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UA hardware - Good or bad?
Old 11th November 2009
  #31
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Rednose's Avatar
I think your over exaggerating.
Not everyone here hates UA, it gets allot of love here too.
Old 11th November 2009
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
What I don't understand is why UA discontinued the 2108 preamp, I absolutely love that box!
Sleeper hit.

A friend just added his fourth.
Old 11th November 2009
  #33
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by spicemix View Post
Sleeper hit.

A friend just added his fourth.
Where did he get it? I'm still looking for a third one and wouldn't even mind a fourth at some point.

2108 on drums =
Old 11th November 2009
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Where did he get it? I'm still looking for a third one and wouldn't even mind a fourth at some point.

2108 on drums =
Get in line bub!
Old 11th November 2009
  #35
I love the UA solid state preamps. I have a 2108 and was saving up for a 4110 before they stopped making them.

I think their new designs and their reissues sound great.
Old 11th November 2009
  #36
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waxx's Avatar
 

i like some, and some not but build quality there is absolute no problem (they are solid)

the LA2A is so close to the original i compared with (don't know the state) that it doesn't matter if it's original or not
the 1176 LN is not as good as the MC77, but it's surely a exellent FET compressor. If it's close to the original i don't know, i've never used an original.
the 610 is not my cup of tea, but others seems to make decent recordings with it
the 2108 and knock offs is a good utility preamp, works on most more than decent (to hi end norms). Very usefull like the ISA pre's from Focusrite, but sounding different.

with the rest i don't have experience

and off course, the UAD is top line dsp wich only has real concurrence from the Duende, but this is mainly due to the software
Old 12th November 2009
  #37
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gutr2's Avatar
 

Here's my opinion and experience:

Pros:
- Excellently built products, reliable, sound great.
- Great customer service (Once I needed new bulbs for an 6176, they sent them right away and free of charge!)

Cons:
- Overpriced: Great products, but I think you can get better stuff for the money. I sold two 6176's and don't look back.
- Overhyped: Starting with UA themselves, they're known for slightly over-the-top claims about their stuff. Buy the Harrision EQ and you will sound like Bruce and Michael Jackson. Well.. they don't say that, but they want you to think that. When have you heard Geoff Tanner, Fred Forssell, Dave Hill, D W Fearn, etc..say anything but humble technical comments on their products?

I think the Purple MC77 is night and day better than their 1176. And it's cheaper mind you.
I used to love and worship the 610 preamps for years.. until I got other stuff to compare. Sold the UA straight away. They would be wonderful pres if they cost $400.
I do prefer smaller companies that listen to customers, I love gear designers that join us here and seem like they share the same passion.

I think UA's video and audio demos are sonically UNinspiring, usually quite terrible and amateur sounding. That to me is NOT a good sign.

On the positive side, hats off to them for the UAD stuff. Very useful.
Old 12th November 2009
  #38
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gutr2's Avatar
 

Going back to your topic, I do think the LA-2A is a good buy. Not that I have one.. yet.
If I were getting one though, I would seriously consider the Manley ELOP. It's cheaper, it's 2 channels and a lot of people even prefer it over the LA-2A.
Old 12th November 2009
  #39
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larry b's Avatar
 

Personally i think the 1176, both reissue and original is more versatile than the Purple MC77. The MC77 certainly does it's thing, but when im working in a studio that has both, i find myself going to the 1176 for all sorts of stuff, whereas i only really go for the MC77 when i want that over-the-top, 4-button thing...

just my two cents

thumbsupthumbsup
Old 13th November 2009
  #40
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gutr2's Avatar
 

Cool man, I respectfully disagree though. When I had both I compared it and more often than not the UA version sounded worse than no compressor at all. Mind you that happens with the Purple too, and all other compressors... but not as often.
The Purple CAN be used subtly (It's not easy though :o) and yes in "destroy" mode it's a lot thicker and bigger than the UA.


Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post
Personally i think the 1176, both reissue and original is more versatile than the Purple MC77. The MC77 certainly does it's thing, but when im working in a studio that has both, i find myself going to the 1176 for all sorts of stuff, whereas i only really go for the MC77 when i want that over-the-top, 4-button thing...

just my two cents

thumbsupthumbsup
Old 13th November 2009
  #41
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larry b's Avatar
 

Hey, to each his own man, but i've always felt that an 1176 (or an LA-2A) after a great mic pre and a great mic is one of my all-time favorite vocal tracking chains.
Old 13th November 2009
  #42
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gutr2's Avatar
 

Hey man - absolutely! That I agree.
I never said they weren't great pieces. I had mucho love for them until I tried other stuff.


Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post
Hey, to each his own man, but i've always felt that an 1176 (or an LA-2A) after a great mic pre and a great mic is one of my all-time favorite vocal tracking chains.
Old 13th November 2009
  #43
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
What I don't understand is why UA discontinued the 2108 preamp, I absolutely love that box!
Poor sales?

