The Avalon VT-737 SP is a channel strip consisting of a mic preamp/line input, compressor and equalizer. It is designed to be a high-quality front-end for single-channel recording and is a particular favourite for pop vocals.

The Avalon VT-737 was one of the first all-in-one channel strips to hit the audio market, conceived as a ‘Swiss Army pocket knife for recording’, although it is optimised to best handle vocals. The VT-737 uses a hybrid of valve and Solid State electronics to achieve a sound that is round, warm and focussed.

The Avalon’s input section offers a high-quality mic preamp as well as line and instrument inputs, making it well-suited to Direct Inject (DI) recording of bass guitars. The preamp imparts the subtle warming effect of added harmonics, as is inherent in tube circuitry, although its high headroom keeps it clean and full without noticeable distortion. [In the default configuration, the compressor follows next in the chain.] This is an optical compressor that is geared more towards slower, subtler compression whilst still allowing continuous control over all parameters. [Last in the signal path is the four-band EQ.] Much like the compressor, 4-Band EQ is best suited to sweetening and enhancing the source rather than radically shaping. Its two mid-frequency bands can be switched out of the audio path and into the compressor to act as sidechain EQ, allowing for flexible control over de-essing.

The VT737-SP is a relatively neutral-sounding device when compared to many other studio heavyweights, so is best-suited in situations where the source sound needs to be preserved and not heavily coloured. While not a ‘character’ piece, it captures sound exceptionally well, adding a touch of polish to a voice or instrument. 

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: Unbalanced 1 meg ohm, 0dB to+30dB Line: Balanced Class A 20k ohms, -27dB to 28dB
Maximum input level and connector types Microphone: 26dB@25Hz, +30dB@1kHz balanced XLR Instrument+30dB unbalanced front panel jack socket
Line +36dB balanced XLR
Maximum output level +30dB balanced 600 ohms, DC coupled, discrete Class A
Output type and gain XLR connector, output trim gain -45dB to 20dB
Noise 20kHz unweighted -92dB
Noise microphone EIN -116dB, 22Hz to 22kHz unweighted
Distortion THD, IMD 0.5%
Frequency response -/2.5dB 10Hz to 120kHz input filter included
Frequency response -3dB 1Hz to 200kHz line in-out
VU meter and gain reduction High quality illuminated OVU =+4dB and gain reduction to -20dB
High cut filter Variable 6dB per octave 30Hz to 140Hz
Compressor type Optical passive attenuator incorporating twin vacuum tubes and stereo link
Threshold - Ratio Threshold variable -30dB to +20dB, ratio-compression variable 1:1 to 20:1
Attack - Release Attack variable 2mS to 200mS, release variable 100mS to 5 seconds
Equalizer type Discrete Class A, variable active and switched passive design
Frequency bands (4) Treble - switched 10kHz, 15kHz, 20kHz, 32kHz, +/- 20dB range, shelf High mid - variable 200Hz to 2k8Hz and 2kHz to 28kHz, +/- 16dB range, hi-lo Q Low mid - variable 30Hz to 450Hz and 300Hz to 4k5Hz, +/- 16dB range, hi-lo Q Bass - switched 15Hz, 30Hz, 60Hz, 150Hz, +/- 24dB range, shelf
AC power Internal toroidal 100v to 240v, 50-60Hz selectable, 75 watts maximum
Dimensions 19 x 12 x 3.5 in (482 x 305 x 89mm)
Weight 22lbs (10kg)
Dimensions-shipping carton 21 x 18 x 8 in (533 x 457 x 203mm)
Weight-packed 26lbs (11.8kg)

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