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whats a good la2a clone thats affordable...
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ine-kpro...
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#1
27th May 2007
Old 27th May 2007
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whats a good la2a clone thats affordable...

is there an affordable and convincing la2a clone out there.
#2
27th May 2007
Old 27th May 2007
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the reissue universal Audio LA2A is cool. it's expensive but cool. there's also a DIY kit out there that some people are fond of.
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27th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ine-kpro... View Post
is there an affordable and convincing la2a clone out there.

Buy a LA-610

Affordable, you get a pre and the compressor is very cool!
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27th May 2007
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First of all... I love Bob Ross!

There are so many opinions about all of this stuff. I was about to pick up an La-3A for 1100 because it was cheaper, and I could afford it. Instead, I picked up a Manley El-Op for 1500 bucks because yeah, it will probably be a little cleaner, but it will also give me TWO channels. That's what I did. Still in the process of getting it in the mail, and it may sound more hi-fi than the LA; however, I've heard that's mainly because it doesn't take out frequencies in the high end when you hit it hard, and I'm fine with that.

IMHO, I really think it's about whatever works for you - or whatever you make work. A lot of times, people get a new piece of equipment, and they almost despise the older one (that did the same thing). Honestly, I think that that attitude is kinda stupid because 1) each piece of gear generally does something better than another piece of gear, and 2) it's easy to like what's "new" and "different" more than what we've had for years.

Kind of a silly thing, ya know? So try and borrow a few units from someone and just have a shootout using YOUR ears - that's what counts, or go to a studio that has them and ask them if you can just listen to them being used. It's always good to build relationships, anyway.

Best of luck!!! B
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27th May 2007
Old 27th May 2007
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Anyone have a link to that DIY? Is it on Prodigy-pro?
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27th May 2007
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27th May 2007
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27th May 2007
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27th May 2007
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Demaria ADL1000
#10
27th May 2007
Old 27th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drycounty View Post
Anyone have a link to that DIY? Is it on Prodigy-pro?
Unless you have a lots and LOTS of time on your hands I would not go that route, unless your a pro electronics guy.
Most of these projects never get finished unless you have pro electronics knowledge
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28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000 View Post
Unless you have a lots and LOTS of time on your hands I would not go that route, unless your a pro electronics guy.
Most of these projects never get finished unless you have pro electronics knowledge
Absolutely absurd and I don't agree at all. Until I started doing DIY projects I didn't have "pro electronics knowledge." There's WEALTH of info and NUMEROUS experienced folks on the Prodigy forum who help anyone who has problems. From what I've learned as a result of hanging out on that forum and others, I can repair pretty much any piece of gear in my studio. In addition to that, I've built:

2 - LA2A
6 - 1176
1 - G9 2-channel tube pre
2 - GSSL stereo compressors
Racked numerous PM1000 channel strips
Completely recapped my Neotek Series II
Completely recapped my MCI JH24
Made reamp boxes
And other stuff I'm forgetting right now

BTW, the new PCB version 2.0 of the LA2A project is a straightforward build from start to finish.

Cheers,
--
Don
#12
28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
BTW, the new PCB version 2.0 of the LA2A project is a straightforward build from start to finish.
Indeed. Gregory of Drip Electronics did a fantastic job of that clone design. PCB V1 was good too, but only with a few intricacies like too-tight spacing for caps, chassis mount transformers and the ugly but working external filament voltage harness etc., but he really nailed it with the second one. Transformers and valves and T4B and resistors and caps, all on one large double sided PCB. A piece of piss to put together.

B.
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28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barish View Post
Indeed. Gregory of Drip Electronics did a fantastic job of that clone design. PCB V1 was good too, but only with a few intricacies like too-tight spacing for caps, chassis mount transformers and the ugly but working external filament voltage harness etc., but he really nailed it with the second one. Transformers and valves and T4B and resistors and caps, all on one large double sided PCB. A piece of piss to put together.
B.
Yep. I've built one of each (ver. 1 and 2), and was a beta tester for ver. 2 as I was one of the first ones across the finish line with ver. 1. I couldn't be more pleased with how each of them turned out.