- c
Old 13th November 2009
  #44
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Just picked up the 6176. This thing is freaking amazing.

It sounds great on everything. Even as a front end to my guitar through the 610 and 1176... it sounds fatter and more classic than my Fender 4X10 Bassman, which is also great. Direct to the UA, dial in 4 button mode etc. and then in to the daw with some reverb is as good as any tube guitar amp that ive ever heard or better. Also sounds amazing on voice, bass and drums. Very versatile piece. heh
Old 13th November 2009
  #45
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camus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Poor sales?

- c
Poor profit margin? There's a reason why that box sounds good...
Old 13th November 2009
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
Poor profit margin? There's a reason why that box sounds good...
I know the unit uses at least one of the transformer stages of the 1176. There was a time when those were no longer available...this caused 1176 serial nos 1948-2950 or thereabouts to have a redesigned input stage.

It may be that when those were no longer available they stopped making the 2108 (purple stopped making its 1176 clones during that period too). That's just speculation though...not sure that is the explanation.

Those transformers are now available again, and given the enduring interest in the 2108, maybe they will start making them again. It really is a first-rate preamp and while similar sounding to the 610 it's its own thing.
Old 13th November 2009
  #47
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Elof's Avatar
 

Not too fond of the 2-1176, but I´m a big fan of the solid state preamps (and DIs) having a 2108 and 4110. If I find another 2108, I´d buy it right away.
4110 might be one of the best utility preamps ever, and the build quality is top, as with everthing from UA that I´ve tried.
Old 13th November 2009
  #48
Gear Nut
 

Happy UA LA-3A user here! Love what it does and does it well!
Old 13th November 2009
  #49
Happy UA 1176 owner here
Old 13th November 2009
  #50
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airmate's Avatar
 

I own a new LA-2A and a pair of new LA-3A's alongside older UA/Urei stuff like a vintage Blackface 1176 and an 1178. Furthermore I have tried out virtually all other pieces of them and I have even visited their shop in Santa Cruz.

They are not far apart from your usual "boutique" manufacturer - just a bit larger. No Reason to slag them off at all...

I really like their gear. It's well built, reliable, and it does what I expect it to do.
Still my old 1176 has something special to it that no other that recently manufactured 1176(-clone) I have heard can offer.

But to be fair, this certain smoothness and softness probably comes from the old electrolytics. So it is probably somewhat far off from the original specs.
Old 13th November 2009
  #51
Here for the gear
 

I own the LA 610 which I love and I have used an 1176 that I thought was awesome. I spent a lot of time "tweaking" both to get what I wanted but once I found it I was more than pleased.
Old 13th November 2009
  #52
Gear Maniac
 

i love the LA 610 and laugh at people who bash universal audio.
Old 14th November 2009
  #53
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larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Happy UA 1176 owner here
Right on. Is yours a reissue or an original?
Old 14th November 2009
  #54
Baz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by statixx View Post
i love the LA 610 and laugh at people who bash universal audio.
I sometimes wonder if some of these people have actually used this stuff when they comment .Not everyone, and I know this is all a matter of taste but man am I glad I take the time to try gear out for myself before signing off on the negative comments - and I read a lot of them about the 610

I had about an hour and a half with a 2-610 yesterday along with a TG2. The TG2 was recommended to us because it`s supposed to be incredible on DI keys (of which we do a lot of) so we wanted to try it out. When we picked it up, there was a used 2-610 in the shop, so we thought we`d try it out.

Started with the TG2 on electric piano and the UA with an SM7. As billed, the TG2 really floored us on the e piano. It just seemed to remove a lot of the digital grain, and made it sound more natural for lack of a better term. That was a quick easy test. SOLD!

The UA was a big surprise on vocals. I had `read` that it didn`t have enough headroom,was a bit dark and too fuzzy. There was more than enough gain for the SM7 without taxing it too hard and it had a nice push in the mids that worked well.With the sound fresh in our ears, I repatched the vocal into the STT-1 (TFunk, Mullard tubes) and it served as a decent AB as it was our only other tube pre, and would be considered more `high end`. The Mil was definitely more hifi. Not as heavy in the low mids, so appeared a little thinner, but it didn`t have the bump in the upper mids of the UA and what seemed like a nice smooth, gradual slope up through to the high end that just gave it a bit more reach,sheen and as mentioned, highend and hifi sound.

I then tried both the UA and TG on our C7 with some AT4051a`s and the UA was an immediate hit with the owner. It`s the first time we`ve mic`d up the piano with a tube pre and that mid bump naturally added some EQ I find I add with that piano in the 3k area . Like the Mil on vocals, it didn`t seem to extend back as far as the CS, but there`s no doubt that I can see myself using this UA on piano where we might be dealing with something more in a rock vein that needs the piano laid back a bit more.

