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UA 6176 vs UA LA 610 MIKII

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnk_10, Apr 10, 2010.


  1. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    my Universal Audio LA 610 MKII finally arrived to today and i got a chance to compare it to my UA 6176 a little while ago.

    [​IMG]

    here's my take on the two of them:

    while the LA 610 MKII is really great sounding, i prefer the 6176 by quite a bit. both of the 610 preamp sections sound identical (which is awesome and the best i've ever heard), but, for me the 1176LN in the 6176 is ALOT better comp for a bass. the LA-2 type tube opto comp in the LA 610 is alot slower to respond and duller sounding than the FET based 1176LN. it distorts alot easier too (i already knew that it would). its not just that the 1176LN not only responds/tracks better, but it also adds a completely different type of punch and immediacy to the sound that the LA-2 doesn't.

    .............so, after spending about an hour A/B'ing the two, i would have to say that the LA 610 MKII is in a 3-way tie for second place (along with the Focusrite ISA 430 MK II and the Avalon VT737SP) of the 'big four' channel strips that i own.

    the Focusrite and Avalon are alot more versatile, having more control over the eq and comp settings, but the LA 610's preamp section on both of the UA's just seem to be a little better suited, and more natural sounding for an electric bass.
     
  2. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    I do find the compressor on mine to add distortion when pushed but for me, that is a good thing. ;) My Ricks sound all the better for it. :)
     
  3. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    Hi Jeff,
    i can get the same amount grit out of the 6176's comp, but IMO, the 1176LN just has ALOT more control over it, since just has ALOT more settings to play around with, especially in the 'ALL' mode. IMO, the LA 610 MKII is definitely an awesome unit, and i'm not diss'ing it at all, but for me, i just don't think that it's quite at the level of the 6176.
     
  4. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    It's got way more knobs and a purple light; and that's a good thing
    JK, I'm guessing this tonal difference is probably not that noticeable on say a sound clip
    as I gather it's purely the difference between an LA2 and an 1176

    You and I both agree that the 1176 is one of the all time great compressors for rock/R&B bass
    It does make sense for UA to offer this box though as the LA2 is a nice unit for smoother instruments for acoustic instruments like voice, piano, acoustic guitar, etc. and I actualy prefer it in the studio although never had the pleasure of using these mic pre's.

    Why can't Behringer copy these units for say something like $500?
    I would guess the answer is that there is not enough volume to justify and that unless they did it correctly it would never sell.
     
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    yeah, i think that the LA 610 MKII woud really shine on drum overheads, vocals, electric or acoustic guitars, and really anything that doesn't have as many transients as an electric bass. don't get me wrong, IMO it still makes a great bass preamp, but for me, its just not quite as good as the 6176.
     
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    I can't justify the cost of the 6176, so I guess I will have to make do with the LA-610 MkII.
    :bag::bag:
     
  7. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i think that you'll 'make do' just fine. ;)
     
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i'm packing up for a gig tonight, and if i get a chance, i'll post a couple of clips of both of them using their comps tomorrow so you can hear the differences.
     
  9. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    SONOFA
     
  10. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    Are you not a fan of the LA-2A on bass?
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    embarrassing, isn't it? we'd never do that, would we?

    the hell we wouldn't! just let my wife buy something else we don't need and see what happens!
     
  12. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Many engineers would agree that the characteristics of differect UA limiters work better in different applications

    I have found that the LA2 and LA3A compressors are very gentle in attack and release characteristics and work well when the source is not particularly dynamic and, when you are looking for smooth dynamic control
    Well suited for a natural voice track or acoustic instruments as described above

    The 1176 OTOH works well with high transient sources; electric bass, kick drum, toms, etc; also very adjustable and allows one to create dynamic control that doesn't exist in the source material like pumping, extreme attack / release speeds, high comp ratios, etc.

    Not the best comp for a green engineer on say a beginer female vocalist
     
  13. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    The LA2A is fine for me as I am good enough a bassist :p to not really need much or any compression ; I just set it for mild compression, and for a bit of extra grit in my tone. :)
     
  14. rogypop

    rogypop

    Jan 10, 2009
    Croatia
    :D:D:D:D:D:D
    but man, WAF on those UA's is extremly low :(
     
  15. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Hey Jeff,
    Not trying to imply that it isn't a great compressor for bass at all, just not MY personal favorite go to for rcok bass in the studio (although I have used LA3A's when the 1176's were tied up and the bass part/player didn't need much compression in the first place)
    I don't use lots of dramatic compression for live work so I can see yous being easier, desireable, and probably not even noticeable with all the other racket going on in a club.

    When you get to this level of gear, it's kinda like saying "that Ferrari Enzo is a dog, I was 3/10's of a second faster with the Lambrogini".

    They both kick major butt; 1,000's of top 10 hits were cut with gear that isn't nearly as good as the above (mic pre's or EQ's)
     
  16. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    I always liked the looks of the Maserati MC12 over the Enzo (basically the same car underneath). :D Probably faster, too since it actually is allowed to race. :bassist:
     
  17. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    as i said above, they are both great pre's, and i don't use much, if any, compression when playing live, i just prefer how the 1176 slightly changes the tone, even when running the comp ratio at 1:1 (no comp).

    i usually take two channel strips to my gigs, just to compare and get a feel for using them with a live band. i alternated sets using the 6176 and the Avalon at the gig last night. i didn't use any compression on the Avalon, and it was reeeaaaallly good. for live use, in my situation, personally, i wouldn't use compression on the LA 610, and when using the 6176, i have it set at 4:1 but have it's threshold leveling the largest peaks at about 2-3 db. for recording, the 6176 is still my favorite and can see using its comp a bit more. it just does this cool thing to the attack that i haven't been able to recreate with any other comp. even my distressor (EL-8), as versatile as it is, doesn't feel quite the same as the 1176LN.
     
  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    nope. i always preferred to use one of these in my studio:

    [​IMG]

    or if i want to use a tube limiter, i use this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. kittyboy

    kittyboy Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I'm considering investing in one good unit for home studio use (on all sources) and perhaps using it occasionally for bass gigs as well.

    Which UA would you say is better as a jack-of-all-trades, ie, vox, bass, guitars, keys, drums, everything?

    Oh, and is there any difference between vintage UA stuff and newer production, comparing model to model?

    Thanks!
     
  20. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Don't just TalkBASS - PlayBASS! Supporting Member

    Going by John's assessment I'd say the 6176 would be best for an all round preamp.