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Universal audio 4-710d four-channel “twin-finity” mic preamp & di w/ dynamics Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 31st December 2010
  #211
Gear Nut
 
mixlrose's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginaryday View Post
Ipod?
iPhone.

Hey Gollumluvslave, I just did a quick listen and noticed right away that the API A2D files sound odd... like one channel is out of phase with the other maybe? It is especially noticeable in the acoustic guitar track. Additionally, the Kick/Snare tracks through the AD2 sound brighter with much less low end information. Is it possible that the phase is inverted on one of your API channels? Is anyone else hearing this or did I screw something up when I transferred the files?

Other than that, everything is sounding good so far!
Old 1st January 2011
  #212
i recommend doing the listening test in your usual mixing environment to truly come to a definite conclusion.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #213
Here for the gear
 

I'm ready to pull the trigger on a new mic pre but this seems too good to be true. I'm leary of gimmicks, like sticking tubes in a mediocre preamp and calling it boutique. Would hate to spend 2 Grand on this and then wish I had gone with 2 channels of Vintech or Great River instead, but I really want 4 channels and I like to use a little light compression while tracking vocals and bass. I love the idea of having 4 more channels of AD to plug my other pres into also.

Here's my fear, that I'll drop 2 grand and the quality will be no better than my Focusrite Octopre mkII. I have a Focusrite ISA One that is so clear and open, it really makes me appreciate what a difference a good mic can make. Should I go with these 4 channels or buy 2 great channels of Vintech or Great River? Or should I get one channel and great compressor on the UA 6176?

I have a couple projects coming up recording a blues band, a metal band and an indie/folk rock band. In all cases, the some tonal character would be nice. I needs to cover all the basses; drums, bass, guitar, vocals and keys.

Although this is my first post here, I have a great deal respect for the opinions of many here, as I've been a reader of this site for a long time. Thank you!

Last edited by SlyMonkey; 2nd January 2011 at 10:22 PM.. Reason: accidentally posted before I was done writing.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #214
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixlrose View Post
Hey Gollumluvslave, I just did a quick listen and noticed right away that the API A2D files sound odd... like one channel is out of phase with the other maybe? It is especially noticeable in the acoustic guitar track. Additionally, the Kick/Snare tracks through the AD2 sound brighter with much less low end information. Is it possible that the phase is inverted on one of your API channels? Is anyone else hearing this or did I screw something up when I transferred the files?
Both the api acoustic and overheads are out of phase. Sounds good when flipped!

Anyone else not really like anything from the transistor side? It sounds kind of strangled to me. The 50/50s sounded consistently the best in all of the 4-710d samples, though I did prefer the transient response of the A2D in all of the samples.

Thank you for taking the time to post samples!

Last edited by VacuousZounds; 2nd January 2011 at 11:42 PM.. Reason: Edited to include thanks.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #215
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I did not find those sound samples to be very informative, I wouldn't make a yes or no decision based on those clips, ymmv. Of course it's always true you should actually use something yourself to form an opinion of it
Old 2nd January 2011
  #216
Lives for gear
 
B-San's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Douaire View Post
I'm definitely buying this when my next project gives me some extra cash.

I got to use this while I was out in San Fran mixing my bands album.

Long story short, a nice guy came around to promote it. He wasn't directly from UA, but was helping them out.

Anyway, we were mid-mix at the time. A song that had some troublesome guitars. We ended up running all the guitars through the 710D. It literally saved the mix.

I was sold right then and there. The fact that it's absolutely perfect for my project studio is even better - now I can justify buying it for its practicality.
Glad I could be of assistance... I'm looking forward to hearing the final version of the song as well!!
Old 3rd January 2011
  #217
Gear Head
 

Thanks! Was interested in this box, but now I'm sold on the API or a Mytek.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #218
Lives for gear
 
rhythminmind's Avatar
 

This is great deal, no doubt.

But you have to stop & realize how it's able to fall into this price bracket. At the end of the day you get what you pay for.

