The Summit ECS 410 channel strip in my opinion is the best channel strip you can get for your buck. Both the pre-amp section and the compressor section are extremely useful. Most of the time I will record using the compression straight to Pro Tools, but many times I'll go back and use the compressor on previously recorded things. It has XLR inputs and outputs.
In terms of ease of use, it doesn't get much easier. The pre-amp has a bunch of equalization options as well as gain and a leveler. The compressor is only two knobs, like the LA-2a which it is based off of. I haven't had a need to use the manual, it is easy enough to use if you have any sort of experience with recording and compressors.
I couldn't be happier with overall sound this thing produces. It sounds great on vocals (I'm using a Neumann TLM103) as well as on guitars and drums. For bass I just plug directly in...I have no need for my direct boxes anymore when recording keys or bass, I just use this. The pre-amp is pretty transparent if you run it with no EQ, but I love having the options of boosting or cutting using the pre's EQ.
I've been using the LA610 for about 6 months. The thing I like most about it is that it is a compact channel strip that I can use over and over again for my overdubs. I haven't had any complaints, although I wish there were some 1/4'' connections in addition to the XLRs. I've used all sorts of other Summit products (LA-2a, 1176, LA-3a, etc) and this definitely can hold it's own. If I lost it or broke it I would definitely buy a new one. Being that I work out of my project studio mostly and I am on a limited budget, I couldn't have asked for anything more.
The Summit ECS-410 Everest is a very modern looking channel strip consisting of mic preamplifier, an equalizer, and a compressor. The unit has both a solid state and tube make up, and you have the option of choosing one or the other. It has a 1/4 inch input in the front for your instrument and XLR connections in the back. This is indeed rack mountable and it will take up take rack spaces.
The configuration of the Summit ECS-410 Everest may look a bit convoluted upon a first look, but everything is split up into sections and once you analyze it a bit I think that you will find it is easy to use. The mic pre section has a knob for gain and switches for a -20 db pad, polarity, phantom power, a high pass filter, and for choosing either tube or solid state. Next you've got the compressor section which has the basic parameters often seen on compressors for gain, threshold, attack, and release. You've also got a choose for mode between tight and classic. The EQ section has three bands, each consisting of a gain and frequency parameter. In addition to these main sections, you've got knobs for output level and drive, which again allows you the choice between tube or solid state. On the far right side there are also a variety of buttons for endless routing options. While there is a lot going on, unless you are new to the world of channel strips, I don't think that a manual is necessary.
The sound of the Summit ECS-410 Everest is just about as good as it gets for a versatile channel strip like this one. It is suitable for use with just about any instrument or voice, as I find it has enough options to cater to any type of use. Having the option between tube and solid state is a huge plus, although I don't really ever find myself switching it off the tube mode as it just sounds too good! Not too much more to say about the sound quality of the unit other than it just sounds great across the board.
While the Summit ECS-410 Everest does come with an extraordinary price tag, for those looking for an incredible channel strip for their studio regardless of the price, Everest will work for you. I don't own one of these myself as I don't have the budget for a top end piece of gear like this, but I've used it enough in a professional studio that it keeps me coming back for more whenever I get the chance. If you ever get the chance or have the money to buy a top end channel strip like this one, definitely take advantage of doing so!