The Universal Audio 4-710d is a preamp that has given me maximum versatility for the money! From vocal tracks to drum overheads, fattening up virtual instruments or real ones, the 4-710d solidifies everything I've tried it on. Its ADAT lightpipe outputs extend the input count of my Liquid Saffire 56 recording interface, and the four additional Line In inputs let me finally connect some of my analog gear to boot! It also works great as a master clock device, so it now acts as the literal heartbeat of my studio!
Great value mic pre
This unit is a great addition to my daw. I'm currently using this in conjunction with a digi 002 and this blows away the stock mic pres. It's ability to switch from tube to transistor helps me warm up my condenser and dynamic mics as well as providing a tight clean path for my tube mics. The 76 style compression is great for soft reduction on the way in but it won't work for every source. The one weakness I have noticed is the limiter for the digital outs, it seemed to act more like a pad (lowering the entire signal) rather than a limiter but it can be turned off so I still give this unit 5stars. The factor that finally sold me on this was that it has so many output options. I am planning on upgrading my PT rig in the next year and I wanted to be sure that the mic pre I chose wouldn't limit my choices for a new interface. This thing fit the bill and then some! I've been so impressed that I might just have to grab another one when I get the new interface.
Great piece of gear
Four great preamps with built in compression that help me expand my apollo interface. I plan on using the line inputs for external preamps when i finish up my 500 series rack. I use the built in conversion, and i can't tell the difference between the 4710D and my gen2 Apollo 8 (they both sound great). My one complaint is the vu meter on channel two sticks sometimes just a hair above (barely noticeable unless you were looking for it) 0 when I switch to watch compression. I have heard of some people having issues with these, but i'd rather take the risk and have analog meters then LED any day. The reason for me getting one was previous use in other studios that record professionally, and mentors have told me it's worth getting. Some people say they can't hear the difference between tube and trans, but there is definitely a difference, just very subtle. You can hear it well with Bass DI, male vocals, and overheads for sure.
so I have a dbox and apollo mix and I thought I was having a banging sound tell I added this monster to the equation .... speechless.... .u won't regret this purchase thx Anthony
It's worth every cent
I'm in love with this thing. I've had the piece for only 2 weeks and have already put it through its paces . Every thing I plug into it sounds nicer than it did without it . If your thinking about getting one, do it. You'll be happy you did. The 4-710d is stupid easy to use, and when pushed has a lovely fuzz to it . Can't wait to get a second unit soon . Thanks again to Chris McCown in sales for his help
Really Good and Versitile
I only use the analog section for my project studio. I track Maschine and my keyboards through it. It sounds great! I can switch my 500 series in and out of the signal chain. I patch my keyboards through the front hi-z jacks. I wish they were line level switchable but it was no issue. The compressors can smash drums if you know how to hit the sweet spot with the input. I love it.
Can't beat this unit
Fantastic pre-amp for the money. The ADAT cabability is huge. Great on drums, bass, vocals... Best purchased I've made in a while.
One Preamp to Rule Them All (Home Studio)
Excuse the hyperbole, that statement applies to me in my home/project studio anyways. This might not cover all the bases for a professional facility, but it easily handles all the preamp chores for my studio. Essentially 8 preamps in one, this thing is versatile and the sound quality is excellent. I use it in tandem with my UAD Apollo and it works seamlessly. I run all my microphones through this before the Apollo (vocals, guitars, drums, etc.). It's a cornerstone of my home studio and makes all my recordings sound so much better. I'm very happy with this purchase and I would buy it again.
Makes everything better
This thing really makes everything sound so much better than before.