They started with 4x this


Added transformer-less static FET limiters, conversion, & assembled in china gave them this.

(I don't think the "artsy" cropped shot was an accident BTW).



This will not sound like
4x these

+ something like this.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #219
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by VacuousZounds View Post
Both the api acoustic and overheads are out of phase. Sounds good when flipped!

Anyone else not really like anything from the transistor side? It sounds kind of strangled to me. The 50/50s sounded consistently the best in all of the 4-710d samples, though I did prefer the transient response of the A2D in all of the samples.

Thank you for taking the time to post samples!
Yeah, just back after new year, I've checked and the A2D files are out of phase on the overheads and acoustic - the only thing I can think of was I accidentally hit the phase button on one of the A2D channels when switching on phantom power for the SDC's. My bad apologies, but as mentioned its easily fixed by flipping phase on one of the channels; to be honest I was focussing much more on the 4-710d than on the A2D, so I probably got a big sloppy rushing it.

Quote:
I did not find those sound samples to be very informative, I wouldn't make a yes or no decision based on those clips, ymmv. Of course it's always true you should actually use something yourself to form an opinion of it
No worries, monkeyxx - these samples were things I was doing anyway for my own reference and decision-making; they are useful for me and the music I record, but I didn't expect them to be helpful to everyone, but as I was doing them anyway I thought it would be worthwhile throwing them up - as you said YMMV

To be honest I don't think I will actually get a clear idea of what I prefer on what until I actually use it in anger on some songs, however I have some initial preferences:-

Really like the tube stage for overheads, but I think I'm still leaning to the A2D for kick and snare - although I think that me because I've been using the A2D on kick and snare for over a year now and a I'm just more accustomed to it.

I do like that I have a few choices and can decide based on the song - more options is great.

Another thing I've found out is that the Edirol UA-1000 pres and conversion aren't at all bad - I was quite surprised how well the Edirol performed in comparison; it's not night and day by any stretch (although I have to take my room and limited mic collection into account - I'm sure with better mics and a better room the differences would be more apparent).

I've got a pair of Sontronics STC-1 coming as an upgrade for the SDC's I was using for these samples (Superlux PRA218A - cheap as chips from an old drum mic set I got 5 years ago!
http://www.superlux.com.tw/productIn...&level=3&lv0=1)

I've been really pleased with the Heil PR-48 and 2x PR-28 that I got with the 4-710d - these ARE night and day improvements from the old kick & tom mics I was using (from the above set), so I fully expect the Sontronics STC-1s to be another step up as well.

It's maybe the best thing I've learned - I don't think I need anymore pres/converters - with my small room and what I want to do I've now got a more than adequate recording chain, with some decent flexibility.

If I layout for any more gear in 2011 it will be at source, and I will be looking to build up my mic locker and get some better mics.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #220
Lives for gear
One other thing I meant to note - I've tried out a few different clocking setups, and so far I'm pleased that the 4-710d seems quite happy being slaved - I've not carried out any rigorous testing yet, but I'm struggling to detect any difference when the 4-710d is slaved to Word Clock.

I'm quite surprised actually, as I didn't actually expect the setup to work AT ALL (my A2D is older so doesn't have Word Clock out):-

A2D -> Edirol 1 (SP-DIF, A2D Master, Edirol External Clock)
Edirol 1-> 4-710d (Edirol Word Clock Out-4-710d WC In, 4-710d set to WC)
4-710d -> Edirol 2 (ADAT, Edirol External Clock)

It's quite a messy setup, but I recorded tracks from both the A2D through the 1st interface and the 4-710d through the 2nd interface no problem; no glitches/pops/clicks - solid.

So, certainly with my pretty convoluted setup the 4-710d converters seem to play along quite happily slaved (indirectly) to the A2D.

Although it seems to work, something tells me that the above setup is a bit ropey and I will probably work with the 4-710d as the master for the next few months and bypass the A2D converters - nice to know it works though!
Old 3rd January 2011
  #221
Gear Nut
 
HDaudioCoyote's Avatar
 

Hell... yeah right,

at first it sounds like a great deal:

4 x mic/line pres + send returns
4 x 1176-style compressors
2192-type AD-Conversion for every Channel
and many nice other features...

