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Thread: LA610 returns a (special edition)

  1. #1
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    LA610 returns a (special edition)

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    I grabbed a LA610 again for a second test drive. This is the special edition...cool, only 500 made , basically some upgrade options like transformers and tubes. $1000 used, mint condition.

    I jotted down all the preamps and stuff Ive tried at least going back to HR years, main 2 things noticed as is "personal preference...ymmv" is:
    1) I like the flat 19" rack gear that stacks and can sit on my desktop table. So over the years the small 1/2 sized and the cool ISA One looking units didnt do the ergo thing for my small space. The small MS1b kind of slid around etc..the half space size etc...19" rack for me.

    2) after going through a bunch of preamps including interfaces and realtime plugs seems I found the "studio sound" I was seeking is in the compressor color and not the preamp so much!!

    off the top of my head...preamp list ...
    DMP3, JoeMeekVC1Q, ISA One, Focusrite platinum, Symetrix 528E, ART MPA gold and then Blue Light REFERENCE MPA, Joe Meek VC3 old and 3Q new....then JoeMeek OneQ ...rebought the Joe MeekTed Fletcher VC1Q , ISA Two, Lindell SX rack...RANE MS1b then RANE DMS 19".... Mike E EL9 and LA610mk2....ART TPS pre/comp w/ overdrive

    LA610 is a cool analog tube vibe with transformers, $1000 was a bit more than planned but it also has a DI thats been on my list and its a Preamp with Pad, with EQ, and the LA- Comp/Limit which is lovely and super easy to turn the big old vintage vibe bakelite large knob. No programming , no mouse , use the ears....simple. Thats why I wanted to testdrive it again.
    I wanted to compare it again to my ART TPSII if nothing else, but this time keep it for a longer test drive.

    LA610 SE arrived and popped the lid immediately, WIMA's and Cinemags, and Phillps GE tubes in all slots.....what kind of genius's can design and build this stuff?

    Being anal I did notice one tube looks to have a oxide? flake off its plate?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails la610se-jpg  
    Last edited by CoolCat; 6 Days Ago at 18:29.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Heres picture of the "plate oxide flake?" and a good tube...see the white is not there on one of the tubes (pre Level tube)

    Any tube experts think this is a problem?
    Attached Images Attached Images la-good-tube-jpg  flake-tube-jpg 

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Nothing to add, just subscribing to follow along :>)
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
    Ray Catfish Copeland 'Got Love Jim Goodman 'Southern Steel

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    mixsit...I don't know if I have much to add.

    I feel better now at least knowing the unit is working well. Glad Im not posting problems.

    1)Initialy plugged the LA610 Line Out to Interface Line IN with a XLR to T/S cable and was getting a very small weak wave on the Reaper track. It did sound barely ok through the headphones. Playback was so thin I thought "defective! unit a ripoff!" lol or the tubes were burnt out$$ etc....defective!!.

    2)Trouble shooting I tried LA610 Line Out to Interface Mic In, with a XLR/XLR cable, mucho louder but sounded bad. The LA610 manual states "Polarity moves the Hot from Pin to Pin on Line Out if using T/S and not TRS." so I tried # 1 again, Line Out to Line In..

    3)Went back to Line Out to Line In config with a mic cable XLR/XLR but added a Radio Shack male connector I had in a drawer, which gender changes XLR to 1/4...because I didn't have a XLR to 1/4 TRS.

    It works normal now and its louder, much louder and totally different, huge difference in volume and full sound and the Reaper Wave is controlled to be larger or smaller as I turn the big black Bakelite Gain knob. very cool...


    Im not sure why this Radio Shack plug, mic XLR to 1/4 helped so much? Is the LA610 Line Out and the Interface Line In some major mismatch? Was my cable bad? Radio Shack p/n 274-016 LowZ to HiZ. Adding this thing was a huge difference. So huge I didn't think the unit is faulty now. whew!...
    Radio Shack is a Z changer of some kind. Whats going on with the transformers? Will a normal XLR to TRS work as well or do I need a Z change?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mic-xfm-connector-radio-shack-274-016c-jpg   radio-shack-plug-jpg  

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolCat View Post
    Heres picture of the "plate oxide flake?" and a good tube...see the white is not there on one of the tubes (pre Level tube)

    Any tube experts think this is a problem?
    I think you're referring to the mica insulator that electrically and physically holds the elements of the tube. A bit flaking such as shown shouldn't be of any concern. Mica is inherently a layered flaky material. The plates are the darker gray structures in the tube.

    "mi·ca
    ˈmīkə/
    noun
    noun: mica

    a shiny silicate mineral with a layered structure, found as minute scales in granite and other rocks, or as crystals. It is used as a thermal or electrical insulator."
    Mark.......

