Avalon 737 Preamp
A Classic Mic Preamp
Anywhere you go you're bound to hear a recording done with the Avalon 737 preamp: clean, focused, tight. It works wonders on bass and vocals, and was one of the pioneering boutique mic preamps accessible to project studios and home engineers.
The Original Avalon 737
Back in 1998, the first Avalon Design issue of this preamp was released and it looked much like it does now: silver faceplate, soft vanilla and white meters, same tube...except the knobs were purple. Reportedly, besides the ugly aesthetic detail and cheap knobs, this version suffered from some audio problem and the preamp has since been re-issued as the Avalon VT-737 SP, "SP" meaning special preamp.
The New VT-737 SP
After the original purple model, Avalon Design released the SP edition, correcting the problems with the first model. The tube is still intact and if anything improved, the knobs are more efficient, and the meters are more responsive.
It also comes with a basic compressor and EQ, which features 3 bands of equalizing power.
This makes the Avalon 737 a great value for the money, as it's a two-channel preamp at a price comparable to many boutique single channel mic preamps.
A Whole Mic Pre Channel Strip
Two channels plus a hardware compressor and EQ make this one of the best channel strips available. Plugins never quite get the compression or EQ sounding right; although close, it's never the same as a true analog piece of audio hardware. The Avalon does it all, and it does it effortlessly. It's a mic pre perfectly suited for a vocal-and-acoustic-guitar type of setup, what with its clean, colorless sound and dual channel recording.
Colored or Clean
Make no mistake, the Avalon is definitely considered a colored preamp. And if you aren't sure of whether you should go with a clean or colored mic pre, you're best off with a clean one until you realize which you prefer. There's always time to learn the differences later. Choose a clean Avalon and avoid wondering, "Why does it sound like that, is it the gear or is it me?"
Famous Avalon Users
Some famous users of the Avalon include Orgy, Hopsin, Mariah Carey, Nickelback, Screaming Mechanical Brain, Oasis, and countless more.
The pre is revered for its rubbery charisma that it imparts to the audio signal; not harsh, not overbearing, not too colored. Just a clean, focused sound perfect for bass and vocals.