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Universal audio 4-710d four-channel “twin-finity” mic preamp & di w/ dynamics Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 1st December 2014
  #331
Here for the gear
 

Hi all

I've owned my 4-710d for 2 years now, here are some thoughts that will hopefully help someone...

If you already have good quality clocking, conversion and pre's, this isn't the unit for you. Better to spend you money on some other flavour preamps. This unit is still fantastic value for money. Less than $500 per pre is good value, but if I already had gear I'd rather add 2 of something, and 2 more of something else than 4 of one.

That said, if you are where I was at, graduating up the gear chain, the 4-710d is the best value piece of kit I've ever come across. I had a Focusrite Liquid 56, and I was looking to get some better pre's as my ears had grown past the pre's in the 56 (not the liquid channel, that's awesome). What I got was 4 very useable, characterful (in their own way) and flexible channels that were a significant upgrade on what I had, significantly better conversion (instantly audible difference) and significantly better clocking. When UA promote this as a complete studio upgrade, depending where you're coming from they are not lying.

If you have a Presonus, Focusrite, M-Audio, or the like interface and you're looking to step, nothing comes close to this for the money. You will not be disappointed. It improved the quality of my product by 75%, maybe even 100% - it's sincerely that simple.

Re the compressors / limiters on the front - mine are always on. They're transparent, they do their job, they're great for tracking. They make my life easier, and I would miss them if they weren't on the unit. 'nuff said there. Will they change your audio life? Depends where you come from - I hadn't had hardware compressors in my own rig before, so yes, they changed mine.

Re limitations. Its not putting out enough juice for an SM7, which is a common compliant with some pre's due to the SM7's broadcast focussed impedance. An easy solution to this is an inline impedance converting amp. One of these is recommended for working with ribbon mics anyways. I call it a limitaion and not a shortcoming, as it's really hard to critisize a box that is doing so much so well for this money.

Re issues. Mine had an issue with one of the hi-z inputs out the box, levels were not the same. UA support sent me out a replacement part for all the inputs with our local distributors next shipment, and it was easy enough to fit myself (once I had it plugged in, I didn't want to work a day without it, plus it cheaper and faster than sending my unit in from where I stay). I know it happens, couldn't ask for better support IMO. Re the 4-710 and the Liquid 56 specifically, the 4-710 wants to be the master. Loads of pops and clicks when the 56 is master clock. But I don't have a problem with the UA being the master, whole system doesn't skip a beat while it is. You also have to change to the Saffire before changing the sample rate on the UA, else it crashes the driver, but I honestly think that's a Saffire driver issue. Apart from that, mine lives in a smoke free studio and no issues. Didn't switch it off for 2 months once, it didn't blink.

Where I'm at now - my ears are yearning for some new colours to paint with, so I'm going to be adding 2 pairs of either Neve's or Api's or 610's or ISA's (maybe a 610 too), using the 4-710's extra conversion space. Not replacing, just adding - I like the 710 pre's, they're very useful and have some great sweet spots if you get to know them. It'll be a long time before I feel the 4-710's conversion isn't up to snuff - I have some friends with more high-end conversion and for the money that jump costs I'm going to to rather invest in more pre's and mic's. The 4-710 is punching well above it's weight re conversion IMO.

If you have high-end gear, you'll find this unit useful, but ultimately unfulfilling. Now I've got it, I'd rather get four $500 pre's than an additional one of these. However, if you're coming up like I was / am, it's a proper and serious upgrade to your capabilites.

One last thing. I bought mine when UA had their complete studio upgrade promotion, a 4-710d with a free UAD-2 Quad. I can't afford to buy more plugs for the UAD-2, but I'd be amiss if I didn't tell you I use the 1176, LA-2A and Pultec from their included Analogue Classics bundle a lot. I believe they're running this promotion again, so if you're on the fence re one a 4-710d, it's a good time to get off and go do something about it.

Hope this helps someone...

Cheers

SS

P.S. Re the Octopre question my Liquid 56 has same pre's as Octopre in channels 3-8. The 4-710d pre's in ss sound a hell of a lot better than the Saffire does. IMO. Whatever that's worth... Not that the Octopre's are bad.
Old 3rd August 2015
  #332
Gear Maniac
 

I have an apogee ensemble thunderbolt and i love it, upgraded from presonus.

