First Look: Avalon Designs V55

First Look: Avalon Designs V55

The V55 — doubles the impressive versatility of Avalon’s V5 preamplifier/direct box/re-amper. The V55 is actually two V5s in a clever rack kit with a single 19″ silver faceplate and black top plate — an arrangement that maintains the electrical isolation of two units.

The Avalon V5 has been exceedingly popular, with its phenomenal mic preamp, re-amping matrix, and fresh approach to signal routing bringing incredible flexibility to any studio. Multiply that by two with the new V55.

Avalon’s 100%-discrete, DC-coupled, pure Class A amplifiers, sealed silver relays, and ultra-high-performance rotary switches are impressive. But its excellent specs don’t adequately relate how amazing the V55 sounds — largely a function of its extremely high-voltage operation, which provides enormous headroom for hotter signals and the gain required to push very quiet sources.

Doubling the versatility of the V5, the V55 is a serious signal-routing workhorse that can handle a wide range of microphone and DI input signal impedances. With its ultra-clean line-level inputs and transformer-isolated hi-Z outputs, the V55 even makes a superb re-amping solution.

The icing on the cake is its passive Tone Shaper network, which makes quick work of dialing in the perfect tone. With two V5s in one box, the Avalon V55

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