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Manley Core vs LA-610 MkII
Old 15th December 2014
  #1
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Manley Core vs LA-610 MkII

Any opinions or advice appreciated..
Looking for depth of tone, texture and synth/drum machine tracking capabilities..
Old 15th December 2014
  #2
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While you probably couldn't go wrong with either, it may be worth waiting
for the new DBX 676 tube /preamp/ eq.

Cheers
Old 15th December 2014
  #3
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While you probably couldn't go wrong with either, it may be worth waiting
for the new DBX 676 tube /preamp/ eq.

Cheers
Old 15th December 2014
  #4
I don't have any experience with the Manley offering but I had a la610mk2 and I sold it.. and I dont miss it.. seemed like there was very little headroom before tube sat
Old 15th December 2014
  #5
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chrisdee's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
seemed like there was very little headroom before tube sat
+1.

Sold mine aswell.
Old 15th December 2014
  #6
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DBX 676 tube /preamp/ eq. looks VERY interesting..I will have to research it more..But prob too early for hands on reviews from anyone...
Old 15th December 2014
  #7
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There's a thread by fox pro audio that shows how to ameliorate the headroom issue with a tube swap. After the tube swap I would say the the la610mk2 is a very good albeit colored sounding mic pre.

I have a lot of higher end mic pres/channels and the La610 excels at doing that rich somewhat dark vintages thing very well without sounding particularly muffled or closed in. I suppose it's mic dependent. It does wonders on my flea 47 giving more of the supple feel of my favorite u47. it's definitely not for everything but it is nicely made quality unit that does its thing very well. A tube change is definitely needed to get the best out of it otherwise the unit can sound papery/splatty up top when pressed.
Old 15th December 2014
  #8
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brianellefson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
There's a thread by fox pro audio that shows how to ameliorate the headroom issue with a tube swap. After the tube swap I would say the the la610mk2 is a very good albeit colored sounding mic pre.

I have a lot of higher end mic pres/channels and the La610 excels at doing that rich somewhat dark vintages thing very well without sounding particularly muffled or closed in. I suppose it's mic dependent. It does wonders on my flea 47 giving more of the supple feel of my favorite u47. it's definitely not for everything but it is nicely made quality unit that does its thing very well. A tube change is definitely needed to get the best out of it otherwise the unit can sound papery/splatty up top when pressed.

+1 on all of that.

I think the UA brings a lo-fi feel to things - which I like. It's probably the most colored pre I own.

I think the Manley is really good. Sounds a bit more hi-fi in comparison. But not a night and day difference.

You couldn't go wrong with either.
Old 15th December 2014
  #9
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Retro Powerstrip is probably better than both. Find it used.
Old 15th December 2014
  #10
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Channel time's Avatar
Manley stuff sounds super open and clean/lush...
It's a different beast, but I'd go for the Manley stuff 8 times out of 10 on something
Old 15th December 2014
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LobCity View Post
Retro Powerstrip is probably better than both. Find it used.
I have the powerstrip, its a great unit but sounds different than the LA610. The powerstrip is a far more versatile choice especially with its outstanding pultec style eq and would be my choice if you only have one go to pre.

The LA610 is too colored as far as I'm concerned to be truly versatile but I've found nothing better at giving some of my condensers that supple almost ribbon feel. I wouldn't call it lo-fi either because it doesn't lack resolution.

Again synergy is key. Kinda dull with an M49 yet stellar with the 47.

it's definitely not the boutique dejour piece around GS but I think it gets a bad rap, with a tube change it can be amazing
Old 15th December 2014
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
I have the powerstrip, its a great unit but sounds different than the LA610. The powerstrip is a far more versatile choice especially with its outstanding pultec style eq and would be my choice if you only have one go to pre.

The LA610 is too colored as far as I'm concerned to be truly versatile but I've found nothing better at giving some of my condensers that supple almost ribbon feel. I wouldn't call it lo-fi either because it doesn't lack resolution.

Again synergy is key. Kinda dull with an M49 yet stellar with the 47.

it's definitely not the boutique dejour piece around GS but I think it gets a bad rap, with a tube change it can be amazing
I've not used the LA610, but i've used the 6176 which i'd imagine is a bit different / better with the 1176 onboard. It lacked headroom, not good for vocals. Could be good for the right mic and singer.
Old 15th December 2014
  #13
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Grace M103 is an awesome channel strip. If you want more vibe run the out through a REDDI. Best of both worlds.
Old 16th December 2014
  #14
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barryjohns's Avatar
 

I have made some spectacular recordings with the LA-610. For those that are not a fan, curious what Mic's you were using with it, also the style.

Peraonly, I'm a fan, and I own some other great preamps.

The LA-610 is not an in your face pre, it's more of a warm, thick pre IMO. Now, I've never used the eq.
Old 16th December 2014
  #15
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barryjohns's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LobCity View Post
I've not used the LA610, but i've used the 6176 which i'd imagine is a bit different / better with the 1176 onboard. It lacked headroom, not good for vocals. Could be good for the right mic and singer.
Wow, 6176 not good for vocals? That is one of the go-to combinations of the late 70's-most of the 80's. You may not like the music, however some impressive recordings were done with that combo!

To me, a Rock vocal cannot be recorded unless through an 1176, I know every one of mine are.

