How come TubeTech LCA-2B compressor gets no respect??

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters' started by dblock, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. dblock

    dblock Active Member

    I thought a tube compressor would compliment my Alan Smart C-1 nicely for my 2-bus and final master to cd but can't for the life of me find any glowing reviews anywhere on the unit. It's obviously a high end piece of gear but from what I read on forums though the manley vari-mu (which I couldn't afford) definitely is preferred by most. I haven't even gotten it yet and I'm already thinking of selling it. I did read comparisons between the two so there was some consolation that the LCA-2 can be mentioned in the same sentence with the Manley even if only for a second. Also Liquid Mix saw fit to include it in it's famous compressor emulations. Is this piece used by major studios or did I make another bonehead purchase? What id the Tube tech LCA-2B's claim to fame? Apparently no one seems to care about it. Bottom line, just tell me if it's good enough for professional quality 2-bus mix and mastering.


  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I have used the Tubetech CL2A, but the older version. It was amazing, I used to run mixes through it to add a little harmonic distortion. It was a fantastic tube compressor. I would not hesitate to buy it.
  3. dblock

    dblock Active Member

    Thanks very much for that. I was amazed not to find any decent reviews on it. The price surely doesn't spell amateur.
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    dblock, This may just be my opinoin, but after reading many of your postings, it is clear that you, like many others that post and read forums, seem to worry way to much about other peoples opinions about gear than you do on your own experience and opinions on gear. Typical amatuer rookie mistake that you better hope your clients don't find out about. It also leads me to think that you should NOT be doing any mastering work until you have enough experience and skill to understand your existing tools and what specific gear you are buying and why your buying it, way before you spend that money.
  5. dblock

    dblock Active Member

    You do make a good point about worry about what people think about my gear choice. Many mistakes are made while accumulating gear over time and I've made my share. Fortunately, this is a hobby for me so there are no clients to worry about my knowledge of the gear I utimately choose. One of the reasons I wanted the best equipment I could afford beside the obvious sound quality is so I could never blame the equipment for my results.
    Having enough experience and skill will come from... experience and skill building. No one's going to let me in there studio to mess around until I have enough skill and experience. It's the ol can't get a job withgout experience /need experience to get a job analogy though I'm not looking for a job per say. I have gotten a few contracts for library production music which is as far as my inspirations are taking me at my age. So there is no real harm done to me going the route I'm going. Thesae boards help me get a lot of experience not just in the technical aspect of recording but also in the purchasing of gear not to mention a kind of fellowship with like minded people that have the same interest more or less.
    I'm getting alot of satisfaction regardless of the outcome which not all of us can say so I consider myself lucky. At least there are people who take what they do alot more seriously than I do who are willing to lend a few tips and ideas that make coming to boards like this worhwhile.
  6. cathode_ray

    cathode_ray Active Member

    I appreciate dblock's question. Many of us are ametuers and don't have expose to diveres equipment/practices as do pro's. Working in a music store years ago was a profound education - albeit one you can't always share with the customers.
    But regarding "others opinions", it seems a viable way to make "appropriate" choices when in unfamiliar territory.
    I can extract a consensus from multiple opinions i.e. "...can't fool all the people all of the time...".
    Regarding "learning to use equipment" the same applies. When I started learning about compressors I pulled a 3630 from my live sound rack from years ago only to find out it probably wasn't a good tool to try to learn with(if you can't get good results from it)...
    Just a thought... I need caffine!
  7. Dosser

    Dosser Active Member

    FYI - the CL-2A that Link555 mentioned is totally different than the LCA-2B from the original post.

    The CL-2A is simply a two channel version of the CL-1B, which can be stereo linked. I believe it uses an optical compression element, followed by a tube gain stage.

    The LCA-2B is Tube Tech's take on the variable-Mu type compression used by the Manley Vari-Mu and also the venerable Fairchild 660 and 670 compressors.

    It is definitely true that you should form your own opinions based on experience rather than trusting too much in other people's posts.

    It is true, however, that the LCA-2B can be found used for much cheaper than other used Tube Tech gear; mainly because it hasn't been as well accepted by professional engineers - therefore not as sought after.

    If it works for you - great. I personally don't like it that much, but its always been when I could choose another great compressor in the studio's racks.
  8. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Yes Dosser is right- they are different beasts. But I was very happy with it. Its on my to buy list. Although it may take awhile to get off this "transparent" fad I am into now. ;->
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    While the CL-2A is advertised as a dual CL-1B, it sounds different. I bought mine based on that and while it is not really a dual CL-1B in terms of tone, I am very glad that I have it as it is still a great comprssor that gets a lot of use. And while it could be used for 2-bus/mix bus, I don;t think that is it's stong point or where I use it.
  10. dblock

    dblock Active Member

    I just got mine today. Haven't plugged it in yet but it feels heavy and solid as a tank. Coincidently, I just so happened to pick up my pold "Mastering Engineers Handbook" and to my pleasant surprise,under compressors the vari-mu and Tube Tech LCA were the 2 compresors mentioned as being "found in major mastering facilities". That made my day.

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