LA-610 MkII Classic Tube Recording Channel

LA-610 MkII Classic Tube Recording Channel

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Customer Reviews

LA-610 MkII

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B. Saunders

May 19, 2022


March 14th, 2022 - I sent an email to customer support on where I could my LA610MkII to get looked at/fixed.
March 16th, 2022 - i get a reply to from Customer Service “When you have a spare moment, send through the following details, and I will pass this on to our services team for further review.”
March 16th 2022 - I reply “The last time something went wrong with this piece of gear, support was no help. I ended up resolving it myself. Help with this would be greatly appreciated.”
March 18th 2022 - I just noticed I'm missing a phone number as well, so when you reply back with the SN, let me know a good contact number for you. Thanks! Brandon
March 22, 2022 - We have issued you RMA ######
Currently, our return time is approximately 7 business days after gear has been received into our system
April 6th, 2022 - (I personally email UA)
Question for you...
I sent in my LA 610 MKII last week to get the VU meter fixed. Does the entire unit get looked at to make sure it's working properly? The reason I ask is this....
I went in to a studio last week, and the engineer/producer was also using a LA 610 MK II. The unit seemed to be much more responsive and have much, MUCH more compressor response than I ever remember mine having???
In other words, when their unit(s) were set to a vocal compressor setting of approximately 2:1, or recording bass of 3 or 4:1, it seemed almost "butter" compared to my LA 610. When I asked what they were using. I was shocked! I ran into the control room to find the panel settings were almost duplicates of what I would use!
I went home to look for YouTube videos demoing the 610 and even the videos online sounded better than my unit, with the same settings out the manual.
Everyone has always said how good UA units were, but I never had anything to go on. Did my unit ever work properly?
Thanks for your time but, concerned....
April 7th, 2022 - (I get a reply from UA)
Our repair tech left a note that, "Each unit goes through an Audio Precision test where each of the variables possible are calibrated and tested to conform to our specs. Over time the T4 will age and perhaps change in response/recover time, but, if not conforming to our specs this is reported and the option to rebuild is given.”… hmm… an option to rebuild? A $2,000 unit? Interesting.
April 9th, 2022 - I email customer service asking what the status is on my 610. The reply I get it “We’re waiting for your reply.” I replied back not getting any type of notification with “what reply?”
April 11th, 2022 - “The unit is ready to go. Service information is listed below. We can issue a PayPal Invoice to process payment. We CANNOT accept payment information via email or Phone call. Summary: Problem was confirmed.
Meter needed replacing, IC U5 needed replacing.
Passed all tests.”
April 12th, 2022 - Where do I send the payment?
UA replies with a separate personal email stating “PayPal Invoice #3385 has been sent to” They couldn’t notify me without me asking?
April 13th, 2022 - “I sent an email yesterday after paying my repair bill and haven’t heard anything from anyone regarding what’s next?
Can someone help me with this?”
April 15th 2022 - The unit is shipping today via FedEx. Tracking information is listed below.
April 21st 2022 - “To whom this may concern,
I cannot even to begin express how upset I am right now.
I literally just received my LA 610 Mk II back from your apparent service center. Nothing works. NOTHING! Same f'n problem I sent this to you for the unit to be fixed.
Then, as I turn all the notched knobs the entire unit is microphonic, and the VU meter STILL DOES WORK! ZERO input, no output. Tap on the casing, microphonic.
I went through the manual step by step, did I do something wrong?Nope. So, I replaced all the microphones, mic cables, interfaces, and even used an old Alesis 3630 thats been sitting a rack for 25+ years and everything worked flawlessly!
Plugges all the cables into the LA 610 and NOTHING!
I don't know where this will go, but this needs to be resolved. I paid for a service and got the same broken unit back. Contact me ASAP!”
April 22nd 2022 - “First of all, sorry your unit is not working and apologies for this inconvenience. We need to bring it back and check what happen. I'm attaching a shipping label so we cover the expedited shipping charges.
We will reach out to you once we start working on your unit specially if we have more questions about the failures.
In regards on our repairs, we always double check all repaired units are operational before these go back to customer. In your case, there could be an intermittent issue that we just did not see when unit was in for service.
If you have any other question, please let us know.”
April 26th, 2022 - Hi Roberto,
This has been a really disappointing event.
I took the LA610 MKII to local repair guy and he said there was something in Mic/Line/Hi-Z selector that wasn’t working. He got that to work but also said, “the unit should not be microphonic when tapping the casing or using the gain/high/low selector knobs”.
Once getting the unit back home, I started to record vocals for a session I’m in. I plugged in an Audio Technica 4050 and what a disaster and disappointment that turned out to be with the 610.
With help from a friend who’s a Grammy producer and AT’s tech support this is what I/we found out.
Audio Technica told me to “test the AT4050 on a different microphone preamp as the UA preamp is designed after older mic preamps such as API. The power draw from the microphone may be causing artifacts into the audio. The AT4050 is a “power diva” and requires the full +48v of power and some preamps spec at +48v (+/- a volt or two). The drop in the voltage may cause a variety of issues. This is also considered as the Studio Projects C1 power specs are +48v (+/- 4 V). The second thing I would recommend is to get a multimeter reading of the phantom power out of the preamp to measure the actual voltage. The new microphone product manager at UA was previously at A-T and I’ll reach out to confirm the public specs for the preamp.”
So I did just that.
I plugged the 4050 into a 25+ year old, Rolls phantom adapter, ran that out to the 610, with no phantom in the 610, and cleaner than clean. Unplugged from the 610 and went into an old Mbox, clean as a whistle. Plugged the 4050 directly into the 610 and popping, crackling, hiss/noise. Baffling and disappointed.

