UA6176 vs ISA430 MKII sound clips

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnk_10, Mar 8, 2010.


  1. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    for those that have been following my bass preamp/channel strip escapades, i thought that i'd make a couple of quick sound clips comparing two of my 'higher end' channel strips- the Universal Audio 6176 and the Focusrite ISA430 MKII. (the Avalon VT-737SP is next).

    here's a pic of the two being compared:


    UA6176-800.jpg

    the method that i recorded these clips was:
    1-a '69 Jazz bass plugged in direct to the preamp-- neck pickup only, tone and volume controls full up.
    2-both of the preamps were set flat, with no eq or compression.
    3-the Alesis drum machine was coming thru a TC Electronics VSM-300 XT monitor sitting on the floor of my living room.
    4-the recorder is a Zoom H4n, with the stereo mics picking up the drum machine and,
    5- the preamp patched directly into the H4n's instrument inputs.

    please excuse any foreign notes/clams as i wanted to just "get 'er done" quickly. ;)

    it would be best for me if you copied the files to your computer and then listened to them as opposed to keep replaying them from the link (since my server only has so much bandwidth).

    if you have a good set of headphones it will sound better than thru tiny computer speakers and if there is any distortion, its coming from the Hn4 and/or the mp3 conversion, as the pre's were set up to be clean. as a .wav file they sound ALOT better, but they are too large of a file for me to post here.

    i'd like to hear your comments as to which one you guys think sounds better. i will try to explain my observations after you've heard them, but i will say that i think that they are both great sounding pre's, just a little different.

    here they are:
    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/preampcomparisons/UA6176.mp3

    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/preampcomparisons/ISA40MKII.mp3
     
  2. Coelho

    Coelho

    May 10, 2006
    Astoria, NY
    subscribed. Will come later to check with my high quality phones and monitors.
     
  3. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    The Focusrite sounds great; could be used on any hit record.
    The UA sounds greater and given the choice would be my pick based on this test.
    Fuller bottom and more 3-D through both my Dell laptop speakers and Sony MDR-7506's.
    Think there might be a deeper harmonic structure too.
    Am at the GF's so can't listen through studio monitors.
    Thanks, great test; very nice playing as well.
     
  4. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Thanks for posting these John. There's a little mwah going on which is cool.

    They both sound good, but I'm already sold on the 6176 having used it live.
     
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    thanks guys!
    Jim nailed it. the UA 6176 has a wider and deeper tone, is more 3-D and harmonically rich than the Focusrite, but as i said in the other thread, i think the Focusrite is a teensy-weensy bit punchier. needless to say, i'm completely happy with both of them. after playing with the UA more, i think that the UA has the best feeling tone, response, and depth of any preamp that i've ever played thru, and it is now my favorite out of all of the pre's i have. so much so, that even though i don't need two, i want to buy another one. i was also thinking about getting an LA 610 MKII just to have another flavor of compression (LA-2 type), but i still think that the 1176LN in the 6176 is a little better compressor for bass. i mean, all of the zepplin and beach boys tracks are loaded with them on guitars, bass drums and vocals, as well as just about every other great sounding record ever produced.

    its funny, cuz when you first plug into it, you think, yeah, that's really good. then after awhile of playing with the gain switch and level controls, and really honing it to respond to the particular bass that you have plugged in, you realize that there just may not be anything better in the world than this unit. stick a fork in me, i'm done! ;)
     
  6. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    thank you BC,
    the 'mwah' is basically coming from the bass itself, which has low action and buzzes a little here and there, but that's just the way i like it. ;)

    yeah, i'm a bit partial to the size and smoothness of the 6176, but the Focusrite has this kinda '70's record' feel to it, which i really like as well. its just a bit tighter and 'in your face', which reminds me of an old API, or even a Neve pre.

