La2a Hardware vs UAD LA2a Software - Part Deux!
View Poll Results: Which is the hardware?
"A" is the hardware
22 Votes - 48.89%
"B" is the hardware
23 Votes - 51.11%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

norman_nomad
Thread Starter
#1
29th August 2007
Old 29th August 2007
  #1
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La2a Hardware vs UAD LA2a Software - Part Deux!

OK, maybe you guys are sick of this, but I made more examples so I figured I'd post them and maybe also give Slaytex a chance to redeem his nuts, because I'd hate to see him get desperate one day and bet the frank and be left with nothing.

This test is with new samples and a new La2a DIY build.

The other night I finished building ANOTHER two La2a's. These two new ones use "modern" Sowter transformers (speced for the La2a), metal film resistors, new caps and tubes, etc. The circuit itself is exactly the same as the original but the transformer ratios are different giving the unit more gain than the last build and overall sounding much cleaner. (read: less distortion). My guess is that these new DIY units likely sound closer to the UA reissues than the older originals, although I don’t have a reissue around to test, so I don’t know for sure.

I personally think these examples will be a bit more challenging, but I'll leave it up to you slutz to tell me which is which.

Like the other test...

All of the "A" samples are either the hardware or the software.

All of the "B" samples are either the hardware or the software.
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 KA Drums - A.mp3 (1.26 MB, 834 views)
File Type: mp3 Electric Guitar - A.mp3 (1.14 MB, 464 views)
File Type: mp3 Acoustic Mix - A.mp3 (3.03 MB, 743 views)
File Type: mp3 Rock Mix - A.mp3 (2.24 MB, 957 views)
norman_nomad
Thread Starter
#2
29th August 2007
Old 29th August 2007
  #2
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B Samples

B samples
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 KA Drums - B.mp3 (1.26 MB, 676 views)
File Type: mp3 Electric Guitar - B.mp3 (1.14 MB, 541 views)
File Type: mp3 Acoustic Mix - B.mp3 (3.03 MB, 811 views)
File Type: mp3 Rock Mix - B.mp3 (2.24 MB, 875 views)
norman_nomad
Thread Starter
#3
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #3
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Thread Starter
originals

originals
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 KA Drums - Original.mp3 (1.26 MB, 380 views)
File Type: mp3 Electric Guitar - Original.mp3 (1.14 MB, 392 views)
File Type: mp3 Acoustic Mix - Original.mp3 (3.03 MB, 541 views)
File Type: mp3 Rock Mix - Original.mp3 (2.24 MB, 426 views)
#4
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #4
Gear Head
 

ooo crap. I accidently voted A= hardware.

I think hardware is actually b
#5
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #5
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sleepwalker's Avatar
 

B sounds much better. The transients also seem to decay slower in B. I've got the 2-1176 at home, I should compare it to the UAD 1176 sometime.
#6
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #6
Gear maniac
 

Honestly, it's hard to say with these mp3s. the two do sound slightly different, especially the pumping of the lows, but I couldn't call one 'better' than the other from these samples.
#7
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #7
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

This is gonna be fun to watch! As it stands, the vote is split nearly 50/50.

I already voted.... but since I insinuated that I'm damn certain I can get this right, I don't want to post my answer and slant anyone's vote one way or the other. (However, I PM'd Norman the correct answer, so he can testify that I got it right if the need arises.)

In addition to letting folks get to know the differences, Norman's A/B threads have been a fun way to get inside the heads of different Gearslutz. It's a great psychological experiment and survey of tastes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepwalker View Post
I've got the 2-1176 at home, I should compare it to the UAD 1176 sometime.
True, you should. Things are always much easier it is to test things when other people set it up for us.

There's actually a 2-1176 vs UAD 1176 sample in part 1 of this thread.
#8
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #8
Gear interested
 
seppa's Avatar
 

I vote A for being the hardware:

I would swear by the Ka drum that A is the hardware because of the slight overdrive I can hear.

As for the rock mix I can hear the compression being tighter on B. A being more silky, in this case I prefer B cause it just works so well. so in this case with less conviction I still choose A as the hardware.

I'm completly unable to have an opinion on the acoustic mix and the acoustic guitar. Simply cause I don't feel much flavour on both. its straigh compression. they don't sound exactly the same.....but cant decide which is which...

So there it is I would be quite please to be wrong cause I have so much prejudice towards plugin. I'm really fed up with them although I agree in some case there are better for the task. I'm mainly a digital guy and I really love the sound of analog hardware.

Quote:
I've got the 2-1176 at home, I should compare it to the UAD 1176 sometime.
Great, I'd love that.... really looking foward to it!
#9
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #9
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
 

Now we're all in danger of losing nuts left right and centre... They're too close to call!

Based on listening to KA drums, I'd say A is hardware based on the overdriven kick drum at the start, and the "thump factor" of the kick generally.

The character of pumping on the hats and cymbal decay is really similar

But really, this is all academic as they sound very similar (both sound great --- the tone reminds me of Mute Math drums)
#10
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #10
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The Listener's Avatar
I made it even harder for myself - I listenen only to acoustic mix - immediate impression - A is HW...
Has more of that "inaudible" "mojo" that I attribute to HW... It brings more sibilance out in softer passages (not so good) - but also keeps more transients - the thing is more open and more "agressive" in a still good way... B is softer the way I don't like in UAD LA-2A... The most obvious it is when things get loud - A remains open and "magical" in choruses - I actually enjoyed the song, while in B I kept listening to how the compressor closes the loud part and how should I make it stay open and emotional - the way I keep thinking that when I mix with UAD ITB...

best

P.S. I am still saving for my HW LA-2A... or shouldn't I (cause I'm wrong this time)?
#11
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #11
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
 

Lovin' it! 50/50 neck and neck (or nut and nut)
#12
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #12
Gear Head
 
jackdrummer's Avatar
 

to me A is the hardware......but in this kind of threads I find that my ears are not good at all!!!
#13
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #13
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Slaytex's Avatar
 

I bet my nuts back that "A" is hardware. I hear harmonics in "A", but "B" sounds like it's trying to hard to be analog if you ask me. I prefer the sound of "B" for some things but It isn't hardware.

