The UREI 1601S is identical to the UREI 1601, but has the added feature of a high-performance 2-bank 32 beat 96kHz/24-bit auto looping sampler with 1-shot and reverse functions.
Urei 1601S – Reviewed by: JGeffen
I bought my 1601S at my local guitar center for sale at around $300, normal retail price seems to range anywhere from $500 to $950 (according to Froogle.com; list $829). This battle-format mixer comes in a box held securely by two plastic-foam bars, which is also packed with the owner's manual and two mini-allen wrenches so you can take the mixer apart. Also included is one standard American 3-prong power cord. This mixer is solid and has a well-built feel, but is, at the same time, very light.
The layout of this mixer is, well, American for a lack of a better word. All of the knobs and LEDs are red, white, or blue. So I guess you could say it could be French as well. But in any case, this is a pretty typical layout for a scratch mixer with wide open areas around the faders, and most of the controls – A LOT OF CONTROLS - located in the top half. All fader modification controls and headphone controls are located on the front panel of the mixer, with the exception of the split-cue control, which is on the face panel.
You will also notice that all of the standard features you'd expect on a high-end mixer to be located on the face panel as well. One mic input with two-band EQ control, 3-band EQ for both main channels, aux send/return controls, and 45mm faders which are smoother than warm butter. Upon further inspection, you will also notice some of the special features of this mixer, including two effects: an exciter and two samplers.
The Urei 1601S has 3-band equalizers on each channel, the knobs of which are about a ½" in diameter. These are, by far, the easiest knobs to turn that I've ever encountered, which is good, as they're a lot smaller than those of the Ecler Nuo2. Turning all the EQ pots counterclockwise engages the Cut function, and engaging all three EQ cuts eliminates the signal entirely. The only complaint I have about the EQ section is that the knobs are hard to read, as the level indicators are black, as are the knobs themselves.
All faders are completely adjustable and customizable. You can reverse each fader, adjust the curves, etc etc. These faders are ultra-smooth and are barely resistant to the touch, giving them an exceptional feel for scratching. Heck, I don't know how to scratch for s*** but I gave a crab scratch a try and it worked well. So that's gotta say something about the quality of these faders.
… is exceptional. Soundcraft, the company which makes the Urei mixers, is legendary for the quality of their console mixers, and that heritage of superior quality is clearly passed on through this mixer. Extremely crisp highs, clear mids and rich lows are the standard on this mixer. There is even a tone control for the headphones. Furthermore, the exciter effect also adds a customizable sound to the mix; engaging this function enhances the high end, and adds a phaser/twanger/filter effect to your choice of frequencies (it's adjustable).
Other things I like that I didn't know where to include:
Volume – this thing is loud
LEDs – these things are bright, multicolored, and exciting.
Output Options – THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS! We have TWO STEREO XLR OUTS (one main mix, one for booth out). There are also master and booth RCA outs.
Things I Don't Like:
No Record Out – how did Urei forget a standard record output??
No Power Button – again, how they forgot this component, I have no idea.
Layout – it's pretty crammed, but is somewhat intuitive.
Good buy. Easy to use. Very versatile. Lacks some pretty common and basic features (see things I don't like), but Urei compensates for those features with the abundance of other features.