Q: Is the microphone preamplifier in the Vt-737sp the same as the AD2022 or M5?
A: No.

The Vt-737sp and the AD2022/M5 are very different microphone preamps. The Vt-737sp uses vacuum tubes while the AD2022/M5 incorporates 100% discrete transistor based solid state electronics (no vacuum tubes). The AD2022 and M5 employ the same basic amplifier topologies. However the AD2022 has a fully balanced output and variable input impedance selection for changing the sound of microphones. All three of the microphone preamps run in Pure Class A mode and use discrete electronics for amplification. Tube preamplifiers, offer a very different sound in comparison to a solid state preamplifiers.

Avalon's designer Wyn Morro believes that tubes achieve a very unique and wonderful sound. However, for 100% pure sound, the design must be solid state (Avalon's unique design). The AD2022/M5 is a higher quality microphone preamplifier than the Vt-737sp. The AD2022M5 has more detailed highs, better low-end definition, and is much quieter.

The sonic differences between the Vt-737sp and the AD2022/M5 can be compared to a spotlight (Vt-737sp) and a flood light (AD2022/M5). The Vt-737sp has a "close-up" round sound while the AD2022 is very detailed and open capturing more of the subtle sub-harmonics and reflections in the room. Now, all of the Vt-737sp owners might be thinking that they may have bought the wrong preamp. On the contrary, the Vt-737sp is a fabulous unit. It was the first and still is the best "Direct Recording Channel" or "Channel Strip" on the market for any price - bar none.

The Vt-737sp was specifically designed as a tube preamp and has the unique sound that only tubes can deliver. The Vt-737sp has the most clarity, transparency, power, control of any tube preamp available. It is a Swiss army pocket knife for recording. The Vt-737sp has the necessary, high performance, functions built-in to handle real-world recording demands: preamp, compressor and parametric equalizer.

Should you trade in your Vt-737sp for an AD2022/M5? No, but you might need both preamps in your arsenal. Try both preamps and experience for yourself the difference in the sound.

Below is a table comparing the Vt-737sp and AD2022/M5

vacuum tube
AD2022 & M5
solid state
Topology Pure Class A Vacuum tube mic and instrument preamp, tube opto-compressor, 100% discrete parametric EQ. Pure Class A 100% discrete solid state mic and instrument preamplifier.

Unique Features Mono Fully Variable tube opto compressor, four-band 100% discrete parametric EQ, built-in side chain, stereo link jack for stereo operation. Dual mono, input impedance selection, unbalanced and balanced output, separate chassis holds power transformer (B2t) for extreme low noise - 126dBu.

Sonic Character Round warm sound, EQ delivers smooth highs and deep powerful lows, musically balanced and transparent. Deep extended sound stage, musically balanced with extreme bass control, smooth bass control, smooth highs and clear detail.

Applications Vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, sythns, wanting a smooth tube sound. Need to utilize compressor and EQ. Also can be used as a compressor / equalizer for mix-down and mastering. A swiss army pocket knife for recording. Vocals, guitars, piano, drums, direct bass, keyboards, and synths. Delivers transparency with deep bass control control and detailed highs. Great in conjunction with AD2044 dual mono compressor and AD2055 dual mono music equalizer or VT-747sp compressor / equalizer.

Users Christina Aguilara, Orgy, Motley Crue, Snoop Dogg, Bob Dylan, The Crystal Method, Michael Jackson, Phil Collins, Puff Daddy, Crazy Town, AC/DC. Disney Productions. Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Abby Road, Babyface, Alanis Morrisette, Stevie Wonder, Don Henley, Hit Factory, Blue man Group, Chung King Studios, Mariah Carey

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