Attached is an audio file I did last night comparing an SM57, a Studio Project C1 and the AT4050 all running through the 610 as well as the “phantom” units being used today outside of the 610 to get clean signals.
I find it hard to believe a used Rolls $25 phantom power adapter and a 10-15 year old Mbox would provide cleaner more solid phantom power than a Universal Audio device that’s $2,000.
So, what’s the next step?
I wish I could say I’m excited to continue to use UA products but at this point, that is diminishing rapidly. Thanks for your time.”
April 27th, 2022 - Thank you for all the detail troubleshoting you went through but we need to bring it in and double check the phnaom power circuitry. Then, we might have an idea of what happen if we get it to fail.“
May 4th, 2022 - Hi Brian,
We got the unit in and the tech has done an initial test on it. Until now, there are no problems found on unit. All features are working and unit is also passing our Audio precsicion diagnostic tests. Unit is up to specs.
We will levae the unit running overnight and will provide an update tomorrow.
May 4th, 2022 - (I reply back to UA)
PLEASE play the tech the audio file I sent you! Something is drastically not right with the phantom power!!! As stated in the email, if I use a cheap Rolls Phanton power unit, my AT4050 is crystal clear. If I use the phantom on my 20 year old Mbox which is discontinued it’s so old, crystal clear once again. Run it through the LA610 and it’s so noisy/hissing, you can’t use that microphone or any other higher end condenser mic!
Also, have him take the top off and tap on all the tubes. When I am running any type of microphone, dynamic or condenser or, any line level instrument through the 610 into pro tools, all the notched knobs ring microphonic as they go through different settings.
Again, PLEASE reference the audio file I emailed you. If you don’t have it, I can send it to you again.
Thank you for staying in touch with me, but I know something is not right!
May 10th, 2022 - (I contact UA, again)
Could you please tell me what the status is with my LA610 Mk II??? It’s been a week since we spoke last and I haven’t heard anything.
MY 13th, 2022 -
“We have been testing this unit extensively and unit is working properly. It is passing all diagnostic and audio tests and the unit is up to specs.
We have setup the unit the same way you mentioned, and no issues have been found specially on the phantom power. For how long you have you owned the unit and did you ever notice this before? Let me know.”
May 13th, 2022 - (I reply back to UA)
Thanks for getting back with me. I was getting concerned.

