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Should I sell my UA 4110? Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 9th May 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

Should I sell my UA 4110?

Admittedly, I've been hanging on to it because its cool and rare. If you sell a Universal Audio 4110 or 8110, be prepared to never again get the opportunity to buy one.

Reasons for selling it:

1. The whole switchable "shape" thing to me does it no favors most of the time...it might as well say "mud" on the switch.

2. Again, most of the time, there is a better tool for the job. It doesn't do clean the cleanest, or dirty the dirtiest.

3. Since it is rare, it is also expensive, and I have no doubt I could get over $2k for my built in 2005 and in great condition example, which would allow me budget for another 4 channel pre like an API 3124, which may be more usefull.

Reasons for keeping it:

1. For drum overheads with the "mud" switch on the vintage setting, its pure magic. I've never heard a pre smooth out a harsh overhead mic (414 xls) quite the way this thing does...I honestly would keep it just for that.

2. TONS of headroom and great metering with progressive LED's. If you cant set tis thing up right in a few seconds you don't deserve to own it.

3. So many different sounds in one pre. The marketing is true, it really can go from (mostly) clean to muddy crunchy to everything in between.

4. Its completely unique. There really isn't anything else on the market, which I have experience with anyway, which is a similar tool. Add to that the rare factor and it's hard not to clutch on to it. Even the way it looks in my rack, sandwiched between a Chandler and an Avalon makes me squishy.

5. As much as I beleive there is usually a better tool for (insert instrument here...except overheads), I have NEVER had an unusable track through it.

Now, do my three bad reasons outweigh my five good ones?

Oh, the choices a slut on a budget must make.


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Last edited by adrummingdude; 9th May 2011 at 12:13 AM.. Reason: Adding image
Old 9th May 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Wonderbird's Avatar
 

I would say, any gear that slows your workflow/results down you dont need.

You grow out of things right.

If you have the possibility to borrow some of the stuff you want to A/B with the UA that would be great. So you can hear them in your rooms etc.

Good luck anyway!


//c
Old 9th May 2011
  #3
Gear Addict
Surely there must be someone you know that you can just lend it out to them for a short time while you borrow some nice preamp or outboard gear of theres. Win/win for everyone.
Old 9th May 2011
  #4
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Standstraight View Post
I would say, any gear that slows your workflow/results down you dont need.

You grow out of things right.

If you have the possibility to borrow some of the stuff you want to A/B with the UA that would be great. So you can hear them in your rooms etc.

Good luck anyway!


//c

Well, the Chandler is a similar animal in a lot of regards, but one which I prefer most things through to the UA. The Chandler just sounds more open to me...maybe not as unique, but definately more open up top.

My point is, I've done a bunch of A/B ing with those two, and prefer the Chandler, which leaves me in a wierd spot with the UA.
Old 9th May 2011
  #5
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumbari View Post
Surely there must be someone you know that you can just lend it out to them for a short time while you borrow some nice preamp or outboard gear of theres. Win/win for everyone.

I hate to admit a character flaw, but I baby my gear too much to trust anyone to return it in the same condition it left. Perhaps if it were an easily replaceable item, but these units are rarely available. Plus, I dont really know anyone with anything I'd be interested in. My one recording buddy tends to have different tastes in gear.
Old 9th May 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Tommy-boy's Avatar
 

never let go of gear unless it truely sucks.
Old 9th May 2011
  #7
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
never let go of gear unless it truely sucks.
Well, it certainly doesn't do that. It's admittedly more of a "should I sell my Mercedes to buy a BMW" kind of problem.

You make the best, albeit briefest, point though by just asserting simple logic. It doesn't suck, not by a long shot, so I'll keep it....for now...I think.
Old 9th May 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 
dualflip's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
never let go of gear unless it truely sucks.
Actually my thoughts are the opposite, never keep gear unless it really rocks!, i rather have only what i love and ill use, instead of a bunch of stuff just laying around. Ive seen that a lot of times in big studios, which ocassionally have the "average" piece of gear here and there among the high-end expensive or cool sounding stuff, usually the average gear is always off (or non working) because no one ever uses it.

