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Avalon VT-737sp Reviews

4.5 stars based on 37 customer reviews
Questions about the Avalon VT-737sp?

Questions about the Avalon VT-737sp?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Mike Conyers

    The Avalon! It's simply impossible to go wrong with this piece; I've used it for hip-hop vocals, acoustic guitar, rock singing, and more! This is a channel strip that will never fall out of use in your studio, I guarantee it!

  • Shaka Dhladhla

    The Avalon VT-737sp was the first mic pre I added to my studio. The results I've been able to achieve when I run vocals through it still amaze me! The control and full sound give the vocals definition and a character that engineers strive to attain. I don't know where I'd be without it! Without a doubt, this is a must-have in any project studio.

  • Patrick Dennis

    Huge, Heavy, Awesome, Warm! The VT737SP is for ANYONE who wants great sound. Period!

  • Delvin Wolf

    No matter what mic you're using, no matter what you're recording, I've never been able to get the VT737SP to sound bad. What a great "go-to" channel strip.

  • from March 27, 2017Music Background:
    Hip hop / pop / r and b engineer

    The gold standard

    If you record vocals do yourself a favor and buy an Avalon. have a big studio sound anywhere. This is must own gear if you are in the Pop, R and B or Hip Hop genres.

  • from December 20, 2016

    Incredible pre for voice overs

    Feel like I've just scratched the surface with it since there are so many bells and whistles... but so far I love it. I am a full time voice over talent and went from a solid-state pre-amp, the RME babyface (which is also awesome), but wanted a touch more presence and warmth.

    I was looking for more of a "tweak" than a complete change in sound.

    I'm new to tubes, but so far I'm in love. The Avalon pre-amp is stellar. Super-quiet (that was a concern since my RME pre was insanely quiet), and it did add just that hint of warmth I was hoping for.

    The unit is also literally warm -- tubes get hot. It's normal, but just something to be aware of.

    I still use the babyface as an interface, so I'm able to switch back to that pre-amp if I really want the solid-state sound for some reason.

  • from Mauritius July 30, 2016Music Background:
    Sound Engineer


    Its does what it says...

  • from Houston TX August 24, 2015Music Background:
    Studio Dude

    Beautiful... sooooo beautiful!

    The tones and smoothness is unreal! Makes any mic sound so awesome.

    The good= Eq is great, Dessing is Great, preamp section sound like straight sex. lol, this thing will make most mics sound beautiful. Guitars sound like crystals sucker punching your earholes with pure awesomness. Bass guitars sound fat like yo mama, Straight Awesomeness. Vocals are where this thing really shines. OMG Dude. This thing will do it. This thing is ALL you need for vocals. Singing through a mic without it you might sound like a donkey kicking a chicken's butt but plug your mic through this thing and sing again and you will sound like heaven exploding from your mouth.
    I'm telling you, It's all good stuff here.

    The bad side: The Compressor is not that fast... but so the hell what. you don't need a fast compressor for vocals unless you want to do some crazy Jack White type stuff, in which case I would suggest buying either an 1176 or a 6176 to use in line with this preamp.

    Beautiful tones, increase the quality of any mic, guitar, bass guitar, drums... etc... Easy to use, EQ very responsive, great DeSsing, multiple options of use.

    Compressor not that fast. (neither is yo mama) Who cares! BUY IT!

  • from March 28, 2015

    Awesome tool

    This is a one stop tool for for vocals. The pre is very clean and I used it for years as my only channel for vocals. Now I use the Great River mic pre into the vt737 for compression and EQ, with the mid bands side chained to the comp for de-essing. It's so effective and transparent I can get 12-15 db compression with no noticeable artifacts. The high eq is perfect for adding "air" to any mic. I've tried a bunch of different compressors but the vt737 always works best for vocals. Also love this box for bass DI. After years of use the tubes are still working perfect.

  • from Saint Paul, MN January 17, 2015Music Background:
    Producer, Recording Engineer

    God given preamp!!

    One of the best mic pre's out there, if you don't have one you're missing out! So you better save your money or find a second job if you want this beast!! Lol

  • from New Jersey June 13, 2014Music Background:
    Music Producer


    Just Got my Avalon 737 after long time looking for a Chanel strip. sounds amazing on vocals, classic sound for hip hop. Avalon 737 is the best ever!

