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Universal Audio 4-710D

Universal Audio 4-710D

4.25 4.25 out of 5, based on 18 Reviews

The Universal Audiio 4-710d Four-Channel Tone-Blending Mic Preamp w/ Dynamics, a great addition to the any project studio.


9th January 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by agent19

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Universal Audio 4-710D

The Universal Audio 4-710D has 4 channels of UA's “Twin-Finity” preamps and "1176-Style" Compression with Built-In A/D Converters.
The unit has "1176-style" compression on each channel which is limited to "fast" and "slow" settings, w/ a ratio of 4:1 and a set threshold of 10 dBu.
When the compressor is engaged and set to fast, the attack time is 0.3 ms and the release time is 100 ms, when it's set to slow, the attack time is 2.0 ms and the release time is 1100 ms. The compressors do have a very classic UA feel and sound to them. Though I find the compressors useful in tracking some instruments, I don't use them tracking vocal often as they don't have the flexibility I need. Fortunately the unit has send and return jacks on the 4 pres' which I use for external compressors when tracking vocals.
On he 4 preamp channels you you can choose between a 100% tube and 100% solid-state signal path, or you can blend to taste.
The preamps sound great and are a go-to for me when tracking Drums (esp. Over heads) and I really like them on vocals as well.
If you do allot of recording of guitars w/ virtual amps using the the pre w/ the tube setting can really help to add some warmth to the guitar signal before the processing.
The eight analog inputs are digitized via ultra high-quality 24-bit A/D converters at selectable sample rates up to 192 kHz.
Digital output is available via dual ADAT “lightpipe” or AES/EBU DB-25 connectors.
It also has four additional line inputs which makes this unit a great 8 channel converter as well.
I've been Clocking from the 4-710D for tracking and it makes a great master, providing and overall sound quality improvement.

I have owned this Unit for over a year and it's been a great addition to my project studio. I've taken it out for some remote recording as well.
For the price point and the size of the unit, I cannot recommend it enough. It will help to inject some "tube warmth" , add flexibility and improve clocking for home or project studios that currently have a basic front end.

  • 1
4th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by gehauser

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Universal Audio 4-710D

Although it is primarily a 4-channel mic preamp, the UA 4-710d includes enough significant added features to make it a versatile front end for a digital recording studio. Each preamp channel includes tube-solid state signal paths for blending, as well as 48V phantom power, phase reverse, HPF, and 15 db pad. Analog connections for each preamp channel include separate balanced mic and line inputs and line outputs (all with XLR connections), along with a Hi-Z input jack for instrument DI on each channel. Send and return jacks on each preamp channel enable external processing and signal access. An “Insert” switch on each channel’s front panel activates the “return” path, whereas the “send” path is always active. This design allows you to leave external processors connected even if they are not currently in use, while still allowing signal to be sent out to a monitor mix or tuner.

Each channel’s 1176-style compressor is controlled with a simple three-position switch (fast / off / slow). Compression ratio and attack and release times are described in the review above.

Channels 1-4 of the 8-channel A/D are fed by the 4-710d’s own mic/line inputs, while channels 5-8 are fed by line inputs which you can use to connect outputs from external pres. Digital connections include ADAT input and output (optical), AES/BEU output (DB-25), and Word Clock in/out (BNC). A/D dynamic range spec is 110 db (A-wt) for channel 1-4 mic/line inputs and 117 db for channel 5-8 line inputs. One downside I notice is that, for a given mic input, the digital output via ADAT has 6db less level than the analog output via line out.

I have had the 4-710d since October 2011 so I am still getting to know it. I bought this unit as a flexible front end for my mobile rig, where it really shines, but I also find it useful in the studio (e.g., to minimize cabling into my interface) and for live work (e.g, as a 4 channel compressor for a house concert). To date I have used all its features except the limiter on channels 1-8 and the DI, and I probably haven’t tested all the send/returns.

For most vocals, I prefer to dial in 50-100% tube, but for soft female vocals the 100% SS setting works well for me. I always try the compressor, sometimes I like it, sometimes not – it seems to add a bit of an edge to everything I put it on. On vocals the “fast” setting seems to work best. For vocals, I still prefer the tube sound of the Solo 610 over the tube sound of the 4-710d, although the 4-710d comes close. Unlike my Solo 610, the preamp gain on the 4-710d seems quite non-linear, increasing rapidly in the last 30-40% of its range.