I’ve only experienced this with higher end condenser mics. Which not only baffles me but puzzles my friends that are of the highest in the business being producers and engineers.

The audio file I sent you shows you what I mean. I’ve attached it again.

I’ve tried 3 different AT4050’s from Sweetwater, all did the same thing. When going into an old Rolls Phantom power unit, then directly into the Mbox it was clear. No hissing or crackling.
I’m at a loss.
May 19th, 2022 - I have not heard a thing back from UA.

I would strongly advise ANYONE looking to buy UA products to STRONGLY consider looking at other options. This has cost me a lot of money having to book time at other studios to get session work completed. UA customer service is not worth your time.

J. Dufresne

February 16, 2021

Simply amazing. Amazingly simple.

This thing is wonderful. Makes a $500-600 mic sound like a gem. Makes a $1,000+ mic sound absolutely golden. Warm, plenty of gain / output between the preamp and compression section. A good 87 clone through this is the beginning to a vocal chain masterpiece. If you want more tube warmth try a 47 clone. The same also does magical things to acoustic guitars. I love it. My only regret is that I can't afford more of them. Luckily it pairs perfectly with my Apollo racks. Thank you UA and Bill Jr!

S. Lyles

February 13, 2021

UA 610 SE - Spoiled

Once owned a 2-610 so we knew the 610 Signature Edition would be amazing - beyond - just blown away by the range of character we can get from this unit. Along with our Apollo 8 it is simple gorgeous to listen to!

D. Marais

December 20, 2020

An absolute stunner - and an affirmation of how good UAD plugins are too!

I have purchased two of these units now and they are just so darn wonderful: easy to use, but filled with warmth and clarity at the same time. Absolutely love this preamp. Just looking at them is a joy, with those classic knobs. A sonic and aesthetic masterpiece.

What is also amazing to me is how having the hardware versions show just how bloody excellent UAD plugins are. I have the the 6176 and the LA610 hardware units, and their plugin equivalents totally nail the sound - I cannot tell the difference on a casual listen. (I decided to break my bank and get the hardware units, in addition their digital emulations, because I wanted to honor the history of the products, from their analogue form to their digital form. Both forms are gorgeous. And they just LOOK incredible in my lowly, but well-loved basement studio.

Finally, I hope you all at UA are doing ok after the terrible fires of late that I know had an impact on your incredible team of employees. Buying another unit was a way to show my support for all you do as well. Thank you for these beautiful products.

B. Stoica

November 13, 2020

Excelent piece, fair price, absolute classic sound

I own now 2 pieces of this combo, one I keep in the studio and the second one goes on tour, for a soft voice Norah Jones/Katie Melua type of original act. Both perform flawlessly after more than 7 years now, the one that travels do aprox. 70 gigs a year. Techs might abuse our hardcases, but the preamp never fails. The one I have in the studio almost always goes with my ribbons, when I need them.
Great sound and value.

R. Byers

September 19, 2020

Vibey Vibe Viber

I wish UA made a 4 ch strip of these. Classic organic beefy soul on vocals, bass, snare and more. The aesthetic of the hardware is beautiful!! love the huge knobs

a. meissner

December 5, 2019

LA-610 MKII Großartiger Mic-Vorverstärker

Der LA-610 MKII ist als Mic-Vorverstärker unverzichtbar. Gerade günstigere Mics gewinnen enorm an "Farbe". Must have..leider in Europa nicht mehr verfügbar.

i. davis

November 14, 2019

amazing vocals

i have had apollo twin desktop with plugins which are amazing for years but this hardware version of the la610 was not a option and i picked one up to see just how good it would do for vocals and wow amazing tube sound and alongside my unison i can add flavor after i track in vocals to my daw through my tlm103 or tlm 107 or my u87 I've thrown all kinds of mics at it from 300$ to 5k$ and it always impresses me and no setting is the same for each mic its a learning curve to it thats super exciting i love it and highly recommend it !!!!!

