Universal Audio Brings Back a Classic Limiter
Analog fanatics, rejoice! Universal Audio has announced the LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler - an exacting 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 easy modern studio integration.Universal Audio LA-3A Classic Audio Limiter at a Glance:
- A classic studio tool reborn
- Solid-state opto-compressor for thick, chunky tracks
- Includes the design elements and components of the original
- Enhancements for modern studio use
A classic studio tool reborn
When the original LA-3A Leveling Amplifier 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 components and design concepts from the Bill Putnam-designed 1176LN Limiting Amplifier. 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 unique 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 unique 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 components 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 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 additional 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 additional switch for maximum studio versatility. The LA-3A features custom reissue UA transformers, a discrete, Class-A amplifier 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 inputs and outputs 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.
- 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
- Output Level: +20dBm nominal
- Input Level: 0dBm @ 50dB gain; +20dBm @ 30dB gain
- Attack: 1.5ms or less
- Release: 0.06s for 50% release