I really liked that softlimit feature on the ensemble it is pretty usefull and got me to think... Maybe i could either get a couple of nice compressors like the warm audio WA76 or maybe get a 4-710d.

what should i get first?

I want these for tracking, everything else would be done ITB.
Old 2nd September 2015
  #333
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Duck View Post
I have an apogee ensemble thunderbolt and i love it, upgraded from presonus.

I really liked that softlimit feature on the ensemble it is pretty usefull and got me to think... Maybe i could either get a couple of nice compressors like the warm audio WA76 or maybe get a 4-710d.

what should i get first?

I want these for tracking, everything else would be done ITB.
I love my 4-710d. It's not a compressor though. It just has some limited compression abilities.

If you want a compressor you should look elsewhere.
Old 3rd September 2015
  #334
Lives for gear
 
Travst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikoli View Post
I love my 4-710d. It's not a compressor though. It just has some limited compression abilities.

If you want a compressor you should look elsewhere.
I agree with this. The 4-710D was a good choice for me because it offered 4 good pres, ADAT with 8 channels of conversion, some compressor functionality, and fit with my setup as I have other pres and synths to connect to the line ins. It's not a substitute for a compressor in most cases. The compressor functionality gives something extra when you need it. If it fits your setup and needs, it's a great bang for the buck.
Old 3rd September 2015
  #335
Lives for gear
 

I am very pleased with the 4-710d in my rack and it works very well with my RME UFX interface. The 4-710d is a 4 channel option that provides clean tracking with the added bonus of muzzling runaway transients with their propritary 1176 limiter. I never use the "tube effect" because my ADL600 is much better in that type of endeavor. All three of these devices will provide synergistic performance with mics of similar quality. To this end: the SM7 is a dull mic that requires a ton of gain and it has very little to do with broadcast standards. It is all about design: RE20s are #1 in radio stations and they are much easier to amplify. (I have 1 SM7 and 3 RE20s and they both have very limited roles in my studio.)
Old 3rd September 2015
  #336
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travst View Post
I agree with this. The 4-710D was a good choice for me because it offered 4 good pres, ADAT with 8 channels of conversion, some compressor functionality, and fit with my setup as I have other pres and synths to connect to the line ins. It's not a substitute for a compressor in most cases. The compressor functionality gives something extra when you need it. If it fits your setup and needs, it's a great bang for the buck.
Yep. Some one mentioned that it's great for expanding a beginner's setup. I can attest to that. I had an Apogee Quartet and needed some more pres. I also wanted Thunderbolt. I was going to buy the Ensemble Thunderbolt, but decided to go with a combination of the Motu 1248 + UA 4-710D instead. The price was about the same (got some deals on both units) but now I have different flavors to chose from. The UA has been awesome.
Old 10th May 2016
  #337
Here for the gear
 
mr drummer's Avatar
 

Hi,

I owned this unit for 3 years.Replacing my old TL Audio Ivory 5001
, it was a really cool upgrade for me even though i paid $3000 buying from the authorized dealer here in Istanbul.The only hi-end pres i had at that time was two SSL Vhds.I was using SSLs on everything.When recording drums overheads got the SSL and the kick snare toms got the 4-710d.However i was never really happy with the results.One day a friend suggested me to use SSL's on kick and snare, and that was it.The moment i listened to the results, 4-710d completely lost it.After that I kept on using it on overheads and room mics on tube setting which was ok i thought.Then came the ams neve 1073 and once again 4-170d was outperformed on both overheads and rooms.Last week i sold it and bought a Focusrite Red 1 for the same amount of money.I can say this was the best replacement i ever did.

For $3000 (that's the price tag here in Turkey) i think it is a real dissapointment.Pres can not handle fast trasients, and lack body.Snare always sounded saturated, kick was fluffy.There was something weird with the gain knob, after a point it jumped up totally changing level and tone.Hi-z inputs were nothing but ordinary.Compressors were not usable to my taste.Never used the digital outs.

Like another poster wrote this unit is not what you are looking for, if you already have some hi-end gear on board.Hope this helps someone.

Best
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