Avalon Design M5 Microphone Preamplifier

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Avalon Design M5 Microphone Preamplifier

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Avalon Design M5 Microphone Preamplifier

Avalon microphone preamplifiers have been in use around the world since 1986. All preamplifiers share the combined technologies of low ratio transformer balanced inputs coupled with high-voltage cascade FET twin bipolar discrete class A amplifiers.


The Avalon M5 Pure Class A microphone preamplifier is the most musical, low noise full function preamplifier available today. Designed to optimize absolute signal integrity and musical performance, the M5 combines an advanced transformer input stage with twin high performance Class A cascode FET and bipolar discrete amplifiers for sonic excellence unequaled by lesser designs. The M5 is ideal for vocal and acoustic instruments, active DI input for the direct recording of bass, guitars and keyboards.

Features include state-of-the-art, balanced 100% discrete, Pure Class A signal amplifiers, practical user features and rugged hardware designed to deliver true high performance audio for many years.


Avalon preamplifiers have been in use since 1986. They have found their way into the world's most famous lead vocalists recording sessions and studios and been featured on thousands of the best selling (and sounding) albums and live performances.


Avalon's advanced true symmetry design offers high-voltage, large headroom, extended bandwidth and very low noise. The use of 100% discrete, Pure Class A signal amplifiers give the serious music professional unlimited sonic character and a natural harmonic detail that enhances the program material and becomes one with the music itself.


The M5 microphone preamplifier is the first choice when you are looking to capture a full bodied, dynamic, musical performance from the intimate depths within the artist. The M5 will make your recordings musical masterpieces!

Key Features

  • Pure Class A, 100% discrete design
  • Smooth musical detail and sonic excellence
  • Minimum audio signal path
  • High performance input transformer
  • Microphone and Hi-Z inputs to +36dB
  • Very low noise -126dB
  • High headroom +30dB
  • Gain switched in 2dB steps to +64dB
  • DC coupled Pure Class A output
  • Large illuminated professional VU meter
  • Twin LED peak signal indicators
  • Regulated +48v phantom power supply
  • Low distortion less than 0.5% THD and IMD
  • Variable passive high pass (bass cut) filter
  • All signal routing with sealed silver relays

Technical Specifications

Circuit topology
Twin cascode FET and bipolar low level input signal stages. High-voltage, 100% discrete, symmetrical high-bias Pure Class A amplifiers.
Input Type and Load
Superior transformer, balanced low-ratio 1500 ohm input load.
Maximum Mic Level
+36dB balanced XLR pin 2 hot (with -20dB passive attenuator).
Maximum Instrument Level
+30dB balanced 600 ohms, DC coupled, discrete Class A.
Input Attenuator
-20dB resistive pre transformer primary, sealed silver relay.
Phantom Power
+48v regulated 50mA capability, sealed silver relay.
High Pass Filter
Passive, variable from 30Hz to 185Hz @ 6dB per octave, sealed silver relay.
Polarity Reverse
Sealed silver relay on  microphone input.
Gain Range Input
+20dB to +64dB in 2dB steps.
Maximum Ouput Level
+30dB unbalanced 600 ohms, DC coupled, discrete symmetrical Pure Class A.
Output Type
XLR connector, pin 2 hot (optional balanced JT-1 transformer).
Noise EIN Unweighted
-126dB 150 ohm.
Noise 20kHz Unweighted
Distortion THD, IMD
0.05% nominal
Frequency Response -3dB
1Hz to 120kHz transformer limit.
System Bandwidth
DC to 1MHz
Output Meter
High quality, illuminated analog VU meter 0dB = +4dB.
Peak Meter
Bi-color LED's 0dB and +20dB peak detection circuit.
M5 Dimensions
8.5" x 3.5" x 12" (216 mm x 88 mm x 305 mm) half rack width.
15 lbs (6.8 kg)
Dimensions of Shipping Carton
24 in x 21.5 in x 7.5 in (610 mm x 546 mm x 190 mm)
25 lbs (11.4 kg) includes B2T power supply and cables.
AC power supply B2T
External toroidal 100V to 240V, 50-60Hz selectable, 150 watts maximum.
1 x 8ft 4 pin ac cable, 1 x 8ft standard IEC cable included.
5 in x 7 in x 3.25 in (127 mm x 177 mm x 83 mm)
7 lbs (3.2 kg)
Rack mount kit (1) RM-1
Single M5 19 inch rack mount kit (holds one half rack unit).
Rack mount kit (2) RM-2
Dual M5 19 inch rack mount kit (holds two half rack units).


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