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Avalon U5 Direct Box Instrument Preamplifier - 15th Anniversary

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The U5 Direct Box Instrument Preamp - 15th Anniversary is a high-voltage DI-preamp combining a unique passive tone selector with a variable gain preamp and filter. The high-input impedance accepts a w... Click To Read More About This Product

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The U5 Direct Box Instrument Preamp - 15th Anniversary is a high-voltage DI-preamp combining a unique passive tone selector with a variable gain preamp and filter. The high-input impedance accepts a wide variety of signal levels and instruments”from acoustic guitars to high-output active bass guitars and keyboards. The U5 direct box is loaded with sonic character and user features professionals demand.

Sonic Excellence
The Avalon U5 Pure Class A instrument DI & preamplifier is one of the most powerful direct boxes available today. Designed to optimize absolute signal integrity and musical performance, the U5 includes many features that are ideal for bass guitar and acoustic instruments, electric guitars, keyboards, synthesizers and low output pickups.

Features include a state-of-the-art, high-input impedance input stage for zero load effect on sensitive pickups and keyboards, 100% discrete, Pure Class A signal amplifiers, practical user features, and rugged hardware designed to deliver true high performance audio for many years.

Designed for Deep & Controlled Bass
Avalon U5 DI-preamps have been in use around the world since 1995. They have found their way into the world's leading musicians rigs and recording sessions and been featured on thousands of the best-selling (and sounding) albums and live performances.

Minimum Signal Path Design
The U5 includes a variable gain Class A preamplifier to boost low-level pickup signals and a high level speaker input for capturing the live sound of the instruments amplifier. Six passive tone-EQ curves are also included to enhance a variety of acoustic and electric instruments. A high-cut switch eliminates unwanted acoustic pickup and high frequency noise, while a headphone monitor amp has been included for personal listening. Twin DC coupled Class A output amplifiers drive both low-level microphone preamp inputs and high-level +4dB inputs for direct-to-tape recording or processing. The active-to-thru switch selects either the instrument input directly or sends the boosted-equalized signal to the amplifier via the front panel jack. A ground isolation switch eliminates any possible earth loop or AC buzz problems with complete safety.


Pure Class A, 100% discrete design
Smooth musical detail and sonic excellence
Variable gain preamp to +30dB
Dual microphone and line outputs
Hi-Z 3,000,000Î input impedance
Very low noise (-100dB)
High headroom (+30dB)
Six tone bank selections
DC coupled Class A output for superior bass
High cut switch eliminates noise
LED active signal indicator
Headphone monitor output jack
Low distortion less than 0.5% THD and IMD
High level 400-watt speaker input
Active to thru selector/ground isolation switch
100% discrete power supplies for audio path
Internal toroidal power supply for low noise
Long lasting, stainless steel hardware
Gain: Switched 3dB steps, maximum gain +30dB
Input Impedance: 3 ,000,000 ohm unbalanced (single ended)
Maximum Input Level +24dBu unbalanced, 400w speaker input
Output Connectors (2): XLR type, pin 2 hot electronic balanced
Maximum Output Level (Class A): +30dBu DC coupled, balanced 600 ohms (mic and line out)
Headphone Output: 0.5w into 600 ohms
Noise 20kHz Unweighted: -100dBu minimum gain position
Distortion THD, IMD: 0.1% at +10dB
Frequency Response, -/+0.5dB: 5Hz to 100kHz
Frequency Response, -3dB: 1Hz to 500kHz (input band limited)
High Cut Filter: -3dB at 8kHz minimum phase design
Tone Selector: Six position rotary switch, all passive filters
AC Power: Internal toroidal AC supply
Dimensions: 8.5" x 3.5" x 12" (216mm x 88mm x 305mm)
Weight-Packed: 12lb. (5.4kg)
Pro Coverage
One year parts and labor warranty. 90 day warranty for tubes.

  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
AvalonU5 Direct Box Instrument Preamplifier - 15th Anniversary

(based on 2 reviews)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


Among the Very Best Direct Boxes

By LSchefman

from Birmingham, Michigan

Comments about Avalon U5 Direct Box Instrument Preamplifier - 15th Anniversary:

I've had a number of excellent direct boxes in the studio; this one is among a very select group of the finest on the market in terms of both sound quality and versatility. I've used U5s in the studio for about ten years; this is my second. Basses go very clear, deep, and true. The EQ settings are useful. Direct electric guitars also sound very clear and true to life, so this is a great choice for use with modeling software. Amplification is Class A, which in this instance translates to excellent transient response and very low distortion for very accurate reproduction, and this is especially evident on a good bass guitar. You can both go direct and at the same time connect it to the input jack on a guitar or bass amp with a very effective ground lift to avoid ground loops, with or without the EQ passing to the amp. This is great for being able to get a dry signal for later processing or re-amping (though this unit isn't a re-amp box). The U5 can also be connected to a a speaker jack on a bass or guitar amp as long as a speaker cab is also hooked up to the amp (most amps have more than one speaker output jack these days); this is something I rarely need, but it's nice to have every so often as an option. Finally, the box is built to very high standards; the parts quality is excellent, the machining and assembly are of the highest quality down to stainless steel fasteners and parts, etc. As I said, I've used U5s in the studio for a long time, and they hold up extremely well.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Great DI

By Fernando Marzan

from In the Woods, Pennsylvania

Comments about Avalon U5 Direct Box Instrument Preamplifier - 15th Anniversary:

The tonal possibilities of the Avalon U5 is amazing. I use Amplitube 3 & Guitar rig 5 along w/ the U5 makes the software sound great!! If you're into guitar modeling software & have some extra $ to help get the best sound from them, I would highly recommend the Avalon U5. On bass, this is a BEAST. It makes my bass sound the way I like to hear my bass. It's just as great on guitars too, I've seen so many reviews on how great it is for only bass. Not true. Invest if you want your guitar or bass to sound clean & clear. Your amp software WILL benefit with this addition..

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