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DIY La2a ... any good? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 8th September 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

DIY La2a ... any good?

Hello fellow GSr's! I've been looking at some of the Diy kits for building an LA2A. Looks like a fun winter project, but which ones sound close to the real deal?

If they're all crap, I'll save the beans for a real one.

I've found a bunch of info on different units, and opinions about how easy/clean/attractive they are.... no-one seems to mention tone... is that a red flag in itself?

Thanks for your help on this one!
Old 9th September 2007
  #2
ktf
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ktf's Avatar
 

I built two from scratch using point to point turret boards, Jenson transformers, and my friends sheet metal tools. I always backed away from the project because of the rarity of the transformers. Then I noticed some people prefer the Jensons and were doing the Jenson mod and selling off the originals for big bucks on Ebay. Anyway, mine turned out great and while I haven't had the chance to A/B them with the original, they are closely matched and have a wonderful warm sound that make me want more tubes! And when they are crunching it sounds real fimiliar. Last night I put them on overheads and they woke up those ribbon mics in a beautiful way/amazing clarity. I'm still in the honeymoon phase as they have been only been completed for a couple of weeks but it's all good so far.
Useful page with links;

DIY Factory - diyla2
Old 9th September 2007
  #3
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norman_nomad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post
Hello fellow GSr's! I've been looking at some of the Diy kits for building an LA2A. Looks like a fun winter project, but which ones sound close to the real deal?

If they're all crap, I'll save the beans for a real one.

I've found a bunch of info on different units, and opinions about how easy/clean/attractive they are.... no-one seems to mention tone... is that a red flag in itself?

Thanks for your help on this one!
The Drip boards on prodigy-pro are great. I've built 4 using these boards and I couldn't be happier with the results. Do a quick search here on gearslutz and you should find my shootouts with audio examples comparing the DIY build to the UAD plug-in.

I built one pair with vintage transformers and one with modern Sowter replacements. The vintage transformer model has more "tone" and the Sowter version is a bit cleaner.

Good luck, it's certainly a worthwhile DIY project in my opinion.
Old 10th September 2007
  #4
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ulysses's Avatar
The quality will be entirely dependent on the skill of the person who selects the components, and the person who does the assembly.
Old 10th September 2007
  #5
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filthyrich's Avatar
 

hate to ask

hate to ask the most obvious question; but what is the cost to source all of the parts...low to high? I know there's a range based on components etc. Thanks.
Old 10th September 2007
  #6
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norman_nomad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by filthyrich View Post
hate to ask the most obvious question; but what is the cost to source all of the parts...low to high? I know there's a range based on components etc. Thanks.
On the cheap, you could probably do one for $400. I would be prepared to spend $600 to make it nice.
Old 13th September 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Hi gang!

Thanks for the reply! I've talked to a couple of folks here in Nashville that have not had a good experience with this.... so...

Has anyone tried these cases Prodigy Professional :: View topic - LA-2A 3U CASES - NEW BATCH PRODUCTION - ACCEPTING ORDERS
is there a way to find out if this
DIY Factory - diyla2 design will work in that case?

Thanks again!
Old 13th September 2007
  #8
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norman_nomad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post
Hi gang!

Thanks for the reply! I've talked to a couple of folks here in Nashville that have not had a good experience with this.... so...

Has anyone tried these cases Prodigy Professional :: View topic - LA-2A 3U CASES - NEW BATCH PRODUCTION - ACCEPTING ORDERS
is there a way to find out if this
DIY Factory - diyla2 design will work in that case?

Thanks again!
I think those are just the front face plates. Seriously though, you should try and design your own. It's only two knobs! The look-a-like face plates get boring real quick. It's only two knobs and a meter, so it'd be an easy first front panel to make! Get creative with it. That's the whole fun of DIY.

All you need this app. Super easy to learn and use.

Front Panel Express, LLC > ›Front Panel Designer‹ download
Old 13th September 2007
  #9
ktf
Gear Maniac
 
ktf's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post
Hi gang!

Thanks for the reply! I've talked to a couple of folks here in Nashville that have not had a good experience with this.... so...

Has anyone tried these cases Prodigy Professional :: View topic - LA-2A 3U CASES - NEW BATCH PRODUCTION - ACCEPTING ORDERS
is there a way to find out if this
DIY Factory - diyla2 design will work in that case?

Thanks again!
I spent most of the my time fabricating the case and the back panel and mounting all the points (sockets,pots,trans) once you get all that stuff together stuff and wiring are a breeze or at least more fun. You can stuff every thing into a three or four inch deep box. The thing I didn't like about the diyfactory project was all that wasted space and extra depth. I would think about a stereo unit with something that size.
Old 13th September 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I built mine using the Drip version 2 board & Purusha's case, bought from the folks on Prodigy Pro board & couldn't be happier.....no wasted space in the case......looks beautiful......sounds better than it looks!
Old 14th September 2007
  #11
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I've finished one and have another half done. I am using the original transformers but I will probably switch the input to something more tame (original is 1:10) like 1:5 or 1:7.
Most using original input transformer will tell you its too sensitive with modern equipment.