Frankly, Greg has such a detailed instruction manual that goes along with his ver. 2 board that, as you say, it's "a piece of piss to put together." (I assume that means easy! )

Cheers,
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28th May 2007
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good clone?

my votes for the adl1000 and/or the UA la-610. got both and im really happy with each.

although ...i never looked into the manley elop..and now that is catching my eye. maybe i should have looked into that before i got the others.


about how much $$ does it cost to build one of the DIY kits of a la2a clone?
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28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Gear Pimp View Post
about how much $$ does it cost to build one of the DIY kits of a la2a clone?
From this thread:

Prodigy Professional :: View topic - LA2A PCB ver 2.0 build thread

pcb ver 2. : 80$ (shipping usa 10 / int 15)
t4b : 70-80$ (fast / slow) shipping 5$
tubes and sockets: 55$
mouser : 50$ (caps/parts/xlrs/ne-2/fuse/in4007 etc.)
radioshack : 5$ switches and stand offs
allied elec : 32$ (10uf cap / usa power xformer)
sowter/ prodigy pro : 65$ input xformer pcb mount
sowter/prodigy pro : 100$ output xformer pcb mount
digi key : 50$ pots (x5 pec 2 watt)
resistors : 10$

aprox $537us
with out case

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a good guideline for the total cost of the parts, though it can be +/- depending on the transformers and case selection. Of course, you have to figure labor in as well, but the assembly time has been greatly reduced with the new PCB. I think it took me about 12 hours from pile of parts to finished LA2A, and I used a salvaged case that required more work than an new one would've.

Cheers,
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28th May 2007
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anyone selling the full kit, with case and transformers and all, and all you have to do is build it.

how much is that and whats the link.

how close do they sound to a manufactured one or the original.
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#17
28th May 2007
Old 28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ine-kpro... View Post
anyone selling the full kit, with case and transformers and all, and all you have to do is build it.

how much is that and whats the link.

how close do they sound to a manufactured one or the original.
Don't take this the wrong way, but if you don't have the patience to research this yourself, I can pretty much 100% surmise that you don't have the patience to rig up an LA2A clone. I don't have the patience either, just sayin'.
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ine-kpro...
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28th May 2007
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i have the patience to build anything if i set my mind to it. the only thing i need is from people who have experience or someone they know on a particular full la2a kit that i can just get. i don't want to be buying a whole kit and finding out that this kit has had bad reviews due to my inexperience about kits or diy products.

like some people prefer practical than theory.
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28th May 2007
Old 28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
Absolutely absurd and I don't agree at all. Until I started doing DIY projects I didn't have "pro electronics knowledge." There's WEALTH of info and NUMEROUS experienced folks on the Prodigy forum who help anyone who has problems. From what I've learned as a result of hanging out on that forum and others, I can repair pretty much any piece of gear in my studio. In addition to that, I've built:

2 - LA2A
6 - 1176
1 - G9 2-channel tube pre
2 - GSSL stereo compressors
Racked numerous PM1000 channel strips
Completely recapped my Neotek Series II
Completely recapped my MCI JH24
Made reamp boxes
And other stuff I'm forgetting right now

BTW, the new PCB version 2.0 of the LA2A project is a straightforward build from start to finish.

Cheers,
--
Don
Just take a look at the never ending gssl help thread and at all the other " issues" or " problems" threads on the prodigy forum, I think it speaks for itself !!!
Now if after that you still feel confident after reading all that, go for it
Myself I'dd rather spend the time making music.
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28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000 View Post
Just take a look at the never ending gssl help thread and at all the other " issues" or " problems" threads on the prodigy forum, I think it speaks for itself !!!
Yes, it speaks to my point that when folks have problems, they get the support they need. BTW, we're discussing the LA2A here, which is a hell of a lot easier to build than the GSSL compressor. Also, if you read those threads instead of being put off by them, you'll find that most (all?) of the folks who have problems get them fixed pretty quickly, and most of the problems are due to poor assembly technique. I've even seen the experienced guys offer to get a project up and running for anyone who hasn't been able to. Can't beat that kind of support.

About your previous comment, "Most of these projects never get finished," care to cite some examples? "Most" is a gross exaggeration at best. Have you ever tried any DIY or are you just speaking about something you have no direct experience with?

Quote:
Myself I'dd rather spend the time making music.
Me? I'd rather save thousands of dollars on high-quality gear for my studio and get the satisfaction of using gear that I made to make my music.

Different strokes for different folks.

Cheers,
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28th May 2007
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the la2a you built, whats the links to the supplier that supplies the full kit, how much is it. i do not really want to go parts hunting which i do not have much experience in that field of.
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28th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seb37000 View Post
Myself I'dd rather spend the time making music.
You've got to understand that not everyone on this board is a self-producing muso, of which you sound like one. A lot of these people are practicing audio engineering, and although they may not be coming from an electronics engineering background, it would be quite beneficial for them to know the nuts and bolts of the equipment they use on a daily basis, for it helps them create the image of how the sound is shaped inside the box better.

