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The LA-4 has an unbalanced input and a transformer-balanced output. Gain reduction is via a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) which is paired with an LED driven by the sidechain. The result is very linear, distortion-free compression with dynamics typical of an opto device – relatively slow time constants and correspondingly warm & likeable compression. It has a character very different to the 1176 but, like other models in the UREI range, it’s infinitely useable and appealing
Ratios are switchable from 2:1 through 4, 8, 12 and 20:1 via a rotary switch which is coaxial with the threshold pot. The big moving-coil meter is switchable from gain reduction to output +4 or output +8db, and there’s a coaxial output gain pot
“Great for vocals, acoustic guitar, bass……very clean, working well with low range instruments”
“They are great IMHO…. really underrated. I can’t think of much that I haven’t tried them on that they didn’t do the job. Try them on guitars, bass and pretty much anywhere on drums… have fun!”
“A great leveler on vocals, bass, electric guitars etc. It is kinda dark sounding and adds a size to the source as well as levelling like a brick wall”
“if you are looking for a super clean tracking compressor a leveler for mixing to give some grab or presence to your voices and instruments…or maybe you are looking for a stereo buss compressor for your drumbuss or Master buss at mixdown, here’s your ticket !”
” it will make anything you throw at it sound better and bigger !”
“The tone it has originally is part of why I love it! Definite flavour!!”
“When tracking vocals, I tend to use it 2:1 with only a dB or 2 reduction on the peaks. Very smooth, nice character. It gets dark pretty fast after the first couple of dB of gain reduction, but that often works great with loud/shouted vox.
LA4s are more versatile than people give them credit for. Sure, there’s the unmistakable “dark squish”, but within those parameters there’s a lot of ground covered with all the different ratios/responses. I’ve even strapped a couple across a mix bus before, really works well for some stuff”
“La 4’s were the ONLY compressor limiters used on ALL the vocals for the ‘Sound of Philadelphia'”
“The LA-4 is great on vocals, giving a nice clarity and smooth compression that tames most erratic vocals. With a pair of LA-4s strapped for stereo operation, you can run compression on a stereo channel of background vocals”
Overhauled and calibrated, all pots and switches cleaned.
Can be set to either 115V or 230V
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