Combine a classic tube microphone preamp, follow it with a classic compressor design, combine that with modern features requested by industry pros the world over, and what have you got? A true modern classic trusted by pros all around the world!The Universal Audio LA-610 MKII is the result of decades of research, knowledge, and a genuine love for creating awesome sounding recording gear thats priced within the reach of professional recording and project studios alike. Legendary UA founder Bill Putnam designed the classic 610-tube preamp back in the 1950s. He served as engineer on legendary recording sessions, working closely with the likes of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. He not only engineered the sessions but he designed the studios and the gear he used. In later years, Mr. Putnams inventions were used on albums recorded by pop and rock icons the Beach Boys and Van Halen, among others. His classic 1176 and LA-2A compressors, as well as the 610 tube preamp, are still found and widely used today, be it an original from back in the day to the current production run of these timeless classics. Hence, the Universal Audio LA-610 MKII is a modern take on Putnams original classic designs. Hand assembled right here in the good ole USA, the LA-610 MKII is a rich, creamy, tubey yet clean-sounding channel strip worthy of the UA name.The LA-610 is a tube preamp and instrument D.I. followed by a tube compressor, accompanied by high and low shelving EQ. Five tubes encompassing both the preamp and compressor sections are where the UA LA-610 MKII derives its beautifully engaging sound quality. Slightly different from the original 1950s design, theres a subtle boost in the high-frequency character of the 610-preamp section, which is added to compensate for the warmth that the LA-2A-styled T4 electro-opto compressor section offers. You can further sculpt the tone with the onboard high- and low-shelving EQ. Easy as dial and smile! Speaking of the compressor section, there are simply two dials to turn, peak reduction and gain, thus making quality, smooth tube compression easy squeezy! Engage the true compressor bypass when you want none at all. Theres an increased output over the earlier version of this friendly beast so it will stand up to the daily vigor of DAW recording. A large, easy-to-read VU meter tells multiple tales preamp level, overall output level, and the compressors gain reduction, which are all switchable via a front-panel knob. Handy dandy! Another improvement over the older design is the auto-sensing power supply. This means that you can plug it in to mains voltage anywhere in the world and it automatically adjusts. The variable impedance switch enables you to match up nicely to your favorite microphone, making the UA's LA-610 MKII extremely flexible.Sturdily built in a rugged yet light black metal encasement and backed by UAs one-year warranty, we ask the musical question, Whats not to like?