For acoustic instruments played bluegrass style, I prefer my Sytek preamp for “clean”. The 4-710d in SS mode (0% tube) sounds good on acoustic instruments too, but is more mid-forward and “warmer” than the Sytek, so it fills a different niche. The 4-710d SS sound is crisp and full, similar that of a Pacifica to which I A/B’d it against recently.

The 4-710d manual (PDF) is excellent – very thorough, well-organized, and well-written. In addition to full details on use of every feature, many tips and tricks are presented, such as a digital clocking primer with word clock nuances, tips for preamp settings on various input sources, and interconnection diagrams for different analog/digital setups.

In summary, this unit has great value because it is generously endowed with high quality features (tube blend, compressors, A/D conversion, send/returns) that provide a wide sound palette of good, consistent quality on a flexible and versatile unit. It works well if you need or use many of its features, but if you don’t need them and you are just seeking a sparse-featured 4-channel preamp with great sound quality, there are many competitors out there.

6th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by CasadeBomba

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Universal Audio 4-710D

I would like to explain my recording background before I jump into this review. When I read reviews of gear I love to know who is using it an how they use it.
I have been recording for over 15 years and have the pleasure of working with great bands in the rock, worship,country and singer songwriter genres. I have certain pres that I like for guitars, vocals, drums and bass. Did I mention that I have to be SUPER BUDGET conscience. Wasting money on gear is something that cannot happen. Well, at the end of last year I made some major studio upgrades. I decided to jump into the Pro Tools HD world and at the same time wanted to add about 8 channels of new mic pre flavors. Thus the research began. And this is where my review starts:

The UA 4-710 specs are on the UAudio.Com website. I will not bore you with all the geek stuff. What you do need to know is that it is a 4-Channels mic pre based on the "Twin-Finity" pre's with added 1176 style compression for each channel. It has amazing digital routing options that makes it easy to use in any set up.

One more thing. The MANUAL is FANTASTIC and you will learn so much reading it. So I urge you to READ IT.

The Ins and Outs:

The reason I chose this pre is for it's in and out flexibility. You are able to use the 4 channels it comes with and it has an additional 4 inputs that go via adat optical to your recording system. This means you can mix and match extra pres with it. This is freaking KILLER! It's very easy to add to your system via the adat optical ins and outs. This feature is smart and useful.

The Mic Pre tones:

Well..I can tell you now I LOVE the pres on Drum over heads, drum rooms mics, acoustic guitars and bass. However, it plain works in every situation. You wanna crunch some keyboards or virtual instruments this is the pre to do it. It has many uses and the option to switch between Tube and Transistor is great and noticeable.

The 1176 style compression:

This feature has been very useful for tracking drums, bass and acoustics. It is a fixed compression depending on the setting but it is VERY usable and you find yourself using it quite often. My fave setting is when creating drum loops I just crush the room mic with this compression on the tube side of the pre. Makes for some choice tones.


The digital converter:

Oh yes...all you geeks get ready. I have used it 2 ways. Where the 4-710d was the master (using a digi 002r) and it where it is currently clocked to my AVID HD io. I can tell you now there was a BIG jump in clarity having the Digi 002r clocked to the 4-710d. The top end is clearer and the bottom is tighter. So my advice is if you are struggling in the converter department I would clock to this unit. This last sentence is for you guys that are running home studio set ups. This AGAIN is another cool option from this unit.

One small drawback:

The ONLY draw back I have experienced is being careful setting my mic pre gains. Once I got a hang of it it was all good. But there is a learning curve finding the sweet spot for what instrument you are recording. Play with it. It's fun but stressful at first to figure out.



Why I bought 2...Yes I bought 2. :

The bottom line is when I received the first one I fell in love. The manual read so great and it INSTANTLY improved my recordings. I ran into a situation where I needed a few more pres and something for a mobile set up. I decided on ANOTHER 4-710d. It's that good. When I buy something it really has to work for me and it has to be useful for MULTIPLE situations. This unit is not a one trick poney. It does quite a few things well: It has great pres, good compression, a great digital converter if needed, and versatile ins and outs. What more can you ask?

