Teletronix (Universal Audio) LA-2A

11th June 2015

The Teletronix LA-2A is a classic tube compressor designed in the late 50’s for and built under different manufacturer’s names over the years: Teletronix, Urei, and today Universal Audio. This compressor is completely hand built and its design has remained pretty much the same for more than half a century.

Although the unit was first aimed at broadcasting, its extremely musical sound and its ability to compress a lot without obvious artefacts made it very popular for music recording.  Admired by producers and audio engineers for decades, this tube-driven electro-optical compressor but has become a favourite for vocals, bass, guitar and more.

The Teletronix LA-2A compressor

The LA-2A is know for its flattering sound and for beefing things up, but also for delivering great saturation when overdriven, as exemplified on Jack White’s vocals on White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.

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While the attack time is fixed at 10ms, the release time is dependent on what is fed into it: initially the release time is about 60 milliseconds for fifty percent release, and 0.5 to 5 seconds for the remaining fifty percent. The complexity of the LA-2A’s release time is one of the characteristics that make this compressor so unique.

Related articles:

The LA2A vs Plugin
https://www.doctormix.com/blog/la2a-hardware-vs-plugin

The Urei 1176 Compressor full review
https://www.doctormix.com/blog/urei-universal-audio-1176-compressor

How to mix Drums, Bass and Vocals full video workshop
https://www.doctormix.com/blog/how-to-mix-drums-bass-and-vocals

SPECS:
Gain Reduction: up to 40dB
Attack Time: 10ms
Release: Variable
Input Impedance: 600 ohm balanced
Output Impedance: 600 ohm balanced
Tubes: (2) 12AX7A, (1) 12BH7A, (1) 6AQ5

– PRICE (new):
UK = £2’600
USA = $3’500
EUROPE = €3’300

– PRICE (used):
UK = none found
USA = Between $2000 and $3000
EUROPE = Around  €2’500

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