However it still sounds great! Who cares if its noit exactly like a "vintage" unit (most have diferrenced within themselves anyway).

I do mine point to point but the new version 2 PCB would make things way easier for anyone.

Build it because its fun and you learn something in the meantime.

Also the T4B which you could get for under $100 is now more than double that.

jim
Old 15th September 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks again for the replies! I'll have to do some shopping for the winter project!!

Old 15th September 2007
  #13
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Tibbon's Avatar
They can be as good as you make them (which could be better than the real thing!). BLU had some killer kits for them, but no longer.
Old 18th September 2007
  #14
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seppa's Avatar
 

Quote:
think those are just the front face plates. Seriously though, you should try and design your own. It's only two knobs!
Nope this is the actual case..... I'm still waiting for mine to come since parusha is on holiday.... so far I heard nothing but good things about his cases ... I'd give it a go!

Quote:
Most using original input transformer will tell you its too sensitive with modern equipment.
I received my Sowter transformers yesterday... for my 2 la2a projects..... really looking forward to hear the whole things work

Quote:
Also the T4B which you could get for under $100 is now more than double that.
or you could get a drip t4b for around $80 ! and he seems to spend a great deal of time to match them.
Old 19th September 2007
  #15
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norman_nomad View Post
The Drip boards on prodigy-pro are great. I've built 4 using these boards and I couldn't be happier with the results. Do a quick search here on gearslutz and you should find my shootouts with audio examples comparing the DIY build to the UAD plug-in.

I built one pair with vintage transformers and one with modern Sowter replacements. The vintage transformer model has more "tone" and the Sowter version is a bit cleaner.

Good luck, it's certainly a worthwhile DIY project in my opinion.
After hearing clips of what Norman has built, my take on it is that the vintage transformer model sounded fuzzier and rounder. The Sowter sounded bigger and more 3D. I'd personally build the Drip kit with the Sowters.

Brad
Old 19th September 2007
  #16
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norman_nomad View Post
I think those are just the front face plates. Seriously though, you should try and design your own. It's only two knobs! The look-a-like face plates get boring real quick. It's only two knobs and a meter, so it'd be an easy first front panel to make! Get creative with it. That's the whole fun of DIY.
Just so there's no confusion. Purusha on groupdiy.com sells complete cases including faceplates. They are a total bargain if you don't have the patience to design your own and just want to get up and running. I've bought a couple cases from him and they are good quality and look great.

Brad
Old 5th October 2007
  #17
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stagefright13's Avatar
 

I built the Drip 2.0 La2 with Purusha's case. The circuit card is awesome super thick and heavy. And the case is as good as any new piece of gear. I used Sowter trannies. It is clean enough to use as a buss compressor. Here is a sample recorded by the very Talented Mike Masse. I ran his song thru the sowter equipped LA for buss compression: And they can be stereo linked. However I rarely link any compressor. As is the case here. Hearing is believing so here is what it sounds like....

Man I'll Never Be Final
Old 5th October 2007
  #18
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Chris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stagefright13 View Post
I built the Drip 2.0 La2 with Purusha's case. The circuit card is awesome super thick and heavy G-9 fiberglass. And the case is as good as any new piece of gear. I used Sowter trannies. It is clean enough to use as a buss compressor. Here is a sample recorded by the very Talented Mike Masse. I ran his song thru the sowter equipped LA for buss compression:

Man I'll Never Be Final
How hard were you compressing it? Sounds great.

Man, if that guy wanted to he could probably do some pretty badass power metal vocals.
Old 5th October 2007
  #19
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about 3 db constant and 6 or 7 on peaks. Yeah he is great! But LA meters aren't very accuarate so prolly half that. I did it by ear...His vocal chain TLM49 -> Pacifica -> RME FF800 -> Cubase 4. He recorded it at his own studio. I only did some mastering work. Going to remaster it next week for the final.
Old 7th November 2007
  #20
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Maybe this can help to convince you.

The Official LastDayHere Website // www.lastdayhere.com

It's my latest production made with 70% DIY gear.
LA-2As on vocals and bass. G-SSL on drums. Pultecs all over the place.
Neve cloned preamps used on vocals and guitars.... can't be more happy
Old 6th February 2010
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Purusha your cases look incredible. I'm going to have to step up to one of the DRIP opto 4's and your case is a no brainer. It'll be a nice project for late spring once i'm back from my next tour and have some money to spend on a nice vox/bass/acoustic gtr comp.

You dont offer different silk screening do you? I would really like to design my own panel but i don't want to work from a blank case because i don't want to invest in a drill bit/am not interested in doing metal work.

DIY is exciting.
Old 6th February 2010
  #22
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Purusha's Avatar
 

Hello,

you can see many more cases available for DIY projects at my FORUM.

Drip's LA-2A sounds really top notch. Have you seen the 175B and 660 projects?

BTW, I can offer you the LA-2A case without screening but with all cut outs...





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