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I bought a UA 6176, opened it and big surprise...

Discussion in 'Preamps & Processing' started by rexet, May 14, 2005.

  1. rexet

    rexet Guest


    I bought yesterday a NEW preamp 6176, not second hand!

    But there was somthing inside that was making noise when I was moving it like a screw or something like that.

    I wanted to be sure and then I opened the box.

    First I found the stuff inside, a 2mm piece of metal but I don't know what it is :


    I thought about the top of a tube but they're all normal, no part missing.

    But the most surprising thing for me is the look of the power supply stuff (sorry I don't know how to call it in english) :


    Seems very old and damaged !!! On an other forum someone opened his own box and told me that it's not like that for him. But the fact is that from photos I found on a magazine they all look different (seems that UA changes their component during production).

    I wanted your opinion about it : is it normal for a completely new unit ? I precise that the unit seems to work normaly but since I got it only yesterday I didn't have the time to really test it deeply.

  2. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    The transformer (power supply) is coated in a unconductive appoxy. Not pretty to look at, but it should be fine.
    I think the piece of metal you found (making the noise) is a piece of left over soilder, from the workbench at UA.
    Try melting it down if you have a soidering iron (to see).
    I have had brand new equipment, with the same isssues in the past. Loose things making noise like, pieces of very small insulation from wires stripped an terminated. or little metal pieces that were from soider conections.
    Good luck
  3. rexet

    rexet Guest

    Yeah some people told me that it can be a kind of wax... but I'm surprise that for some other people it's not like that. And the way it looks doesn't really make me feel comfortable...
    Concerning your opinion about the metal piece, I think the same and for the moment I'm not really worried about it.

    Anyway thanks for your advice !

    Any other opinion ?
  4. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Funny you say that. My prior post used to say....
    "it is coated in a non conductive wax"
    But I edited it because, I didn't want someone to jump on here and say that I was wrong.
    Yeah it is not pretty, but the inside of almost all transformers look like that. I install BIG ass transformer at work. They look just like your transformer when you take the cover off to terminate the taps on the coil windings.
    Just so you know. It is a quality job they have done on that transformer. Just close the cover and forget what you saw. :wink:
    But seriously, I wouldn't sweat it if I were you. So long as the unit works real nicely.
  5. rexet

    rexet Guest

    I would not really care if a guy would have not told me that inside his own 6176 it is not like that at all! That's the reason I'm really wondering...
  6. tomtom

    tomtom Guest

    If I were you, I would ask for another unit. The transformer looks like it was dropped several times. I hope you didn't lose your warranty from opening the box, but don't delay. This is serious enough for you to get an other unit free of charge.
    I don't know how serious Universal Audio is, but they MUST be. I bought a new 1176LN from them and it sures look better than your unit.
    It might be fine for a while, but what will you do if it fails months from now? That loose piece of whatever it is could have shorted (forgive my english) connections and damaged it.
    If the transformer was dropped or hit, how do you know it's still working properly?
    If your store had other units available for sale, ask them to check the Serial Number and to have a look inside.

    good luck,

  7. rexet

    rexet Guest

    To be really honnest as soon as someone on an other forum told me that his one doesn't look like that I asked Jukebox LTD (the official french UA importer) for another unit. I told myself that if the new one is also like that then I was wrong but at least I'm sure. I had a big fight with them cause they were threating me that they could remove the warranty because I opened the box. But before having done that I notice that the user is allow to open the unit since it is mentioned in the official UA Manual that you have to open the box to check if the unit is set on 110 or 220V according to your country.
    They were really upset that I opened the box and that I'm complaining about the "color" (they were sarcastic) of the transformer since the unit is working. I told them that first that's not normal that a piece of metal was inside the unit and second that when you buy a new Ferrari you would care that the engine has already 10000km even if the car "works"!
    Anyway I have to get the new unit today or tommorrow and I will take pictures again to keep you informed! :wink:
  8. tomtom

    tomtom Guest

    Bonjour Rexet,

    I'll write in English of course... Again, write down the serial number and try to get in touch with the UA factory. It looks like someone's made a mess and tried to hide it. Not good. Let them find out for themselves. Someone' gotta take his responsability for this, it's unfair to try to shovel the crap out to an honest customer.
    That's my point of view of course.
  9. Antho

    Antho Guest

    I would have to concurr. That tranformer looks like it has issues. Best of luck with the swap!
  10. rexet

    rexet Guest

    I just had news. So my reseller received the new unit for the change from the french importer. But they told me that the importer opened few units to check and that they're all the same! Like "its that guy again" said it would be a kind wax to protect it. In any case, the little piece of metal was not ok.
    I'm gonna get my new unit this evening after work and I'm gonna take some new pictures. They are really upset that I always open the box but for that price I want to be sure that I have what I paid!
    I'll keep you informed! Thank you for your support mates ! :)
  11. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Oh....hell no! I'm not shure if the guys are being cool with you or trying to slide one past you BUT....I wouldn't accept anything untill you know its working and working properly. A freaking piece of metal inside the unit!!! WHAT?!? Not for that price. The transformer looks messed up b/c that chunk of metal was beating on it during shipping. I'd take it out of the box right there in the store and check it out. I do this all the time at Guitar Center when I buy mics etc. It freaks out the salesman but I start taking mics apart and see how they're built etc. If it has something "wierd" about it I want another one. Being that your overseas I guess its too expensive but Guys like Fletcher at Mercenary Audio and Nathan at Atlas Pro Audio etc have great return policies and will shoot you straight.

    ps tell those guys at the audio shop to quit bitching and do their jobs.

    Good luck.
  12. rexet

    rexet Guest

    Hello guys,

    Just wanted to keep you informed that I get a new unit.
    The transformer looks the same so I concluded that it was normal

    Transformer of the first unit
    Transformer of the second unit

    What was strange is that I also noticed that a tube of the preamp was different! Look at the pictures:

    Tube of the first unit
    Tube of the second unit

    I guessed that it was normal as well but in the doubt I sent a mail to Universal Audio and I get the following answer:

    So that's it, everything's fine... now I just have to enjoy my freshly new unit :p !

    Thank you for having supporting me guys :wink:
  13. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Nice pictures. Looks like there was most likely nothing wrong with the other unit. Good you got a new one however! Hope you enjoy the unit and will post some of your opinions about it in the near future.
  14. Johnson Cabasa

    Johnson Cabasa Active Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    thats hnot proper for there to be all kinds of differenct tubes in the untis. every tube type sounds difference from different manufactureres. there are companies that brand tubmes like groove tube and electroharmonix but htose tubes come from either the tesla or sovtec factory wnd have the name screened on

    all tubes must be tested matched and optimized for the design so just pulling random brand tubes off the shelf and sticking them in a unit is no good even tubes within the same brand will vary greately so unless they match the properties of the two tubes of the same braind they're building the units properly

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