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LA-2A All Sound Different

Discussion in 'Recording' started by audiokid, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    In this video, he says that every LA-2A sounds different. Is this accurate?

  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    And I wonder if he's just talking about vintage units. The 60's units have all been retubed (I assume) and many have been recapped. So you expect them to have the same kind of variation that, say, blackface Fender Deluxes have. Not so much that it doesn't sound like a Deluxe, but enough to say "they all sound different."

    (All UAD LA2A plugins sound the same (I hope). Great plugin BTW.)
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    They have to be vintage LA2A's. I should contact UA and ask them this.
    All I know is this is my next tool. Slow and steady she's goes I say. I'm getting ready for my big retirement ( freedom ) studio lol. ****, I hope I don't die before I plug it all in.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    By nature and by physics, they all must sound different. They don't use incandescent light bulbs. They don't use LEDs. They used electroluminescent panels. They age differently and greatly over time in almost no time. And the building technique they go through with their T4B with the little paper holes in them varies from one unit to another even when new. It's an imperfect device with as much variation between each one as every violin has in a Symphony Orchestra. It doesn't matter if they all look the same they are all totally different from one another. Has anyone here ever torn apart one of those optical devices? It's crazy gobbledygook. It has to be done in 100% total darkness when they are assembled. I talked to them years ago, 30 years ago about this. You get what you get. Changing out its electoral optical device will make it completely different from before you changed it. So this entire conversation on the LA 2 is completely moot. You either want one or you don't want one. If you don't like the way it sounds, replace the optical device with another. It's on a octal tube socket so it's easy to do. The LA 3's aren't any different in that respect. Throw in the current available tubes and you have a bigger mishmash of variables. This will never be as consistent as spam in a can.

    I'd rather have the canned corned beef
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I found this:

    I swear I heard a bit warmer and more presence with the vintage. But they are so close.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yes, I agree with you on your observations. But then, we don't know what kind of tubes are being utilized and there aren't many electrolytic capacitors utilized in tubes circuitry to dry up or wear out. And is Anthony actually utilizing electroluminescent panels or LEDs as his light source? I would suspect LEDs with some kind of capacitive timing being utilized since the electroluminescent units require so much more intensive fiddling with. Probably another reason why his unit is a fraction of the cost of a LA 2/LA 3. He is more practical and utilizes a consistent, out-of-the-box simple unit. Just think LA 4/LA 5 which utilize LEDs. But they're time constant & persistence is much different than an electroluminescent panel. So you add some capacitors around it and tried to duplicate the time constant/persistence of the electroluminescent panel and older CDS cells. The newer units utilize simple light-sensitive resistors and those are not going to sound like CDS cells with a much different sensitivity to light. What color the LEDs may be emitting may also be a factor? And light-sensitive resistors may respond differently to different colors of light? They could be much quicker or much slower depending upon the wavelength of the light? It's certainly a good optical-based limiter but so were the LA 4 & LA 5's but they didn't sound like they LA 2 nor the LA 3's. I have a pair of LA 3's & a pair of LA 4's and they respond and sound slightly different from each other.

    In the end, what is really the point?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  8. rocksure

    rocksure Active Member

    In most vintage gear you will find each unit sounds slightly different, not just LA2A
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Rocksure, is correct. A perfect example of that would be huge electromechanical EMT plate reverb. Even with their 60% rejection ratio of cold rolled steel plates, no two ever sounded alike, ever. Some were definitely sweeter sounding than others. Though there were higher levels of consistency with items from Neve & API partially due to the fact that no mechanicals were involved with that stuff & the consistency and tight specifications of transistors and other surrounding components were more tightly matched. And that's another reason why I am not a tube freak. There's too much inconsistency there because of their internal mechanics. How they were assembled, created their unique quality to each individual manufacturer. And then you could even swapout certain different tube types from within the same manufacturer for yet more differences in sound. 12 AU, 12 AX, 12 AT, etc.. And to a certain extent even transistors could follow that same path i.e. Silicon vs. germanium would be a good example.

    "Tech nut all" engineer
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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