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    thanks, interesting. Mica the Insulator.
    It seems to work. I ordered a spare, it will cover all 3qty 12ax7 if needed. I have a hunch these tubes are the original from 2008-09 or so...

    Im curious on the volume issue this morning too. Was it a impedance or just a bad cable?


    the LA610 Line Out is 80ohm
    the Interface Line In is 10 k.
    Anyone know if these values are normal? if yes....
    then I need to go get a good XLRfemale to TRS.

    ADD>

    man Im confused, went and bought a TRS cable and there was hardly any volume from the LA610 to the Interface and the Reaper wave was barely seen. as before with the other TS cable.

    But when I used the radio shack impedance thing, the volume was full and loud and all seemed good to go.

    guess theres some reading to do.

    maybe the Line6UX8 Line IN to the LA610 LineOut is causing it?

    1) cables are good as the Art unit showed
    2) could it be a old tube set?
    I wouldnt think so because the needle on the LA610 seems to be fine and showing good needle movement.

    I used the TRS cable on the ART TPS and no issues with the cable, even using the same interface channel.


    more ADDED> weak sound on the LA610? FROM UA site.
    What are the symptoms of a bad tube?
    The symptoms of bad tubes are easy to spot… they stay out late at night causing all sorts of trouble, never pay the rent on time, and never call their mother on Mother’s Day! Ahem, but seriously. Most of the time the symptoms of a bad tube are clear enough: microphony (high pitched whistling), lack of volume, loss of bottom end, a ‘thinning’ of the sound, and loss of all high frequencies. Also, distortion in audio signals like intermittent pops, flickering, spikes, crackle, a thin sound, and spitting thermal noises can indicate a tube that is past its prime. If you have any of these issues it is likely you need to replace your preamp tubes. Other times the symptom is even clearer — there’s no output from the unit at all.
    Last edited by CoolCat; 4 Days Ago at 20:29.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Do I spend cash on a tube swap?

    So Im still not getting the vibe this thing is working right. I changed out the 3qty 12ax7 and no change.
    It could be two other tubes I suppose I could buy those and run a test. but that's another $40 probably.

    My microphones are very good medium output, they aren't weak and they aren't "hot"...KSM27 is 16mv/pa, the AKG C2000B is 20mv/pa.
    According to the VU needle everything is working well, perfectly actually.

    But the output to the interface LINE IN seems thin and trebly, imo.
    Compared to my ART and RANE and straight into the interface MicIn...the LA610 is definitely not giving me a wow-vibe.

    this is my second test drive and I recall really liking the LA610.

    I sent UA Tech Support an email asking 2 things.

    1) Thin and trebly...yet everything is working (which is probably the tube or they will say SEND IT IN!!! for $$$$$$$)

    2) I asked why does adding the Radio Shack LowZ to HiZ TS connector quadruple the volume? then its almost too loud...unbelievably hi-gain and cleaner and full.

    But I shouldn't need the Impedance thing,right?


    I'm leaning the output tube has gotten old. It appears these are the originals NOS from 2009 SE upgrade.


    As of today my Art TPS is kicking this $1000 units ass.

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Wow, I hope you get it working right. I'd love to hear a sample. This is the current Tone Thread:

    The Guitar Tone and Mix Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robus View Post
    Wow, I hope you get it working right. I'd love to hear a sample. This is the current Tone Thread:

    https://homerecording.com/bbs/equipm...ht=Tone+in+mix
    Well, Im about ready to ask for a refund when I put on the openbacks and fired up my "mix" playback to compare some files.
    This morning plugged into the 610 and the ART TPS....

    theres a really weird thing going on imo.

    the LA610 everything on the panels is working, the VU meter up to right levels etc... but in my DAW(Reaper) the wave is tiny and thin, -18. And that's with really having the volume up on the 610 at 0..to touching the red some...my interface led are green, and the VU on my interface all looks great.
    -18 to -6 etc...

    but the DAW wave is trebly and tiny...Im repeating myself.

    then I plugged same mic into the ART TPS, same output cable TRS from ART to same interface channel 4....and huge wave, huge sound, full and anything from clean to distorted guitar overdirve etc.... Reaper Wave is large and DAW output easy -6 but I could go to the moon with volume if I wanted to.

    I'll go back through my wave files when I test drove a LA610 and hope it confirms something.

    Its weird the RadioShack Impedance plug quadruples the volume?
    I don't understand that at all either.

    for $1000 I didn't want a project to fix though, I was expecting cream and butter and EMI 1960 sounds....but for now Im getting more of that from my $100 ART TPS?

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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    Oh, that sucks. Yeah, get your money back. There's a better one out there.

    ART rocks. My input chain for the past 4 years has been an ART Pro MPA II preamp into a Pro VLA II compressor/leveler. Best $500 I ever spent.

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