I. Papagiannidis

March 21, 2019

Great strip for everything

Great strip for bass, vocals, guitars, snare. Especially if you change the tubes and put NOS tubes sounds amazing! A real workhorse! A pair of these can make real magic!

I. Papagiannidis

March 21, 2019

Great strip for everything

Great strip for bass, vocals, guitars, snare. Especially if you change the tubes and put NOS tubes sounds amazing! A real workhorse! A pair of these can make real magic!

I. Papagiannidis

March 21, 2019

Great strip for everything

Great strip for bass, vocals, guitars, snare. Especially if you change the tubes and put NOS tubes sounds amazing! A real workhorse! A pair of these can make real magic!

s. azevedo

December 30, 2018

Snare Drum Warmth

Experimented with this on the way into my DAW and was pleasantly surprised how great the snare track sounded. Just added a skosh of eq crack at 8k and thats all it needed. My new goto for snare drums!

J. Parra

September 13, 2018

Smooth and Cozy

I bought this unit I connected and recorded some acoustic guitars and let me tell you I felt in love with this unit just by tweaking just a little bit I got a beautiful warm and rounded sound. Some people complain about not having a bypass for the Pre-amp like other UA unit they haven't realize that you can lower all the level down on the Pre it just add an extra character a little color to the Comp don't compare it with other units its a different animal is another tool to use in your Studio. I Love this beauty.

J. Iantorno

March 29, 2018

Wouldn't live without mine.

I feel as though this is one of those things UA users already know.

But, If you're new to UA and looking for a lower grade mic pre in order to be mindful of budget. Don't do it. You'll eventually end up owning one of these or a 6176.

And in the meantime, you will have spent more money on different gear trying to achieve the sound you're hearing in your head, along the way.

As a younger engineer, I learned that lesson the hard way.

Regardless of what UA product you're looking at, you can't lose.

D. Fink

January 23, 2018

A simply sweet pre

Whether for vox or acoustic guitar, the LA-610 MKII is one piece of outboard gear I will not give up. Serves wonderfully as a pre to my Apollo, and gives an excellent alternative to the Apollo's great Unison preamps.

M. Powell

December 22, 2017


Love it

K. Thura

November 21, 2017


Like it!

M. Cavanagh

September 16, 2017

Integral and Versatile

Ive used the LA-610 MK II for over a year now as a channel strip for recording acoustic guitar and micing and recording amps...I can't imagine recording guitar without it.
Even without using the EQ its invaluable for controlling mic gain and adding compression at source.
I also use it as part of a live guitar rig, running the speaker out of low wattage vintage amps into various reactive load resistor boxes converting to line level into the LA-610 's line input and finally out to a valve power amp powering a 2x12 cab.....being able to add EQ & Compression really contributes to the dynamics of the amp in use.
As I said....Verstaile and Integral !


September 16, 2017


Warm and intense sound
A really cool preamp

P. Higgins

August 29, 2017

Warm & Easy

Surely there can't be a nicer sounding and easier to use preamp than this? Just plug your mic in and instantly you a have a round warm sound in which all the nasty' just seem to be smoothed out without eq. If you do need eq then it couldn't be much easier but it just seems to work seamlessly, again the compressor couldn't be easier with just a more or less type function which couldn't make the engineers job any more simple in getting a great sound reminiscent of tape where just by putting the source through this channel it magically makes everything sound better. No wonder these are so popular, they allow the engineer to just use his/her ears in a musical way without having to think too much about the technical process. You can't have too many of these channels. The compressor is just like a big cushion gently smoothing out and rounding out the sound without the need to de-ess or think too hard. Awesome!

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