Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

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Derrick
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Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by Derrick » Thu Dec 04, 2003 9:48 am

Hi all, I have been posting and reading up on tube mic preamps here and elsewhere... I hear many suggestions and experiences, but never seem to hear anything about the Universal Audio 610 (I think that's the model #). Aren't these any good? Supposedly Doors, Frank Sinatra, Beach Boys, Van Halen, etc. used them. Also, anyone with experience with these, are they pretty transparent? Can they get some saturation if you crank em? Thanks to all!

Edit: SIIIIInatra OK?! :lol:
Last edited by Derrick on Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by supafuzz » Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:09 am

i'm a big Senatra fan [lol]
sorry couldn't help my self

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by kwhatx » Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:32 am

It's based on the 610 board (which is what those groups used). Transparent is NOT the word I would use with it (or most other tube pres). Most pres (tube or otherwise) impart some character/color to the sound. If you need transparent you may want to look at things like Avalon, Millenia, etc.

Most of the time I find myself using the 610 on acoustic guitars and vocals. I have used it on other sources and it did ok. It's just we have other preamps that play with those better. Its one knock against it is lack of headroom in comparison to other preamps. This doesn't mean it sucks. Just means you need to spend extra time setting it up so it won't distort (of course you want it to distort ... then plow ahead).

You never stated what style of music you record. If rock is your thing, then I would suggest that you A/B it against some other units like the Great River, API, etc. since these units are the sound you hear on a lot of rock recordings. Let you ears be your guide.

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by tommy » Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:36 am

there have been many reviews of this preamp. a google search should produce a good number of em. I have the 2 610 and I love it. Pretty versitile for the money as it has a selectible shelving type eq as well as a line in switch which is great for reamping stuff. So far, I've used my 610 for gtr amps, vocals, strings and horns and all have been steller.

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by tiger vomitt » Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:39 am

do a search on gearslutz for a ton of the negative side of people's opinions.

i ended up passing on it for the latest round of preamp buying, but i gotta admit im still intrigued

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by Derrick » Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:47 am

I'm into rock. I like the idea of having a mic pre that is usable from somewhat transparent, to saturated... but not like a guitar distortion pedal. I like musical inperfections sometimes. Adds character.
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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by joel hamilton » Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:05 am

I have a 2-610, and a bunch of othe pre's. I love it.

There are weirder choices, that kick the 610's butt in certain cases (of tube pre) but the 610 is a great pre, nonetheless.

I have two channels of gates tube pre that I got for 400 dollars that is much more open, and seems to have a bit more everything than the UA. The UA is a little dark, but has a lot of nice character.

If you dont have any other choices in your rack already, I feel like the UA would be a weird choice, but if you have some nice discrete pre's already, the UA is the perfect choice for a different color on your pallette.

It is so weird that there are so many mic pre choices these days. Amazing.

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by dumbangel » Thu Dec 04, 2003 12:22 pm

derrick,
from what you're describing the Great River MP-NV should be what you need. Fairly clean at workable settings, very colored when you crank it up.

What makes me hesitate to buy the 610 is its price. For the same money i can get twice as many Neve 1272/1073 clones. They are different beasts i know and I do prefer the body and roundness of tone of tube pres, but...

By the way, has anyone heard of this Swedish neve cloning company?

http://www.vintagedesign.se/vd_english.htm

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:47 pm

Rock guitars sound great through these. I prefer a cleaner sound for vocals, but you could do a lot worse I guess.
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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by @?,*???&? » Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:57 pm

The Urei 2-610 is a great unit. Analog forever baby. Chunk city. Great broadband eq on it too that sounds similar to a Pultec.

Avoid the Avalon gear like the plague...

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by Al » Thu Dec 04, 2003 3:27 pm

Jeff Robinson wrote:The Urei 2-610 is a great unit. Analog forever baby. Chunk city. Great broadband eq on it too that sounds similar to a Pultec.

Avoid the Avalon gear like the plague...
What's wrong with Avalon Jeff??

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by Derrick » Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:50 am

Thanks fo rall the recomendations guys. Joel, what would you use befor choosing the UA as a first mic pre?
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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by joel hamilton » Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:19 am

You should ask everybody this question, I am kinda a wierdo...

If you have some money: A rack of 4 API's, or maybe even a quad of syteks. Syteks are really good for generally anything. API's are as well.

Something discrete would be my first choice, then after you have afew channels of dicrete solid state mic pre, a tube pre would be an awesome thing to have in the rack.

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by kwhatx » Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:30 am

API is good stuff. We have them here and like'em alot. But if you're wanting different flavors from one preamp you should really do yourself a favor and take a hard look at Great River ME-1NV. Based on the Neve 1073 (which is about as rock as you can get). You can go from clean with character to really rocking with/edge on this unit. The impedance and loading functions make the unit even more versatile. A really well designed unit that sounds great. And runs about the same price as the 610.

Good luck.

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Re: Universal Audio Tube Mic Preamp

Post by SLAG » Fri Dec 05, 2003 3:22 pm

I have had one for over a year and like it quite a bit. It is definitely "colored" but, that's fine with me. It is a nice piece of gear (especially when you use GC's no payments for a year).

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