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Rating and Reviews: UA LA-610 MKII Mic Preamp

Dial in warmth and clarity with UA's iconic LA-610 mic pre -- and compress on the way in with T4 optical circuit identical to the legendary Teletronix LA-2A.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
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The Wow Factor
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"My new favorite piece of gear" submitted July 12, 2012

By Marcus J in Bradley, IL
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Musical Background: Engnineer/producer in a Semi pro home studio
Music Style: hiphop/r&b/pop
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Sound: Sound is simply amazing. Very warm and clear but when you drive the pre or the output you can get a really aggressive saturation. The Hi and Lo shelving EQs give nice smooth boost and cuts and there are alot of control over the gain so you can push the tubes just how you want to. I love the pre but the compressor is my favorite part. You can get good amount of Gain Reduction and still have it be pretty transparent. Also hooked up my Les Paul through the DI and was able to get some very usable tones. Havent tried it with a bass yet but I hear good things about its capabilities there Feature: You get a tube pre, Hi and Lo shelving Eqs with three frequency choices for each, the mic impedance switch is a nice option as is the ability to accept line level signals(doesnt bypass pre though). Then for good measure they give an awesome LA2A style compressor limiter. Everything you need in a channel strip Ease of Use: Simplicity is king for me and this is definitely simple to use. Very few knobs so there is nothing to focus on but sound and its easy to dial in the right sound for anything I need. Quality: Very well built, Solid as a rock, VU meter is nice, Knobs all turn smoothly but not too loose, switches feel extremely sturdy too. I like that the eq adjust in fixed increments so its easy to recall when you need to. Value: Totally worth the price. I used zzounds pay as you play but if anything happened to it I wouldnt mind being late on my rent to replace it in a hurry. Manufacturer Support: havent needed to try them I can say the included manual is very nice The Wow Factor: It's is all in the sound. Every mic I plug into it sounds better, period. Ive also ran mono keyboard/synth sounds and some drum samples through it and adds a nice feel to those workstation sounds. One day I might have to get a second one.The real Wow factor comes from the inspiration you get when you hear yourself recording through it. All the vocalist I usually record gave some of there best performances though the LA610 and every single one of them was gushing over it after the fact and couldnt wait to record again. And I'm generally the only one thats a gear head Overall: Love it
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"Quality Control Not Professional" submitted October 21, 2012

By Dennis B in Holly Springs, NC
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: All
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Overall: First unit had a dead compressor on arrival. Second unit blew needle gauge with less than 20 hours use. UA won't release blueprints, so only THEY are authorized agents to fix these units. Which means weeks of downtime. That just is NOT professional! Also, their Customer Service lied to me. One rep said they'd pay for shipping to look at the unit. Waited for RMA, and asked. Second Rep said "prove it and we'll do it" and I did and he said "sorry, not our policy, first guy was wrong". Would not have written this review otherwise.
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"LA-610 MK II" submitted March 1, 2015

By L Richard Vaznis II in Old Orchard Beach, ME
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Musical Background: producer played music for over 40 years...play drums, guitar, bass, vocals, songwriter
Music Style: Rock...hard rock
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Overall: This is...without a doubt...an amazing piece of equipment. I've used it on everything from kick drum to snare...bass guitar to guitar...and most of all vocals. Amazing warmth and tone and such a great out board piece to have to keep your tracks clean. The preamp is simply amazing...so much versatility and color. You must have one if you are doing any recording whatsoever. In this digital age...this brings out the analog punch that has been long forgotten....and talk about smooth sounding? Buy one!!!
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"The mother of all front ends for your DAW." submitted December 7, 2010

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Semi-professional Bassist, songwriter, composer
Music Style: Contemporary Christian, Urban Gospel, Electronic Jazz
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Sound: I have only used it for voice-overs so far. I love the fact that I can "set it and forget it". I also love the fact that I can craft the perfect vocal sound from the front panel, then just record and I'm good to go after a little hard-limiting in the DAW. Planning to use it for recording bass as well when I get to that point with my music projects. Feature: The built-in compression and eq make it complete in every respect. If you can't make something sound good with this box, you haven't turned it on. I like the adjustable input impedance - flexible but simple to use. The pad and phase switches get you up and running in every situation. The metering is flexible. And on top of everything it has not just compression but limiting as well. This is a professional, classic piece of gear, the best piece I own. Ease of Use: You have to really try hard to get a bad sound out of it. You can get good sound even if you don't know what you're doing. The manual helps a lot, explaining some basic concepts and showing you how to get started fast. Quality: The quality of the craftmanship is obvious when you look at it. every detail has been labored over. You can tell this is a serious piece of professional equipment. Value: Given the resale value of an LA-610 and the results I am getting in the studio, I would have to say this was a great investment for my studio. This and a great mic, which will be my next investment, and people start to take you seriously. Manufacturer Support: There has been no need for support so far. The Wow Factor: If it was a woman, The LA-610 MKII is Lucy Liu, Angelena Jolie, and Eva Mendes rolled into one heart-attack inducing package that makes death a privilege for any middle-aged musician and life unforgettable for a young one. Overall: I can't think of another front end for my DAW I would need to get a great sound out of an amplified or mic'ed instrument. If money was no object and I was running a commercial studio, I might consider the liquid audio mic pre as an alternative front end to give customers that choice. But for vintage classic warm fat clean recorded sound, I'm set.
6 of 7 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Universal Audio LA-610 MKii mic preamp" submitted September 10, 2016

