Universal Audio LA-610 Mk II Reviews4.6/5.0 based on 24 customer reviews
This is one of the most popular preamps here at Sweetwater. The LA-610 combines tweakability with consistant reliability for the engineer that really knows what he is doing. The secret to this legendary box is pairing it with the right mic and the right settings. The longer you spend with the LA-610 the more you will fall in love.
from United States
April 16, 2013Music Background:
Universal Audio LA-610 rules!I use this on just about everything in my recordings and it gives me that great warm tube awesomeness that I need. What is also great about this is, you can dial in some great EQ before you enter the console or interface. See, one thing I learned from some great producers is, ALWAYS get the sound you want BEFORE you hit the console. This Mic Pre has a nice EQ that you can use to carve your sound before you record so that you don't need to do much EQ afterwards. The compressor/limiter in this unit - same thing. Dial in what you want ahead of the game, then you won't need to mess with frequencies so much afterwards. Great channel strip! Worth every penny!
from Salt Lake City, UT
February 25, 2013Music Background:
Musician, Engineer, Producer
Bread and ButterI'm very satisfied with the quality and tone I get out of this amp. The compressor is perfectly paired. I've used it on vocals, guitars, and many other instruments. It is my go to for lead vox. This is the bread and butter of most professional studios - it is the hammer in the toolbox. A must have - UA's LA610 has stood the test of time and will continue to be used for professional projects for years to come. I highly suggest this amp.
November 26, 2012Music Background:
creamadds creamy milkiness to the voice (live).
my bass fell in love with how this lays to track.
from Pac NW
November 22, 2012Music Background:
Recording Artist, Singer/Songwriter
Very Satisfied....There is way too much to say about this little black gem. Great sounding pre with an unlimited amount of adjustability. Nice to have the built in analog compressor. Fantastic performance enhancer. Don't be scared of it. It won't bite you if you play nice with it. I really feel like you could make anything sound great through this box. Amazing bass DI. When it comes to vocals there isn't anything you can't do with this. I wish it had a second XLR channel for stereo option. I almost bought an Avalon 737 which I've used in several studios. Glad that my sales engineer talked me into this box. Its a thoroughbred.
September 19, 2012Music Background:
Universal Audio LA-610 Mk IIExcellent sound - worth every penny. I use it for vocals and it gives me a big fat clean sound (Sputnik mic). It can get really warm or have a nice sheen. I use the compressor on mixdown only as I prefer not to print compressor.
from Nashville, Tn
August 3, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Guitar Player
Awesome!This thing is great! It's my first real preamp and I use it all the time, especially on vocals (U87ai) and bass. I'm able to really fatten up the sound and have it sit better in the mix. I always wondered how "they" got that big bass sound - this is how I do it. The compressor/limiter is great for working with the color of the preamp and for controlling a very dynamic singer or bass player. I've even done quick demo's with liberal compression to tape on a vocal and bass and it's ready to go. Sounds big, warm and upfront.
May 20, 2012Music Background:
Musician, song writer, composer
Universal Audio LA-610 MK11This baby is awesome; it is clean and very warm. Thanks to David at sweet water, he recommended it and it fit in perfectly. Thanks again!
from Saratoga Springs NY
January 10, 2012Music Background:
UA...Can I say more?I had been looking at the piece of gear for a long time and finally decided to pull the trigger.
Glad I did. I have not run anything through this so far that I have not liked. It was surprisingly useful for drums, especially the snare. But with the EQ and adjustable impedance and of course the T4 circuitry you really can't go wrong.
