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Avalon VT-737sp Class A Mono Tube Channel Strip Limited Edition
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- Circuit topology Four dual triode vacuum tubes (Sovtek 6922), high-voltage discrete Class A
- Gain Range Microphone: Transformer balanced 850/2500 ohm, 0dB to +58dB Instrument:
- Maximum input level and connector types Microphone26dB@25Hz, +30dB@1kHz balanced XLR
- Line +36dB balanced XLR
- Maximum output level +30dB balanced 600 ohms, DC coupled, discrete Class A
- Instrument+30dB unbalanced front panel jack socket
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The Avalon VT-737sp Class A Mono Tube Channel Strip Anniversary Edition features a combination of TUBE preamplifiers, opto-compressor, sweep equalizer, output level and VU metering in a 2U space. The VT737SP Anniversary is identical in terms of circuitry, the only difference being cosmetic; the front panel is matt-black and the original orange LEDs have been replaced with cool blue ones. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the release of the renowned VT-737sp Class A Mono Tube Channel Strip, Avalon has produced a special "Blackface" model. The VT-737SP features a combination of TUBE preamplifiers, opto-compressor, sweep equalizer, output level and VU metering in a 2U space. The VT737SP Anniversary is identical in terms of circuitry, the only difference being cosmetic; the front panel is matte-black and the original orange LEDs have been replaced with cool blue ones. PREAMPLIFIER The VT-737SP has three input selections: 1. The VT-737SP features a higher-performance microphone input transformer with +48v phantom selection. 2. Instrument DI high source input with jack located on front panel. 3. Balanced line input, discrete high-level Class A. The class A preamplifier utilizes two cascaded, dual vacuum tube triodes configured with minimum negative feedback. A high gain switch boosts the overall gain of the preamplifier. The four high-quality tubes are configured as singled-ended anode coupled followers. A passive-variable high-pass filter and hardwire relay bypass completes the input signal conditioning. The phase reverse relay is available on all three inputs. OPTO-COMPRESSON The opto-compressor features a minimum signal path design with twin Class A vacuum tube triodes for gain matching. The optical attenuator acts as a simple passive level controller. Full dynamic control from soft compression to hard-knee limiting can be achieved with threshold, ratio-compression, attack and release controls plus gain reduction selection on the large VU meter. Special spectral c...
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The problem is that I needed this preamp over the weekend for a major production project. Unfortunately, when I opened the box and pulled out the unit, the "input gain" knob fell off. I immediately starting cursing to myself and thinking that I was responsible for the damage. I examined the unit closely and realized that the mount that the actual knob is attached to did not have holes that penetrated the metal. This means that the manufacturer didn't finish the job. They took short cuts by drilling the hole through the knob, into the mount, and then applying the hexagonal screws to hold it in place. The mistake they made is that the holes didn't puncture the interior of the knob (the mount). There were some cuts on the mount indicating that the drill bit touched the mount, but did not penetrate it. The knob was also bent slightly to the right, alerting me that it had perhaps been dropped or hit by the drill while drilling holes in the other knobs. This is a simply unacceptable manufacturing process. Read on and you will find out why it is so ridiculous
All that may seem like a lot of fuss over a knob, but it is a crucial component to the unit and I could not reattach the knob myself, nor did I want to void the warranty by putting the holes in myself. Here is the real kicker - the box contains a card. And on this card, there are the words "quality control check". Wow. The "knobs and faceplate" ticker was checked off. Simply unbelievable. This tells me that they did NOT do a quality control test on this unit. This is beyond unacceptable, it is deceitful and unethical. I have taken a photo of the card and I will send it to Avalon so that they can track down the engineer who did the quality control on this unit, and on any other units that are perhaps also damaged.
Note that I didn't rate this product even one star below five. This is because this is one of the best preamps available on the market, there is enough information available on the internet to prove this. You should just all be aware that purchasing a product online from Avalon may be a risk until they find the engineer responsible for this and educate him on proper testing of their units.
I've arranged to send it back, and I feel really bad that because of my immediate need for the unit, the vendor selling me the preamp didn't get my business. That is unfair and shouldn't be allowed to happen again.
Thank you for reading this. I wish you better luck than I had. (I literally got this in the mail on Friday the 13th)
RMA = China.
Invest in Avalon.