That being said, i dont have many experiences with the 4110, however ive used the 8110 a lot, which AFAIK its just the 4110 with 4 extra channels. I consider it to be a good pre, very colored, actually in my opinion it goes from colored to EXTREMELY colored, sometimes very muddy, although it can sound really good too on some sources. However i always thought that both the 8110 and 4110 were extremely overpriced, which is probably why UA stopped making them.

So i think the 8110 or 4110 is a good pre, but nothing stelar, certainly doesnt keep up to the retail price at which it was sold. If you manage to sell it for a good price, i would definitely do it, if i remember correctly not too many of them were sold, therefore there are not many of them being sold in the secondhand market, which in time might bring up the value of your unit considerably, so you might want to keep it if thats your approach.

IMHO in the typical studio, there are not much scenarios, with the exception of drums or a full band, in which you would want to record more than 2 channels, of course someone can argue that he or she records guitars with 6 microphones, and thats ok, but lets talk about the typical stuido, so basically that means that you would use a 4 channel pre mostly on drums, in which case i would rather have an API 3124 over a 4110 without a doubt. If you are not using your 4110 for drums or if you are only using few of the channels, then you are not using it to its full potential, in which case there are far better single or dual channel preamps you could get for the price of a 4110.

My 2 cents
Old 9th May 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
johnnybregar's Avatar
I have one. Love it. Never selling it. Makes my drums sound great with minimal setup. I run kick, snare and OH's through it, then do a room mic and front of kick mic through my Great River.

I also like it for bright acoustic instruments - mandolin sounds great through it (for rock band stuff, not pristine bluegrassy stuff) and banjo does too. Harmonica as well....

If I didn't have one already, I guess I'd buy yours in a heartbeat....
Old 9th May 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybregar View Post
I have one. Love it. Never selling it. Makes my drums sound great with minimal setup. I run kick, snare and OH's through it, then do a room mic and front of kick mic through my Great River.

I also like it for bright acoustic instruments - mandolin sounds great through it (for rock band stuff, not pristine bluegrassy stuff) and banjo does too. Harmonica as well....

If I didn't have one already, I guess I'd buy yours in a heartbeat....

Out of curiosity, do you like it on bright instruments because it tends to tame harshness/brittleness? What settings do you usually use on your drums?
Old 9th May 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Boschen's Avatar
 

Ah, there's that rack you'd like to secure! Sweeeeeet.

You must be lusting for some other slab of iron, or you wouldn't think of parting with that pre. You make a compelling case for keeping it, in my book. Is the thought of some other rack gear pushing you to sell? If that were the case, I'd probably let the Avalon go...
Old 9th May 2011
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Bubbagump's Avatar
 

Different strokes I guess. I would never part with mine. And the switch from transformer to no transformer I have always found useful. Yeah, the soft limit is kind of a gimmick... but otherwise, it is my goto for OHs, kick and snare. Really, I don't know how different a 3124 is going to be. When I got mine, the 3124 was my main comparison and they aren't that terribly different IMO.
Old 9th May 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 
toneguru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip View Post
Actually my thoughts are the opposite, never keep gear unless it really rocks!, i rather have only what i love and ill use, instead of a bunch of stuff just laying around. Ive seen that a lot of times in big studios, which ocassionally have the "average" piece of gear here and there among the high-end expensive or cool sounding stuff, usually the average gear is always off (or non working) because no one ever uses it.


My 2 cents

My thoughts exactly.

I have always been skeptical of gear that give you options on the sound. Often times they never nail anything. I love dedicated gear that does one thing and does it great.
Old 10th May 2011
  #14
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boschen View Post
Ah, there's that rack you'd like to secure! Sweeeeeet.

You must be lusting for some other slab of iron, or you wouldn't think of parting with that pre. You make a compelling case for keeping it, in my book. Is the thought of some other rack gear pushing you to sell? If that were the case, I'd probably let the Avalon go...

Yeah, an API 3124 is on my calling list...or a Manley Massive Passive perhaps.

I actually like the Avalon. Man, those things just get no love around here though!
Old 13th June 2011
  #15
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Cookie's Avatar
hmmm. If you sell it. Let me know. I sold mine awhile ago, I want it back.
Old 13th June 2011
  #16
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spectacular g's Avatar
 

Don't sell.

