The Universal Audio LA-610 MkII is an all-tube channel strip that comprises the all-tube, 610 preamp, high- and low-shelving EQ, and an authentic LA-2A-style T4 opto compressor.
Putnam Sr. can be considered the father of the channel strip. When he founded Universal Audio, consoles were not commercially available. They were electronically specified by studio engineers to match impedances with existing equipment to ensure that there was no high-frequency loss, among other issues that occur with impedance mismatches. Bill Putnam, whose custom consoles were built for artists such as Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra, was the first to introduce a modular channel strip (the 610 Modular Amplifier, which comprised the all-tube 610 preamp (known for its silky rich character and 3-dimensional sound) along with a 2-band equalizer (mainly a high- and low-frequency tone control), three program outputs, and an echo send with an independent level control. Universal Audio’s 610 preamps contributed to the sound of records by Coldplay, Van Halen, and the Beach Boys, whose landmark UA 610-infused Pet Sounds influenced Paul McCartney to conceive Sargent Pepper.
Universal Audio LA-610 MkII—Just the Facts:
- Record through the all-tube mic preamp derived from legendary Bill Putnam-designed 610 modular console
- Compress signals with authentic Teletronix T4 opto-compression tube circuitry
- Shape your tones further with High and Low frequency shelving tube EQ
- Record your tracks through vintage UA, "handmade in the USA," circuits
- Key Features
- All-tube mic preamp design derived from legendary Bill Putnam-designed 610 modular console
- Authentic Teletronix LA-2A-style T4 opto-compressor section
- MkII exclusive features include: true compressor bypass, larger metering, increased output, and auto-switching power supply
- Mic pre with Gain and Level controls, variable impedance switching, and instrument DI for recording tone “color”
- High and Low frequency shelving EQ
- Complete vintage channel strip at groundbreaking price within project studio reach
- UA build-quality and heritage, audiophile components, hand-assembled in the USA
- Backed by 1-Year limited warranty
LA-610 MkII Improvements:
- True Bypass of the Compressor Circuit
- Larger and Better Lit Metering
- Improved Output Signal Performance
- Auto-Sensing Universal Power Supply
- Improved stability with feedback-style shelving EQ
- Improved consistency with Input Gain values
- LED Jewel Light Never Needs Replacing
Universal Audio LA-610 MkII—Behind the Curtain
The Legendary 610 Preamp
The LA-610 MkII is based on the legendary console modules developed by Bill Putnam in the 60's. The LA-610 MkII will impart the same silky, vintage warmth of the original console’s mic amp design to your sources. The LA-610 MkII combines a hand-built in the USA, all-tube, vintage mic preamp design — heard on classic albums by Coldplay, The Beach Boys, and Van Halen — with authentic Teletronix T4 opto-compression circuitry. This classic channel strip design, with its warm preamp tone and smooth, natural-sounding compression, is updated with modern, user-requested features like true compressor bypass, larger metering, increased output, and an auto-switching power supply.
Tone-rich tube compression
The LA-610 Mk II’s T4 tube compressor provides the same ultra-warm limiting that has made the Teletronix LA-2A the king of fat opto compression. The electro-optical detector, or "T4 cell,” is the heart and soul of the Teletronix LA-2A. Its photo resistors are the crucial circuit components, giving the compressor its signature warmth, making it a “go-to” for tracking vocals, bass, or acoustic guitars. Taken together, it’s impossible to get a bad sound out of the LA-610 MkII’s legendary preamp and compression circuits.
Custom CineMag transformers
While a rich, euphonic tone is commonly attributed to the preponderance of 2nd-order harmonics in tube amplification, well-designed transformers are actually more responsible for the warmth associated with tubes. Transformers also provide the galvanic isolation that prevents noise and hum between various stages of electronic circuits. It follows that Universal Audio, as a leader in pro audio for decades, wouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. That’s where CineMag transformers come it. In the beginnings, Ed Reichenbach, who learned his craft making transformers for Altec, Langevin and Electrodyne, founded Reichenbach Engineering. He supplied transformers to Deane Jensen of Quad-Eight Sound (formerly Electrodyne) who made consoles for notables such as Wally Heider). His son Tom, founded CineMag, which became the premier manufacturer of custom transformers for the pro audio and film industry.
What the pros are saying about the LA-610 Mk II
“The LA-610 Mk II is my go-to channel strip for vocals. It gives me that warmth I’m looking for, before hitting the DAW. I highly recommend it!” — Ariel Borujow (Chromeo, Mac Miller, Madonna)
If you’re among those who subscribe to the “get it right going in” recording philosophy, you’ll need the rich, warm tone of the LA-610 MkII as the front end of your cold and sterile DAW. Order yours today. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Consultant.
- Mic, line and hi-z input, line output
- Dual-impedance mic and Hi-Z inputs (Mic: 2k, 500 ohm, Hi-Z: 2.2M, 47k ohm)
- 5-position stepped preamp input gain, continuous preamp output level
- -15dB pad switch (15dB Pad/Off)
- Phase reverse (0/180º)
- 48-volt phantom power switch (+48v/Off)
- +/- 9 dB stepped high-shelving filter (4.5, 7, 10kHz)
- +/- 9 dB stepped low-shelving filter (70, 100, 200Hz)
- T4 optical compressor with continuous peak reduction and makeup gain
- Compress/limit/bypass modes of dynamic operation (3:1 / ∞: 1)
- Meter source selector switch (preamp/gain reduction/compressor)
- Front-panel power switch (On/Off)
- Custom Cinemag and Altran transformers