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Universal audio 4-710d four-channel “twin-finity” mic preamp & di w/ dynamics Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 26th February 2011
  #271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
Manual states these are not separate preamps (solidstade/tube) - tube stage is just buffer between preamp (solidstate) and output. So the tube circuit is not taking huge effect in amplifing the signal - I'll try to make samples if I find some time during that week.

I dont know what You mean they share the same power supply (I don't think that opamps are powered by voltage around 250-300 volts)
Where does the manual ever state that "these are not separate preamps (solidstade/tube) - tube stage is just buffer between preamp (solidstate) and output"?

From the UA 710 Users Manual:
"Step 16: Finally, experiment with the Blend control to hear the different sonic signatures imparted by the two discrete preamplifiers contained within the 710. At the fully counterclockwise (TRANS) position, only signal from the solid-state preamplifier is heard. At the fully clockwise (TUBE) position, only the signal from the tube preamplifier is heard. Most uniquely, it is the in-between settings that allow you to access the “twin-finity” of sounds offered by the 710 and create a custom blend that best complements your signal source."

And Bill Putnam Jr says this in his Forward from the UA 4-710D Users Manual:
"The key to its sonic flexibility lies in its innovative circuit design, featuring a solid-state transimpedance input amp simultaneously driving separate, phase-aligned tube and solid-state gain stages, which are then summed to a single output. The mix between the single-ended class-A triode tube stage and solid-state transimpedance stage is controlled via a unique “Blend” knob. Blending is continually variable between 100% tube and 100% solid-state offering a practically infinite range of unique preamp tones and the ability to easily dial in your own signature sound."

The manual goes on to list the Preamp Features...

Preamplifiers
• Four TEC Award-winning 710 Twin-Finity™ microphone/line preamps, each featuring:
Dual-path 285-volt Class-A tube and transimpedance solid-state preamps
• Phase-aligned tone-blending of tube and solid state circuits, creamy to crunchy
• Newly designed 1176-style compression circuit per preamp channel
• JFET Direct Input with 2.2MOhm ultra Hi-Z impedance w/auto input override
• Large backlit VU meters for flexible metering of input drive, gain level, and gain reduction
• Balanced send/return inserts (half-normalled)
• 48V phantom power
• 75 Hz low cut filter
• Polarity switch
• Monolithic balanced output stage
Analog-to-Digital Conversion
• Eight channels of high quality 24-bit A/D conversion:
• Selectable sample rates up to 192 kHz
• Digital output via dual ADAT optical and AES/EBU DB-25 connectors
• 8-channel soft limiter (switchable for all channels)
• Ultra-low jitter clock subsystem
• LED metering array with clip/hold indicators
• 75Ohm BNC work clock I/O
• Digital outputs anti-pop protection on power-up
Other
Universal voltage internal power supply
• Heavy-duty metal construction, two-space rack unit
• One year warranty including parts and labor
So essentially, each preamplifier is actually TWO preamplifier stages who are blended together. The fact that they state that it is "Dual-Path 285-volt" indicates that the voltage rails feeding these stages is the same. What the designers did with this voltage was up to them. However, the higher the voltage, the wider the dynamic range. Though the 710 and 4-710D sound just fine, nobody has accused them of having radically amazing dynamic range. Regardless, my completely radical idea that the unit has a single power supply is further supported by the "Universal voltage internal power supply" - a singular device which powers the entire unit. This is the same for the 710... and pretty much any other device with a single power cable, as well. Should it have had 8 or more IEC power connectors on the back and been the size of a 32 channel Manley Mixer, then I might believe that it had separate power supplies for each stage of each 710 circuit.

Hope this helps to clarify things a bit.

Try out the preamps. Please let us know what you think at that time. However, you should try to be objective instead of trying to find things wrong with this unit. It's amazing at what it offers for it's price. Yeah... it's made in China. What do you expect from it? It's a better piece of gear offering far more than most devices and is affordable to many more folks in recording than any similar device before it. Come to think of it, I can't think of any device that's ever done what the 4-710D does.

So, what's your problem with it again? And you haven't even plugged in the preamps and you're ranting about how substandard and useless some of the features of this device are?

It's always interesting and suspect when such unilateral negativity about a device is contained in somebody's first posting.

Look, if it's not up to your super-high standards, then return it to your dealer and either A)Keep moving forward with your current setup of Voicemaster Pro, Presonus D8, Berhinger AD8000, Yucca Audio 1176s, Octopre and some other odds and ends all feeding your MOTU 2408mk3 or B)Buy a Mytek Digital 8x192 and 4 vintage 1073 (or similar) modules (with racking and power supplies), 4 vintage Telefunken Siemens V72s (again, with racking and power supplies), and 4 UA 1176LN units (vintage UREI or UA... whatever)... all still feeding your MOTU, unless you want to fully redesign your system. Don't forget that you'll need mic splitters and the 8 bus (minimum) mixer for combining the perfect blend between your solid-state and tube preamps like what the Blend Knob does for you on the 4-710D. Obviously each bus assignment would feed an input channel on the Mytek.

