Golden Age Comp-3A

1-channel Solid-state Electro-optical Compressor with Program-dependent Attack and Release Times, XLR and TRS I/O, and External Power Supply
Golden Age Comp-3A image 1
Golden Age Comp-3A image 1
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Golden Age Comp-3A
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Classic Compression for a Song

The original LA-3A Audio Leveler made its debut in 1969 and was an instant hit. Studio engineers loved the half-rackspace solid-state electro-optical compressor for the punchy dynamic control it delivered on electric bass, guitars, and just about any other source. Sweetwater knows you want one, and we have good news: the Golden Age Comp-3A re-creates the circuitry, sonics, behavior, and form factor of the classic - and it's delightfully affordable. The vintage-style circuit uses no ICs. The I/O is transformer balanced. And the sound? Warm and deliciously musical. Treat yourself to classic compression, with the Golden Age Comp-3A.

Golden Age Comp-3A Compressor Features:
  • Vintage-style circuitry with no integrated circuits
  • Transformer-balanced I/O
  • Capable of driving most balanced or unbalanced loads
  • Internal jumper for selectable output-transformer loading
    • Lets you vary high-frequency response
  • Employs classic T4-style electro-optical attenuator for gain control
  • Program-dependent attack and release times
  • Easy 2-control operation: Gain, Peak Reduction
  • HF control increases sidechain circuit sensitivity to mid- and high-frequency content
  • Large meter selectable between gain reduction and output level at 2 reference levels
  • Hardwired bypass switch for 1-touch in/out comparison
  • XLR and TRS I/O for flexible connectivity
  • Link switch and jack for stereo operation with another Comp-3A
  • External power supply (no interaction with audio circuitry)
  • Classic sound, ideal for most sources and music styles
  • Rugged build quality will provide many years of service
  • Compact, 2RU half-rackspace chassis
The Golden Age Comp-3A offers classic compression for your studio!

Additional Media

Signal Processing Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Type Electro-optical
Number of Channels 1
Controls Gain, Peak Reduction, Limit/Compress, Stereo Link
Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (stereo linking jack)
Outputs 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4"
Rack Spaces 2RU Half rack format
Manufacturer Part Number Comp3A

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 3 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Low mid love

I absolutely love my GAP Comp-3a! It has this cool low-mid enhancing quality when pushed, that lends itself to rock guitars, acoustic, bass and even vocals. I also really enjoy running it with a 1176 when tracking or processing vocals that need just an extra punch. Works like a charm. It can be relatively transparent when set properly and fed appropriate signals as well, keeping things nice and tidy. Everyone seems to love 2a's, but the 3a is where the black magic happens. I own two Pre73's and have come to really appreciate GAP for providing the gear that otherwise would be financially out of reach. This baby is study, well built, sounds terrific, and is flexible for many applications. I cannot wait to get another for a stereo setup.
4.5/5

Great compressor!

It has a beautiful and musical action, works wonders on Kick Drum, Bass and Vocals. Actually, couldn't make it sound bad in any source. Not my favorite on snares, maybe. The sidechain knob is REALLY great and expands the tonal possibilities of the box. You can tell that these don't really have amaaazing transformers, but they do sound nice anyway and definitely get the job done! Would buy a second one for sure!
Music background: Music Producer
4.5/5

Worth it

I was skeptical at first. A LA-3A clone for this price? It had to be just a representation of the original in look for the most part, but I was pleasantly surprised. I needed an outboard half rack comp that would let my vocals and guitars 'sit' in the mix better, and for the money I was really blown away. Is this an LA-3A? No of course not, but if you need something to swiss cheese vocals and instruments this will do the job way better than most comps on the market for the same price.
See also: Compressors, Golden Age, Golden Age Compressors / Limiters, Golden Age Compressors / Limiters