  • from Tulsa September 16, 2013Music Background:
    Everthing that gotta so wit music

    Wow its everything that you counl dream of

    Okay let me tell u this was like a dream come true when i finaly got me a avolon 737 i usta dream of having a high end preamp ..exspecialy if u dont got 2400 sitting arond to play wit ..i read alot of reviews and watched alot of videos ..for all them gear slutz bloggers do not no what they are talking about..i been doing this for 7 years recording locals i had a presonus eureka it sonded aighttt atthe 500$ range but for the high end range this avolon is night and day over low buget gear very great preamp its like for allllllll them mixes that you did and u felt like somethan was missing ...what u missing is this avolon its like your words just be so bendable if thats a word fit in the mix with no prob fat warm vocals your music be so on point sond like a big boy studio and not no. At home still learning studio your your mix game do haft to be proper and if so this is all she wrote this is everything i thoght it was all the days i dreamed of a avolon 737 i finaly got one and i cant. Stop smiling so all the people i seen say the 737 dont sond good is crazy u just dont no what u doing if cant make a great sounding mix wit out it its pointless for u to get this this is for big boys not lil boys staying at home wit ya moma lol studio in the room lol lol type mix this i wanna take my music to the next level type gear avolon 737 is. A game changer this is what u missing alll along not one regret money well spent...

  • from compton ca usa September 28, 2012Music Background:
    pro musician,rec engineer

    my second 737

    i tried manley vary mu, but not, i'm getting my second 737.and i am using it for 2 buss can you believe it. better results than vary mu cause 737 has world best eq.

  • from Dearborn MI May 25, 2010Music Background:
    Musician, Songwriter

    Just The Best

    I can't say enough good things about the Avalon. I purchased two. The first many years ago and loved it so much as it just made anything I passed through it. Best DI for Bass I have ever heard. So smooth and full. Great vocal mic pre. The EQ section is great. I use the the two Avalons at mix down as external plugins in Cubase 5. Really works on everything very well.

  • from Medellin March 17, 2009Music Background:
    Music Producer

    My baby

    With any intrument or vocal it soung with any other!!!

  • from New Jersey December 23, 2008Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Student


    This thing is like hot chocolate on a cold winter night it just warms everything that passes thru it,if you are considering purchasing this unit then look no further your LORD & SAVIOR IS HERE !.

  • from Norway November 24, 2008Music Background:
    Hobbyist, engineer

    Holy balogney

    The government should make it mandatory for every citizen to have this device strapped around their neck, 24/7, 365 days a year, to speak through. Dont talk to me unless its through a 737.

  • from New York, NY USA October 31, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Producer

    After using this, there is NO OTHER Channel Strip!!!

    I use the 737sp in my setup a lot, mainly as a front-end when I'm recording into Logic with a Rosetta interface. Paired with a Neumann U-87, this thing is unbeatable. I love to use it on my R&B songs, as it adds an intimacy and warmth like no other. The best of the best!

  • from Los Angeles, CA October 23, 2008Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Hip-hop / R&B Standard

    In major hip-hop studios and pre-production rooms
    many people live and die by the 737. A very famous producer uses this compressor (dr.xxx) exclusively. if you haven't heard it you need to buy/rent it if that's your type of music

  • from Big Apple January 27, 2008Music Background:
    Engineer- Studio and Live.

    Unbelievable Sound on Vocals especially

    The Vacuum Tube 737 is a great Channel Strip. It's tremendous on Vocals and everything else. I give it an A+. It's built like a tank and built to last. It's undoubtedly the best of all the channel strips and pre's I've tried.

  • from Dallas, TX December 22, 2007Music Background:
    Voice Actor

    Pro Gear at an excellent Price

    Yeah it's over two grand but think about it for a moment. What you get is an awesome tube mic pre that is fit for practically any audio application especially if you replace the factory tubes with better ones. This IS the mic pre standard as far as I'm concerned hands down. If you can't afford it then you are not ready for the "next level" is all I'm saying--take out a loan, sell your SUV do anything to get this godster!

  • from Florida July 30, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Musician 27 years. Recording engineer for over 22 years.