BEST MUTLICHANNE: PREAMP FOR THE MONEY
This multi-channel preamp has everything an audiophile could want. First you actually have 8 inputs. That is channels 5-8 are line inputs, channels 1-4 are mic/instrument preamps. Better yet, you can alter the sample rate, switch from solid state to tube, adjust the compressor/limiter making this a true channelstrip. The best part is the AES Dsub which I can connect directly to my AES Dsub on my Symphony I/O therebye saving 4 analog channels (don't worry i have two symphony i/o modules :)
Overall, this is a workhorse and then some. I've tried Neve, Helios, Avedis, API, etc. you name it. But universal audio has a long history (Frank Sanatra to Eddie Van Halen) and they've stood the test of time. If you can afford this, it would be great for like dual mic'ing acoustic guitar, and dual mic'ing electric guitar which is what i'm doing. Even then I still have channels 5-8 who knows what I'd use that for but its pretty cool knowing that I have it all. Best multichannel preamp I've ever used.
It's absolutely awesome to work with, very intuitive and truly one of my favorite preamps for vocals or guitars.
The centerpiece of my studio
There aren't enough stars for this... 5 barely scratches the surface. This piece is the center of my studio, functioning as an A/D for 4 more wonderful pre's in my rack - UA6176, Grace m101, and Drawmer 1960. I've been nothing but amazed at how versatile this pre is on just about anything, with just about any mic connected to it. VO work with an RE20 to R&B vocals with an MA-200, I've found this to be my go-to preamp.
GREAT for summing and grabbing analog tone
I typically don't record into my daw with this pre so i can say much about that. I use the 4-710d for bussing out digital sound sources and vocal groups from logic/pro tools, use this to make the sounds bigger and fatter then record back into my daw. IT. IS. AWESOME for this task! Not unlike any analog hardware, you're only gonna get the real tone of it by cranking it into the red. If you hit the magic spot in the compression, the difference between the tube and the solid state is vast and totally add different character!
Absolutely makes all the difference in the world and totaly changed my world! A Must have in Mic Pre's the compressor is absolutely fantastic! All the advertising videos are TRUE!!!! May invest in another! Sounds professional for the start!
Stunning Gear – HUGE quality boost
Before buying the UA 4-710d I had used an Avid Mbox Pro as the front end to my DAW. The Mbox is a very good unit. I produced a lot of wok on it and continue to think highly of the Mbox. However, the UA 4-710d is stunningly better and more versatile. Several features make this unit extremely valuable: the ability to blend a transistor front end with a tube front end, a built-in compressor with selection for hard or soft knee, phase shifter, and a front-end low cut filter. Since the unit permits the user to select how much drive is applied to the front end, it’s possible to have extreme coloration of the sound or none at all. Within days of receiving the unit I ended up in a theater production. This required me to record a lot of voices. Not vocals, but actors and radio commercials. While this took me away from recording music, the task allowed me to really focus on the capabilities of the 4-710d and get comfortable with the nuances of this gear. I got up to speed on the unit with better chops much faster than if I had been working with full ensembles in recording. Nothing but praise for this unit. Everything about it is first class and professional. The price may give pause, but it shouldn’t. This is unit has FOUR preamps with many options for inputs. I nearly forgot to mention the converters in this unit. Absolutely great. The transparency and detail of my recordings have soared, thanks to the 4-710d. There is nothing currently on the market at this price point that does so much with such high, professional quality.
Money Well Spent
Very clean and versatile. A/B'd against some lower priced - but very functional mic preamps, and there was a noticeable difference in tone. On board converters with the ability to plug in four additional preamps of your choice to send via light pipe to your interface is also very attractive. The compressors are program dependent and work well with minimal tweaking. It's a very smart box. Exceptionally well thought out. I'll buy another one for certain.
This is an awsome piece of equipment
I don't usually take the time to write a review of any kind. This is a truely unbelievable. Right out of the box I hooked it up via light pipe to Digi 003 patched in some of my other preamps throught it. Tested every thing didn't even have to make changes in the i/o. It worked like a charm.
I've only had it for a week used on some vocals and it was simply amazing.
This thing is amazing!
This thing sounds good right away. Its difficult to make it sound bad. I also like it because I can immediately try tube or solid state tones without having to do any rewiring. I was also surprised at how good the compressors were. I wasn't expecting the compressors to be killer since I wasn't really paying for compressors, but they are really convenient to have, and sound really good. Also, I think this is my new favorite for DI guitar.
