I have both - up until recently I would have said the UAD1 wins hands down on everything - but they\'ve bundled some nice new freebies in the last few months which has turned things around a bit. In my opinion:-
Verbs:- TC has the best one for orchestral music - the Classicverb - sounds like a high end Lexicon, although UAD1 have their Dreamverb coming soon. The UAD Realverb pro is nice too though - still probably beats the Waves reverbs.
EQ:- UAD has the Pultec included - really musical sound whatever you do with it - it\'s just tuned perfectly, but to get the tasty one for the TC you have to pay extra for the oxford (UAD ave their Cambridge now also which looks pretty much the same). Both have pretty nice basic eq included as standard - the TC has a very strange interface but quite nice one you get your head round it.
Dynamics:- UAD has 1176 and LA2A which both sound amazing - apprently very hard to tell from the original hardware classics (far superior to the Bomb Factory tdm versions). TC have just added the 24/7 which is kind of a cross between the 1176 and LA2A but it doesn\'t sound anywhere near as classy as the UADs.
Other stuff:- UAD\'s Nigel is really nice - not just for guitars, and both cards have some nice chorus\'s and filters - nothing mindblowing though.
If you can afford it get both, otherwise it depends on the style of music you do. If it\'s orchestral I\'d say the TC for now just for the reverb, and pay extra for the EQ. If it\'s for dance stuff I\'d say the UAD for it\'s EQ and dynamics.
i use and love both of the cards. couldn\'t say, which one\'s better. so far, noone mentioned powercores latest addition, the inflator from sonyplugins. it\'s not a freebie but worth every cent! full demo + more info here
In addition to the Sony EQ\'s, the Inflator is a great plugin as well. With Inflator you really do have increased gain while maintaining dynamics without squashing the peaks. Inflator can also add considerable warmth and roundness in a very pleasing way that is very soothing to listen to without adding noticeable distortion, as is the case with many other plugins that try to emulate tube and analog warmth.
The Sony Dynamics compressor/limiter plugin, which is currently only available in TDM format but will be available in Powercore format as well, is by far the most functional and transparent compressor/limiter plugin I have ever used.
I only own the UAD - the regular channel strip EQ is really nice too. One of the best EQ\'s around I think. The keyword that comes to mind with the UAD for me is \'smooth\'. Everything sounds nice and smooth - incredibly nice phaser and flanger for example. And when you turn knobs, the audio changes smoothly - no saw\'ing going on. The culprit right now is reverbs - I hope DreamVerb will be fantastic. Realverb is good, but not as smooth as a TC or Lexicon. It IS very useful though, for drums, synths etc. and it CAN be useful for orchestral stuff, but I still think it doesn\'t cut it as your \'master verb\'.
A couple of follow up questions. Simon- you do a lot of orchestral stuff, right? Have the signal processing tools on the UAD really enhanced your mixes? How do you typically make use of them in an orchestral mix?
Does the classic verb on the Powercore rank up there among the best reverb plug-ins for orchestral work?
Kip- have you compared the Sony compressor you mentioned with the tools available on the UAD card? Do you know appoximately when it will become available as a VST?