Well for me the proof is in the tones. I have included a reference mix of a song I produced recently. ALL the drums were tracked thru the 4-710d. The Bass and bgv were as well.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3839133/Guil...0Mix%201.0.mp3

Again this is a very versatile unit and UA hit a home run. Prior to this product I have never owned a UA product digital or hardware. You can clearly see I am a fanboy. This is a fantastic value for home studio users and pros.

If you have any questions about it please message me!

God Bless,

Ricky Rodriguez
Twitter:@RickyRodriguez

7th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by S Hardin

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Universal Audio 4-710D

I picked up this unit a few weeks back to compliment the two existing UA 610's I already have in my preamp line. Having had such a phenomenal experience with the strong tube tone of the 610s, I was still missing what I would consider a strong solid state option. I was additionally attracted to the thought of having what I hoped would be the best of both worlds - a good solid state, while at the same time having the ability to blend in some of the warmth that the 610 pre provides. Lastly, my reason for purchasing this unit was the individual channel compressor, and limiting capabilities. Although not all that dynamic (i.e. a channel strip) in being able to adjust compression and limiting parameters, it was still a good starting point for my home/boutique studio.

I received the unit, and connecting and configuring inputs on my 003R+ BLA signature interface went pretty smooth. One of the other things that drew me to this unit was the ability to clock both units with the BLA Micro, and also to optical the 710 to the 003 to expand the overall go-to pre options.

A couple of issues did surface on this unit that are worth noting. When first getting everything going - mic hooked up, etc - I was getting a horrible clicking noise, popping in the speakers and the headphones. At that point, the 710 was NOT hooked to the BLA micro clock, but both units were set to 48, so the frequency should have been the same. I tried turning off the ext feature on my 003R and just using the internal clock at 48, and I got the same random "pop." Regardless of the 710 being set to 48, and trying both the extrenal BLA clock, and the internal 003 clock at 48, I was still getting this pretty scalding pop - and it wasn't until I hooked up both units to the BLA micro clock that the pop ceased. More testing on this in the future will hopefully play out what was going on. Still makes no sense that I was getting the click with everything set at 48, internal or external applied to the 003. Note: I also tried 44.1, and got the same pop.

Another annoying thing I'm running into is the optical connection. When I run the 710 optically into the 003 - I'm getting good signalling to PT10 - but the output level to my monitors and headphones is about 15-20dbs below what it is running into the 003. I'm starting to wonder if the A/D converter in the 710 is really all that, or if the fact that it's converting A/D in the 710, then going to the 003 and running through another A/D converter is impacting the output level. Again - the gain levels to the track in PT10 are fine - just the output levels to my monitors and headphones are significantly off.

Overall - I know this is a good piece of gear - and I've got some more learning to do with it. I think I can boost the outputs in the 003 specifically for the 710, but just haven't had time to re-engage it in the last few days. It hasn't run through a full session yet, which it will get this Saturday. I'll post an edit to this review after I've run a few session with various mic's to try and give a better picture. I'll be testing:

AKG 414
KSM32
Jolly modified Oktava 012s
Rode NTK Tube
Avant C14 Ribbon
Bluebird

9th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by dambro2

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Universal Audio 4-710D

As a lover of both tube and solid state gear, the 4-710D possessed an obvious attractiveness. It's hard to believe that UA (Universal Audio) could manage to pack so much into a box that comes at such a reasonable price.

First, the sound. The box does sound great. So far, I've used it for drum tracking, direct electric guitar, and some vocals. It delivers on the 1176 punch. The controls are limited enough to quickly get a good sound. For those who like more control over their compression, I'd recommend looking elsewhere. Finding the sweet spot between the gain and output to drive the compressor in just the right way takes a little time, hence my lower rating on ease of use.

I can't attest to the converter quality, as I use my regular converters. But, I imagine with UA's past converter offerings, it probably sounds pretty good.