SO WHAT'S THE CATCH ??????

there gotta be one 4 sure
Old 3rd January 2011
  #222
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDaudioCoyote View Post
Hell... yeah right,

at first it sounds like a great deal:

4 x mic/line pres + send returns
4 x 1176-style compressors
2192-type AD-Conversion for every Channel
and many nice other features...

SO WHAT'S THE CATCH ??????

there gotta be one 4 sure
I'd have to say so far there is no catch - it's comparable with my A2D - certainly in the same ball park both in terms of pres + conversion.

Build quality is great, really solid - again on a par with my A2D. Everything feature wise seems to work as it is supposed to.

Of course, it's early days - I want to do a couple of songs through it and see how it stacks up in proper usage.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #223
Gear Nut
 
HDaudioCoyote's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gollumsluvslave View Post
I'd have to say so far there is no catch - it's comparable with my A2D - certainly in the same ball park both in terms of pres + conversion.

Build quality is great, really solid - again on a par with my A2D. Everything feature wise seems to work as it is supposed to.

Of course, it's early days - I want to do a couple of songs through it and see how it stacks up in proper usage.

@ gollumsluvslave :

thanx 4 your suggestion ..... that sounds good...

what music are you going to produce with it ???
on what signal-sources or instruments are you using it ???

Best Regards,

CoYotE
Old 4th January 2011
  #224
Here for the gear
 

So I spent $2700 today and passed on the UA 4-710d. I really got to thinking this is just a hyped gimmick and it's really more in line with the Focusrite Octopre mkII than the ISA 428. It's made in China, not real happy about that.. It seems like the tube is more about adding distortion than tone.

I figured my 2 Grand would be better spent going with a mic pre I knew would always be worth the money. I bought a Great River MP-2NV. Having used one before, I know I'll never regret the decission based on sound.

I do like the concept, but I would rather go for the ISA 428 with the card. At least I know that is a quality product.
Old 4th January 2011
  #225
Here for the gear
 

Actually, thinking about it now, I'm guessing it's UA's answer to the Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. Very nice, but not the quality I was looking for.
Old 4th January 2011
  #226
Have you even tried the unit before saying it's not quality ? Because it is a high quality unit and the tube is not there to add distortion, believe me. It's a VERY solid, great sounding unit, and it's nothing like the Focusrite which is a completely different product altogether...
Old 4th January 2011
  #227
Lives for gear
 
dominic hoenig's Avatar
 

i for one can't wait till i have enough money to buy this unit!!

anyone got any idea if there's anywhere in the UK that will let me rent one before i buy it though?

i currently have 2 x 710s and 1 x 6176.
Old 4th January 2011
  #228
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDaudioCoyote View Post
@ gollumsluvslave :

thanx 4 your suggestion ..... that sounds good...

what music are you going to produce with it ???
on what signal-sources or instruments are you using it ???

Best Regards,

CoYotE
Just my own band's music - mostly rock, with a smattering of metal and some more stadium-rock slanted stuff; there is a couple of (very) old demos on our myspace site in my sig; we have got a mastered album ready to go once we get ready for gigs with our new drummer, and the myspace site will get a refresh when its out.

Anyways my studio has simply been a dream (vanity project) for a long time, and as I have a back catalogue of songs and ideas going back nearly 20 years I've got plenty of stuff I'd like to re-record; having the studio makes that possible.

Gear purchases for me are simply a passion, nothing to do with an investment for a commercial studio.
Old 4th January 2011
  #229
Gear Addict
 
moonpi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Martins View Post
Have you even tried the unit before saying it's not quality ? Because it is a high quality unit and the tube is not there to add distortion, believe me. It's a VERY solid, great sounding unit, and it's nothing like the Focusrite which is a completely different product altogether...
AGREED. Nobody should publicly "poo poo" a piece of gear that they've never used - even on speculation. I do get the rationale of why someone might want to pass on it and spend the same or more on two channels of something else. Believe me - it makes sense. However, this thing is actually quite usable and is pretty danged good. This is an incredible value for someone needing to better their signal chain and for anyone looking to add other flavors... whatever. Frankly it packs a lot of punch.