Wait? What? That's outside of your budget? Wow... I wonder if there is any device that could give you the basic functionality of all that gear for a small fraction of all multi-five-figure price...

Yup. The Universal Audio 4-710D.

Nobody claims that it is going to act just like any of the gear listed in the example; nor should anyone bash this (frankly) awesome device for the money if it doesn't live up to unrealistic expectations. Honestly, looking at what you're using, I am surprised that you aren't experiencing some improvement in some areas. But again, you haven't used the pre-amps yet, right? Again, maybe we should wait until you have had a chance to use it fully. You might just have some different opinions of it based on experience at that point.

Look, I'm a bang-for-the-buck-guy who also has pretty extensive experience with some of the best gear ever made. I see the value of this piece for guys who either don't have the money for that premium (but also wholly ridiculous) example that I put up before, or those who have the means but who can't justify a front end that costs as much as their new Lexus in the driveway to their wife or to themselves. I can't think of a more perfect piece for the hobbyist, the guy on their way up, or a small project studio who has pro-sumer gear who wants to get better sounding gear and functionality without going bankrupt in a hurry. It does what it does and does it more than adequately for the price.

Lastly, I am sure that your dealer who is letting you try out their piece is thrilled that you are on a worldwide forum saying disparaging things about it. Maybe you ought to take their generosity into consideration since they make their living selling the very gear that you are so quick to judge.

Oh, and before I forget, here is STEP 16 from the UA 4-710D User Manual:
Step 16: Finally, experiment with the Blend control to hear the different sonic signatures imparted by the two discrete preamplifiers contained within the 4-710d."

Sorry, I am not normally one to have such a strong rebuttal. But I can't stand facts being unfairly distorted. It could be why I don't watch "the news".
Old 27th February 2011
  #272
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Hi,

peace...

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
Where does the manual ever state that "these are not separate preamps (solidstade/tube) - tube stage is just buffer between preamp (solidstate) and output"?
"The key to its sonic flexibility lies in its innovative circuit design, featuring a solid-state transimpedance input amp simultaneously driving separate, phase-aligned tube and solid-state gain stages, which are then summed to a single output" - I understand that first stage is some "solidstage transimpedance input amp" and from what I hear this stage gets overloaded first and then goes to this two next stages. OK, I was wrong - it didn't states it is buffer - my mistake. Should have written "sounds like buffer".

But - As I said - I'll try to make samples with solidstate 100% and tube 100% to clarify this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
Try out the preamps. Please let us know what you think at that time. However, you should try to be objective instead of trying to find things wrong with this unit. It's amazing at what it offers for it's price. Yeah... it's made in China. What do you expect from it? It's a better piece of gear offering far more than most devices and is affordable to many more folks in recording than any similar device before it. Come to think of it, I can't think of any device that's ever done what the 4-710D does.
So, what's your problem with it again? And you haven't even plugged in the preamps and you're ranting about how substandard and useless some of the features of this device are?
As I said - that my test is divided into two parts, first - features and second - preamps, and I will surely write my opinion on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
It's always interesting and suspect when such unilateral negativity about a device is contained in somebody's first posting.
As You can see, I didn't registered yesterday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
Look, if it's not up to your super-high standards, then return it to your dealer and either A)Keep moving forward with your current setup Don't forget that you'll need mic splitters and the 8 bus (minimum) mixer for combining the perfect blend between your solid-state and tube preamps like what the Blend Knob does for you on the 4-710D. Obviously each bus assignment would feed an input channel on the Mytek.
My standards are looking for something good and useful, but my pocket says that the more things You put inside the unit for the same money - the less useful/good they are - manufacturers are not charity. My reference preamp is API312 however it's irrelevant, you base your opinion only on my home setup - ears are more important.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
nor should anyone bash this (frankly) awesome device for the money if it doesn't live up to unrealistic expectations. Honestly, looking at what you're using, I am surprised that you aren't experiencing some improvement in some areas. You might just have some different opinions of it based on experience at that point.
surely - the preamps might be suberb sounding and I will not hesitate to say that

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
Wait? What? That's outside of your budget? Wow... I wonder if there is any device that could give you the basic functionality of all that gear for a small fraction of all multi-five-figure price...
Man... It's not about putting everything You can in one box - sometimes it's better to make less but better - that's my only opinion about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
I can't think of a more perfect piece for the hobbyist, the guy on their way up,
I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
or a small project studio who has pro-sumer gear who wants to get better sounding gear and functionality without going bankrupt in a hurry.
I don't agree, partially. However thats subject for new thread.
Old 27th February 2011
  #273
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As promised I did some fast samples of tube/trans knob (preamps itself will be tested during the week):

1st take is original (U87+API312) and then next two are pair with gain(2) and out(8), one inphase is trans, one outphase is tube. And the second pair the same rule but gain(3) and out(7). More gain did more distorsion so I didn't go above 3.

Summing two channels clearly shows whats the difference between them (what You hear is what differs both takes)

You can sum up/listen by yourself. But again what for one is "subtle" for another is "dramatic" difference.