You want dark compare a TG2 to the 610 on Vocals or piano.That might be the thickest preamp I`ve tried in our studio so far.
Old 15th November 2009
  #55
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Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Love my 1176LN, use it on every session, eventually getting a second.
Love my Solo 610 (vintage tubes...thanks Bowie) use it all the time for bass and vocals, I actually want 3 more, but am having a hard time finding original ones with the 1980's GE tube, before they changed it.

XJ
Old 15th November 2009
  #56
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I recall a recent thread that was vehimently divided betwen those who like the 2-610 and those who hate it. The buzzword of the " not liking it" crowd was "wooley." Although these were people with a great deal of experience and talent, I did not share their dislike of the 2-610. I've used some decent pre's....Neve. Telefunken, Millennia, Trident.....you name it. I really like the 2-610. I have replaced the tubes with NOS Teles. I really think this thing sounds great as long as you don't slam the front end. I sometimes need to put a inline pad.

I know another engineer that sometimes uses a Folcrom for summing. He owns almost every pre made....And I mean that. Tele's, Helios, Quad Eight, API, Neve...honestly almost and endless list. After hours of testing....both he and the producer both picked the 2-610 as their clear favorite as the makeup gain for the Folcrom.
Also, the 2108 is frickin' amazing. I wish they still made it. I don't know why they don't seem to be able to make a go of a solid state pre. They've discontinued all of them except for the 710.

Kirt Shearer

Last edited by kbshearer; 15th November 2009 at 07:53 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 15th November 2009
  #57
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post
x2

If you're "cool" you gotta make sure you knock UA gear because you gotta keep up appearances, and heaven-forbid that you use anything that is sold at big-box stores such as GC.
All claims to 'coolness' notwithstanding, there's plenty of great boutique equipment and big box boxes alike. And lots of lousy ones too, on both sides. But UA has really rubbed me the wrong way, in part for the way the stuff I've tried sounds, and in part because they built up my expectations to a pretty crazy degree with their marketing campaign, what with Bill smoking over his console with his awesome hair. It's romantic and genius, and each in our own way, we all want recording to be like that, just like we want the office cubicle life to look like Mad Men.

IMHO, Neumann, Shure and dbx all have modern, mass production lines full of mics and boxes that work really, really well. Not every product, of course; but in each case, there are legendary products (the U87, the SM57, the 160 series are the obvious ones) that have remained solid. Not always identical to their roots, but always reliable, predictable and in the ballpark. And also, each company has introduced lots of new products to boot — variations on a theme, mostly, but some have really kept up; the TLM 103 and Shure KSM series hold their own with anything else in their class. And personally, I think the dbx 286A is the coolest de-esser / expander anywhere at any price, hardware or software alike, at $150 (though in fairness, I wouldn't probably use the mic pre if given another option).

The thing these three companies share with UA is name recognition: Lineage, history, expectation. But my trouble with the new UA comes from just never liking it all that much (specifically the 2-610, the 2-1176 and the 1176LN) when I plug it in — especially (important part) given its price point in the market, and especially when I know how that stuff is supposed to sound. $2100 is a lot of dough for two mic pre channels, and $2000 is a lot of dough for a single channel of compression. And if either one blew me away when I turned it on, then great. Or even if it came with a can of pomade and a pack of Chesterfield Kings; that would be cool, I suppose, too. But they don't do it for me, and I really believe there are far better options in bang-for-your-buck terms.

I mean, it's all tools, and they all build the houses of music we call records or files or whatever; every last mic or pre or comp, UA inclusive. I'd sell all this crap and yell into a bag of magnets if I could.

And clearly there's a lot of snake oil to be sold as well. Perhaps now is the prefect time to patent my brilliant Snake Oil Detection Device and offer it to an unsuspecting public. With, you know, pomade.

- Chris
Old 15th November 2009
  #58
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e-are's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
What I don't understand is why UA discontinued the 2108 preamp, I absolutely love that box!
I know all vocals that i hear recorded with a solo 610, la610 or 6176 sounds really good. Regardless of the mic used.
Old 15th November 2009
  #59
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ezrecords's Avatar
 

I don´t know if UA is better or worst than the 70´s machines.
I don´t care if people said that UA is bad

I only knows that I have a LA610 and a solo110 and the most important to me is that I get a nice sound with them and I´m really happy. Happiness is the most important goal to achieve to me.
Old 15th November 2009
  #60
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FreshSkweez's Avatar
 

Since this thread attracted a lot more UA hardware users then the one where I'm desperately asking those UA hardware users for help I thought maybe I'd try and kindly ask yall to take a quick look at mine:

Help! Weird LA-610 pre issue

Sorry to hijack.

Thank yall in advance.

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