Simply the best
I cannot express just how quickly this became detrimental to my entire studio workflow. I've had it not even a year and It's already been the heart and soul of countless projects, from sampling sessions, foley sessions, to music production and tracking, to post - running audio line in and using it as a creative tool. What blows me away are the routing options! UA has really outdone themselves, and if I could only own 1 piece of UA gear, this is it.
Awesome piece of equipment.
I went from an Avalon 737 to this and I was bit worried, but it i amazing. Being being able to dial in exactly how much tube vs digital you want is awesome. Highly recommend this.
Too good to be true?!
I certainly thought so but it's blowing me away still! Just received my order the other day. Had my first test recording session: Drum set, and guitars. Holy crap this thing sounds amazing! Color in all the subtle ways you want it! You're microphones will love you for it, no matter how you use them!
The tube gain does distort too easily, but seeing as the knobs are infinitely adjustable, this is just a quirk to learn. Once you find the sweet spots, you'll have no trouble getting the sound you want out of this unit. And man, it sounds great. Plus having some crazy distortion options is kind of nice - I've used it on some vocal tracks to great effect. The compressor is tricky to use, I wouldn't recommend using it on the fly. It is useful for going back and leveling out transients after the fact, though. The ADAT works wonderfully and helped me expand my front end by 8 inputs- nice! Considering 4 of the twin-finity preamps would be $2800 separately, and this package throws in compressors and ADAT, it's a sweet deal.
This unit is frightening - it does SO much and sounds great.
Wish I had more of these.
After reading and reading I bought this amp for my studio. Yea, the tubes can overdrive easily but if you pull back and let the tubes warm, man oh man, this preamp will give you that warm, silky sound you're looking for. I use this on everything. I love the solid state/tube options. Have solid state, or have 100% tube. Or somewhere in between, it's up to you. This item will make any mic sound good. However, you will notice that your cheap mic's may sound better, but still cheap. A better quality mic will definitely shine with this preamp.
Workhorse, especially in a project studio
The heart of my project rig has been a profire2626. I've been looking for a frontend upgrade (the stock octane pres are pretty blah), and this baby is the one! The expansion from 8 to 16 (4 more pres, 4 line-ins) is a welcome one, and it's worked seamlessly.
OH. And did I mention they sound Great? The blend knob provides ample but subtle enough tonal variety, and the compressor can really tame a dynamic performance in a musical way! All the useful bells and whistles (low cut, polarity switch, inserts line-ins and hi-Z inputs on every channel, not to mention the classy 'vintage' metering) make this by far the most versatile addition to an project studio!
Moving up in the world
Sometimes it is really hard to navigate the enormous world of recording. I love to record but it is more therapeutic then craft, experimentation rather than experience. So it can be challenging to find gear that "sounds" great that is practical for that. If you are looking to really start to shape your sound with something you can tweak on and gain some experience getting solid tracks, and probably will not become obselete, this is a great addition to your home studio. It is versatile, practical and easy to get good results quickly. It also has a lot of depth that can be perfected over time. Makes me want to quit my real job and buy more gear.
Really great with my Apollo. Very clean solid state for Hip Hop vocals. And it looks great (opinion)
4-710d + UAD Quad
Definitely a upgrade to my Apollo Twin, which by the way have great mic pres. I now have 8 channels using adat. The sound you get from the 4-710d is clean even when push it for a grittier tone. In addition I have another quad thanks to a promotion to set up which allows me the flexibility to tweak my UA plugins without having to freeze tracks. Great!