During the following week I can make comparison of some crappy (as one mentioned) preamps so again You will have a chance to hear the difference (or not - trust Your ears not design) - if anybody is interested (are there any?)

01-03-51_VOC_U-source_track-110227_2136.wav

03-UA4-710D-TRANS(inphase)gain2out8-110227_2136.wav

04-UA4-710D-TUBE(outphase)gain2out8-110227_2136.wav

06-UA4-710D-TRANS(inphase)gain3out7-110227_2136.wav

07-UA4-710D-TUBE(outphase)gain3out7-110227_2136.wav
Old 28th February 2011
  #274
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Universal audio 4-710d four-channel “twin-finity” mic preamp & di w/ dynamics

Hi All first Post!
Ok i have to say this thing sounds amazing why is it not considered pro level gear exactly?
i am using a rosetta 800 with firewire card
2 avalon 737's (mercenary)
and 2 Chandler Germanium pres
i want this for the other 4 channels also want a way to split this into another 4 channel studio with another A/D D/A well i really just need a D/A
(preferably USB or ethernet) i love that the Rosetta needs no driver (is there another unit that uses the core audio driver with ADAT?)!!!
I hate that its $3K And lets be really real… the reason the rosetta is $3K is that the options of I/O and all the A/D and D/A options and the quality all wrapped up in one unit deserves it. I think the UA is priced right and i would imagine the A/D technology might even be better and newer than my old Rosetta 8.
That being said im looking to get a babyface and a 4-710d. Gives us 4 channels in 2 rooms @ 96k and i can take the 410 to the apogee room… Or take amps from the apogee setup and add them to the 4-710d. Also the babyface looks attractive as a tiny and high quality A/D D/A.
Any one have any thoughts on a setup like this?
Also what are the stock tubes? Has anyone tried dropping gold JJ's or Genalex Gold lions in as a replacement? looks like 2 12AX7's.
Old 1st March 2011
  #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
I understand that first stage is some "solidstage transimpedance input amp" and from what I hear this stage gets overloaded first and then goes to this two next stages. OK, I was wrong - it didn't states it is buffer - my mistake. Should have written "sounds like buffer".

But - As I said - I'll try to make samples with solidstate 100% and tube 100% to clarify this.
I agree that the 710 design is not a design which employs a conceptually perfect pair of preamps - However, the options are limited for accomplishing their design goal. A simple transformer balanced splitter on the input could have possibly been a more pure design for accomplishing the whole "single-input to dual-path and back-to-single-path-again" topology. But then you would have to have separate gain controls for both the tube and solid-state sides of the device - leading to the possibility of severely overloading the output stage. Could be cool. But in the wrong hands it could be potential disaster in the making (let's just avoid the whole "wrong hands" and "What qualifies a disaster?" debate that could arise from this). I think that for what they were going for, they chose an ideal design with the blend knob. It's a nice and balanced piece of gear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
My standards are looking for something good and useful, but my pocket says that the more things You put inside the unit for the same money - the less useful/good they are - manufacturers are not charity. My reference preamp is API312 however it's irrelevant, you base your opinion only on my home setup - ears are more important.
And to some, the API 312 is not going to be their ultimate "reference preamp". It's certainly a great preamp and some folks really, really love them. But to offer up a legendary preamp and imply, "My Apple is better than your Orange!" is kind of irrelevant (I'm not saying that you specifically did this, btw. But some folks have been known to do that kind of thing in these forums). One is not necessarily better than the other. They are just different and can be equally delicious - just... different. They are just different tools for different jobs! And maybe, they can work for even the same job! Would you notice the differences and be able to tell us all the difference if someone handed you the final mixes of the same song that were professionally tracked through the different preamps?

My feeling is that the only important question is whether one device can work for more applications than the other. The 312 certainly has a proven track record of doing this since it was a console preamp long before the 710 was ever conceived - or Universal Audio reborn. Regardless, in the right hands, both are valid tools. This really should be indisputable and not up for debate. Plus, I'd venture to say that it's downright impossible to actually set up a mathematical proof for such a correlating hypothesis saying that one of these is better than the other.

But then again, you still haven't even plugged the first microphone into a unit who's primary function is to amplify microphone signals. Don't you think that it would be best to have ALL of the information together and all of the various tests complete BEFORE posting your opinions about what is "useless" or not? Even then, I would be very cautious about using such strong and unilateral language to describe the gear you are reviewing. Without having all of your testing fully completed, someone could possibly consider your review to be "useless".


Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
surely - the preamps might be suberb sounding and I will not hesitate to say that
"[The 710 Twin-Finity is] affordable, and it's really, really good. I would recommend it to anybody, it's that good.” - Al Schmitt

While endorsements can be grounds for potential skepticism, if Al Schmitt thinks that it (the 710) "is really, really good", then I'm certainly inclined to trust that man's opinion.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
Man... It's not about putting everything You can in one box - sometimes it's better to make less but better - that's my only opinion about it.
Yes, of course. Having individual pieces for individual functions is most certainly ideal - hence the separate component example I put forth before. I don't think that Universal Audio is saying that this piece is better or more relevant than all that gear. But I think that the "samplings" of the 1176-style compression and the all the other functionality is not executed so poorly to the extent that a true professional couldn't produce their professional results with this device if the 4-710D were the only tool that they had for a front end. Perhaps you ought to use only this piece on a session - or a portion of the session. Surprising things can happen when you narrow your options.