By frank w in los angeles, CA
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Musical Background: 2010 yrs. KeyBoard and Bass. I own a recording studio
Music Style: all style
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Overall: Just got my new UA LA610 today. Using it for vocals and i must say, WOW. The gain knob, controls the tube... Cleaner sound. More gain means more Tube warmness! This preamp is so great! you're probably not going to get easily excited on dropping a grand an a half on a channel strip, Unless you're an engineer and engineer's know the reason studios have stacks and racks of these processors.
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"La610" submitted March 22, 2016

By a customer from gmail.com in Duluth, GA
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Overall: Love the vintage tone and thickness of my LA610. Let me just say that the buttery compression section makes a audible difference compared to running the solo 610 preamp with your plug in of choice for compression. (That was me pre La610) The LA2A is still on my wish list but nobody's complaining about the fat tone I'm getting from the LA610.
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"Great addition to my studio" submitted February 16, 2016

By Terrence Smith in Torrance , CA
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Musical Background: Audio Engineer/Production
Music Style: I engineer everything.
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Overall: I'm a lover of all things Universal Audio. I own two UA 710 pre-amps and a UA satellite duo. So purchasing a LA 610 mk2 was a natural choice for me. It's great on vocals and for sending software sounds through it.
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"If you're looking for a Preamp with Astronomical sound and don't want to become an Astronaut learn to use it... This Preamp is f" submitted June 6, 2011

By a customer from pristinestudios.com
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Features
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Musical Background: Recording Studio Owner (Pristine Studios - www.pristinestudios.com)
Music Style: Smooth Jazz, R&B
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Sound: I must say this is the best preamp I own. After using it twice, I knew I made the right investment... Tweaked correctly, the sound is rich and pure. I'm using it with a Neuman TL103 and an AKG C414XLII and now my ears can distinctly hear which mic is best to use on a particular artist. Feature: Feature wise there's not a lot to this machine, ironically that's the best thing about it... Great sounding preamp with only a few switches and knobs that do exacly what they are supposed to do. My previous pre had beautiful flashing lights and million buttons and features, most I never used... Ease of Use: This is what I love most about it. If you don't get beautiful sound out of this thing after a few clicks and turns, you're doing something wrong and you can blame yourself... The good news is you can always learn... Quality: I must admit, first take, she wasn't the prettiest girl in the rack, but I quickly got to know her for her beautiful mind. Now those big curvy knobs are a pleasure to come home to... :-) So far I never keep records of settings because it's so much fun starting from scratch... Value: This product was a little out of my price range but I decided to bite the bullet anyway. To my pleasant surprise, I got a great price from zZounds. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed any yet. The Wow Factor: Again, not the Sexiest piece of gear in my rack, but so for she takes good of me. I think I'll keep her. Overall: All of my clients are extremely please at how much better they feel they sound after hearing themselves throught this Preamp. For me as a Studio owner, nothing could be sweeter to hear from your clients. The keep coming back just to get in the booth, put on the headphones and give themselves Goose bumps when the sing through it.
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"This channel strip is my front end, for both mic's as well as well as..." submitted October 21, 2013

By Jason Janson in Aliso Viejo, CA
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Musical Background: Singer guitarist, 20yrs playing professionally. Was in Guttermouth and The Hiders,n style label, THE RECKORD COLLECTORS
Music Style: I'll play or record any style. I come from rock and grunge era. I did mix a hip-hop artist as well, PA from Fresno. If ya know..
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Overall: If you're recording live audio, or even hope to bring a little rich continuity to your sound... this item not only allows for that smooth sound singers benefit from on the way in. Or grit it's famous for... I can honestly get REAL close with guitars, bass... try a pbass with a sans amp and push the pre... a lil eq... ampeg head. I can turn it into a 50w marshall with a tube screamer... but honestly, I really like the the strength of the outboard compressor/ limiting. No waiting not like any plug. Just forced down peaks with a big knob... I prefer by far over Avalon ... just use your ears.. a 610mkII and a dbx strip. and there's your crisp flawless robot like dime a dozen vocal? Don't forget your pitch correction. Haha.. I really like this item as well as their plugins and card as well. Sounds great as a back end as well.
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"The Perfect Combination Mic Pre-Amp and Compressor!" submitted January 15, 2012

By Tony C in Southfield, MI
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Musical Background: Music Producer, Studio Engineer, Musician, Singer-Songwriter, Piano, Keyboards, Drums
Music Style: Jazz (Contemporary, Smooth, Fusion, Standard), Pop, Adult Contemporary, R&B, Soundtrack/Theme
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Overall: Being a "perfectionist" in my music production projects, I'm always researching outboard gear and software to utilize in making the best productions I can. I researched long and hard for a mic pre-amp and compressor combination which would provide the warmth a tube pre-amp can provide along with desired compression features. Considering I already owned a UA Solo/610 (which I loved), looking at the UA LA610 MKII was a natural progression. So, after all the research, I settled on the LA610-MKII. It was an excellent choice! The videos on the UA website had already given me an idea of what to expect with the LA610 MKII and I was eager to find out what it could do for my projects. Well, after only a few hours of running through a few of the features and a few sample voice recordings, I believe I have selected the perfect unit for my operation. In fact, don't take my word for it. Read the professional reviews online at at the UAD site. This unit rocks and integrates what made the LA 610 predecessor along with several enhancements. Definitely worth the investment at this price point!
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