Now, that may not be your style, and that's great. Pop music cox, has no place with an 1176 for many singers.
Old 16th December 2014
  #16
Both are great units, the LA610 II I has more of a colored tube sound which sounds great on many sources.
Old 16th December 2014
  #17
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Randyman...'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
Wow, 6176 not good for vocals? That is one of the go-to combinations of the late 70's-most of the 80's. You may not like the music, however some impressive recordings were done with that combo!

To me, a Rock vocal cannot be recorded unless through an 1176, I know every one of mine are.

Now, that may not be your style, and that's great. Pop music cox, has no place with an 1176 for many singers.
I believe the widely-reported lack of headroom stems from the preamp in these boxes, not the compressor. These "new" (late 90's?) <$2000 6176/LA610 combo boxes are not quite the same as an OG 610 and an OG 1176 you might have heard on those 70's and 80's recordings you cited
Old 16th December 2014
  #18
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barryjohns's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyman... View Post
I believe the widely-reported lack of headroom stems from the preamp in these boxes, not the compressor. These "new" (late 90's?) <$2000 6176/LA610 combo boxes are not quite the same as an OG 610 and an OG 1176 you might have heard on those 70's and 80's recordings you cited
I understand that, but having owned both, its very hard to Not be able to get a great vocal out of both boxes. That being said, neither is a one size fits all vocal chain, mainly due to the 610.
Old 16th December 2014
  #19
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brianellefson's Avatar
I have an older M610 and an LA610 MKII and I can guarantee that people's issues are in the pres - not the compressors on the LA or 6176. Like Palermo said, if you change out the tubes it makes a difference. The pres are definitely NOT great on everything, but Ive found them to be really good on bass DI, keyboards, and sibilant mics. Haven't ever tried em on acoustic guitar but with the right mic I bet they're probably pretty good.

There are a lot more versatile preamps out there, but I do love what the 610s do.
Old 16th December 2014
  #20
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I'm sure the Manley is a very nice preamp - but I never got my hands on it.

I know the LA610 is a very nice preamp - I use it a lot.
There are lots of discussions about it's headroom and I admit I ran into this problem on the very first recordings I did with the LA610.
Then I played around with the different gain knobs and never ever had those problems again.

The gain staging is done with 4 controls, a -15db switch, a gain knob and two level knobs. I think most people use the amp with too high gain setting. Just try again with the gain at -10 and you get a clear and clean sound - even with the stock tubes.
I use mine often with a M149, a mic that has high output. No headroom problems!

I just found this article on the UA website:
Getting Hands-On with the Popular LA-610 MkII Classic Tube Channel Strip - Blog - Universal Audio

The compressor is also nice and I really love the filters on it.
Old 17th December 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryjohns View Post
Wow, 6176 not good for vocals? That is one of the go-to combinations of the late 70's-most of the 80's. You may not like the music, however some impressive recordings were done with that combo!

To me, a Rock vocal cannot be recorded unless through an 1176, I know every one of mine are.

Now, that may not be your style, and that's great. Pop music cox, has no place with an 1176 for many singers.
It may have been a mic issue, and sometimes the pieces surrounding the mic get blamed unfairly. I was not operating the 6176, just singing. Very strong chance the engineer wasn't finessing the best sounds out of it. Possibly more likely that than the 6176 not being good. I love the Shins' sound and James Mercer used the 6176 I believe nearly exclusively for a period. Overall, I felt it more difficult to perform using it, whereas a lot of gear makes it easier. Again, could absolutely be the wrong mic, wrong compression settings, and wrong engineer.

It just made things sound small, short, and constricted. I like a compressor that makes things sound more balanced, which i'm not sure is a FET compressors strength. Seemed like it was more about chopping off peaks rather than filling in the valleys. I like the quiet made louder - seems to smooth things out nicely. I'm not an expert in the nuance of compression. I liked the 6176 on bass and guitars though, really good sound for overdriven guitars.
Old 17th December 2014
  #22
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Another point, Didn't Adele use the pres in either the LA 610 or 6176. Seemed to be enough headroom for her. I sometime shake my head at the stuff that goes around here. i guess there must be more bedroom studio recordings of world class opera singers then I was previously aware of.
Old 17th December 2014
  #23
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elambo's Avatar
Though I liked my 610 w/ bass I ultimately sold it. It just seemed to lack edge and clarity. Too soft.
Old 17th December 2014
  #24
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loosejaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
I don't have any experience with the Manley offering but I had a la610mk2 and I sold it.. and I dont miss it.. seemed like there was very little headroom before tube sat
+2 but I did later decided to try the UA 610m which is a really good preamp, I was surprised actually how good it is considering how little I cared of the la610, totally different sounding even though they seem related.
Old 17th December 2014
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palermo View Post
Another point, Didn't Adele use the pres in either the LA 610 or 6176. Seemed to be enough headroom for her. I sometime shake my head at the stuff that goes around here. i guess there must be more bedroom studio recordings of world class opera singers then I was previously aware of.
First of all, not everybody wants to sound like Adele, and just because it works for one person doesn't mean it will work for everybody. I've heard Norah Jones is a fan of the 6176, but i've also read that she's used the Manley DMMP, Vari Mu, and other Manley gear on her records.

No need to insult "bedroom" studios. 90% of the people asking for advice on here are just that, if they all seem to have issues with the 610 then all the more reason to lean towards Manley.

@OP - you might also keep an eye out for a used VoxBox, they pop up second hand often and you may find one around 2k.
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