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Avalon Design V5 Pure Class A Microphone Preamplifier (Silver)

B&H # AVV5S Mfr # V5-S
Usually ships in 7-14 business days

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This is a Special order item. Est. arrival at B&H is 7-14 business days (subject to availability). Your order will be charged at time of shipment. Item is non-cancelable and non-returnable.
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You Pay: $1,190.00
Product Highlights
  • Discrete, Pure Class A, High-Voltage Amp
  • Microphone Dual Impedance Selector
  • 10,000,000 Ohm DI-In for "Zero-Loading"
  • Passive TONE BANK for Unique Shaping
  • High Performance RE-AMP Transformer
  • Switched Gain Control for 2 dB Steps
  • Sealed, Silver Contact Relay for Routing
  • DC-Coupled Output Drivers Control Bass
  • Low Noise, High-Voltage Power Supply

The Avalon V5 Pure Class A Microphone Preamplifier (Silver) is an ultra-high performance preamplifier, instrument DI, and all input RE-AMP.

Each element of the Avalon V5 is specifically catered to the source. It has separate XLR mic, XLR line, TRS line, and 1/4" Hi-Z inputs for optimal impedance loading. The switchable input pad features variable attenuation, depending on the input that is being used.

Rather than providing just the bare minimum of a low cut filter, Avalon has included a selectable TONE BANK of 10 input-EQ curves. Additionally, to combat high-frequency noise from instrument pickups, a separate high cut filter of -3dB at 3.7kHz can be engaged.

The versatility continues all the way to the output section, featuring balanced XLR and TRS outputs and RE-AMP/thru outputs. To take it one step further, Avalon has included a 1/4" headphone jack... allowing you to record and perfect DI guitar or bass tracks silently, and RE-AMP them later, concentrating only on your tone.

The Avalon V5 starts as a boutique microphone preamplifier, but that's really just the beginning of what it can do. It has the versatility and feature set to serve as single channel analog front-end for any audio source.

Versatility and connectivity
Dedicated inputs and outputs for any kind of analog source material. A polarity switch is also included.
Source-specific features
The Avalon V5's operation modifies slightly to optimally handle each type of input.
10-setting TONE BANK
Choose from 10 different input-EQ curves to keep the signal you need and eliminate what you don't.
RE-AMP capability
RE-AMPing has quickly become a standard practice in electric guitar and bass recording. V5 is one of the few high-end audio preamplifiers to offer it onboard.
Input
Inputs XLR balanced mic input x1
XLR balanced line input x1
TRS 1/4" balanced line input x1
1/4" unbalanced instrument input x1
Input Impedance Mic: 6,600 ohms or 1,800 ohms, switchable
Line: 9,000 ohms
Hi-Z: 10,000,000 ohms
Gain Range Gain switched in 2 dB steps, +/-0.2 dB

Mic Hi-Z: +20 to +60 dB
Mic Low-Z: +26dB to +66 dB
Line: -2 to +38 dB
Instrument: +2 to +42 dB
Input Pad Switch Mic: -15 dB
Line: -13 dB
Instrument: -10 dB
Phantom Power +48V regulated, 10 mA
Output
Outputs XLR balanced output x1
TRS 1/4" balanced output x1
Buffered Instrument 1/4" THRU output x1
Unbalanced 1/4" RE-AMP output x1
Output Impedance 600 ohms
Maximum Output Level Line: +30 dBu
RE-AMP: +12dBu
Polarity Switchable reverse, all outputs in relay
Performance
VU Meter Professional, wide range -30 dB to +18 dB
LED Indicator LED peak capture:
blue 0 dB
red +20 dB
Frequency Response 2 to 20,000 Hz, +/-0.5 dB
High Cut Filter -3 dB @ 3.7 kHz, minimum phase design
Noise 22 - 22,000 Hz, unweighted:
-98 dBu typical, minimum gain (-128 dB EIN)
THD 0.05% at +10 dBu
0.5% at +30 dBu
General
Headphone Output 1/4" TRS headphone output x1
0.5 W, 600 ohm load
Lift Earth lift switch isolates chassis ground from audio signal ground
AC Power Internal toroidal AC supply 115 - 230V
Fuse Selectable, 50/60Hz, 0.5A, 35w max
Dimensions (W x H x D) 8.5 x 3.5 x 12" (21.59 x 8.89 x 30.48 cm)
Weight 10 lbs (4.5 kg)

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Avalon DesignV5 Pure Class A Microphone Preamplifier (Silver)
 
5.0

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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5.0

Worth each penny

By Mauro Lambert

from São Paulo, Brazil

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Quality of sound

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Ac Guitar Pre Amp
    • DI
    • Mic Pre Amp

