Avalon U5 vs. 'The Brick' ?

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centurymantra
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Avalon U5 vs. 'The Brick' ?

Post by centurymantra » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:05 am

Haven't run across a thread with this specific focus, so I figured I'd start one... After taking a look at the Avalon U5 and encountering virtually unheralded praise for it's sound, I've been considering swapping the Groove Tubes Brick that i currently own for the U5. Suppose I just need to try it for myself, but was wondering if there are any folks out there who have used both enough to share some personal observations, comparisons, etc. between the two. The Brick is a great little piece, but the U5 looks like it may be a more versatile and solid DI.

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Post by cwileyriser » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:52 am

Actually, I think if you do a search for "U5 and Brick", you'll find a comparison thread from the old TOMB from not too long ago, though there may not be as much "comparison" as people who have one or the other saying that they like them (or, rarely, don't like them).

For what it's worth, I checked into both, and got the U5 because (1) everyone who has one seems to think it's the greatest thing it the world (including me now), and (2) I already had a Drawmer tube pre/DI and a TL Audio tube para EQ, so I didn't feel like I "needed" another tube thing more than I wanted to try the U5.

If you can swing both, instead of having to sell the Brick to buy the U5, that'd be awesome I'm sure. You should be able to get a U5 from a megamusic store or online for $479. Both Musicians Friend and Sweetwater are running deals for free shipping and 12 months no interest if you put it on their credit card (yes, credit cards = :evil: - but when you gotta have it...)

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Post by kayagum » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:38 am

If you're doing straight instrument DI, the U5 is probably the way to go. If you're doing DI after a whole signal chain (e.g. effects, amp sim, etc.), I think the Brick/Ditto works great. It has done wonders for my theater live sound and direct recording.

It probably boils down to application. Can't go wrong with either, but you may get more flexibility for a small bump in price.
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Post by nestle » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:36 am

i just think the Avalon stuff looks so lame, like a pretty HIFI from 1977-
and the knobs wobble..I'm sure they sound great, but I can't get over how stupid they look.

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Post by dokushoka » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:43 am

They are very diffierent, but both are excellent units. The Brick is nice because you can also use it as a mic pre. So I guess my answer would be to get both. :wink:

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Post by snatchman » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:25 am

AS I stated before concerning DI's, I heard the Brick in comparison to some "higher-end" DI's ( the U-5 included). The Brick being the "cheapest in price" in the bunch, hung right there! Didn't sound the best, but just different!..I would have used it if I had to, with no second thought!... 8)

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Post by Catoogie » Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:48 am

i just think the Avalon stuff looks so lame, like a pretty HIFI from 1977-
And that's one of things I love about it. I think it looks cool.

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Post by dwelle » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:19 pm

how something looks has zero bearing on the discussion...

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Post by dokushoka » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:26 pm

dwelle wrote:how something looks has zero bearing on the discussion...
I dunno. I think a LOT of people buy avalon gear based on its appearance. We're unloading a bunch of it just because we don't like how it looks. :roll:

http://sfrecording.com/journalpics/day1/avalon.jpg

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Post by dwelle » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:34 pm

good point. should've said:

how something looks SHOULD have zero bearing on the discussion...

after all, a box sounds like it does whether it looks like shit or if it's gold plated with diamonds blahblah....

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Post by Bear » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:43 pm

I really don't like the Avalon stuff I've used. The 2022 and the comp (can't remember the number) both didn't do it for me. But I'd like to try the U5. I've heard lots of good things.
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Post by centurymantra » Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:44 pm

Ya' know...I kind of like the design of Avalon gear. Not my favorite, but it seems rather classy with a bit of a retro/modern hybrid aesthetic. I've never scrutinized a piece of Avalon gear in person, so my opinion could change...

I'm getting the impression that the two pieces aren't TOO far apart from each other, though I'm still quite enticed by the U5 and the DI options it provides. Maybe I should get both... 8)

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Post by MAR » Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:56 pm

how something looks has zero bearing on the discussion
You are fooling yourself if you think that the asthetics of a piece of gear aren't a huge consideration a purchase.

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Post by dokushoka » Tue Mar 28, 2006 10:33 pm

centurymantra wrote:Ya' know...I kind of like the design of Avalon gear. Not my favorite, but it seems rather classy with a bit of a retro/modern hybrid aesthetic. I've never scrutinized a piece of Avalon gear in person, so my opinion could change...

I'm getting the impression that the two pieces aren't TOO far apart from each other, though I'm still quite enticed by the U5 and the DI options it provides. Maybe I should get both... 8)
I love the Brick for big, tubby kind of bass tones. Very cool box.

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Post by the brill bedroom » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:17 am

Does the brick have an XLR input? Would it be a good portable mic pre?
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