And putting a kit like that together is a pretty good start to that self-education, me thinks.

For everyone else, there's Mastercard and Universal Audio reissues.

B.
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28th May 2007
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This thread is useless without a link to where you can buy the kit.
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28th May 2007
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Originally Posted by Kestral View Post
This thread is useless without a link to where you can buy the kit.
There's no link because there isn't a current kit that I'm aware of, which is why I posted the parts breakdown with approximate costs and some of the suppliers. If you actually read the links I posted above, you'll find all the necessary info to source components. If you have problems after that, shoot me a PM and I'll help.

The parts, the instructional manual, and the PCB are all available to build an LA2A clone, but you have to spend a small amount of time sourcing the parts. Takes me about 1/2 hour to do the necessary ordering on the web or via phone for a project like this.

Here's a link to the instruction manual. It'll give you an idea about how involved the project is.

http://www.lomayesva.com/drip_opto_manual.pdf

There used to be a kit called "Bloo," and it was very well done, but the guy who did it decided not to keep doing it after he sold out his first run. The Bloo kit was point-to-point wired, though, which takes a bit more work than the current PCB ver. 2 model.

Cheers,
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Don
#25
28th May 2007
Old 28th May 2007
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la2a "clone"

the Peavey VC/L-2 is a great la2a "clone". built like a tank, heavy as hell. i sold my la2a after comparing the two side by side for a couple months. the peavey is not in production anymore. you'll have to find it on ebay. and as a bonus, it's a two channel compressor.

they are sort of under the radar and a steal in my opinion.
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28th May 2007
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Thanks Don, I think most people here were not aware that there is no complete kit available at the moment.

I've seen pics of the Bloo, looks impressive, its too bad those are not available anymore.
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29th May 2007
Old 29th May 2007
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hi don, can you contact me?
i'm at drewbass at earthlink dot net.

i had some questions about the kit, i have it, and i'm sure you could answer aome q's for me,
thanks,
drew
#28
30th May 2007
Old 30th May 2007
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Has anyone ever been to a boutique gear factory in southern CA? Apparently building $2.5k+ eq's and the like is a job that most Americans don't want. Stuffing a PC board is pretty easy. Soldering is pretty easy with some practice.

When it comes to the prodigy pro website you have to do some research into whatever project you are interested in. What to look for is completed units in the gallery on the website. You can see photos of the finished circuits and get a feel for how complex the build might be. If there are lots of a particular unit that means it's fairly simple or fairly cheap to build. I think the GSSL is popular because it's a cheap project. No transformers. You will find fewer neve eq's because they are full of expensive transformers and rare capacitors. People do build them though.

The other thing to look for is a decent bill of materials (BOM) to source parts. Some are very detailed and extensive. Others are just parts and no sources or just old part numbers that don't work for certain websites.

There is a fairly high success rate with the LA2A clones. An LA2A is a very simple circuit. The complicated part is layout. If you do a point to point be ready for hum and oscillations till you get all the leads placed correctly. The pcb versions are a piece of cake to build. The metal work if you roll your own case will far exceed the electronic challenges.

It is important to keep in mind that a tube circuit will have very high voltages that can be deadly. Care and respect for what you are doing is important. I built two la2a clones working about an hour each night at the end of recording sessions for about a month.

Most of the parts can be easily found on mouser and digikey websites. I think I had a total of 5 different vendors that I sourced from.

The most important parts of the circuit are the input and output transformers. That is where the distinctive "sound" comes from in the larges portions. You can find vintage transformers on ebay for a pretty good chunk of change but they are frequently available. Alternatively there are modern versions that have a great but different sound. Similar in many was but still not the same.

Building your own gear to save money is not always the right motivation for DIY. It's a great learning opportunity to get to know how grear works and it can give you a great appreciation as to why neve clones aren't cheap.

Good luck.
#29
30th May 2007
Old 30th May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wm_b View Post
The most important parts of the circuit are the input and output transformers. That is where the distinctive "sound" comes from in the larges portions.
Don't forget about the T4B.
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30th May 2007
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Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Don't forget about the T4B.
A valid addition to the sound. The t4b can still be had as NOS from a few places. Not sure if JBL still has them but they are seemingly plentiful with a stable price. The transformers are available but usually require more hunting and have often been removed from equipment.

I used sowter transformers in my two units because I wanted to have them as identical as possible. I actually like the way the sowters sound very much. There is something spectacularly lush about the older transformers and I will eventually build one with the old iron. In the meantime my two clones get plenty of use if only just for color. Totally worth the effort and a great way to get my mind off a long session while I was building them.
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