I did a lot of research before purchasing the UAD 4710. I wanted to supplement my digital recordings with a tube front end. I had been looking at many 500 series tube mic pres and even some of the high end tube mic preamps. However, after reading more about the UAD 4710 - the specs, the blending between solid state and tube, built in compression with analog and digital out, I realized I was getting a whole lot for my money. The specs and sounds are classic UAD. The blending between solid state & tube combined with the gain and level amps allow me to create subtle variation of sounds. This makes it very easy to give each vocals and instruments a unique sonic color. In turn allowing to create unique spaces in the mix. The unexpected benefit came when I realized I not only had (4) solid state/tube mic pres, but I also had an addition (4) analog TRS input channels all going to analog or ADAT light pipe out. I use a PC based Creation Station with an Apollo. Buying the UAD 4710 allowed me to add (8) more inputs to my DAW. All real simple and easy to setup and integrate into the Apollo. The additional digital limiter on the digital out gives that added bit of protection. I am real happy with the purchase. Jeff Green in Sales has been a solid long term trusted friend in the process of outfitting my studio! Thanks Jeff!
What's not to like about this?
As a drummer, I needed several pre-amps with versatility. I needed something that could help me deliver the "oomph" of my kick drum while also capturing the upper frequency slap of the beater hitting the head to deliver a blended tone that cuts through a busy mix. Similarly, I wanted something with headroom that could handle the crack of my snare while also delivering some low-mid frequency body giving me a more rounded tone, especially for slower ballads. With the built in compression, I am able to do this and more. I use this for tracking the bass guitar, vocals, guitar overdubs, pretty much anything. Of course, it looks great in the rack, but the real payoff is how much cleaner my tracks sound. With the digital converter already onboard and the ADAT connections supplied, it now interfaces perfectly with my other gear without having to purchase any other equipment.
Get this now!
I had an 1957 Phillips 12ax7 kicking around, so I bought this preamp to put it in. This pre rips. The compression is great, and the D/A is spot on. I use it as the master for my Liquid Saffire 56 via ADAT, and I haven't had any drop outs or anything, just fat tones. This beast is great for tracking, or sending your VSTi's and amp modelers through for a little bit of tube or transistor beef. Just get it. $500 per preamp, plus conversion is just a no brainer.
Tone blending dreaminess. Used mainly on drums here (kick, snare and OHs), it's been fun dialing in combinations of solid state and tube. I have used it for vocals--with an SM7 and just the right amount of tube dialed in, it really had character. Nice touch with the compression option, but I tend to do that ITB. Live would be another story, of course. Digital card makes it a winner all around, with great conversion. Definite bang for the buck here.
Universal Audio 4-710d
I bought the 4-710d before the end of the year. Once it arrived, I racked it, plugged in the cable and got right to it. Testing all my mics, guitars, basses, drums, vocals in a variety of ways: mic inputs, line outs, HiZ inputs, adat out, line out and adat out at the same time....All in all, this piece of gear is like a swiss army knife. It can do a lot of stuff very well. If you are looking for a sick set of easy to use pre-amps, and you have the coin...Can't recommend the 4-710d enough.
ua4-710d - serious bang for your buck
I've only recorded drum overheads and kick drum with it so far. I am totally impressed by the clarity and openness of the unit so far. I can't give it 5 stars yet because I haven't used enough. It really brought my overheads to life, and my kick drum sounds stellar through it- it's like I purchased new high quality Mic's. I can't believe the difference between this pre and the pres on my Ghost console. The pres on my Ghost are pretty good, but the 710 is simply pro quality. If you are looking to upgrade, you should seriously consider the 710. M y only problem is now, I want 3 more 710's....... yes, I think they are truly one of the best deals going. Excellent sound, blend b/t tube and ss is very cool, compressors are great. You can't go wrong with this unit.
a real dandy
This pre sounds great on vocals, bass direct, sax, acoustic and electric guitar, percussion,drum overheads, etc.... Seems to bring out the best in certain mics. My only wish is for a threshold level on the compressor...but it's still very workable, and a great add to the pre amp.
A must have in any recording workstation.
You cannot underestimate the quality, versatility and tone that comes out of this unit. I started building my home studio and was concerned about the budget to go to the next step from just messing around to some real music production. This did it. No matter the sound you are looking for, no matter the matching with other devices, this UA 4-710d gets the most important vocals and instrument tones I need to master the track I am looking for. I threw the box away as it is never leaving the studio and I am considering buying another to expand .