    I loved it from the first few seconds that I ran a guitar through it. We also have the Demaria, which is supposed to be very good for guitars, but I like the Avalon more.

    It's sweet, tight and ............... DELICIOUS!!


  • from Calgary Canada June 12, 2007Music Background:

    THE Tool

    It wasn't what I expected. At first I was a little disappointed because I expected more forward vocal sounds and even considered returning it. But after some experimentation I've found it's strengths and weaknesses. It's a softer sound that differs a lot from the clarity and detail of digital. But that means that you can push up the fader and not have it fight with the other instruments. Pair it with a great mic and your jaw will drop when you find a good match. I love the high input gain setting for mix down to get a little harmonic distortion going on. I've also saved many a poorly recorded acoustic guitar with this tool.

    The question now is how soon I can get a second one so I can use it for mastering purposes.

    Well worth the money. You'll carry it under your arm to every session you do for the next 50 years.

  • from San Jose, USA May 14, 2007Music Background:
    Guitarist and Singer

    Avalon 737sp

    This Avalon 737sp is worth every penny you spend on it, Their EQ like silk, smooth, way beyond my expectation. To me it's perfect for Vocalist and Guitarist, it truly great to have, I have been searching and trying so many Mic Preamps and channel strip. This is my final destination. Yes! Avalon was right as it says in the manual, half an hour warm up in order to get sound perfect. I totally agreed because it will need time to warm up like any Tube Preamps. I love Avalon 737sp. Highly recommended to all.

  • from Miami, Florida April 7, 2007Music Background:
    recording engineer, producer,

    Im In LOVE!!!

    i just bought one a couple days ago, its perfect to me...not to hot, not to steril, it leaves room for plug-ins to do some of the work if u want a hot sound, yet its smooth and warm and most will like it as is, its as clean and clear as i think i can get with my at 40/50 and it sounds album ready, no more tedious mixing trying to get my vocals to be over or under the beat, this baby makes it sit perfect inside the track, worth every red cent, no regrets here, if ur debating on whether to make this one happen or not for urself, i'd say to do it, there ones that are more expensive and sligtly cheaper but this is the ONE!!! there's a reason why it keeps showing up in music videos!!!! lol, 6 out of 5 stars for me....do urself a favor and get this badboy

  • from Somerset, Ky January 5, 2007Music Background:
    Semi-Professional musician, project studio owner, engineer, producer

    It's just not fair how good this unit sounds!!

    I purchased my unit a couple of weeks ago after spending months researching and laboring over what I should get. I have always had a desire to purchase a top end vocal pre and when the time came I actually became a little concerned.....could this unit really be worth the money it was going to take to buy it??? I was hoping that I didn't experience buyers remorse when I got it!

    Well let me tell you....I DIDN'T!!. This unit is truly incredible. It's warm, sounds like butter....anything you plug into it sounds better period. I am still experimenting daily with it...but it's easy to use and I use it on everything I record now....I mic my guitars with it, I run guitars direct, there is no need to ever buy a bass amp or head...because this unit makes your bass guitar sound huge....and vocals...well lets just say that I used to spend all my time trying to overcome the nasty things about recording vocals...but now I can focus on dialing in what I like about a vocal sound....it's a pleasure to use. If i had enough money I would own mulitple units for my studio!!!

    The only negative at all about this unit is that is does not have a gate. For people like me that are essentially recording at home without high end isolation booths this can be a problem as this unit picks up everything with my Neumann TLM 103 microphone. However, if you own a decent gate then it's a problem that is easily correctible.

    All in all, if you are considering this unit you won't be dissapointed with the results. It's professional quality gear!

  • from Bay Area, CA USA September 17, 2006Music Background:

    An Industry Standard

    I owned a Fousrite Liquid Channel and the setting I always used on it was the 737 Pre with the 737 Compressor. So I just bought the real thing and there simply isn’t enough that can be said about this preamp. It gives a great presence on vocals. It’s a perfect pre amp for anyone in Hip-Hop, R&B or Pop but It's fantastic in any genre.

    I have even listened back to recordings I used the Liquid Channel on compared to the 737SP and its a night and day comparison. The Liquid Channel is VERY thin compared to the 737, and that is with the 737SP emulation on the Liquid Channel.