It seems again that this discussion can veer off into comparing a Volvo to a Ferrari... and are upset when the Volvo (which is certainly able to get you from Point-A to Point-B with suitable style and handling [subjective to individual snobbery thresholds, of course]) doesn't win Le Mans for you. You get what you pay for. But UA is certainly blurring the line with this piece.

Also, I've found with the 4-710D, like most people who were commenting on Gearslutz back when the UA 710 was initially released, that a blend of both channels sounded better than either one or the other, specifically. I found myself gravitating to about 1:30 to 2:00 on the dial toward the Tube side. Your mileage may vary.

And yes! I will have clips soon for posting. Haven't forgotten.
Old 5th January 2011
  #230
Here for the gear
 

ua 4-710 TEST

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyMonkey View Post
So I spent $2700 today and passed on the UA 4-710d. I really got to thinking this is just a hyped gimmick and it's really more in line with the Focusrite Octopre mkII than the ISA 428. It's made in China, not real happy about that.. It seems like the tube is more about adding distortion than tone.

I figured my 2 Grand would be better spent going with a mic pre I knew would always be worth the money. I bought a Great River MP-2NV. Having used one before, I know I'll never regret the decission based on sound.

I do like the concept, but I would rather go for the ISA 428 with the card. At least I know that is a quality product.
Hi dude I think you're wrong, I have one api 3124 and one isa 428, the api has always been my go to pre. the 4-710 surprised me it sounded better than the api on bass, acustic guitars, organ, Wurly, some voices, is a class A pre very good and versatile fat, open and dirty when you want, about the converters, it sounds much better than my digi 003, more open with more low end and less harsh, I'm finishing my first single using ua 4-710, once done I can give my real conclusions about the converters, but the pres are great, would pass very well so with them.
Old 5th January 2011
  #231
Here for the gear
 

recalling that isa 428 is also made in china
Old 5th January 2011
  #232
Here for the gear
 

I'll probably pick up an api 3124 next. Clevelands don't grow on trees and I had to feel confident in my purchase. When something sounds too good to be true, in my experience, it usualy is. Maybe I'm wrong this time.

Cheers!
Old 7th January 2011
  #233
Gear Nut
 
vientos00's Avatar
 

I am currently working on a project in my home studio. I bought the 710 twin back in may and paired up with my pearlman it sounded really nice and vintage. Blew me away to tell you the truth. Anyway, just recently bought the isa one. After reading all of the bad reviews on here about the 710 not sounding like a "real"tube pre, i made the mistake of using the isa as my primary preamp for acoustic guitar. Now i am not saying that it doesn't sound nice, but i re-recorded the guitar with the 710 and man.. it added some nice tone that the isa just didn't have.Not better, just different right?.. I also have a Marshal V69 aside from my Pearlman and as you all know sometimes the cheaper LDC's can have this "fakeness" to them in the high frequencies.I ran it through the 710 and rounded it out very nicely.I am very pleased with this pre.So much that I am actually thinking of passing on the apogee ensemble. The pre has a sound of it's own. I think that most of the people bashing it on here probally didn't really get a chance to see how well it can sit in a mix. I know , i know.. it is probally no "Apogee" as far as converters go, but for what i need, sounds like a nice piece. It would definitely complement my 2 current preamps well, and i could still pick up a couple of GAP 73's. That would give me 8 very nice analog pre's, 8 channels of hopefully some decent a/d , d/a conversion, and 4 very nice channels of compression. I have experience with the 710 preamp, and if the conversion and compression are in the same neighborhood as far as quality goes, then i'm sold
Old 7th January 2011
  #234
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by vientos00 View Post
That would give me 8 very nice analog pre's, 8 channels of hopefully some decent a/d , d/a conversion, and 4 very nice channels of compression. I have experience with the 710 preamp, and if the conversion and compression are in the same neighborhood as far as quality goes, then i'm sold
Note, just to clarify, there is no D/A conversion, only 8 cahnnels of A/D!
Old 7th January 2011
  #235
Quote:
Originally Posted by vientos00 View Post
I have experience with the 710 preamp, and if the conversion and compression are in the same neighborhood as far as quality goes, then i'm sold
They are. Not many settings on the limiter ( fast or slow, that's it ), but it works just fine. Two settings also mean you can't really go wrong.
Old 8th January 2011
  #236
Here for the gear
 

