The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
LA-610 - whaddya think? 500 Series Preamps
Old 10th March 2008
  #1
Gear Addict
 

LA-610 - whaddya think?

I'm just wondering what everyone makes of the LA-610, what's your experiences, how do you rate it. I have one myself and I've had many fine debates on its value, I won't reveal what side I'm on because I want to know what everyone else thinks,
i've talked to many engineers who claim it doesn't have any "head room" and others who praise its name.

So is it worth it to just go the step up. What are the limitations.. what do you all think.
best
deckerluke
Old 10th March 2008
  #2
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

I have not used one so my post should not count, i had a chance to buy a new one for 1200 but im unsure, i have heard that they are muddy and the compressor in them aren't that great in fact i heard that the compressor in the Avalon 737 is better than the LA-610 , to me thats not saying much because i don't like the 737, i guess even tho this is a UA product i backed off and did not buy.
Old 10th March 2008
  #3
Lives for gear
 
DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

I like it lots. It's my most often used pre. Electric guitars and acoustic guitars always, bass DI often (the 737 is also good for that!), vocals sometimes.

Headroom: one has to be very careful about setting up the gain. Of course it varies, but I usually have Gain at -10 and Level at about 6.5-ish for condensers and closer to 9-ish for ribbons, some dynamics. No problems with headroom.

Regarding the compressor, I use just a little GR. I don't favor it for anything too extreme.

The one thing I do not like about it is that it is a bit "excited" in the high mid area. That is fine if using a mic and source that can benefit from some excitement, but if using an already "edgy" sounding LDC on vocals, it can be too much sometimes.
Old 10th March 2008
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Well, it does have low headroom. Just don't drive it so hot and it's not a big problem. I find the pre can really add something to certain vocalists (not all by any means), and can make really awesome acoustic guitar tracks. I also find it to be a great bass DI. I've read on these forums there are some that like electric guitars through it. I'm not a big fan of that so much, but I suppose it depends on the part.

That's my two cents. Note: there's quite a bit of past discussion about the LA-610. Search is your friend
Old 10th March 2008
  #5
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

One of my all-time favorite vocal preamps. The compressor is fantastic for vocals - but only if you like things that approximate the sound of and operate similarly to the LA2A. I happen to adore that sound and I happen to adore opto compressors for vocals.

The LA-610 is also an outstanding acoustic gtr preamp, when coupled with the right mic. Some of the best acoustic tracks I've ever recorded came from a Blue Dragonfly, into the LA-610 with 2 to 3db of GR on the peaks. Beautiful!

The little, 2-band EQ is a great tool. I use it most of the time that I track with it.

It is a fantastic tool. I've stacked tons of stuff with it without issues at all. Oh, and it likes to be pushed on certain things. The break-up can be quite nice on certain styles of vocals and VERY nice on bass guitar. It is always my first choice for DI bass when not using a cab...or when blending cab/DI.

It also makes for a very nice, thick rock piano sound when coupled with a tube SDC/MDC. I like to push it a little on this application too, with the compressor in limiter mode, catching only the peaks.

Hope this helps. The only thing that pisses me off about my LA-610 is that it isn't a 2-channel, or that I don't have 2!
Old 10th March 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Rogervandeberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllAboutTone View Post
I have not used one so my post should not count, i had a chance to buy a new one for 1200 but im unsure, i have heard that they are muddy and the compressor in them aren't that great in fact i heard that the compressor in the Avalon 737 is better than the LA-610 , to me thats not saying much because i don't like the 737, i guess even tho this is a UA product i backed off and did not buy.
I did a shootout about a year ago and the LA610 was also there, judge for yourself, you won't be dissapointed in the unit!

Big shootout: pacifica, 737. LA-610, r121, jz2 etc.

greetings,
Roger
Old 10th March 2008
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Lerxst's Avatar
 

I like my LA-610 and although it is not my "go-to" for everything it does have a great "vintage tube" vibe to it. The pre is very smooth, and the comp is very musical - I actually like the comp a lot, especially on vocals however, it is not and LA2A. I find it useful for vocals (male/female), bass DI, acoustic guitar (just about any stringed acoustic inst), drum OH, etc. I'm about to do some recordings using it as a room mic for drums, and we'll see how it does...

~Lerxst
Old 10th March 2008
  #8
Lives for gear
 
miqer's Avatar
 

I love it also.

What everyone here says: use the -10 or -5 on vocals... if you use the +5 some mics (esp. tube mics) will have a nasty distortion somewhere in the highs. I love color, but this sounds like transistor compression or something.


I digggg the compressor for gospel and soul vocals. In the loud bits, it can go to -8db or even -10db and still sound great.

m.
Old 10th March 2008
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

I too would agree with what most have already said about the LA-610. I could add that while tracking male vocalists I have been very pleased with cutting 1.5 db at 100Hz using the unit's low shelf eq. Also I like recording DI bass using a higher gain setting, usually +5, and a moderate amount of compression from the T4 compressor.
Old 10th March 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
TheRealRoach's Avatar
Although I don't know the LA610, I use the 6176 all the time (same pre).