Now my gripe. I'd read about some issues with the units failing but bought anyway. I, unfortunately had one channel burn out after about 2 months of light use. The repair was covered under warranty and the turnaround time was super fast. However, I expect something from UA to be a bit more reliable, out of the box. My LA-610 has been going strong for many years with no problems. Things happen, though. It's a shame to get a lemon, but the sound, versatility, and huge feature vs. price aspect make it a worthwhile buy.

9th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by the jinx

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Universal Audio 4-710D

Sound Quality: The pre's are very versatile and I find myself using more of the tube side than the ss. They are very detailed, but seem to lack some depth when compared to my other high end mic pres. The tube sound rounds out the transients nicely.

The conversion quality is very good. I use this unit hooked to my Apogee Ensemble and find it translates low frequencies better than the Ensemble. Definitely usable conversion.

Ease of Use: Very easy to use unit. The individual metering on each channel is great, as well as the digital metering. Everything works as expected. The only issue is the gain pots have a large jump from 3 to 4, making it difficult to dial in the correct amount of compression sometimes.

Features: I won't bore you with a list of all the features, but I will say the features included are very intuitive. I end up using them all at one point or another. Hi Pass gets used all the time, phantom power, etc. Having inserts on the pres is a big plus, especially for patching in an eq.

Bang for Buck: This unit is hard to beat for the price. Tons of useful features, professional quality sound and build, and very easy to use. A great way to add some extra pres and conversion to you setup.


Great product by a great company.

15th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by e12

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Universal Audio 4-710D

I have one for about a year and I'm pretty satisfied. The tone-blending knob really works and the mixed positions (tube+solid state) are very very useful. I think I can say this is one of the most versatile high-quality preamps in the market. It's definitively worth a lot for the buck: you got till eight a/d converted channel (AES or ADAT) + 4 Channel Class A Hybrid (tube-transistor) preamp with 1176-stylish fast/slow easy compression.

The converter is very good and I couldn't notice any distortion, noise or signal quality loss, when compared to my BLA converters. It's 16/24 bits, it does have a sample rate from 44.1 to 192, Word Clock and a very nice digital limiter for hotter signals and easy use.

The preamp sound is impressive, so is the use of the blending. When in solid-state mode, very clearly and fast transient response, as uncolored as it should be for the price (maybe more). In tube mode, some very noticed tube flavor, less transients, good warm signal. It's not as good as the 610 sound for my ears, but it gets pretty close.

The compressor is very easy and intuitive. While this could be good for simplifying the process, it's also bad, because you got no total control. I would say "use it with care when is really necessary otherwise, not". The sound is 1176-stilish but I have a original one and I can say it's neither far the same.

Other cool thing is the possibility to insert external processors in the signal patch. You can also copy the signal through the insert output (when not using the return) and even use only the converters, when feeding it by the return input.

It could have a bit louder gain stage, but I can live without it.

Very nice, very impressive for the bucket!!

15th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by haifai

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Universal Audio 4-710D

Very good 8 channel interface...
i use it often as an extra adat interface for drum recording.
My main interface is a digirack 003+ and with the 4-710d and some extra preamps i am able to record 16 tracks.
Nice input section with blend between solid state and tube sound.
there are all options needed- switchable phantom power on each channel, a 15db pad, switchable insert, limiting in 1176 style, low cut and a phase reverse switch...
The limiter section in 1176 style is not so good to controll.
its only controlled by the gain knob and has a remarkable jump in its action.
I use it only when realy needed.
On the other hand the soft limiting before the ad converters is very usefull.
The ad conversion is very good for a unit in this price range,to my ears it sounds better then the conversion from my digi rack.
A lot of options to connect gear - 4 mic ins,4 line ins or 4 instrument ins and 4 inserts.
As the it is a 8 channel converter there are 4 more line inputs before the ad stage.
The built quality seems very good
All in all a good bang for the buck!

17th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by giddy

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Universal Audio 4-710D

First off. Damn. What a feature packed unit! It's shocking how much they packed into 2RU.
I've been using this unit for 4 Months. I've run just about every type of Mic, and instrument. I have yet to find a bad sound... LOTS of Clean gain, Nice when pushed.

PRE section:
The Tube setting is full, not anywhere as rich as the 610 however (I have 4 of those too, 'cuz they are THE ****). It is juicy, compared to the smooth of the 610.

