Face It: You NEED This UA Limiter!Analog fanatics, rejoice! Universal Audio has announced the LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler - an accurate clone of the classic solid-state opto-compressor first launched in 1969! The new UA LA-3A is a painstaking and exact replica right down to the original board layout. This version of the LA-3A has just three modern enhancements that depart from the original design for simple modern studio integration.
Universal Audio LA-3A Classic Audio Limiter at a Glance:
- Includes the design elements and parts of the original
- A classic studio tool reborn
- Enhancements for modern studio use
- Solid-state opto-compressor for thick, chunky tracks
A classic studio tool reborn
When the original LA-3A Leveling Amp made its debut it was a significant departure from the tube design of the Teletronix LA-2A. The solid-state LA-3A opto-compressor incorporated parts and design concepts from the Bill Putnam-designed 1176LN Limiting Amp. The LA-3A immediately became a studio workhorse and is still used today by those fortunate enough to have one. It's a favorite of engineers and producers worldwide for its one-of-a-kind compression characteristics and sonic signature. Now Universal Audio - the descendant of UREI and United Recording - has produced a "new" LA-3A that is in almost every way an exact replica of the original.
Solid-state opto-compressor for thick, chunky tracks
Just like the original, the Universal Audio LA-3A Classic delivers a one-of-a-kind character to your tracks, thanks to its electro-optical attenuator. The LA-3A became one of the signature sounds of 1970s rock and roll, adding just the right edge on electric guitars and handling vocals beautifully.
Includes the design elements and parts of the original
The Universal Audio Classics reissue of the LA-3A meticulously retains all the internal and external qualities of the original: the same brain-dead really simple control set, Class A design, and the T4 electro-optical attenuator, which is the source of the LA-3A's program dependent compression. It also retains the 2U half-rack design, and comes complete with a single-unit rack assembly - no more kit is necessary. All the original rear panel connections and controls are also maintained. In addition, the widely used "LA-3A gain mod" is added as an more switch for max studio versatility. The LA-3A features custom reissue UA transformers, a discrete, Class-A amp offering up to 50dB gain, and the noted design of ex-UREI engineer, Dennis Fink.
Enhancements for modern studio use
While Universal Audio remained faithful to the original LA-3A design, a few enhancements were added to adapt this studio classic to modern demands. UA added XLR ins and outs to complement the original barrier strip. The LA-3A utilizes IEC power for modern international compliance. Plus, as mentioned above, a rear-panel switch was added for the popular "Gain Mod" option that was often soldered to the boards of original LA-3A.
Universal Audio LA-3A Classic Audio Limiter Features:
- Classic Solid-State Opto-Compressor
- Custom UA transformers and T4 cell
- Discrete, Class A amplifier: up to 50dB gain
- Rear-panel "Gain Mod" switch for gain control
- Designed by ex-UREI engineer Dennis Fink
- External connections: Jones Barrier terminals and XLR connectors
- Gain Reduction: up to 40dB
- Distortion: Less than 0.33% at +24dBm
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.5dB
- Noise Floor: +-80dB below program at threshold of limiting
- Gain: 30 +/- 1dB, 50 +/- 1dB
- Out Level: +20dBm nominal
- Input Level: 0dBm @ 50dB gain; +20dBm @ 30dB gain
- Attack: 1.5ms or less
- Release: 0.06s for 50% release