Be sure to read the manual carefully about how the preamp works. The combination of settings between the Gain and the Level will give you LOTS of tonal variations, some clean and some grungy (and cool). You can download the manual for free from universal audio.

I thought that this was a very muddy pre with low headroom until I read the manual and learned how to set it more efficiently. Now there's always gobs of gain.
Old 10th March 2008
  #11
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

i like my LA-610 enough to keep it, but, for the money i their are pre i would prefer to it, a lot.
i say get a lunchbox, and look at what's out their for 500 format pres, comps and eqs.
the A-designs P-1s or for a bit more color a EM-RED.
the Great River has a awesome bottom and sweet all the way to the top.
if tubes are a much then the LaChapell Audio's 583s is amazing.
if you want to stay in the 19'' rack gear the Pacifica would be awesome, and if tubes are a must the A-designs MP-2A is amazing as well.
based on the 583s i have i can only believe the LaChapell tube pre would be option to consider.
Old 10th March 2008
  #12
The LA-610 is also an outstanding acoustic gtr preamp, when coupled with the right mic. Some of the best acoustic tracks I've ever recorded came from a Blue Dragonfly, into the LA-610 with 2 to 3db of GR on the peaks. Beautiful!


Have you ever used it with the Dragonfly Deluxe? Drop dead gorgeous sound on AC Guitar! If you can find a DD somewhere, pick it up at any price, they only made 275 of them.


-Ben Mesiti
TheStudioRI.com
Old 10th March 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Studio RI View Post
The LA-610 is also an outstanding acoustic gtr preamp, when coupled with the right mic. Some of the best acoustic tracks I've ever recorded came from a Blue Dragonfly, into the LA-610 with 2 to 3db of GR on the peaks. Beautiful!


Have you ever used it with the Dragonfly Deluxe? Drop dead gorgeous sound on AC Guitar! If you can find a DD somewhere, pick it up at any price, they only made 275 of them.


-Ben Mesiti
TheStudioRI.com
I wish I could. All i know about that mic is that it is a different color and has a different capsule. I can not find any other info on it. What is the actual difference. How is the capsule different and how does it change the sound?

Thanks and sorry for the hijack!
Old 10th March 2008
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Classic's Avatar
 

I LOVE MINE.

Sounds amazing on most everything, compressor rocks, and I actually prefer it to my Pacifica.
Old 10th March 2008
  #15
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Studio RI View Post
The LA-610 is also an outstanding acoustic gtr preamp, when coupled with the right mic. Some of the best acoustic tracks I've ever recorded came from a Blue Dragonfly, into the LA-610 with 2 to 3db of GR on the peaks. Beautiful!


Have you ever used it with the Dragonfly Deluxe? Drop dead gorgeous sound on AC Guitar! If you can find a DD somewhere, pick it up at any price, they only made 275 of them.


-Ben Mesiti
TheStudioRI.com
i have used the Dragonfly with it: )~
i think it is a nice pre just better out their.
Old 10th March 2008
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Rogervandeberg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic View Post
I LOVE MINE.

Sounds amazing on most everything, compressor rocks, and I actually prefer it to my Pacifica.
i think the pacifica and 610 complement each other very well. In the area's where i think the pacifica is not perfect but just good (like acoustics) the 610 fills in that hole just perfectly. They are so different, but together they can be a great solution for all your pre wishes thumbsup
Old 10th March 2008
  #17
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manthe View Post
I wish I could. All i know about that mic is that it is a different color and has a different capsule. I can not find any other info on it. What is the actual difference. How is the capsule different and how does it change the sound?

Thanks and sorry for the hijack!
the Dragonfly Deluxe ( as i understand it ), uses the double sided capsule were as the Dragonfly use the single sided.
not 100% but as i recall, that is the difference.
Old 10th March 2008
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Lerxst's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogervandeberg View Post
I did a shootout about a year ago and the LA610 was also there, judge for yourself, you won't be dissapointed in the unit!

Big shootout: pacifica, 737. LA-610, r121, jz2 etc.

greetings,
Roger
Thanks for that Roger! You just reminded me why I should not sell my LA-610.

~Lerxst
Old 11th March 2008
  #19
Lives for gear
 
rockstar_josh's Avatar
 

I absolutely love my LA-610. I want excuses to use it. I've tracked vocals with it that can sit perfectly in a mix, bass guitar sounds killer through it, acoustic is good but I haven't really gotten down with the acoustic guitar tracking yet. I will this weekend, and I'm sure it'll be great! I agree that I might not use it on everything, but it's awesome on the things I do track with it. I learned early on that it can break up nastily if it's pushed too hard; I had a vocal track come out pretty distorted, so watch the headroom. All in all, I"m very pleased with the LA-610!
Old 11th March 2008
  #20
Lives for gear
 
foldback's Avatar
I bought an LA-610 new and after recording with it for two weeks I returned it and bought an LA-2 instead.