If you have aspirations to be a gear reviewer, it's probably best to take a cue from the guys who do it best. I like to think that magazines like Sound On Sound and TapeOp provide some of the most insightful and balanced reviews of gear available. If a review unit doesn't perform for them, they don't just get on the internet and start poo-poo-ing it without the manufacturer having a chance to help them. Also, they fully test the gear on a feature by feature basis and then proceed with a real-world test on a session. Both Sound On Sound and TapeOp's writers often will include the educated opinions of other peers and professionals in their reviews to help add some balance and more objectivity. Then and only then will they publish the review or even their first opinions of the gear being reviewed. Patience in the review process is key to letting any potential bias mellow and allowing objectivity to prevail. Plus, waiting until you have a full picture of the piece together before publishing your results means that you will not feel the need to possibly defend or change your previous stance on a particular function of the piece. From someone who has reviewed lots of gear, I frequently gain new insights to pieces that I reviewed years ago. I would imagine that this is the case for lots of folks who publish reviews as a normal part of their work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
I can't think of a more perfect piece for the hobbyist, the guy on their way up
Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
I agree
And I'll go further to say that it's a great compliment for a B-room or C-room of a mid-size studio. Again, not saying that it's ideal all the way around. Just saying that it will work and can work well for someone objective enough to give it a shot. Plus for anyone needing some great preamps to have in a rack for a remote recording PLUS having the safety of some compressors there to just sort of grab some runaway transients (I know there are various techniques and strong opinions about whether that is a best practice). Still, I found that if one is used to tracking with a little bit of compression to help make the track "sit" properly, the functionality of the compressors is just fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
or a small project studio who has pro-sumer gear who wants to get better sounding gear and functionality without going bankrupt in a hurry. It does what it does and does it more than adequately for the price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
I don't agree, partially. However thats subject for new thread.
As you know, we all have to start somewhere with our own personal gear. And by the same token, we have to upgrade from one place to another. It's all well and good to extol the virtues of excellent and very expensive gear. However, that gear is just not in the realm of possibility for most folks - even for those with some talent for engineering. The 4-710D is NOT a bad place to start or even to upgrade to if that's your budget. In fact it's among the best available choices for it's price point.

To try and split hairs over a piece of gear like this is really pretty detrimental to the experience of someone wanting to make music and make their recordings sound better with a limited budget. Do we really want to foster even more of the "the paralysis of indecision" for someone who might be trying to learn about this piece of gear and who would be better served by just simply getting the gear and pressing the record button? Let them decide in their own studios whether it works for them or not.

Not every piece of gear is designed to be for everyone. But from my experience with the 4-710D, some great sounding recordings can be made with it - especially if you approach it with an open mind. It kind of IS designed for everyone. And if we are going to speak about gear, it's usually best to try and find the positive in it; putting yourself in the place of the designer without assuming that every decision is made from the standpoint of marketing. I sincerely feel that there was a good bit of "What would I want if I only had $2k to spend?" or "What would I want if I only had $2k to spend and I didn't work for Universal Audio" thinking going on. That's not a bad thing!

Frankly, I think that the compression is not bad at all. In fact, they consulted with many professional engineers to get the settings that they use most frequently on the 1176 to build into this unit. Yeah. It's not as flexible as one would probably think ideal and, yes, you do have to adjust how hard you are hitting it with the preamp gain knob. What do you want? Seriously... It sounds fine. If you can't make those compressors work then you need to just move along and not try to spoil this piece for the people who will be thrilled to have it and who can make great things happen with it. In fact, some folks are already well into doing great things with their 4-710Ds! Good for them!

It's funny... If this piece wasn't pretty frickin' good, then I don't think that heavyweights like Frank Filipetti or Fab DuPont would have attached their names to it by being in UA's preview video at the very least - one could probably safely assume that they were involved in consulting in the development of the piece.

There is a LOT that is very positive with the 4-710D. I think that it would be beneficial in a number of ways to try to find it.