If your looking for a warm sound, along with any other sound you can imagine, this box will not disappoint!
from Providence, RI
January 2, 2012Music Background:
Lifelong semi-pro musician, singer/songwriter, home recordist
LA-610 Mk IIPreamp can warm things up nicely. Compressor is fantastic and smooth...I've used it on vocals and acoustic guitar with very nice results. Provides a certain "glue" that I've been unable to get with pure digital.
from Santa Barbara, CA
November 8, 2011Music Background:
Local Pro Musician and recording hobbyist
My favorite low freq preampI run everything LF through this thing and love it. Bass, Kick Drum, etc. Sounds amazing. Big, fat, lush, beefy, etc. Compressor works perfect 99% of the time too for my stuff. (Once in a while the attack is a tad slow for me but I just turn it down and finish it off with a plug-in instead.) I have tried vocals and saxes through this also and was quite impressed there too. Bottom line, for the price, you can't go wrong with the sound and features of this unit. I love mine so much I bought a second one!
J K Yantz
from Bay City, MI USA
November 3, 2011Music Background:
Project Studio - Singer Songwriter
Wow!That's about all I need to say! UA is the classic sound I was looking for. in my studio. It isa bit pricey but gets me the signal I want going in. I am still learning different applications for this channel strip but it is a keeper for sure.
September 26, 2011Music Background:
You need this!My bass threw this thing sounds amazing .
if you are looking at this ..you should buy it!
great center piece to any studio..
from Union City, CA
February 28, 2011Music Background:
BANANAS IN A BARREL OF MONKEYS!!I just received my LA610 in the mail 3 days ago and i quickly replaced my tubepre with it and let me tell you..(read the title)... The quality and warmth of the vocals were OHH SOOO sexxy...In the words of Forest Gump, "That's all i gotta say about that"..
from Los Angeles
February 18, 2011Music Background:
TV producer, Songwriter, Musician.
UNREALThis product literally saved our lives. We recently borrowed a VERY EXPENSIVE GERMAN mic and were having problems getting it to sound anywhere close to right with the Female Vocalist with who we intended to use said expensive German mic. In desperation we ordered the LA 610 MK II having read countless great reviews and figuring maybe it would help even things out and get things sounding better. WOW! What a difference. The combination of the 610 Mic pre and the LA compressor is absolutely astounding. It took a thin sounding, mid heavy, screechy mic and basically "covered it in silk". This box is a miracle worker. I will never record without it again. We plugged that mic into 6 different mic pre/channel strip combos. Nothing came close to the UA. You MUST get one of these if your are recording vocals. It's amazing.
from Bronx, NY
August 19, 2010Music Background:
Live Sound Engineer, Hobbyist
Worth all the Marbles!!!I originally did not want to buy this preamp but the preamp I wanted was sold out and Sweetwater wasnt gonna get another shipment until a week. My salesrep suggested it and after figuring out in I was indeed surprised. Vox sound incredible. I recorded a lead vox and didnt realize that I was compressing. It sounds so clean. Plus the UAD2 is an added bonus and once I get that, this amp would have 2 times what I expected of it!!! You wont be disappointed.
March 8, 2010Music Background:
You can't record without this...I have been using this unit for just under a year. I love it - it has that warm robust sound that you would expect from a Universal Audio. If you are having problems with digital recordings...you must have a preamp - such as this one - on the front end. Problem solved...
from Rahway, NJ
May 4, 2013Music Background:
Owner/ engr Phantom Recording Studio
Best pre amp ever madeThe ease of use is unbelievable, no confusing knobs and buttons, just what you need, pair with a good mic and your releases will rival the big budget studios
from Elko, NV
January 7, 2012Music Background:
Thanks Chris!!!!After many, many hours reading about this pre amp and saving up, I finally decided to go for this pre amp. I spent numerous hours on the phone with my Sweetwater Rep. and I can't thank Chris Lewis enough for it! I have been using the 6176 for over 2 years now and I really liked the flexibility. When I compared the compressor side of things, I must say, the LA-MKII worked better for me with bass, kick, vocals, and a select set of mics better than the 6167. Yes, they have the same pre amp, but the compressor musically sounded better in these categories to me. It is one of those pieces of gear to have on hand for any recording session. I wish I had a couple more. Thanks again Chris for all of your time, and expertise! You sent exactly what I was looking for!