    And if you need validation names like Christina Aguilera, Orgy, Motley Crue, Snoop Dogg, Bob Dylan, The Crystal Method, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Puff Daddy, Crazy Town, AC/DC. Disney Productions. Kelly Clarkson, Dr Dre and more have all used this preamp. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

    We all know a great vocal also needs a great mike and more than anything else a great engineer. But if you are going to buy one pre amp, the Avalon 737SP should be the one.

  • from Florida May 3, 2017

    Simply the best !!

    Its the gear that any Pro should have in a recording studio.
    I use it mainly for voiceover and it always get the job done !! If you are considering the VT-737sp for your studio, just go for it !!
    The only thing that I personally think is missing here is the limiter function, but I have ways to work around that.

  • from Australia March 3, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-pro recording and mix engineer, former recording artist, live sound engineer, gear junkie, father of two

    Brilliant front end to any digital system

    I have used one of these babies for over 10 years and I have to say it is my 'go to' channel strip for most of my vocal recording work. Even using an SM58 to record guide vocals resulted in us keeping them for use in the final track, they were that nice!
    I was so impressed that I even bought a second unit about a year or two ago so I'm covered in case the tubes need replacing in the older unit - the show can go on!

  • from Augusta Maine January 18, 2008Music Background:
    Semi pro musician and recording engineer/ international man of mystery

    Beautiful sounding strip!!

    So much gear out there right? It's all about getting the right piece for your individual needs - what's good for one might not be for another. After reading about the 737 again and again I just "felt" it was right for me. I have a softer, breathier voice and thought a pre like this would put that voice squarely in the mix with lots of detail and air and I was right. That's just what it does and I couldn't be happier with it. You can get away with a softer approach when your signal is represented that well. I use it for direct bass and that's where the great EQ comes in handy. The compressor is nice too but I don't use it on everything - it's no LA-2A but then that's not what it was designed for. It is good though for tightening up certain signals. I have paired the 737 with a Shure KSM44 and I get really decent results though I would love to hear a U87 or Royer ribbon mic through it - someday I guess. The KSM can get a little grainy sounding on my voice but if I carve out some high mids it sounds much better and I can use the tracks for keeps. I really love the 737 for acoustic guitar with a small diapragm condenser and a good bit of gain and compression - it's very punchy and stands out in the mix very nicely. I have had the 737 for about two and a half years and the more I learn to use it the more it surprises me - give this one some serious consideration.

  • from Bellingham, WA July 15, 2006Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician/recording engineer

    Up front sound

    This was a serious upgrade to the tube preamp/compressor that I was using. I was nervous about dropping the cash for this one because I had never really tested it. I was just going on the information that I had read about. I will say that I wasn't disappointed. I use this on all my lead vocal tracks now. It brings the lead vocals right up front and gives you a warmer and more intimate sound.

    I made the mistake of tracking background vocals with it though. You probably don't want to do that - not unless you want your background vocals right up there with your lead vocals.

  • from United States February 21, 2015Music Background:
    mixer , engineer, artist

    avalon get er done!

    I got this baby and started testing it out. I began by just using the pre amp section and then recording on my interface pre amps wich is a roland studio capture , I noticed they were very simular , so I started to to wonder why I spent all this money when I have a good pre amp already built in my inter face , I tried guitars bass but was only geting slight differences . I tryed all the stages of the avalon pre amp so I thought . So I was about to return this bad boy until I decided hay I have not tried to realy use it in a musical context. after I read the manual alot and figured out more of what it can do I started to see how this unit would become a good tool it was not exactly what I was looking for but I thought I will be a good tool for the studio. Now after having it for over a mounth I am realy happy with this . sounds great with vocals it has a real in your face sound if you eq it right and use compression. I think it works exelent for guitar d.i with a lil tweeqing amd for bass guitar it has a bit thicker sound than my interface with now eq or compressor . I still want to compare it to the uad model with the 76 compressor but I dont have the money to fork out 2k more so I am glad to add one more tool to my rack .

