problems.I think that the best application for it was as a VO box, as opposed to tracking singers, keys, etc. It was a very colored processor, and as such, needed to be very judiciously applied. Otherwise, it would muddy up the overall mix.