Old 1st March 2011
  #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadgetarian View Post
Hi All first Post!
Ok i have to say this thing sounds amazing why is it not considered pro level gear exactly?
Well... it's made in the PRC. Hi ho. What are you gonna do, right? It's got all it has and it still works really well. Nobody who actually owns it and is fully using it is complaining about it. It's a strong piece. However, I do think that if you wanted the full amount of possible control over your sound, that you may want another dedicated compressor or two with fully variable attack and release times. Still, I think that you can do just fine with it the way that it is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadgetarian View Post
That being said im looking to get a babyface and a 4-710d. Gives us 4 channels in 2 rooms @ 96k and i can take the 410 to the apogee room… Or take amps from the apogee setup and add them to the 4-710d. Also the babyface looks attractive as a tiny and high quality A/D D/A.
Any one have any thoughts on a setup like this?
No problems here. I like that you're looking at it from making the most gear the most compatible. So far, the RME Babyface is strong! I love that there is so much I/O capability on this little guy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadgetarian View Post
Also what are the stock tubes? Has anyone tried dropping gold JJ's or Genalex Gold lions in as a replacement? looks like 2 12AX7's.
They are indeed 12AX7s. I have not yet swapped the tubes. Can't really comment on that other than to say that different tubes should definitely sound different. heh
Old 1st March 2011
  #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
Well... it's made in the PRC. Hi ho. What are you gonna do, right? It's got all it has and it still works really well.
I just picked up a Vox Night Train
Its a take on a vox ac15 designed by NYC's own Tony Bruno for Vox R&D London England
Made in China
After swapping out the really harsh Russian made Sovteks
For the much nicer Russian made Mullard reissues
(LOL…New Sensor out of NYC bought the rights to most of the sought after tube names
(and really reissued them quite nicely i must say (They bought the old REFLEKTOR plant in Russia))
The thing really sounds delicious
China is proving to be a real competitor when they follow western design. So i'm not really mad at chinese gear now a days
my laptop and phone are also made in china and they are really the best tech available!
Gold pin JJ's (formerly Tesla) or Genalex Gold Lions i'm sure will make this thing sound even more insane than it already does.


I think its all about mixing the old and new technologies as much as possible to get the best results for the best price!
And there really are options available out there right now that give you unbelievable studio capability anywhere you go.
Old 7th March 2011
  #278
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OK - I had some chances to test more.

Preamps itself are descent - I have nothing against them - sound natural and I would say rather clear than "fat". I wouldn't hesitate to track important tracks with them. Very good.

So the basic functionality is really good.

I have spotted minor flaw - gain pots look to be cheap since around "4" there is significant jump of gain (on 3 channels in almost the same place). Especially seen when You set up a compressor and You have 0db of reduction and then suddenly -8db with a very small movement of a knob.

In some situations the compressor was doing it job - depending on the material might be useful for vocals/bass - however not having some control over it is a disadvantage.

Basically my conclusion - It's a kind of good device which has been "upgraded" by manufacturer with some marketing -> making it more attractive for low-budget or beginners who look for "professional" gear. Makes people think -> WOW, for 2k$ I cant have a tube/trans preamps and 1176 compressor and so on. Answer is (IMO): You can't.

You get simply good preamps, with a compressor (sometimes more useful sometimes less - however it sounds good) and a totally useless(or marketing) tube circuit (which basically changes the sound in the same way as changing the channel of a preamp - why they even gave it a KNOB! if there is difficult to tell the difference between 0 and 100%).

Who is it good for? I would say - good for small project studios/low-budget(all in all device with 8ch converter with limiter and WC source - superb!)

Who is it not good for? If you are a small studio but looking for truly going up with sound quality - I wouldn't recommend it, since You pay for functionality which is added just for better sales or has limited usability. In this situation I would go for more professional separate preamps/compressors. Less but better.

For me there should be OR: no compressor but true tube circuit OR: no tube-thingy and compressor with more controls

Just to add for people who say "hey... You have chance to test it and You dare to write some bad things about it" - If You want to read that this is the best device in the world go and read newspapers - I have made a lof of purchases being influenced by "positive" reviews and then have to sell much gear.

K
Old 8th March 2011
  #279
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You say: You would not hesitate to record important tracks with it. Very good.

So, you get four high-quality preamps, with DI's and A/D's for $2k or less.
That, in itself, makes it a winner. You don't have to use the compressor.

To me, it looks like a fantastic value for the money. $500 per channel.
My single channel 710 sounds smooth and detailed. I just recorded clean guitar directly and I certainly like what I hear. Works for me...

Last edited by earman; 8th March 2011 at 05:31 AM.. Reason: changed D/A to A/D
Old 9th March 2011
  #280
Here for the gear
Hey guys,

over the last weeks I followed the thread and was looking into the unit.
So in the last few days I had the chance of recording vocals, guitars and bass throught the pre.
After some bad reputation I am really surprised about this thing.
My thoughts:
The pres sound very good in trans position, the more tube you dial in, the more muddy it gets. This is good for some raw kind of vox. This said one has to know, that the sound changes are really subtle. For my taste the setting was perfect about 10 o clock.
For my recording I also used the converters which were clocked by the unit itself. I was positively surprised, although it can´t stand against one of the new avid hd ADDAs.
For recordings I used AT 4050s, Neumann TLM 67s and Brauner Phantoms and compared the results to the same mics through an ISA 428.
I also did some bass recording through the Hi-Z jacks and made some extensive use of the compressor which did a good job even with higher gain reduction.
In my opinion: for the price not a bad choice with good sound and many useful features.