  • from Orange County, CA October 24, 2016Music Background:
    Recording studio for the past 20 years

    Okay overall

    I have owned four of these in my life. I purchased all of these brand new. So, it is not like I had old tubes or anything, I even had them regularly serviced by Avalon (and re-tubed as needed) as I am only about an hour away from them. These pre's sound muddy compared to other mic pres in there price range. Like, Neve 1073 (mic pre not the mic pre eq one) Avalon AD2022, Avalon M5, API 312A, API 512. Just about all of these pre's sound better that the pre in the 737. As for the compressor it is also okay or even good. But my opinion a Distressor blows it away. Or a 1176 for that matter. I never really used the EQ too much as I am more of a fan of using the EQ later in the DAW and not being stuck with too much EQ. So, yes for $2500 it is cheaper than a 1073 (or the other ones I mentioned )mic pre through a Distressor to whatever EQ you want. But you really get what you pay for in the end. In the end I always think these thing are a bit muddy when you compare them to what I mentioned above. I have since sold all my 737 and purchased more other pres. I have over 24 channels of pres and just never used the 737's except for when I ran out channels which was pretty much never.

  • from Los Angeles August 19, 2015Music Background:

    Bad for the price, "meh" for tone and usage

    This thing isn't great, it's not bad. I've used it off and on for well on 10 years now and it never has impressed me. The price alone would keep me away from it.
    The Compressor is much too slow to be useful for anything but bass and vocals.
    The Eq isn't great either.

  • from New Jersey May 20, 2017Music Background:


    I was blow away by the sound at first 2 days of using it it started acting up sweatwater took it back gave me anther one the next one last 3 week and now when I record vocals bythe time someone finished their verse it lost quality and clarity and the vocals keep getting lower and it sound like rain in the headphone it had me look out the window to see if it was raining this thing is making me lose money I'm not a happy camper these tube are junk I waiting to hear back from my sale man I pretty sure we can work it out please believe me these preamp going be a problem and your going kick your self in the foot I just had a friend tell me they had the same problem now I see most Studio don't even turn them on much going see if I can get something different if their was a

  • from Pismo Beach,CA March 28, 2006

    Warm Butter

    Ok, here it is. My Brother and I took my brand new in the box Avalon 737 back to his recording studio were we compared it with his $3500 Millenia with the same settings for vocals. Using my Rode K2 mic I found the 737 to have a more "open" sound than the Millenia. It was great, I was stoked.

    What happened next blew my mind. We ran my Brother's vintage Neumann KM-84 threw the 737, place the mic 3 inches away from the fretboard of his Collings OM accustic guitar and......WOW.... WOW....... WOW. The sound was so rich and clean I'd never heard anything like it before.

    My Brother has had every mic pre on earth. He admitted to me that he sold his 737 to buy the Millenia. He has regretted it to this day. He told me "I was able to pull sounds out of that 737 that I have yet to find again with another brand". Needless to say I was brimming with pride with my decision to buy this Avalon. Now it's your turn!

    There's something about the 737

  • from NYC February 28, 2006

    The Corner Stone to my Sound

    I`ve been using the 737 since 2000. Originally it was purchased to record vocals but I have found it to be extremely musical on bass as a DI as well. We also use it for miking acoustic guitars. The compressor is its weakest point. Its useable but I would stress the strong points on the 737 are the pres and EQ. The EQ is a piece of art. I own 2 of these units and higly recommend them.

  • from Washington,DC April 1, 2005

    Next LEVEL

    ...if you want your recordings to rival that of what you hear on the radio, you MUST get this piece! I bought mine about 3 months ago for these Neo-soul vocal sessions....the first night we used it, we spent the better part of the evening listening to playback! The results were incredible! The background vocals were unbelievably warm and had such a presence that we had to keep listening. This took our recordings to the next level...so I'm about to buy another one!!!

  • from Battle Creek MI March 1, 2005

    VT 737 Sp

    Sweet tone with a magic touch! If you don't like the VT 737 Sp your wrong! Deep, Full, warm, and Rich tracks that are glued yet never cluttered!

  • from NY February 1, 2005


    Perfect in every way. Stop considering it, just buy it. Trust me.

  • from TX, USA February 1, 2005

    Wonderful unit.

    The 737sp is simply a wonderful piece of equipment. Powerful. It sounds great on anything you put through it, from vocals to guitars. I plan to buy a second one soon.

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