    if i was doing at a recording session i'd try both to see which one fit the song better, but i have a feeling that either one of them would just work great on everything anyway.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    i love stuff like this! i only wish you'd have compared them to a vt pedal ;)

    i think they sound way more similar than different. i really don't have a clear winner here. if i have to have a preference, by the slightest of edges i thought the ua had a tiny bit more going on harmonically, but honestly, it's not enough of a difference to where it would matter to me. both tracks sounded fat and rich and would sit in the mix about the same way imho.

    that'd be cool if you did this same track with the avalon, because i actually preferred your yamaha pre to it, and if i prefer the avalon over this stuff, that means i could snag one of those yammys off ebay and be totally set for anything high end ;)
     
  8. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    i'll do the same riff & method with the Avalon and the Yamaha PB-1 tomorrow. if i have a chance, i'll do it with the Alembic, the Demeter, and the SVP-CL too.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    wish you had a vt pedal, too ;) i'm really interested to hear how it would hang with those high end pres. heck, i'd send you mine just to get you to record with it.
     
  10. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    great playing and great tone. congrats!

    I'd be happy with either of these but I also think that the UA gets the edge.
     
  11. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    sure, send it over-but don't expect to get it back. ;)

    i think that a VT would sound really good, but i don't think its quite on the level of these if my RPM and PSA-1 are any indication, since they both pale by comparision. but i do realize that the VT is entirely another animal.

    i was going to get a VT, but i have too many things to set up at gigs as it is (lately we've been using my PA and monitor system). and for on two songs, i use a EH Enigma auto wah with a boss chorus pedal, so i really don't want to add any more pedals. plus, at the last two gigs, the Focusrite Tone Factory and the Avalon have been great. but with these two new ones, i can't wait til this friday night.
    i have a whappo jr. arriving tomorrow,and i'm thinking about using on friday night's gig too.
     
  12. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    Thanks Fran.
    and thanks for your input. its great to hear what other's prefer. so far, it's been unanimous for the UA.
     
  13. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    Bassist
    I'd also love to hear other basses (maybe that sweet P on your avatar) recorded through this great pres.
     
  14. naturalkinds

    naturalkinds

    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Quality thread, JK. (And I prefer the UA by a mile.)
     
  15. Coelho

    Coelho

    May 10, 2006
    Astoria, NY
    I also prefer the UA here... How does the UA Plugin compare? I just tried the IK plugins (amplitube, Ampeg SVX) and I can say I am not going to transport my rig to a studio anymore...
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    wow, yeah, you have your hands full. besides, what sounds like a good idea right before i go to sleep at 4:30 doesn't sound so good in the light of day...forgot i actually need my vt for a little while longer. once i get the vt deluxe, it might be a different story ;)
     
  17. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    John I wonder how well the 6176 can hold to live playing, getting banged around during cartage...

    Is the 1176 an optical compressor like on the LA610?

    I've read reports that the LA610 sounds great but doesn't do well live on top of a cab because the optical.
     
  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses

    Hi BC,
    UA says that alot of pro bass players use them in their racks. i personally don't see it as a problem if you have it in a rack case, since they're built really well. i think that the LA 610 MKII would be just fine on top of an amp and i'm probably going to get one of those too.

    AFAIK, the 1176LN isn't an opto, its an fet type and it's capable of alot faster attack and release times.
     
  19. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    This is not helping my GAS.:help:
     
  20. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    i feel your pain ;)

    as promised, here's the Avalon VT737SP and the Yamaha PB-1 (for Jimmy). the recording method, bass and settings are exactly the same, but for some reason the mic'd drum track is a little brighter today (?!).

    Avalon:
    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/preampcomparisons/Avalon_VT737SP.mp3

    Yamah PB-1:
    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/preampcomparisons/YamahaPB-1.mp3


    my take on these is that they are both brighter sounding preamps than the UA and the Focusrite. The Avalon, as expected, is very clean, clear and smooth. The Yamaha PB-1 has a very nice and clear midrange, but slightly lacks the depth of the BIG boys, and it actually 'feels' a bit different while playing thru it. i gotta say that the PB-1 hangs pretty well with them, but if i were making a record, i'd probably use one of the 'higher priced spreads'. what do you guys think?
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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