Greetings from Germany
Markus
Old 9th March 2011
  #281
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@ kucharzb - I agree.

I bought two, figuring i couldn't go very wrong for the price. I was mostly right. EXCEPT, the first one had a channel go out on day ONE, and after waiting two months for a replacement from the back-ordered seller, I get it, and on the SAME DAY, the other one has a big hiss from channel 4's phantom power. I got two lemons in a row.

HUGE frustration aside, I agree that the sudden 10+dB jump on the input gain knob at about 10 o'clock (and again toward the end of the dial!) makes the compressor nearly useless, though it sounds good, if you happen to be sending a signal that's at JUST THE RIGHT LEVEL to let you put the input gain where it needs to be to compress the way you like.
But it hardly ever happens like that. It's often either too much or too little.

And I'd have to say that while I have pretty good ears (or so I've heard), I can't tell much difference between the solid state and tube settings. Really. Maybe the difference is clearer when the input is driven harder, but I'd seldom drive the input hard enough to notice. I prefer to let my wicked plugins and outboard gear add the compression and overdrive later, if I want it at all. It's subtle. SO subtle, in fact, that I just turn the knob to a random position that seems like it might be nice, and pretend I can hear the difference.

Overall, I agree that $500 per channel is fine if you consider all that actually works well on this unit (the pre's sound clean and quiet, when not driven like mad; the 8 ADAT outputs rock; and the physical I/O features really keep the unit competitive). But UA's sales pitch is going to lead folks to believe that EVERYTHING will be ALL they say it is. It isn't.

Disappointing customers' expectations is a bad idea, even if they DID get a good deal, mathematically speaking. The sour taste of disappointing features fades slowly. But if you can take a deep breath and get over it, it's still a good unit.
Old 10th March 2011
  #282
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottish View Post
@ kucharzb - I agree.

I bought two, figuring i couldn't go very wrong for the price. I was mostly right. EXCEPT, the first one had a channel go out on day ONE, and after waiting two months for a replacement from the back-ordered seller, I get it, and on the SAME DAY, the other one has a big hiss from channel 4's phantom power. I got two lemons in a row.
Hi Everybody...

Hey Scottish... Dan from UA Customer support here ( nice to meetcha ). I wanted to check in with you regarding the problem you are having with your 4-710d. First of all I want to say SORRY for any frustration. Just to let you know this kind of failure is very rare. We've sold out of the last couple production runs of the 4-710ds and we are only seeing a fail rate of less than 2% on these units ( FYI - this is considered normal and acceptable for any manufactured product made by any company ).

That being said I don't want to to feel you are being treated 'Rongly' and I want to get a chance to make it 'Right' ( Right Rongly... I even got a plug for your band in with this post! We players have to support each other ).

So that being said I want to make sure we have this handled for you asap. Have you arranged to have your 4-710d serviced yet?? If not then I'd like to invite you to contact me direct so we can talk about it further and get you 'whole and healthy' and back up and rockin!

P.S. You're a Skydiver huh! Our Customer Service manager here at UA is a skydivin fanatic too! Got a chance to see some vid he took with his wingsuit... awesome! Too chicken myself but it looks WAY cool!

So give me a call or email me and let's get that 4-710d back up and running for you...

Universal Audio Customer Support
Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm PST

Telephone Support
USA: 877-MY-UAUDIO [877-698-2834]
International: +1-831-440-1176

Email Support
[email protected]

Regards,

Dan Becker

Customer Service
Universal Audio
Universal Audio - Analog and Digital Audio Products and Plug-Ins
Old 11th March 2011
  #283
Hi Dan from UA Support:

I've had a 4-710d on order since January. Original ship date was mid-February but that got pushed back to mid-March. Can you give me an update on the status of these units?

Thanks!
Old 11th March 2011
  #284
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllThingsAudio View Post
Hi Dan from UA Support:

I've had a 4-710d on order since January. Original ship date was mid-February but that got pushed back to mid-March. Can you give me an update on the status of these units?

Thanks!
Yo 'Allthings...',

I do want to help you with any questions you might have about Universal Audio products. I think it's probably best to contact us directly for these unique individual questions... This leaves the forum free for general discussion.

So if you ( or anyone else ) has any questions regarding Universal Audio Sales or Universal Audio Technical Support then please feel free to contact us directly... We'll have some coffee and talk... no big whooop


Universal Audio Customer Support
Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm PST

Telephone Support
USA: 877-MY-UAUDIO [877-698-2834]
International: +1-831-440-1176

Email Support
[email protected]

Regards,

Dan Becker

Customer Service
Universal Audio
Universal Audio - Analog and Digital Audio Products and Plug-Ins
Old 26th March 2011
  #285
hue
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by kucharzb View Post
As promised I did some fast samples of tube/trans knob (preamps itself will be tested during the week):

1st take is original (U87+API312) and then next two are pair with gain(2) and out(8), one inphase is trans, one outphase is tube. And the second pair the same rule but gain(3) and out(7). More gain did more distorsion so I didn't go above 3.

