The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Teletronix LA-2A - which revision is the most wanted..???
Old 6th July 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Teletronix LA-2A - which revision is the most wanted..???

I read somewhere that there are three different revisions of the vintage LA-2A.

The universal audio re-issue is based on rev. 2 with the look of a rev. 1

On rev. 3 Teletrtonix apparently replaced the UTC HA-100X input transformer with A-10 input transformer. I don't know what that mean... Is that a bad thing?

Which revision do you prefer and why?

THANKS
Old 6th July 2009
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
The "Sunnyvale" units [before SN # 383] are the best I've heard... as always, YMMV.
Old 6th July 2009
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The "Sunnyvale" units [before SN # 383] are the best I've heard... as always, YMMV.
thanks fletcher!
So, are there a significant sound difference between the LA-2A's before SN # 383 and those after? Or is it very hard to hear?
If there is a big difference, could you tell me what it is?
Would you not recommend getting a later version? (not the re-issue of course!!)
Old 6th July 2009
  #4
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
A lot will depend on maintenance of the unit... the "Sunnyvale" ones had a bit more "depth" to the audio which I believe was caused by their output transformer which I believe was changed after SN #383.

I could be wrong about the reason, but I've heard properly restored ones below #383 and above #383 and preferred the ones below #383.

Not much more information in my possession than that.

Peace.
Old 6th July 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
I had a sn#310 that sounded godly. Sold it for $5k a few months ago.
Old 7th July 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Barish's Avatar
$5k sure sounds godlier than #310 and I don't blame you.

B.
Old 7th July 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Space Station's Avatar
There are also three re-issues, the rare late 70's 'grey face' UREI LA-2A, the early 90's JBL Urei 'silver face' LA-2A and then the current UA one.
Old 7th July 2009
  #8
Riv
Gear Maniac
 

The earliest ones were nice units. I personally have a slight preference for the silver faced units with the HA100x. You can't go wrong with either.

The later versions with the A-10 input tranny were not the same. Not a bad unit, but not comparable.

The Urei reissues I can't really comment on - I'm not too familiar with them.

The new UA reissue isn't worth the money. It just doesn't sound like the originals.

I'm sure that I'll get someone arguing that I'm just saying this because it's "vintage," but the truth is that in every shoot out I've done the difference has been obvious to everyone in the room.

As a matter of fact, one of these shoot outs took place in a great room with two other guys there with GREAT ears. They had one of the UA reissues and couldn't figure out why neither of them liked this "legendary" unit. I brought in my original and we A/B's them.

The difference was so clear that the reissue went up for sale a week or so later.

-Riv
Old 7th July 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 

There are a lot of revisions and reissues to keep track of. I agree with Fletcher in that the gray-painted units consistently sound the best. I don't know for sure what to attribute the difference in sound to, but the early units do have a different input transformer than the later revisions and reissues (HA-100X on the early units and A-10 on the later units). As you may already know, early UREI/Teletronix units sometimes had "experimental" aspects to them. For example, I've seen weird stuff in early 1176 (Rev. B, C, etc.) that was not part of the original drawings. The reason I mention that is that although SN 383 is supposed to have been the last gray-face LA2A, I have a gray face LA2A with SN in the 400's. I also used to have SN 380, which I guess was supposed to have been one of the last few gray-painted units.

Going back to the differences between the first couple iterations and subsequent revisions/reissues, etc., the early units also had an octal jumper socket before the input transformer. I don't know that that does anything to the sound of the unit, but it's a difference that may be worth mentioning.

As a disclaimer, I suppose, I must say that I have owned and used pretty much every revision and reissue that I know about. I have found uses for every single one of them and enjoyed all of them. They are all very similar. IME, attack/release times as well as overall sound of the compression/limiting are in all cases what would you expect from an LA2A. My favorites are indeed the oldest ones (go figure). I've had 3 of the originals and, like one of the posters above, I've recently sold one of those 3 (SN 380) to a very nice fellow in the UK. I won't discuss the price here, although it is listed in the Classifieds section so feel free to look it up. Up until recently I had quite a few different LA2A laying around but I have just sold most of them. If anyone is interested, feel free to PM me and I will send pictures on request.

To answer the OP's question I'd say that, as in most cases with vintage gear, the original version is probably the most desirable and sought after. It sure as hell is the most expensive... Why exactly it is the most desirable, I can't tell you. For me personally, the original LA2A is most desirable because it sounds the best. Oh, that and the fact that you always know that no more than 382 other guys have the same piece of gear as you...

Sorry if I left out details. It's very late and I'm just browsing half-awake as my computer downloads software updates. All the best,

Ed
Old 7th July 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
 

thank you all for your replies! it's much appreciated.

what about the compress/limit function on the back?
Rev. 1 has only got the limiter.
From rev. 2 (approx serial # 380) and onwards they built in the option of "compression" as well... is that not good?