Great place to start!
I love the tone and warmth I'm getting out from this bad boy. Drums sound amazing the fast compression setting is perfect Overheads and snare drum. It has brought my C414 to life. Vocals, Guitars, Bass, you name it, it sounds good.
I love additional Adat inputs for another 4 channels. The way this thing sounds on drums I've thought about buying a second one. The option to blend between the tube digital signal is awesome!
My only complaint is the gain can be a little tough to dial in. You have to be careful with Guitars. Sometimes it's hard to get a hotter level without having to saturate it with gain.
Overall this is a great piece to start with. I highly recommend it. So far everything I've recorded with it is punchy and sits right in the mix.
Four Swiss Army Knives
Listen, this should be the first high-end pre for any project studio. And it's an excellent source of high quality, do it all pre's for bigger studios. It is incredibly versatile. The tube/solid state options give you very different sounds as the pre is pushed a bit. The Tube side will round off some of the high end and break up sweetly. I'm not a fan of the solid state side's breakup, at all, but it stays clean when pushed to higher levels. The one improvement I could see would be a separate gain control for tube and solid state sides so you could push the tube side a bit more and then blend in the overdriven sound with the clean solid state side as needed. But, this is rarely that big of a deal.
The compressor section is great. A fixed 4:1 ratio with either fast or slow attack will get you 90% of the sounds you're used to with an 1176. My one complaint here is that I wish the compressor had it's own input control. In order to get the compressor to hit hard, you have to crank the gain on the input quite a bit, which, depending on what the sound source is, can cause the pre to break up a bit. This works on the tube side on vocals as the tube breakup is sweet and pleasant, allowing the 1176 portion to smack the vocals smoothly or aggressively, depending how hard you hit it. However, it's harder to get large amounts of comp on the solid state side or on the tube side if you want to keep things perfectly clean without an input control for the compression circuit. What this means is that the 4-710d will fulfill all your compression needs on any recording that only needs slight compression. However, it still works as an awesome first compressor in a longer signal chain in the event that you need to use more compression via hardware or software.
But in all honesty, there's not much to complain about. The compression control isn't perfect, but as you get used to the unit, you start to find the sweet spots. The pre's themselves are high quality, and considering you get 4 at the cost of $500 each, they're already a good deal. Add in the compressors, and the pot gets sweeter. High quality A/D conversion . . . it gets sweeter still. Finally, the extra 4 line inputs plus the seemingly limitless routing options afforded by the send/return jacks on the 4 preamps make it compatible with any studio setup. Wanna patch in an EQ? Flip a switch to send the signal to the EQ and back into the pre. Wanna use another outboard compressor? Easy, flip a switch. Better yet, send the signal to an outboard compressor and route that signal back into one of the 4 line inserts on the back of the 4-710d. The send duplicates the signal from the preamp. Now you've got a clean, uncompressed sound plus the sound coming back from the compressor. Parallel compression. And you can do this with all four channels. Did I mention this thing is versatile?
This isn't a full 5 star piece in my opinion because there were a few small routing options that would have made this already versatile piece even more ridiculous. Separate input gain controls for the solid state and tube sides could have been useful. Also, an insert point after the pre but before the compressor would be nice, too, as then you could patch in other signals into the compressor or increase the compression provided by the 4-710d by gain staging a source (say, vocals) through the compressor on two channels. However, considering the cost of this thing and all that it already does plus the converter, it's really hard to complain. I've had my unit for about 7 months now and used it on a wide variety of projects. I've had no reliability issues, consistent sound, and easy integration into my studio setup. What more could you want?
Love my Universal Audio Mic Pre
Very quick to setup, pristine sound on vocals. Love the tone blending none capabilities. Will buy another for sure!
It's got what it takes
Got my first one at a demo discount. Wanted the studio grade tube pres. I then heard the diff between channels powered by the 710s and not. Bought another. Still need one or two more.