I've been VERY tempted to sell mine a few times, and for really good money. Never did and never will, sounds too good on too many things. FWIW I had the API and sold that instead with no regrets. You are correct about the shape switch I'm about 50/50 between 1 and 2 never 3. if you can, try and get a Little Lab's Redcloud to demo pretty damn nice.

G
Old 13th June 2011
  #17
Gear Addict
 
Elof's Avatar
 

The 4110 is a damn good pre, I´d take it any day over a 3124.
I don´t think the position switch is a gimmick, drive the limit mode hard and it gives you plenty of girth...
Of course it depends on what music you make.

Does it help you, does it slow you down, makes you EQ more than with other pres?

I´m in the exact same position, and I´m gonna sell mine, but only because I´ve found an 8 channel calrec rack with pre and EQ.

I would never sell the 4110 to switch for another pre, it´s just that good. And I have a 2108 to complement with

Don´t sell unless you have found anything better first...
Old 13th June 2011
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Mine hasn't come off the toms since we got it! Definitely a "think hard before selling" piece!
Old 14th June 2011
  #19
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

Wow, you guys certainly inspire me to keep it!

I don't know how this thread got dug up, but since I first posted (and perhaps because of my first post) I have turned down an offer of $2600 for it.

In retrospect, I still made the right decision in keeping it, which you guys have now helped to validate. One other important thing this 4110 journey has taught me is that I likely won't ever again buy something that is rare. I mean really, even if the thing is a turd, you'll still hang on to it tighter than if it were awesome but not rare.

From now on, only "you, me, everybody" gear for me!
Old 6th July 2011
  #20
Gear Nut
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 

For all those who care, I decided to sell it, a Chandler, and several other things.

The auction is here:

UNIVERSAL AUDIO 4110 TRANSFORMER MICROPHONE PREAMP RARE - eBay (item 140571758885 end time Jul-08-11 17:38:35 PDT)
Old 16th August 2011
  #21
Someone else will buy it and love it. I figured I'd give feedback due to lack thereof online. I ended up with mine while looking (in the used market) for my first step up from the pres in a profire 2626 and had great results compared to anything I recorded with just the interface. We set up four mics (2xNT1a OH and 57 on snare, beta52 on kick) and got a bigger sound than close mic'ing all the drums and using 8 tracks.
Old 7th September 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
I picked mine up today, but haven't had time to give it a serious run-through yet.
Traded it for some cash and a Germ ToneControl (a great piece, but too "special" for my current needs).
Primary use will be drums and guitars, but in the next weeks, I guess it'll be my go-to for most things.
Old 14th September 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
I did a quick test on guitar amp with different mics (SM57, C414, MD421 and R121).
Shape OFF is almost kinda boring. OK, it's clean, but sounds like it's holding something back. I even felt this effect increased when adding more gain. Maybe keeping Gain low and opening the Level (like on the GR) will help this setting open up...
Shape 1 is what I expect a good pre to sound like, slightly enhancing the signal going through it, giving it some kind of polish. This'll probably become my standard setting.
Shape 2 can be a bit heavy-handed, but what it did to the ribbon was simply brilliant! Where the Chandler Germanium has a soft rubbery compression going on, the UA gives a distinct feeling of that limit(-er) the sound is hitting against. And the growl this brings out was most noticeable with the Royer (as were the different impedance settings ).
I think - if used right - this might become a very convincing tape emulation.

Can't wait to try this thing on drums!
Old 15th September 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
For all those who care, I decided to sell it, a Chandler, and several other things.

The auction is here:
Your going to miss it! I'd sell my 3124 before selling my 4110
Old 15th September 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
 
toneguru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
never let go of gear unless it truely sucks.
My approach has always been to only keep gear that sounds great! Just okay ain't gonna cut it.

If I had the UA 4 ch pre I would sell it or trade it and never look back. Turn it into an api 3124 or a rack of Avedis modules and start tracking with a smile.

- Cheers
Old 15th September 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
Ended for a dollar...I assume it was sold here? I like UA stuff-I really wanted one, bit the retail was too high for 4ch, IMO...and the 8 didn't have DIs. I've got my eyes peeled for someone selling cheap...
Old 21st October 2015
  #27
Here for the gear
 

If anyone's still interested

There's a rare 4110 for sale on ebay

Should I sell my UA 4110?UA Universal Audio 4110 4 Channel Preamp | eBay
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