However, the Trans setting is FAST! Brutal drums and crisp guitars (I'd recommend a ribbon on this setting for guitar)
A snare mic'ed close with a HEIL PR20 is dynamite.

Caveats:

  1. There is a tight sweet spot on these pre's, but they don't sound bad pegging the meter.
  2. On every channel there is a HUGE jump in volume between 3-4.
  3. It takes a bit to get used to the Drive setting. Read the manual on this.

Compression Section:
They have nailed the sound of the 1176 in it's most used settings.
However, these don't have the same BLAM! In your face sound of a full 1176. (I would imagine it has to do with a WHOLE lot of components and power supply differences) But they are fantastic for control. I find that I do less compression downstream.

The Slow setting is fantastic for controlling overall level just about any signal. I find that hitting much more than 6db of Comp starts to sound really squishy tho.
On Kick it lets the attack thru, contains the body, and gets out of the way for the next hit (unless you track speed metal). This setting is downright sexy on acoustic guitars that need to fill around a heavy mix.

The Fast setting is really tight. Used on drum overheads gives a great thickness. I've used it on a few vocals for punch control (I hardly ever hit more than 3-6 db on this setting or it gets really brutal)

As you can tell, these are all about control, as opposed to sound-effecty compression of it's big brother.

I have NOT had a chance to use the converters yet, but I bet they whoop the pants off ANY 8 channel device in this price range.

In final:
It is an amazing value tracking box. I would imagine UA selling BOATLOADS of these things, because frankly there is nothing else like it.
The ability to have 4 stellar Pre's and an extra 4 Channels of Line in WITH 8 ch 192khz Conversion in a 2RU

It does have a tendency to have bad channels, as you may have read, I had channel 3 intermittently drop in and out and finally die. BUT, **** happens in life and its all about how the manufacturer deals with it, and UA always back up their products. As Mine was in the first batch made, I think they have the problem in build QC worked out. So, don't fret.


21st March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by AllThingsAudio

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Universal Audio 4-710D

I waited a while to get mine but it was well worth the wait. Fortunately I haven't had any of the quality issues some others have reported. My unit has worked exactly as designed for over a year now. As others have mentioned, this box offers a lot for the money. Having the 4 additional converter channels is a huge asset. Setting the gain and level controls does take some getting used to. So far I have only used mine in the studio but I am hoping to give it a try as a front end for a remote recording rig with an Alesis HD24 some day.
All in all a great unit with major bang for the buck.

28th March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by RobertDolabella

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Universal Audio 4-710D

First I want to apologize for my english, I'm Brazilian guy.
4 months ago I bought a 4-710D, and I am very pleased with this box. The option to choose the solid state or tube and mix is also wonderful. The gain and level gives me total control of what I want. The compressor is not equal to the real 1176, but enough to help control some of the screaming vocalist.
I use it on bass and acoustic guitars, sometimes drums and the sound is both clean and warm. Only the AD is not as good, so I always use the analog output.
Thanks UA, 4-710D is wonderfully impressive.
In short words, I am wonderfully impressed.
Thank UA team.

Robert Dolabella

31st March 2012

Universal Audio 4-710D by hmakela

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Universal Audio 4-710D

When I first saw the specs for the Universal Audio 4-710d I was sure that they had specifically designed this unit for my needs.

I have always been disappointed with multichannel audio interfaces built in preamps but did not have enough spare money to buy 4 channels of separate quality tube pres so when I read that this unit also features 1176 style compression per each 4 channels and quality AD conversion for total of 8 channels I got really interested.

The unique feature of this unit is that you can use the individual blend knobs in all the 4 Preamp channel to change preamp mix from solid state to Tube saturation which is really, really cool feature and more you play with it with different style microphones more you like it.

Like with vocals I love to add more tube saturation but when I am recording acoustic guitars with smaller size condenser microphone and when sound that I aim for is more clear I simply turn the knob counter clock wise and sound is changed.

Built in compressor features are simple but these work OK. There are not separate buttons for compressor setting like you normally see in hardware compressors – 4-710d 1176 style compressors are is simply turned on or off and only adjustable setting for it is slower and faster.