October 10, 2011Music Background:
Musician, Studio Owner/recording engineer
Nice UnitGot two of these back in March. Not quite as detailed and not as much headroom as most of your high end pres (neve, api, raindirk) BUT it is very comprehensive for the price and is extremely flexible with basic but musical eq and a dynamite compressor/limiter. Has done some sick things as a bass DI for sure! Just tracked some vocals with it and went with the La610 over a Neve 1073 with 8803 and Manley Compression. Again not as detailed but there is just a real nice smoothness and rich 3d quality with this unit that just does the trick. Real buttery. Don't think anyone would regret having this unit in their bag of tricks and it is a great choice for those on a budget looking for a great channel strip.
from Woodstock, NY
April 14, 2009Music Background:
UA LA610-mkIIThe Universal Audio LA610 MKII has not only exceptional sound quality, but its ease of use and rock solid constuction will put you into a whole new sonic stratosphere.There is nothing in this price range for quality channel strips and this unit, regardless of price point, will put you in league with the pros. Discerning ears know that the warmth and character of tube amps and pres have a sound signature that is uncomparable and the UA LA610 mkII certainly delivers. Highly recommended.
from Orlando, FL
July 3, 2012Music Background:
Great BoxI was really impressed with this unit; I've had it for about a year (and still grudgingly purchased it about 2 weeks before the UA core card deal) =p but that's not important.
What IS important, is that this "channel strip" sounds killer. I've used it on practically everything from a single room mic, *ALL Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Snare, Kick....
Build quality is solid, knobs are solid, Metering is accurate (as far as I can tell) and is adjustable to see Preamp Level, Gain Reduction, or the compressors output, which is sweet. It's heavy enough to be sturdy, but it wont bend your racks. The on/off switch is SOLID too, and I REALLY appreciate that. The TRUE BYPASS from the Preamp to the Compressor, too, is a gift. The T4 Optical isn't for Everything...(but in my case, pretty much!) But I have used the bypass a few times, with great satisfaction.
I'd say this thing is GREAT at MOST applications. I think the price is pretty fair. You're getting a good deal for what you're paying for. The only thing better than this unit with a similar sound (other than the 1176) is if you got a 610 preamp, solo, and linked it with a true LA-2A....
however the 610 in THIS unit is a TRUE 610 preamp, which is definitely cool.
from NEW YORK
April 21, 2012Music Background:
LOVE LOVE THIS GEARBest quality Compressor I ever invested my money into NO BUYERS REMORSE HERE (I THOUGHT I WAS ). Love the warm Clean vocals that run threw the UA6102 WAITING ON MY UAD2 PCI CARD
from Cookeville, TN
December 30, 2011Music Background:
Artist, Recording Engineer
Awesome!!!!This is one awesome piece of gear. Sounds great on vocals, guitar, bass, and banjo. And this thing looks pro. Wish I had another for a stereo pair. This thing has warmth and great presence to it.
from New York
December 30, 2011Music Background:
Surprised that I was let down.Ok truth be told I bought this to get the deal on the UAD-2 DUO card (which I love). I figured based on rep and friends really liking the 610 pre (a pre with lineage to say the least) how could this be not right. In the interest of the whole story it sat in the box for a year. I had no real reason to use it, until, male jazz vocal session here I come. Mics used Neumann UM 57 and U87i, both vintage well known classics and mics I use all the time. I put up U87 because I thought my venerable UM-57 had died somehow. I put this unit back in the box and went with another channel strip. Vocals sounded midrangey and pinched. Worst of all vocalist hated the way they sounded. Almost a session killer. No matter what I did with the settings options it did not change the lack of musicality. This box will probably work for guitars, bass DI and snares but as a vocal strip look elsewhere. I own many pieces of UA gear both vintage and new so please keep in mind this is one voice in the crowd.