I agree with FossilTooth that this will be an interesting study on how we percieve things.
#14
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #14
Gear maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

just listened to the drums

A is hardware

B is software

something about the front-to-back depth (headroom). Easy to listen to on smaller speakers (laptops etc.)
#15
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #15
Gear maniac
 
joho's Avatar
 

yeah listenend to other samples to - A is def hardware.
#16
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #16
Gear maniac
 

A sounds better. On everything.
#17
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 

A is hardware.
#18
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #18
Gear maniac
 
imdrecordings's Avatar
 

#19
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 

A is hardware

I heard a thicker sounding bass drum in A , and the cymbals being less clear, made me think it was the hardware unit, since it had to pass through an ADDA conversion losing clarity. The B sample was clearer, but the bass drum didn´t have as much mojo... a bit thinner sound. But they were very close..... If I´m wrong..... I´d be very surprised because I don´t know how passing through ADDA conversion could make a sound clearer...unless the hardare la2a works some type of analoge magic on the signal........ OK.... which is which ????
#20
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #20
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaytex View Post
I bet my nuts back that "A" is hardware. I hear harmonics in "A", but "B" sounds like it's trying to hard to be analog if you ask me. I prefer the sound of "B" for some things but It isn't hardware.

I agree with FossilTooth that this will be an interesting study on how we percieve things.
I also bet Slaytex's nuts that "A" is hardware
If we are wrong, ask Universal Audio for a "nuts" plugin
... well, for certain things maybe HARDware is better
#21
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #21
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imdrecordings's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaytex View Post
I bet my nuts back that "A" is hardware.
I'll bet you 1 dollar Paypal, you're wrong.
It's almost impossible to tell on the single instruments. When listening to the (A/B Mixes) you can clearly hear the accentuated ESsssses in "A". This is a tell tail sign of the UAD plug. Listen again.
#22
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #22
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Slaytex's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imdrecordings View Post
I'll bet you 1 dollar Paypal, you're wrong.
It's almost impossible to tell on the single instruments. When listening to the (A/B Mixes) you can clearly hear the accentuated ESsssses in "A". This is a tell tail sign of the UAD plug. Listen again.
Sorry, I gotta stick to my guns and say "A" is hardware!

I've never heard any UAD stuff so I can't compare it to that. I can only compare it to other cool outboard compressors. I find this test easier than the last, because it is used in a pleasing way instead of a hard overdiven into distortion way. Again I feel that "B" is used completely different than "A" and it's setup to try and sound analog when it's not. But both sound great I admit.
#23
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #23
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Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

Listening on laptop speakers again, and I prefer B, which I'm guessing is software. In the last test, I preferred the software, but guessed it was hardware simply b/c of the constant hardware praise my brain is fed on this site...

I sure would have a laugh if I was wrong this time, too.
#24
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #24
Gear addict
 

I have to say with 100% confidence that "B" is hardware!





But a part of me will feel great about being wrong . Love these tests!!
#25
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #25
Gear interested
 

I think Acoustic Mix A is better than B; the other samples sound very similar, except for the Electric Guitar attack (in B there is a clipping).
#26
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #26
Gear maniac
 
imdrecordings's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaytex View Post
Sorry, I gotta stick to my guns and say "A" is hardware!

I've never heard any UAD stuff so I can't compare it to that. I can only compare it to other cool outboard compressors. I find this test easier than the last, because it is used in a pleasing way instead of a hard overdriven into distortion way. Again I feel that "B" is used completely different than "A" and it's setup to try and sound analog when it's not. But both sound great I admit.
I respect that. I was just having fun. In fact I liked A the best for the drums, but B seems like hardware. (just listen to the way the cymbals decay in B, let alone the esssssing in the songs, from A)
I've used the LA2A plug for a while and know it's short comings. That's how I based my decision. I guess I have you at a disadvantage. Can't wait for the result's.
Quote:
Again I feel that "B" is used completely different than "A" and it's setup to try and sound analog when it's not.
hmmm.. Stop and think about that. The LA2A only has 2 knobs... I wonder how you could set it up to be more analog?
#27
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #27
Gear maniac
 
hurd300403's Avatar
 

ahhh! not another one of these!

i shall vote when i get back home.... fun fun
#28
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #28
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Slaytex's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by imdrecordings View Post
hmmm.. Stop and think about that. The LA2A only has 2 knobs... I wonder how you could set it up to be more analog?
True, but I do know that using the exact same settings (input and output) will yield different results from both software and hardware. I feel it is best to just use your ears and not your eyes when trying to mimic a hardware piece. I just think that the software one is pushed harder on the input which in return gives it more saturation. From my experience software compression is cleaner at high compression settings than hardware hence my opinion.

Thanks.
#29
30th August 2007
Old 30th August 2007
  #29
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thermos's Avatar
I like a better.
#30
31st August 2007
Old 31st August 2007
  #30
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Slaytex's Avatar
 

So........



















I think today is going to be a great day for my nuts!
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