Unit look heavy but it actually very light – first I was worried about the fact that it is built in China but after months of use it is most definitely Universal Audio grade unit.

Quick list of features:
4 preamps with Mic, Line, or Hi-Z input option
4 additional lines in for AD conversion
AD conversion of 8 channels (very good quality in my opinion)
Nice vintage style metering
Word Clock
1176 style compression on 4 input channels
Pad, Low Cut, and Phase reverse on each of the 4 channels

Set of two ADAT outputs which allow use of higher sample rate conversions and digital output to other units (like UAD’s new Apollo Interface that I use now!)

This unit is great value for money and it sounds great - different when you want

15th February 2013

Universal Audio 4-710D by Enygma Records

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Universal Audio 4-710D

I was a bit skeptical prior to purchasing this preamp, but I decided to take the plunge. I had seen it in many different major studios, Dave Pensado and some other mixing guys have had one or two in the background on several videos, and every review I saw seemed to suggest this was a really excellent preamp. Sure enough, I can say that it truly lives up to the reputation others have given it.

First (and most important), the sound quality is top notch. It's an analog preamp, so you get analog output. Personally, I love more of a tube sound when I track vocals with it (though some artists sound better with more on the transistor side), but being able to blend between either gives you an infinite flexibility that takes mere seconds to adjust. The A/D converters aren't bad, either. The built-in 1176 style compressor (er, 4 of them :P) really makes this stand apart from the regular "twin-finity" preamp (solo).

"Ease of use" is a relative term, as I understand it. I know engineers who have been mixing vocals for years, but don't know a thing about analog equipment. That being said, I think every last one of them could figure out the basics (RTFM :P) within 5 minutes. Disable the compressor, and you've got an incredibly simple preamp: input (pre-gain), blend, output. The compressor is rather simple, as well (IMHO) - simply choose between a fast or slow attack time. Use the gain reduction meter to tweak your input source, and you're done. It's not the same thing as a real 1176, but it sounds freakin' sweet!

For someone like me (using an outdated Digi 002R), this preamp really shines because I can use UA's superior converters and clock (although there's no S/PDIF on this, but ADAT works fine for 44.1/48kHz). This has been an essential feature for me. As the clock on my digi 002R isn't that great, I've also preferred to use the 4-710d's clock (on sessions I get from other people for mixing).

Overall, I'd have to say this was certainly worth the $2,000 purchase (although my opinion may be partially influenced by the fact I received a free UAD-2 Quad with my purchase). If you do a lot of tracking, this is a fantastic preamp that is quite versatile and can work with a variety of setups. It's also easy to take with you for whatever purpose. You can even track a live band with just one of these (provided you are submixing at least the drums and running them through a single channel)... but I'd recommend at least two for THAT.

18th February 2013

Universal Audio 4-710D by RoughWood Studio

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Universal Audio 4-710D

Like Enygma, we took advantage of the Quad card offer. Using this primarily for additional drum channels. It's good for vocals, etc. but we already have favorites for those. Front of Kick, Snare top, and Overheads most of the time. The 4710 adds a richness we didn't have before. Most producers go straight to the tube side and blend in solid state. One regular kicks the crap out of the 4710 and it just sounds great. Think I've been too conservative with this pre/comp. Looks good. Sounds good. Cheap for the features included. No "secret weapon" but definitely worth getting.

28th May 2013

Universal Audio 4-710D by Doc Goodin

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Universal Audio 4-710D

I've owned the 4710d about a year now and have used it on guitars, vocals, drums and bass. It shines on bass. It was my first high end purchase.


Since then I've bought an API 3124 and Daking and Vintech 500 series modules. Out of those choices the 4710d is usually last on the list.


The blending capablities are kind of a novelty. A lot of time spent tweaking just to get something close to the source. If you're going for the sound in the room then this preamp and can be a pain. The 1176 comp is ok, but Is usually in the off position.

It's a decent value with all of the feature, but if you're in it just for the sound it's middle of the road and I'd rather put in money into something else.


The I/O features have been helpful with the adat and routing possibilities and one of the only reasons I still own the 4710d.

