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Hey all,
I don't have the ability to try these two out, but I'm looking for a pair of great tube mic preamps, and was hoping someone on here could tell me the sonic differences?
So I can decide which one to purchase.


KurtFoster Fri, 10/19/2012 - 14:05

for the UA, think Beach Boys, Mama's and the Papa's Early Byrds ... all that stuff that came out of Western back in the 60's the Wrecking Crew recordings. keep in mind the current crop has been "upgraded" ... different power supplies, different topology for the eqs ... and variable impeadence inputs ... they sound a bit different than the vintage 610 did but they still have the vibe and i love the huge knobs!

the Manley has a cool switch on the front panel that changes the amount of gain .. and with the different settings you can achieve different tonalities by driving the preamp in varying amounts depending upon your needs.

i would say the UA is a one trick pony and the Manley is more flexible in use ... both sound wonderful and I doubt you would regret having either one. both fall into the catagory of colored pres... not transparent or "clean". i vote for one of each.

mmphhh ghaaaa suicide ahhh!

BobRogers Sun, 10/21/2012 - 05:38

I have not tried either of the units, but I have the Langevin (Manley) DVC and the UA 4-710d. My experience with them is consistent with Kurt's review. The 4-710 is great on drums and guitar cabinets or as a DI. Yes, you can make it work as a clean (though colored) pre for things like vocals or acoustic instruments, but it's sort of dangerous for those applications. It is easy to drive it to distortion. It's a very nice sounding analog distortion (through either the tubes or transitors or both). It can sound great, but sometimes it's not what you want. The Langevin is a more versatile amp.

BTW: This may not apply to Chris, the original poster, but other will read this later so.... A lot of guitarists getting into recording insist on getting a tube pre. However, the reference standards in the recording world are generally solid state (Neve, API, etc.) with a few excellent tube preamps like the ones Chris asked about. It's the mirror image of the guitar amp world where the standards (Fender, Marshall, etc.) are tube with a few excellent solid state (Roland Jazz Chorus.) Tube mic pres are generally specialty items - though good ones can be very special in the right application.


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