The pre-amp on the LA-610 easily overloaded on loud aggressive vocals.

While similar to an LA-2, the compressor section lacks the fatness of a LA-2.

The real LA-2 adds a fatness in the bottom end that I've not heard other boxes achieve. I use one channel of an API 3124 with the LA-2 for most recordings and everyone loves the sound.

Best wishes to everyone who loves their LA-610.
Old 11th March 2008
  #21
JMc
Gear Addict
 
JMc's Avatar
 

I've got an LA-610SE on order that will ship at the end of the month. I can hardly wait to try it out.
Old 11th March 2008
  #22
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
It's okay. Not my all time favorite but gets the job done.

I agree about the headroom issues.
Old 11th March 2008
  #23
Lives for gear
 
waxx's Avatar
 

I used 2 of them once in a session (used it for vocal, guitar, bass, trumpet and sax), and it's a nice unit. It's nothing special or super hi end, but it does the job wel enough for most applications for me and it stacks very well in the mix. Just be carefull with the low headroom and record low on it or you get a nasty distortion wich is not musical at all...

If they could fix the headroom issues and maybe build it a bit more solid (it's not crap build, but it could be better), it would be a nice workhorse like the Focusrite ISA stuff is. Changing the tube to a exellent NOS one should make it a bit better on the headroom, someone told me, but i don't know if it's true.
Old 12th March 2008
  #24
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
Again...headroom issues are user error, IMO. The gain staging is key to the sound...it changes it a lot.

Love mine. vocals. BassDI. electric guitar. EP DI.

I have done nice vintagey acoustic with it, too...but, I prefer my clean Millenia for that.

It is NOT the same pre as the other 610s...they say it's voiced brighter. I believe them. The compressor is nice, too, although I don't use it going in as much as some of my others. But, I have sat with it and a vintage La2a--not the same, but not as different as a lot of people would have you believe. The 2a isn't my fave either. I've got much more love for the La3a.
Old 12th March 2008
  #25
Lives for gear
 
KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 

Me personally its one of my favs...the best way to use it tho as far as headroom IMO Is to put the input -10 & Crank the Mic Pre up & it sounds great....
Old 12th March 2008
  #26
Lives for gear
 
lord_bunny's Avatar
 

it does bear repeating that the myth about lack of headroom is just that. it's a wonderful piece that should be judged on the merits of what it can do and not by the experience of those who have used it improperly. the manual makes the gain staging very clear.

great on bass, love the la2a-style comp for vocals and wooly sounding kick drums. it's warm but i wouldn't characterize it as muddy.
Old 12th March 2008
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Just a heads up...I had to replace the 12AX7 in my 6176 pre because it was really noisy and was surprised to find that it came with a crappy Ruby tube! The other tube appeared to be a good NOS Phillips, but still......
Don't know if any of you that have had headroom issues have tried messing with tubes, but it might be worth a try.
Old 4th April 2008
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
the Dragonfly Deluxe ( as i understand it ), uses the double sided capsule were as the Dragonfly use the single sided.
not 100% but as i recall, that is the difference.

The Dragonfly Deluxe uses the Kiwi capsule, which is the same capsule as in the B6 Bottle Cap. It was styled after the CK-12 capsule according to BLUE. Of course, it does not sound like a C-12, but honestly, I've never been able to say that a C-12 sounded good on just about everything. I CAN say that about the Dragonfly Deluxe.

If you run the DD through the 610 pre with the first gain stage (with the 6072 tube) all the way up, you'll probably throw away your C-12 (ok ok I'm exaggerating, but try it for yourself and you'll hear what I mean).
Old 4th April 2008
  #29
Lives for gear
 
manthe's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Studio RI View Post
The Dragonfly Deluxe uses the Kiwi capsule, which is the same capsule as in the B6 Bottle Cap. It was styled after the CK-12 capsule according to BLUE. Of course, it does not sound like a C-12, but honestly, I've never been able to say that a C-12 sounded good on just about everything. I CAN say that about the Dragonfly Deluxe.

If you run the DD through the 610 pre with the first gain stage (with the 6072 tube) all the way up, you'll probably throw away your C-12 (ok ok I'm exaggerating, but try it for yourself and you'll hear what I mean).
I'm gonna try the same thing with the non-deluxe and see if there is joy there as well!
Old 4th April 2008
  #30
Gear Addict
 
daillman's Avatar
i love mine,the comp is smooth and musical i love the 610 pre sound almost as much as my PACIFICA!!!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
herwintan / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0
tradershort / Music Computers
0
UncleVinky / So Much Gear, So Little Time
7
Noah / So Much Gear, So Little Time
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump