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Universal Audio 610 Mic Pre... Is it over looked?
Old 2nd July 2013
  #421
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I've had my share of high end tube pres. The la610 mk2 I bought sounded good out of the box but after some tube mods I find myself using this box more than my Neves Headroom could still be better but is workable
Old 2nd July 2013
  #422
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I love my 6176s on everything
Old 2nd July 2013 | Show parent
  #423
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayphish View Post
I'm curious to know if this clipping issue is strictly due to the fact that some modern (loud) condensor mics lack a pad? Couple this with a mic pre which isn't as versatile and walla.. a problem. I know I had this exact issue with a Blue baby bottle mic clipping the input of a 2-610. I honestly could to nothing to fix it, so I just opted to using a different mic which had a overall quieter signal and pad. There was no "learn the gain staging" because it was impossible to fix due to the bad combination of gear. Once I went with a different mic everything was fine.
One a them Shure inline microphone pads will fix your Blue Baby Bottle problem right up.

-Kirk
Old 2nd July 2013 | Show parent
  #424
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I got me one a them LA610's a couple months ago, my first high-dollar outboard unit. About the 3rd time I put vocals through it it distorted like crazyz, but it the fix was obvious - turn input level knob down, inline pad if necessary. Since then it's sounded beautiful.

I like Stones and Beatles and T.Rex sounds, so I use a lot of various tape saturation etc. plugins to make it sound like that. I notice that tracking through LA610, I need to use less of 'em. Which is good, right?

-Kirk
Old 25th August 2020
  #425
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I love reading about gear I own and stumbled on this old thread.

I have a 610 Solo and I have heard that the transformers are more like the vintage. I changed the tubes and did change the sound for the better.

The thing was designed to record ribbons and dynamics. The Solo has a pad so is fine for hotter modern mics which will be a problem. With a low drive on the input stage it can be clean to my ears and hi fi.

I’m a bit surprised at people who can’t make it sound good/great. The impedance switch makes a big difference and not sure what the bias is on here.
Old 25th August 2020
  #426
Gear Nut
 
Landon Hook's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I think every audio engineer has a piece of gear that they will either never forget or made an impact on their audio journey. The UA 610 preamp is one of those pieces for me. I remember starting my audio journey as many did, recording small things in my bedroom or recording friends in middle and high school (wow, that was a long time ago). I was using terrible little usb interfaces with atrocious preamps, but it didn’t matter, I couldn’t hear the difference at the time and I was just happy to be recording. The UA 610 was loaned to be by a dear friend of mine for a session one day. I had always heard people talking about using “better preamps” etc but never really understood or heard what they meant. The UA 610 was the first preamp that I heard the difference clear as day while tracking. However, I really noticed it when I began mixing, it was so much easier to get the track to sit in the mix. It was my first exposure to “higher end” gear where I finally “heard the difference” of what better gear can do for you. Especially on the preamp side of things.

While I will never forget what the 610 did for me, I eventually fell out of love with it. I found it lacking on the articulation and transient response side of things, and just wasn’t a fan of its “vibe” anymore IMHO. It just felt “flubby” compared to other tube preamps that I use. However, if you are a fan of UA press and haven’t tried the Solo 110 (solid state pre), it is actually quite a nice little unit that I don’t mind at all for the most part.

Anyway, just my two cents,

Cheers!
Old 25th August 2020 | Show parent
  #427
Gear Nut
 
RobertRyda's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
I love reading about gear I own and stumbled on this old thread.

I have a 610 Solo and I have heard that the transformers are more like the vintage. I changed the tubes and did change the sound for the better.

The thing was designed to record ribbons and dynamics. The Solo has a pad so is fine for hotter modern mics which will be a problem. With a low drive on the input stage it can be clean to my ears and hi fi.

I’m a bit surprised at people who can’t make it sound good/great. The impedance switch makes a big difference and not sure what the bias is on here.
I swapped my tubes in the 610 of my 6176 - great difference in the distortion/cleanness level and that now sounds much cleaner
Old 25th August 2020 | Show parent
  #428
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertRyda View Post
I swapped my tubes in the 610 of my 6176 - great difference in the distortion/cleanness level and that now sounds much cleaner
Curious as to what you swapped..... I consulted Bowie who gave me great advice and got Mullards and as advertised greatly tightened up the midrange.

Honestly was surprised at how much they changed the sound.
Old 25th August 2020 | Show parent
  #429
Lots of mixed reviews here. I personally don't like the 610. Not enough headroom and the compressors on either don't do it for me. But a lot of big records have been made with the 610 so to each their own!
Old 25th August 2020 | Show parent
  #430
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I didn’t wade through all 15 pages so this very well might have previously been addressed. The gain staging on the 610 is not intuitive. I know that many don’t like the sonic footprint of it, but I think it is much improved if you run the gain stepped switch as low as you can get away with and run the output knob at 7 or higher. This takes care of much of the headroom issues. Also, an inline pad (for the original grey face versions) or the 15 dB pad on the silver faced is pretty much required. It’s a great preamp, but a quirky one. And I agree about the tube upgrades...they make a difference.
Old 25th August 2020
  #431
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I do think there are a few seminal preamps. API Neve UA Telefunken
Obviously there are lots more flavors but historically speaking..