    Comments about Avalon Design V5 Pure Class A Microphone Preamplifier (Silver):

    Let's say 1200.00 it's not inexpensive, but worth each penny. The voice of the singer of my band Madame Rô, Rossana Torres, became better, clear excellent quality of sound. I tried to put my Taylor acoustic guitar. I never had a sound like this, passing thru pedals, di, etc. I recommend this Avalon.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Takes recording to another level

    By Tone Geek

    from Minneapolis, MN

    Pros

    • Great sound
    • Huge Range Of Options
    • Pro Quality
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • Pricey but worth it

    Best Uses

    • Home Or Studio Recording

    Comments about Avalon Design V5 Pure Class A Microphone Preamplifier (Silver):

    I recently purchased a Royer R-121 ribbon mic, and while it works fine with my M-Audio 1814 interface, I've been considering a standalone preamp for some time, and the new mic gave me the motivation to take the plunge. Before the Royer I was using mainly an Audio-Technica 4033/CL condenser (and I'm still using it quite happily on vocals and acoustic guitar). I'm a home recordist—acoustic and electric guitar, bass, vocals, and simple drum parts. I did a lot of internet research and—surprisingly—I bought the V5, despite very little user feedback available. I hope this review helps others in their preamp decision. I'm not a professional audio engineer, and I have not compared the V5 to other mid-to-high-end preamps, so keep that in mind.

    Other preamps I considered were the Great River ME-1NV, Grace M101, and Avalon M5. I went with the V5 based on its features, its "newness," its price, the widespread usage of Avalon equipment in the recording industry, and, yes, the ultra-cool VU meter (so pleasing for us geezers to see that old familiar analog response). By newness, I mean that all these other preamps have been around for a long time, and I figured that, given Avalon's reputation and advances in electronics over the last 20 years, the newer design was worth the gamble.

    I've been using the V5 for only two weeks, but I've put it through its paces. The DI input is wonderful. Recording bass is a dream, with gobs of heaviness. The preset tone filters are very useful because generally I don't want as much low end as the V5 is capable of delivering. They work well and clearly affect the sound. If the bass is a dream, then acoustic guitar into the DI is pure tonal nirvana. I have a Martin HD-28 equipped with an internal Ellipse Blend system (mic and piezo). I've played it through a number of guitar amps and, frankly, it sounded like garbage. I was never happy with it. First time I plugged it into the V5 my jaw dropped. Instant spectacular acoustic sound like Tommy Emmanuel. I've always wondered how the pros did it. Now I know. Record into the DI, copy to another track, pan left and right, apply some reverb, and my goodness it's like nothing I ever imagined. Again, the tone filters are really useful here--#3 in particular with the Martin.

    The reamping is lots of fun. I can record a clean electric guitar via the DI into Pro Tools, then feed the signal from the computer into the V5 at my leisure and send it on to my guitar amp. The Boost (gain) knob on the V5 can be used to boost the signal being fed to the amp, so you can achieve huge variation in amp tone from clean to highly overdriven. The tone filters can also be used on the output signal. It's so convenient to tweak the guitar amp while simultaneously hearing the sound. The only negative is that in order to record the amplifier, I have to use the old 1814 interface. You can't reamp and record through the V5 at the same time.

    The DI and reamp are just gravy as far as I'm concerned. What about the mic input? So far it's been all good. A key attraction for me was the dual input impedances, both of which are sufficiently high for the ribbon mic. My other preamp choices were on the edge of what Royer recommends. I've mainly been using the high impedance input for the Royer, and the low for the 4033/CL (which is the only option because phantom power is only available at low impedance), and the fidelity is extremely true to life. Vocals are clear and realistic, and guitar amp tones are reproduced with great accuracy.

    My impression is that this is a clean preamp indeed, as opposed to a so-called colored preamp (although Avalon's literature describes "low mid-range harmonic content," implying some coloration). Changing the impedance and the EQ (tone shape) settings does produce significant changes in tone, and this is one of the factors which caused me to choose the V5 over the Grace. I haven't explored all the possibilities here. Suffice to say, there is much to investigate. A curious thing to me is that this preamp has a huge amount of gain vs. the 1814. Where I'll have to crank the gain to 75% on the 1814 I seem to need only, say, 30% on the V5. Looking at the specs of the two units they appear similar (e.g., 60dB gain for the 1814 vs. 60/66 dB for the V5), but in use it would appear the V5 has vastly more headroom. By the way, the detented Boost knob is a nice touch; it's easy to come back to a previous setting (not to mention the whole unit is solidly built, and the knob produces such a satisfying click when you turn it).

    In conclusion, I highly recommend the V5 for its versatility and quality. It has given my creativity a huge push and sparked my enthusiasm considerably (as you may gather from this review).

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