I don't need the digital end of it. Remove it and save a lot of us $500. Make the bells and whistles switches bigger with the extra room. It may not kick like a mule but it flys like an eagle.
Second Time's a Charm
Love the sound of the 4-710d - it can go from super-clean to a nice (not overblown) warmth with the Trans/Tube dial. Heck, I even used it in one mix as a 2-channel tube compressor!
My only problem is that channel 4 had some very noisy pots - so I had to ask for another unit. Surprising in a new build. Also, the UV meter for that channel didn't calibrate to the other 3. Again, odd in a brand new piece of decent prosumer gear.
Sweetwater, hearing my troubles, immediately offered to ship out another unit with a return mailing label. Sweetwater is the best.
Easy Tone Shaping
This unit is high quality and the sound is outstanding. It really lets you match the mic with the sound you want from that deep warm groove to a hotter sharper setting with all points in between. A little pricey for entry level but you are going to end up here anyway.
A Good Starting Point/Go BLA!!
I have many pres and this unit has the most of any as far as features and flexibility. To ADAT 4 channels of twinfinity and have another 4 inputs for other things is nice. The inputs on the front are indispensable for hardware routing as a reentry point and DI. It does get REAL crunchy in tube mode and there is not much in between clean and gritty. It helps to lower the tube strength to a 5751 (lower gain match to 12ax7) and there are only two tubes for the whole thing so its an easy/cheap swap and you can still have 1 stock tube in there if you like the gritty and the other two channels will be shared on another so no need to buy matched sets. I use the thing all the time as it shines on drums and vocals. Its basically learning what works and what doesn't. There is some definite limitations to the compression and its relationship to the gain stage. Example if your input gain goes past three you will be over compressing...and still not driving the pre. It is helpful with dynamic singers and kick drums on "fast" 100%tube. I definitely like the solid state sound on overheads/snare cause it smoothes them out way too much on tube. I can't wait to see black lions mod on this to the conversion section anyway so call and tell them to hurry because it will no doubt be in a league all its own once them boys are done as there is already nothing like this out there lol.
These preamps sound great. The amount of options with this box make it well your your money. The A/D converters (which sound pretty decent as well) is a great feature too. The only downfall of these pres is that its a bit too easy to drive them into distortion in my opinion, but maybe that's what you're looking for. All in all this is a solid build unit, plenty of options to help you get through a session, and sound awesome, for a fair price point.
A Must Have In the Studio
This unit is really great with recording bass and mics. I don't know how I got along without it. Although I love plug-in's and using virtual pre's, having the hardware really makes a difference. Being able to interface this unit with the Apollo digitally, is sweet. Bottom line; if you're have a small home studio with a decent interface, this unit is the perfect addition. Great unit!
The 4-710d sounds great, there's no doubt about it. It's really handy, and the features are beautiful, giving us many options as far as recording with different tones and warmth.
But I had right on the first year a problem in 3 out of 4 channels of the preamp. Malfunction and noise. Not acceptable for a product like this. And I still had no answer form UAD as far as what I need to do.
Pretty sure the problems are the potentiometer...but still, not acceptable.
I'm back and I'm selling it
I reviewed this product around this time last year after owning for about two months. Since then our relationship has gone bad. The features of this pre are really great. It's been the heart of my studio that I will soon be ripping out.
I used the extra inputs for the optical out for my API 3124. That has been it's saving grace. I would of sold it months ago, but I needed the ADAT and A/D conversion to get my tracks back into Pro Tools which it does well.
The preamp end of this thing is usually last my list of pres to track with. The 1176 compression is ok and sometime usable, but the preamp section lacks gain and breaks up too easily.
You have to tweak the crap out this thing for micing up a guitar amp. I've never gotten a electric guitar sound that I liked out of it.
It does record bass amps well and it's decent with close micing drums, vocals, acoustics. The problem is all of my other pres do these tasks so much better. Out of my API, Vintech and Dakings, the 4710d get left over duties.
Can you make decent recordings with the 4710d? Yes, but for the money I would rather get a two channel mic pre then the 4710d.