Universal Audio LA-610 Mk II

Vacuum Tube Microphone/Instrument/Line Preamp with EQ and Optical Compressor
Universal Audio LA-610 Mk II image 1
Universal Audio LA-610 Mk II image 1
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Universal Audio LA-610 Mk II
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Legendary LA-2A and 610 Mic Pre in One!

The LA-610 MkII brings Universal Audio's legendary vintage all-tube sound into a modern channel strip format by combining their 610 mic pre/EQ/DI and T4 opto compressor into a single 2U chassis with a pricetag any serious project studio can afford. The Mark II version of UA's famous LA-610 sports true bypass on the compressor circuit, larger metering, increased output signal, and super-cool black-on-black cosmetics. If you're looking for incredible sound that's steeped in history, check out the LA-610 MkII.

A modern studio classic

The LA-610 MkII is a re-tooled version of UA's best-selling professional audio channel strip. Audiophiles here at Sweetwater particularly appreciate the MkII's compressor circuit true bypass and the optimized output signal. The MkII has also been given a unique exterior cosmetic upgrade, and its distinctive look sets it clearly apart from the classic LA-610. The unit packs tremendous sonic versatility and is an ideal front end for tracking with modern DAWs and the serious project studio seeking authentic UA sound. Handcrafted in Universal Audio's Scotts Valley, California labs, the '610 offers weapons-grade build quality and colorful sonic character at an accessible price.

An ideal front end for your studio

The tube preamp/DI/EQ section of the LA-610 MkII is based on the legendary console modules developed by Bill Putnam in the late 1950s and early '60s. From The Beach Boys to Van Halen to Coldplay, countless classics have been recorded using these preamps, noted for their musical character and warmth. After the preamp section, the '610 offers a T4 optical compressor with true bypass. The electro-optical detector (T4 cell) is the very heart and soul of the Teletronix LA-2A. The unique combination of electroluminescent panel and photo-resistors inside the T4 are the crucial circuit components that give both these compressors their signature sound. The simple operation and program-dependent nature of the T4 compressor provide the same extremely musical control that has made the LA-2A such a well-loved classic for over 50 years. As a channel strip, the LA-610 MkII packs tremendous sonic versatility and value. It's an ideal front end for commercial, project, and home studios alike.

Universal Audio LA-610 MkII Features:

  • Complete vintage tube channel strip at a project-studio-friendly price
  • Mic pre/DI with gain and level controls, high- and low-frequency shelving EQ, variable impedance switching
  • Legendary Bill Putnam 610 tube mic pre and EQ used on countless classic recordings
  • Authentic Teletronix-style T4 opto compressor
  • Record your tracks with variable, vintage-style tonal color
  • UA build quality and heritage, audiophile-grade components
  • True bypass for compressor circuit
  • Large, instantly readable meter; increased output, auto-switching power supply
  • Handcrafted in UA's Scotts Valley, California labs

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Tube
Number of Channels 1
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Phantom Power Yes
EQ Yes
Compressor Yes
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR (Mic), 1 x XLR (Line), 1 x 1/4" (Hi-Z)
Analog Outputs 1 x XLR
Rack Spaces 2U
Height 3.5"
Depth 12.25"
Width 19"
Weight 12 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number LA610M2D

Customer Reviews

Based on 46 reviews
Write your review

UA preamp

It is what it is. Standard professional recording gear. Takes a little getting use to because it is amazing. Great piece of equipment, thank to Mark at Sweetwater.
Music background: Home studio

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.
Music background: Recording Artist, Singer/Songwriter

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...
Music background: Pro Musician

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.
Music background: Live Sound Engineer, Hobbyist


This 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.
Music background: TV producer, Songwriter, Musician.

Sweetwater Advice

Carson McClain

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.
See also: Universal Audio, Universal Audio Channel Strips, Universal Audio Preamps