The 610 is a huge sounding pre. If not driven hard it is clean and sparkly, but crank it and it is easily pushed into a musical distortion.
For me this has been a blessing and a curse as being mainly a media composer I
spend most of the time recording myself. This means that I end up having to set the sound using headphones and I have had quite a few mishaps. The good news is that most mistakes have been happy ones with distorted electric guitar being the only thing that doesnt take well to a bit of drive from the pre.
The other problem I have had is that my vocal mic is an SE Gemini which is a valve driven beast that is much more suited to a cleaner pre as there is too much harmonic distortion going on with the 610. The tops become a bit out of control and I have to insert an EQ to calm it down.
It is nice to be able to use the pre and comp independently
The 1176 is a must have. The only drawback of it being matched with the 610 is that
they are both capable of creating a lot of dirt,so things can get a bit out of hand if you
are not paying proper attention.
Overall though I love it and have hopefully got another one on the way.
Now I know not to over valve the chain and watch the gain,everything comes out sounding great
The preamp is quite good for female voices, specially jazz singers. The compressor part has low noise but lacks a bit of the character from the original Urei units.