Summing two channels clearly shows whats the difference between them (what You hear is what differs both takes)

You can sum up/listen by yourself. But again what for one is "subtle" for another is "dramatic" difference.

During the following week I can make comparison of some crappy (as one mentioned) preamps so again You will have a chance to hear the difference (or not - trust Your ears not design) - if anybody is interested (are there any?)

Attachment 222272

Attachment 222273

Attachment 222274

Attachment 222275

Attachment 222276
Has anyone else listened to this shootout? I'm having a hard time discerning what the purpose of the phase reversal on the second channel is.

To the op: you already gave your reason so I would really like to hear from one of the other members.

From what I hear on the UA alone is that there seems to my ears to be some amount of noticeable distortion(fizziness) in the transistor section. The Tube side seemed to smooth it out a bit. I don't know if it was the mic and proximity that was the source of distortion or the preamp. It's hard to say. I didn't bother summing the channels.

I'm still learning(for the past 15 years or so) so, I can't claim any knowledge about this.

So, am I understanding this correctly that the tube circuit is really a starved plate design? That is disappointing.
Old 30th March 2011
  #286
Here for the gear
 

I use it to record all of my keyboards to Sonar. I plug straight into the HiZ inputs on the front. Then into a Rosetta 200, then Sonar via S/PDIF. I use the 4-710 to add some color and a bit of compression to my synths. I position the solid state/Tube knob at halfway.
I have noticed a vast improvement in the sound quality using this chain. Plus I recorded a piano sample from my M3 and using this chain and noticed details in the piano patch I had never heard!

It does have it's quirks. That huge bump at the 4 position on the knob does make using the compressor way more difficult than it should. (I wonder if it's a bug?). I am happy with it. I have yet to record vocals or Acoustic Guitar through it, but I am considering a seperate chain for vocals and Acoustic Guitars anyway.
Old 30th March 2011
  #287
Here for the gear
 

i've owned the 4 710 for over a month now and i love the unit. i have used many different preamps, from the 610, great river, ssl and api; obviously the 4 710 isnt better then the top of the line pre, but it still sounds great and with a budget of $2000 it was a perfect purchase. i have recorded vocals, drums, guitar, synths, bass, etc.. everything sounds great through it. at the end of the day its all about the music. after reading about the 4 710 in this thread, i see there are some people that clearly have too much time and money on there hands.
Old 16th April 2011
  #288
Gear Maniac
 
frixion's Avatar
 

How "good" are the A/D-converters? I want to use the 4 Pre's as Percussion preamps (Congas, Tablas, Darabouka...) with good mics (vintage 50's C-12 as "overhead" plus Sennheiser MD's and MKH's) and 4 additional pre's (V-276/376, Studer 962) and then via Adat to a RME or Metric Helo soundcard.

Bad thought? Crane Song Spider would be much better, but the price tag is not in my range now.
Old 16th April 2011
  #289
Gear Head
 

Hi guys

I currently have an Apogee duet and need more channels.
I could buy an Apogee Ensemble (which gets good reviews on this forum for the preamps) or buy an RME babyface and a 4-710d. I mainly record acoustic guitars (pickup signal and with mics) and vocals.
Price-wise both solutions seem to be more or less in the same ballpark. Which one will bring me the better results?

Thanks

Mat
Old 17th April 2011
  #290
Gear Addict
 
moonpi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by multivir View Post
Hi guys

I currently have an Apogee duet and need more channels.
I could buy an Apogee Ensemble (which gets good reviews on this forum for the preamps) or buy an RME babyface and a 4-710d. I mainly record acoustic guitars (pickup signal and with mics) and vocals.
Price-wise both solutions seem to be more or less in the same ballpark. Which one will bring me the better results?

Thanks

Mat
Both are going to be good solutions, but they are rather different from one another and there is still the difference in cost between the two. Out of the two scenarios, I would tend to lean toward the RME Babyface and the UA 4-710D - mainly for the flexibility and extra features (compression, etc.) on the 4-710D. The Babyface is seriously STRONG for such a little guy. It's ability to be cross-platform (PC and Mac) while also providing more I/O and flexibility, all in the small footprint make it the auxiliary portable interface to have, IMHO. It also helps that RME's gear has very good drivers and is routinely reliable. Apogee fares well in this area as well - but it's an achievement to have this kind of reliability across both Mac and PC platforms.
Old 17th April 2011
  #291
Gear Addict
 
moonpi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frixion View Post
How "good" are the A/D-converters? I want to use the 4 Pre's as Percussion preamps (Congas, Tablas, Darabouka...) with good mics (vintage 50's C-12 as "overhead" plus Sennheiser MD's and MKH's) and 4 additional pre's (V-276/376, Studer 962) and then via Adat to a RME or Metric Helo soundcard.

Bad thought? Crane Song Spider would be much better, but the price tag is not in my range now.
I did a comparison of the converters (at 44.1k) against a Lavry AD10, Burl B2 Bomber, Focusrite ISA 8-Channel A/D Option installed in a Focusrite ISA428, Black Lion Audio Signature Edition 002r, and a Presonus Digimax FS. I just ran a mix through each of the converters fed from a pair of outputs of the BLA Sig 002r. Each converter was clocked to it's internal clock.

