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Universal Audio LA-610 MKII Recording Channel

BH #UNLA610MK2 • MFR #LA610 MKII
Universal Audio
Universal Audio LA-610 MKII Recording Channel
Key Features
  • Tube Preamp
  • Variable Impedance Switching
  • 2-Band Switchable EQ
  • T4 Based Compressor
The LA-610 Mk II from Universal Audio brings vintage all-tube sound to the modern channel-strip format. The unit combines a 610 Mic-Pre / EQ / DI section based on console modules developed by Bill Putnam in the 1960s, with a T4 Opto-compressor, and houses them in a 2 RU rackmount enclosure. The 610-tube preamp, DI and EQ deliver a sound that is as timeless as it is legendary, and a hallmark of many classic recordings. The simple operation and program dependent nature of the T4 compressor provides extremely musical control.
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Universal Audio LA610 MKII Overview

The LA-610 Mk II from Universal Audio brings vintage all-tube sound to the modern channel-strip format. The unit combines a 610 Mic-Pre / EQ / DI section based on console modules developed by Bill Putnam in the 1960s, with a T4 Opto-compressor, and houses them in a 2 RU rackmount enclosure. The 610-tube preamp, DI and EQ deliver a sound that is as timeless as it is legendary, and a hallmark of many classic recordings. The simple operation and program dependent nature of the T4 compressor provides extremely musical control.

The LA-610 MkII is sonically very versatile and can function as an ideal front-end for tracking into a digital audio workstation. The preamp is augmented with two bands of shelving EQ, followed a T4 based optical compressor. Although not an exact LA-2A clone, the compressor circuitry nevertheless shares its signature sound by utilizing its unique combination of an electro-luminescent panel and photo-resistors. Three 12AX7A tubes, a single 6072A and 6AQ5 tube combine to provide warmth and overall even tonal balance.

The Mk II delivers several enhancements over the original LA-610. A true compressor bypass switch is now available which completely avoids the compressor circuitry. Other changes improve the performance of the output signal, improved consistency with input gain values and feedback-style shelving EQ improves the EQ stability. An auto-sensing, universal power supply is included, along with larger and better lit metering.

Single-channel vintage channel-strip
Design based on legendary Bill Putnam's 610 tube microphone preamp and EQ console modules, used on countless classic recordings
Microphone preamp features Gain and Level controls, variable impedance switching, and Instrument DI for recording tone "color"
Improved stability with feedback-style shelving EQ
Authentic Teletronix LA-2A-style T4 opto-compressor with continuous peak reduction and makeup gain
Compressor circuitry can be fully bypass with the inclusion of a true bypass switch
15dB pad switch and polarity reverse switch
Improved metering with meter source selector switch
LED jewel "power on" indicator light never needs replacement
Auto sensing universal power supply
UA build quality and heritage, audiophile components and hand-assembled in the USA
UPC: 819937000072

Universal Audio LA610 MKII Specs

Number of ChannelsSingle
Inputs1 x XLR Microphone
1 x XLR Line
Outputs1 x XLR
Frequency Response20Hz to 20kHz, +/-0.5dB
Noise-72dBu (20Hz to 20kHz, line in/unity gain)
Preamp
Gain Range+77dB (microphone)
40dB Line
Maximum Output+23dBu (120VAC line)
Input Impedance500Ω or 2kΩ, selectable
Phantom Power+48V
Compressor
Threshold RangeProgram dependent
Ratio~3:1, soft knee, program dependent
Attack Time~10mSec, program dependent
Release TimeDual stage: ~60mSec for 50% release, followed by 1 to 15Sec, program dependent
SlopeNot specified by manufacturer
SidechainNo
Equalizer
Filter TypeLow and high shelf
Frequency BandsHF: 4.5, 7 and 10kHz
LF: 70, 100 and 200Hz
BandwidthNot applicable
Range (Boost/Cut)1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, 9dB, switchable boost/cut
Threshold RangeProgram dependent
Ratio~Infinity:1, soft knee, program dependent
Attack Time~10mSec, program dependent
De-Esser
Threshold RangeNot applicable
Frequency RangeNot applicable
Gate
Gate ThresholdNot applicable
Gate RateNot applicable
Physical
Power Requirements100/120/240V
30W power consumption
Dimensions19 x 12.25 x 3.5" (483 x 311 x 89mm)
Weight12 lbs (5.4kg)
SpecialtiesCustom Altran and Cinemag transformers
Auto sensing universal power supply
Packaging Info
Package Weight15 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)22.2 x 17.4 x 7.3"

Universal Audio LA610 MKII Reviews

After 2 years of documentary work

By benjamin
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2018-08-26

I have used this for documentary work for 2 years. It has been with me to in the studio and brought along to interviews in a shoulder bag approximately 50 times. What I dislike is the weight. It's heavy when I go one-person-band recording. I worry (and expect) every time that I will have a tube issue or some problem associated with having moved the unit out of my rack kit for setup elsewhere. Cross my fingers that it's never given me trouble or had malfunctions. The manual was easy to read and follow. This is one of the best differentiators in terms of quality in my kit and has attracted talent because the sound is leaps and bounds above client expectations. I like that I have everything in one spot for a subject of any range (quiet and shy, loud and booming) with total confidence that I can get an archive-quality recording. I have recorded into various pro recorders and ENG or compact cine cameras with it. In the future, the size and tube-only operation has led me to explore other options such as Twinfinity and Grace preamps. I will second another reviewer that Universal Audio's changes seem to depart from the tradition of this old company. I have the whole thunderbolt-powered Universal Audio Apollo 8p racks at the home studio. They are not reliable like this unit, for me. It seems like the software-based mic pres always have some annoying issue or update. I have not taken this in for a warranty, given that it's worked without trouble.

La 610 mk-2

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2014-03-16

Very good tube preamp very warm

Quality Control Spotty

By Anonymous
Rated 2 out of 5
Date: 2012-10-21

First Unit bought with dead compressor, returned it. Second unit broke needle gauge with less than 20 hours use. Customer Service Rep 1 said they'd pay for me to ship. Then Customer Service Rep 2 said no they won't honor first Rep's promise. The company lied to me. Second issue I have is they won't give out blueprint. Hence only THEY can fix the unit. Which means WEEKS of downtime!! So this unit is a No-Go for Live Work of Poor Musicians who don't have a backup pre-amp/eq/compressor! Other than that, when the unit is working, it's 5 stars of throughput quality. Not ashamed to say I love this unit when it works, but I hate the company's response to me when it doesn't work. What's said is the sons who run UA now are ruining the great name their father gave this company. BTW, B&H are one of the best companies to deal with online. Bookmark them!

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