I'm thinking this is a great piece for me personally and I'm wondering what people actually paid for this unit.*Retails $1999, curious if anyone wants to share what they paid.

Jeff
Old 11th January 2011
  #237
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Cody's Avatar
 

Has anyone had a chance to mix using these compressors? Curious if this box could pull double duty with tracking and mixing.
Old 12th January 2011
  #238
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Cody's Avatar
 

Sorry, I gotta bump again.

I'm ditching my digimax, I want better converters/pres going into my ensemble for the extra 8 channels (I do lots of live off the floor stuff that needs all 18 i/o).

My first thought was I could get another ensemble, because I like the pres and the conversion (duh!). However, I don't need the extra 8 channels of DA and I don't like that I can't control phase invert/phantom/mic-line select during a session without stopping everything and hooking the 2nd ensemble to my mac via firewire to use maestro.

So, I started looking at this UA box.

I'm sure the conversion is alright, but are the pres going to be a step up from the Ensemble? And are the compressors useful for mixing? Finally, I record on location, do I need to worry about transporting a tube unit around? I do mostly rock/punk, but also the occasional indie/folk band. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Old 12th January 2011
  #239
Gear Addict
 
a2dpapi's Avatar
 

These would be a noticeable improvement over the digimax. Far more versatile (and euphonic if necessary) than the Ensemble. The compression will be useful for tracking and can certainly be put to use for mixing, however we are not talking about a lot of control - the claim is magical 1176s on each channel that know exactly what your application and aesthetic are. Instead these are rather soft, forgiving limiting circuits.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody View Post
Sorry, I gotta bump again.

I'm ditching my digimax, I want better converters/pres going into my ensemble for the extra 8 channels (I do lots of live off the floor stuff that needs all 18 i/o).

My first thought was I could get another ensemble, because I like the pres and the conversion (duh!). However, I don't need the extra 8 channels of DA and I don't like that I can't control phase invert/phantom/mic-line select during a session without stopping everything and hooking the 2nd ensemble to my mac via firewire to use maestro.

So, I started looking at this UA box.

I'm sure the conversion is alright, but are the pres going to be a step up from the Ensemble? And are the compressors useful for mixing? Finally, I record on location, do I need to worry about transporting a tube unit around? I do mostly rock/punk, but also the occasional indie/folk band. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Old 12th January 2011
  #240
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gollumsluvslave View Post
It's maybe the best thing I've learned - I don't think I need anymore pres/converters - with my small room and what I want to do I've now got a more than adequate recording chain, with some decent flexibility.
o
that's a really great thing to learn! I used to have an API/UA/(sytek) setup too and was never really wanting for pres. I do similar things now with other stuff, just cuz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody View Post
Finally, I record on location, do I need to worry about transporting a tube unit around? I do mostly rock/punk, but also the occasional indie/folk band. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
I dunno about the other questions, but I really wouldn't worry about that. I record most of the time on location, and I just give my tube gear (just like I would with a guitar amp) time to cool down before any big moving or hauling is done. IE, just don't move a bunch of gear with hot tubes in it around, they're softer at those temperatures and easier to damage. other than that, you move your guitar or bass or rhodes amp all the time and how often do the tubes in those get destroyed from schlepping?
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