Avalon AD-2022 Dual Mono Microphone Preamplifier
The Avalon AD2022 is the answer for clean, in your face, pristine solid state brilliance.
What we think:
We’ve only got one Avalon 2022 in our racks at Sound Pure Studios, but I regularly struggle to decide which instrument and mic pair will get graced with its presence. I wish we had at least one or two more of these units here, because it’s a sound that works incredibly well for what we do.
It is a decidedly neutral, uncolored preamp, but because it is transformer-balanced (these are incredibly clean-sounding transformers, mind you), it retains more life and excitement than other super-clean preamps. It has a weight and depth to its sound that feels like the best possible representation of exactly what the instrument and the mic sound like - no change to the color or tone of the recording, but adding just the slightest kiss of excitement.
If you want total transparency but you’re worried about an overly clinical or sterile sound, you absolutely need to hear the 2022. It’s a common pick when we’re tracking our Steinway grand piano or other classical musicians, but it’s also a HUGE asset for acoustic guitar, drum overheads or even a vocal. With vocals, I frequently find myself reaching for more colored preamps to help hide some of the imperfections in a singer’s voice, but when we get singers with great control of their voices and just want to capture what’s actually happening, we’re using the 2022.
Quite a shame that we’ve only got one of these pres in our studio...
The AD2022 is Avalon's fourth generation of fully discrete, symmetrical Pure Class A microphone preamplifiers. The dual mono AD2022 includes the original sonic capabilities and transparency of the M2, M22 and M5 preamplifiers plus several additional features, including selectable microphone source loading for optimized cable/mic matching, improved high-voltage Class A regulated power supplies, two high Z instrument inputs, variable-passive high pass filter, quality/silver wiring and doubled plated circuit boards for superior low level signal transfer.
- Symmetrical Pure Class A design, two channels
- Microphone and hi-Z instrument inputs
- Gain switched 4dB steps plus +/- 3dB fine output trim
- Selectable microphone input impedance matching
- Low noise -126dB EIN
- Ultra high quality, low-ratio, balanced input transformer
- Balanced, high-current Class A output to +36dB
- Large illuminated analog VU meters and twin peak LED's
- Regulated phantom power supply +48v
- Input polarity phase reverse
- High headroom +36dB input before overload
- Input -20dB pad for high level signals
- Sealed silver relays for all signal routing
- External AC 150w toroidal power chassis
- Fully discrete Class A regulated audio power supplies
- Deep, musical sound-stage, transparent amplification
The AD2022 incorporates the most advanced high-performance microphone transformer available. Split low-ratio primary windings are carefully combined within a custom mu-metal core for extended smooth frequency response and very low distortion. Sealer silver relays are used for minimal signal invasion. The input signal selector, high pass filter, polarity-phase reverse, +48v power and the 20dB input attenuator all utilize local sealed relay operation. A variable passive high pass filter provides a minimum phase shift design while eliminating low frequency rumble, wind noise and mechanical vibration at sub sonic frequencies.
SYMMETRICAL PURE CLASS A DESIGN
Two 100% discrete, high-voltage, symmetrical Pure Class A signal amplifiers are utilized per channel. The first operates in a cascaded-cascode FET configuration while the second stage amplifier is fully bipolar. The twin amplifiers share the total available gain requirement. This shared architecture increases the high level headroom capability, improves transient response and doubles the internal bandwidth of the ultra-high performance pure Class A signal amplifiers.
OUTPUT and METERING
High-current DC coupled, Class A discrete amplifiers are utilized for the output drive interface with +36dB capability into all known loads. Two large, high-quality analog VU meters indicate accurate signal readings while bi-color LED's offers peak indication at 0dB and +20dB.