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Planning the next toy? (Golden age Comp2a) ?

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters (analog)' started by pcrecord, Feb 20, 2020.

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  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Hi gang,

    I can't discard my gear addiction, so the 2 things I'm looking for in a near future (before 2021) is upgrading my RME FF800 and I'd like to have at least 1 compressor to pair with a ISA preamp.
    Since I don't have much space, I could manage an half rack unit below one of my computer displays.
    I saw those golden age comp, the 3a and 2a and feel they would fill the space perfectly but have no clue how they compare to other comp clones of the same flavor.
    Anyone own the 3a or the 2a ? How do they compare to other 3a or 2a ?

    The design seems as valid as others but I unfortunatly can't test one on my own..
    I'm planning to make a move this year, it's not urgent at all...
     
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    what do you want the compressor for? drums? 2 buss? vocals? bass? if its vocals / guitars / bass i would opt for the 3A. the 3A was Putnam's solid state version of the LA2A. if you want a drum compressor or something for the 2 buss then i would lean towards an 1176 or a Distressor kind of thing.
     
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  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    The idea would be use it with an ISA preamp mainly Vocal and/or bass or drum room mic...
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    2A without question then/ Its excellent for bass and vocals. Not sure about it for drum room mic though, 2A are slow and creamy. I'd likely use ITB for the room if not, nothing at all for the room but its all subjective to the tracks and how fast you need to catch things.
     
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  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    @Kurt Foster
    Kurt, maybe you share my same thoughts on room and ambient tracks. Again all so subjective but I tend to like blending rooms and ambient tracks that aren't compressed because those have the magic transients that are like ferry dust. Tiny amounts of a room with air go a long way. Comps kill the air.
     
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    77 Sunset Lane.
    i don't hear that many recordings these days that actually were recorded in a room or at least a great sounding room that's worth recording.
    i've never been a fan of compression on drums or room mics. i love gating drums though but never to tape, only on playback (usually toms maybe a snare mic). i've always used compressors only when dynamics need to be controlled, not for effect. but that's just me. i prefer dynamics to sound as natural as possible most of the time. i do like to squish the sh*t out of guitars and back ground vocals stacks sometimes for the ear candy effect.
     
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  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    If i could afford it a 2a seems great. I really liked the Summit TLA-100 tube compressor on vocals it was pure velvet. If i could only have one compressor the distressor seems pretty versatile and ubiquitous. The 3a actually seems really cool, i just don't know if i would bank on it as my only comp. I believe you have a 1176 in your ua channel strip, so maybe the 3a would fill some gaps. I used to assist a guy who loved the 3a's i think for guitars and maybe backup vocs. I think the 3a's are bright comps which can be useful on some things. Don't sleep on the dbx 163x for bass. Dead simple to set and punchy as a mofo. My buddy got one used for $25usd and gave it to me for my bass rig. I opted to use it even in the studio over an 1176. Just fyi
     
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  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    this is just my personal preferences but i had all four original, an LA2/ 2 LA3's/ 2 LA4's and an 1176 and for most tracking applications i ended going to the LA3's most of the time. same vibe and simplicity of use as the LA2 but a little leaner (perhaps linear) in action. i think the LA3's are the perfect comp for inserting on a channel strip to tape.
     
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  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks for all the opinions..
    I do have 2 - LA-610 which are beasts on their own. Tube and T4 Optical cell.. I like them a lot.. Got to do a saturated track this weekend, I put the gain and level to max on the preamp and controled the ouput stage on the compressor side. Sweet distortion, not at all agressive. Customer was happy ! :)

    My idea is to have the option of a cleaner signal chain with one of my ISA preamp.. I just can't decide if the comp should be tube driven or solid state (like the isa is)
    Both the comp-3a and comp-2a are using input and output transformers + both use optical cells for the level detection.. I'm assuming they must have similar behaviour.. but sound wise, I can't say which is more or less colored..
    A few reviews says the 3a is warmer but the 2a HF are sweeter..
    Honestly the difference in price isn't an issue, both being under 1K CAD aren't bad deal.. If they sound anything near the other 2a and 3a of this world... ;)
     
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    2A is tube the 3A is solid state. the LA3 is almost the same as an LA2. both use T4 opto detectors but tubes for the LA2 and transistors for the LA3. the "quality" of the compression is the same but the input and output amps sound a little different with the LA3 being a little more "aggressive" sounding, imo.
     
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  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Was the 176 released by UA? That was the pre cursor to the 1176 and had tubes if i understand it correctly.

    If i had to guess the golden age la3 probably has a better chance of being truer to the original. Im not sure you could make an la2a in that price range.
     
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  12. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    After reflexions and comparing both units, I'm gonna go with the comp-3a (when my budget allows it)
    I'm guessing having a complete solid state signal path would make it different enough from my UA LA-610.
    Also the 3a has a few mod switches to manipulate the levels that the 2a doesn't have.

    It could take a month or a few but when I get it, I'll probably make a video about it and let you hear the results.. ;)
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

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    looking forward to it!
     
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  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

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    Awesome!!!
     
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  15. miyaru

    miyaru Active Member

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    Would be nice to see and hear it in action!!!!!
     
  16. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting used to it and I'll do a video.. soon ! ;)
     
    kmetal likes this.
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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