The impression I was left with was that the converters in the 4-710D are sufficient and sound fine. The analog section of the 4-710D did seem to have more "size" and girth to it which affected the results of the AD conversion as a result. It's not a bad thing in the least. However, I think it may be a little less "true" than the rest of the converters, but I did not come away feeling that it was a detriment - just different.

In your desired application, I feel that you can certainly work with the 4-710D and benefit from it - especially on percussion. Yes, a Crane Song Spider would be a much more elegant and solid alternative, but it also costs FAR more and is outside of most budgets. So, don't feel bad about that! I would definitely have one or two of them if I won the lottery.
Old 18th April 2011
  #292
Gear Maniac
 
frixion's Avatar
 

Thanx for the infos Moonpi!
Old 18th April 2011
  #293
Gear Addict
 
moonpi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frixion View Post
Thanx for the infos Moonpi!
You are most welcome!
Old 21st April 2011
  #294
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonpi View Post
I did a comparison of the converters (at 44.1k) against a Lavry AD10, Burl B2 Bomber, Focusrite ISA 8-Channel A/D Option installed in a Focusrite ISA428, Black Lion Audio Signature Edition 002r, and a Presonus Digimax FS.
So how do you feel this fared against the 428? (I assume it was an original and not the mark II)
Old 26th May 2011
  #295
Here for the gear
 

Hi. I'm new to this forum so I hope I'm following protocol. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I've been using the 4 710d for about a month now. Here are my observations.

*Preamps and DIs sound great.
*Compression sounds great but is not useful in most applications do to the lack of adjustable parameters.
*The blend knob is useful and does change the sound in a subtle way. (I'm not sure why some people on this thread claim no real difference or expect there to be a drastic difference. I suggest doing some tests with acoustic guitar.) The changes in transient response and frequency response are obvious to my noobie ears.
*What makes this product great(besides the price) is the option of having a tube or solid state preamp available as well as the AD conversion.
*The gain and output knobs are a pain as many have already pointed out. The knobs have only a black circle on its face to indicate position thus forcing you to eye it up as best as possible if you want to set up 2 pres with the same values. The knobs found on the LA 610mkii allow for more accurate setting of values.

For the money I think its great but... you will have to spend some time getting to know its strengths and limitations. Hope this is useful to someone.
Old 2nd June 2011
  #296
Lives for gear
 
ScumBum's Avatar
 

Anybody have any more feedback about the compressors ? Has anyone compared the sound to a real 1176 ?
Old 9th June 2011
  #297
Here for the gear
 

also keen to hear if anyone is using the comps on these.
trawling this thread, it seem they may be a waste of time??
Old 9th June 2011
  #298
Gear Addict
 
moonpi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin View Post
also keen to hear if anyone is using the comps on these.
trawling this thread, it seem they may be a waste of time??
To paraphrase something I read that a zen-buddhist monk once said:
"It's only a waste of time if you want it to be."

I found them to be useful in providing basic "to-tape/disk" compression. Are they what you'll want to carefully craft a sound with? Probably not. BUT, the fixed attack/release settings are still very useful.

Again, this is a bang-for-the-buck product. Nobody promised anyone that it was going to eradicate the need for full-sized stand-alone compressors. Nor are we entitled to that kind of functionality in this box.

I think that it's pretty cool that these pre-amps have some pretty good compressors available to use for tracking. Hey, you wouldn't have had them otherwise. Try them for yourself and determine what they can do for you. I certainly don't think that they'll keep someone from making an excellent recording.
Old 23rd June 2011
  #299
Gear Head
 

I will get this one tomorrow and record solo acoustic guitar with Neumann km184:s (X/Y stereopair), one large diagram mic and Fishman Spectrum DI.

I hope this is some kind of upgrade from Aphex 207D which I think is a nice cheap preamp. I will let you know how 4-710d works with acoustic guitar. I've seen it used with few professional acoustic guitar players and that's the reason I buy it. The 4 channels I can use with AES/EBU outs is also important because I record straight to RME HDSPe 32 AES card.

Basically I want to find one good setup and then glue settings and hide the unit under the ground... If this can do it, I'm very happy. Let's see it soon...
Old 18th July 2011
  #300
Gear Maniac
Hello everybody.
First post here.

Maybe someone already asked this, but I really wont read 10 pages...
It's maybe some kinda noob question, but I'm a noob. Starting to record things now.

So, here's the deal:
I have a M-Audio Profire 2626. I wanna buy this 4-710d. I need 11 channels, I would usethe 4 channels of the 4-710d and 7 channels of the profire.
But the profire only have 8 inputs, but have the ADAT in though.
My question is: Will I be able to use the 4-710d via ADAT and "create" 4 new channels, and the profire would be like it has 12 channels ?
Hope I was clear enough, my english is not good, I'm sorry..
Would appreciate if someone can help me, thanks already...
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