On the Solo green is your friend to not obviously distort.,,
Old 4th December 2020
  #432
I wonder if people are, like I was, recording microphones using their 610 SOLO's on "lo-Z" setting thinking it was for when the low-z XLR cable was plugged in. You know, like the way all my other preamps had been before it. But years later, after actually reading the manual, that "lo-Z" switch for most microphones should be set to Hi-Z, to allow for the right impedance matching. Wonder if that's where a lot of people are hearing the woolliness? It didn't fundamentally change the tone, but it is a fair amount sharper in transients (I've been using it with a MD 421 II on guitar/bass cabs the whole time) after I've been using it at the recommended setting.

I can only speak for myself, but I KNOW I am an idiot that breezes through the manuals if I even read them at all

(screenshots of the 610 SOLO manual)

Edit: I will also add when I record with the unit switched to Hi-Z, you have to turn it up a little more to get the same level...maybe how folks are overdriving them so easily too? I am mainly kicking myself here for recording SO MANY tracks with my 610 and 110 SOLO units with them not set to the recommended impedance match
Attached Thumbnails
Universal Audio 610 Mic Pre... Is it over looked?-screen-shot-2020-12-04-12.20.54-pm.jpg   Universal Audio 610 Mic Pre... Is it over looked?-screen-shot-2020-12-04-12.25.36-pm.png  
Old 4th December 2020
  #433
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Glad you figured it out. But I used to use the Hi Z Lo Z mode correctly. It was a surprisingly useful switch for coloring tones one way or another.
Old 5th December 2020 | Show parent
  #434
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chrisdee's Avatar
 
9 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertRyda View Post
I swapped my tubes in the 610 of my 6176 - great difference in the distortion/cleanness level and that now sounds much cleaner
Same experience here with my LA610. I got better headroom and it sounds cleaner.
But still it doesn’t sound nowhere near as fat and exciting as my BAE1073 into my CL1B does.

It’s kind of nice sounding but it’s not great sounding like the 1073/CL1B.
Old 6th December 2020
  #435
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
610 Solo was my first "high-end" standalone pre, and honestly I never liked it on anything besides bass DI for a somewhat "vintage", wooly tone. Seems like the originals must have some magic the new ones are simply missing. A couple of years after the 610 I got a Wunder PEQ2R, and *that* is a high-end pre to me. Sold the 610 and most definitely won't buy one again - ZOD ID DI now for bass tracks that need a little extra something.
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #436
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
610 Solo was my first "high-end" standalone pre, and honestly I never liked it on anything besides bass DI for a somewhat "vintage", wooly tone. Seems like the originals must have some magic the new ones are simply missing. A couple of years after the 610 I got a Wunder PEQ2R, and *that* is a high-end pre to me. Sold the 610 and most definitely won't buy one again - ZOD ID DI now for bass tracks that need a little extra something.
Retuning the Solo works well. The Wunder is about 2-3 times the price fwiw.
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #437
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
No. I had the 2-610. I can't tell you how excited I was to get it.

I shot it out with 4 other preamps, including more $$$ and cheaper units and studiomaster mixer preamps. It came in last or next to last depending on whether you asked me or a friend. Honestly I am not that picky when it comes to preamps...just don't be noisy and have a pleasing sound and be usable. The UA was thick but with a lack of definition...it was woolly is what it was.

I would have bought another one had it sounded good...but honestly I would rather have used the studiomaster pres. I was very disappointed and sold it promptly.

Last edited by dagogo; 6th December 2020 at 04:19 PM..
Old 6th December 2020 | Show parent
  #438
Lives for gear
 
AlexK's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
From what I can tell, there are two main generations of 610s out there.

1) The original dull grey/green(ish) first generation models. There were two, the single channel and dual channel. Both rack mount.
2) The newer brushed aluminium or black models. The single channel became a desktop pod. The dual channel looks *similar* to the first gen but with a much lighter brushed aluminium front

The newer stuff also includes all the preamp/compressor combo boxes and the multi-channel stuff.

I can't say I've used any of the newer generation preamps and been particularly impressed. Murky, a bit brittle and lacking in gain/resolution.

The first generation stuff is very good though. Amazing on Tenor sax but can work a charm on anything where you want more of a midrange poke/vibe. Extremely coloured, and not the last word when it comes to gain (not suitable for ribbons really) but still a decent pre. Think of it as more of a speciality box rather than a great all rounder.
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