Just compared vocals through Preamps: Avalon 2022 vs new AMEK CIB (channel in a box by Rupert Neve)Used just the Pre section of AMEK (Avalon is pre only box). Then tweeked with EQ from the Yamaha AW4416 to get accurate comparison of Pre's only. Chain was Neuman M149 - Pre - Apogee psx100se converter into My8AES card - aw4416 - then back out to Apogee DA and out of it's analog XLR's to Yamaha MSP10 powered monitors. Results: I HAD loved the Avalon. Listening to both the dry signal, and eq'd/verbed signal there was no contest. The Amek has a wonderful "professional" sheen (and this was without it's effects)as well as placing the vocals up high and forward with great presence and thick richness. It's definetely "colored", but just the right way for that wonderful Linda Rondstadt power, and radio announcer thick gutteral click and nasal Thug! Whatever.. unbelievable. I thought I wanted pristine clarity and open airyness. I was wrong. The Avalon is not as rich on the vowels, and all the sounds sound like they are "alone" in space. The AMEK marries while producing greater clarity WITH thickness and you end up with something that sounds like a contiguous performance between all the words and sounds floating up high and forward. I think Rupert Neve is pulling a fast one on us (in the nicest way)because "something" in there gives the sound a "compressed" quality without any squash, and I think he's playing around with "something" the latest and greatest "make digital sound like tape" components without telling. You won't like it until it's eq'd but... it is very gracious goodness... Paul Disclaimer: I'm a musician, not an engineer, but hey.. I sing on pitch. I'm a better guitar player than Hendrix was (when he was 17), I listen hard, and I do a/b very "scientifically". I was just so wowed, thought some of you might want to check it out. Fletcher also likes it from previous post, but I don't know how much he really knows (smile). Hasn't steered me wrong yet, though. By the way, I tried to buy it from you first, Fletch.