It's gets left over duties on drums like bottom snare, room mics, extra kick and extra toms. I do still use it on micing bass amps occasionally. It fares decently on Drums, but I've noticed a high end sheen on drum overheads and vocals that is not pleasing to me.

If this was my only pre amp I had I could and have made good sounding records with it, but I would prefer other pres for the money.

As I continue to upgrade my studio and gain more I/O, I will probably sell the 4710d.

6th June 2013

Universal Audio 4-710D by Nick Di Lorenzo

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Universal Audio 4-710D

An amazing piece of gear.

Owned this for a year and it's my go to.

Not only do I use this beast of a unit when recording, it does an amazing job when I need to re-print basses and guitars when mixing stems sent through to me.

The tone blending attracted me at first. But it's not as versatile as I thought it would be. Aside from that it's perfect.

29th September 2014

Universal Audio 4-710D by PRad

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Universal Audio 4-710D

I've owned this pre amp for 3 years.

In that time I've gone from loving it to barely using it.

The 4-710d was the first pre I owned, which explains most of my love for it - but with each additional pre-amp I became aquinted with it became less and less used. Now it is the last pre I reach for.

I also have had maintanence issues with it - within a year of use the output from differnet channels would vary by over 15dB with identical source and settings. My converstaion with UA support was also extremely disappointing - when I went over the details of my issues the only real trouble-shooting they offered over the phone was asking if I had checked the xlr I was running into the pres and suggest I try a different microphone...

This is the second modern UA item I have had to get repaired within 2 years of purchase.

There is nothing terrible about this unit, but the only real outstanding feature is how MANY features they have packed into a 2ru unit.

Although it is a workhorse for a small studio, in my mind it has failed to keep up with other pre-amps in terms of sound quality, and durability.

  • 1
4 weeks ago

Universal Audio 4-710D by noisekeeper

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.75
Universal Audio 4-710D

After reading only positive reviews of the unit i recently ordered the preamp and did some comparisons. The sound was most important to me. To make it short, i was pretty disappointed. Maybe i expected too much. I was looking for something to replace or at least expand my collection of vintage Telefunken preamps, since they sometimes become unreliable, and i have only very good experience with UA products so far.

The mic signal was split up to the 4-710D, the Apollo x8 mic pre and a Telefunken V376 preamp. All files were normalized so the recordings were exactly the same. The 4-710D signal came via ADAT into the Apollo, the V376 and Apollo preamp were converted by the Apollo x8. Tested with acoustic guitar, voice and percussion.
The mic used was a Rode NTV (tube LDC).

The V376 was clearly the winner, delivering a full and three-dimensional signal with lots of detail, shimmering highs and punchy low end, with the typical "grip" that probably comes from the transformers. Just love that sound.

The Apollo x8 mic pre was surprisingly close, a little less detail and highs and no grip, but definitely very transparent and good sounding.

The 4-710D was dull an muffled sounding in comparison, a lot less detail and overall had no mojo, no smile-on-your-face reaction sound. The percussive attacks of the acoustic guitar were almost gone as well as the highs. A lot of people wrote they love this preamp for overheads...no way. I was really wondering what all these reviews were comparing the unit to. It may sound better than Behringer or Art Preamps or the like in that price range for sure, but by no means i'd consider this high end (as it was said), not even close. That doesn't mean it sounded like crap, just not as good the others (unfortunately the sound guy's curse is: the 'better' is the enemy of the 'good').

The tube/solid state mix was almost inaudible, if not homeopathic, i heard no difference even when increasing the input gain drastically.

I didn't care much for the compressor due to the disappointing sound. It did work, but also no mojo there, i guess an UAD 1176 plugin routed into the UA console in recording mode does a better job.

Overall the concept is great, the possibility to have switchable inserts is nice. From the build, another contra are the knobs, they are slightly wobbling when turned and aren't rasterized (for linking channels).

Although i'm a fan of UAD (the Apollo is just fantastic) i can't really recommend this box if sound quality is your strongest concern. My advice would be to order it only if you can return it and do comparisons. The sound difference was really not a matter of taste, it just sounded plain boring and dull compared. I wouldn't use it for anything, as i knew i'm losing so much of the sound.

 
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