Do you guys mostly use it as a limiter and therefore don't care if it doesn't have the compressor-option on the back? (often seen moved to the front panel for easy access)
Old 7th July 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Fletcher?
Old 7th July 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
alexstringer's Avatar
 

I've owned 7 different La2a's. I found Revision 2 or 3 made by Teletronix are the best sounding units.
Old 7th July 2009
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer View Post
I've owned 7 different La2a's. I found Revision 2 or 3 made by Teletronix are the best sounding units.
okay. so you like the versions with both limit and compress option.
is that why you like 2 and 3 better than rev. 1?
Old 7th July 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
alexstringer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
okay. so you like the versions with both limit and compress option.
is that why you like 2 and 3 better than rev. 1?
Yes, that's my point exactly!
Old 7th July 2009
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer View Post
Yes, that's my point exactly!
because they are more flexible... okay.
so it's not because there are any sonic differences
Old 7th July 2009
  #16
Gear Addict
 

On rev. 3 Teletrtonix replaced the UTC HA-100X input transformer with A-10 input transformer. I don't know what that mean...

Do you??

Is the UTC HA-100X a better input transformer than the later A-10...?
Old 7th July 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Stitch333's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post
Is the UTC HA-100X a better input transformer than the later A-10...?
From my research I have found this answer to be: No.
It is actually the exact same guts (lam design, windings, etc) between the HA-100x and the A-10. The only difference is the HA-100x has a beefier case/shielding.
Old 7th July 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station View Post
There are also three re-issues, the rare late 70's 'grey face' UREI LA-2A, the early 90's JBL Urei 'silver face' LA-2A and then the current UA one.
You missed the 100 units made in 1983, I had one. Outside of transformer variations, all are pretty much the same. All have .022 uf ceramic disc caps used for audio. The 1983 model used original AB carbon comp resistors, the 1993 re-issue and the UA model use Asian carbon film resistors.

I'm rebuilding a 1993 reissue now. It's now got AudioCap copper foil polyprop and MIT MultiCaps. The psu has 3 sections of Nichicon 220 uf caps to remove any ripple and hum residuals and to tighten up the low end. Some of the Asian carbon film resistors are changed to Dale RN60 military parts. Input and output transformers are Jensen, that really opens these up nicely. They make a special output transformer designed specifically for the LA-2A. It's amazing.

For those wanting more of an original sound, replace the carbon film resistors with carbon comps from IRC.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 7th July 2009
  #19
Riv
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarman View Post

Is the UTC HA-100X a better input transformer than the later A-10...?
In my experience, yes, there is a notable difference in the sound.

What the physical differences between the transformers are is something I know nothing about.

In either case, they are both very different sounding from the transformers used in the reissues. (Sorry to run this point into the ground, it just tends to get lost sometimes.)

-Riv
Old 7th July 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Stitch333's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riv View Post
In my experience, yes, there is a notable difference in the sound.
So you have a switchable UTC input trunny option on your box or you have replaced the input xfmr on your vintage unit and have run the exact same material to record through it before and after the input xfmr mod?

There is no real, objective way to compare JUST the transformers in two separate units. It is next to impossible to quantify that it is the input transformer that is causing some sonic artifact you are hearing.
Just my experience...
Old 7th July 2009
  #21
Riv
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch333 View Post
So you have a switchable UTC input trunny option on your box or you have replaced the input xfmr on your vintage unit and have run the exact same material to record through it before and after the input xfmr mod?

There is no real, objective way to compare JUST the transformers in two separate units. It is next to impossible to quantify that it is the input transformer that is causing some sonic artifact you are hearing.
Just my experience...
If you want the details, a few years back, when yet another of these threads was going around, I wired in an A10 to my LA-2a. I didn't mount it in the chassis, but instead flew wires in. Same program material in, different sound coming out.

I suppose someone can claim that the wire length makes the difference. I don't care.

There is a difference in the sound.

You're welcome to do the same thing if you like.

-Riv
Old 7th July 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 
retractablezing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riv View Post
The difference was so clear that the reissue went up for sale a week or so later.

-Riv
this type of comment makes me cringe..
seriously.
Old 7th July 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Stitch333's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Riv View Post
There is a difference in the sound.
There is also a difference in the spec of each individual vintage UTC can.

When I built my dual La2a, I was surprised to find that, out of the 4 UTC A-10's I had, I sold one before I tested it, one was bad, one was out of phase and one worked like it was supposed to.
Of of the two that worked, neither sounded exactly like the other.
I don't use the box to do stereo processing but for tracking or mixing two mono sources, it is very, very nice.

I'm not doubting what you heard, just expounding upon the variables involved in the comparison in general.
Old 7th July 2009
  #24
Riv
Gear Maniac
 

Or perhaps it's just due to the fact that they're two different models of transformer.

-Riv
Old 11th May 2011
  #25
Here for the gear
 

What is a fair price for a Sunnyvale LA2A?

I own #262 and I need to pay for a wedding. What can I reasonably expect to get for it--it's in great shape and sounds amazing. I don't know if I'll be able to forgive myself but the bottom line is staring me down and I'm not gonna win the contest. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
Old 11th May 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Showcase's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mat1975 View Post
I own #262 and I need to pay for a wedding. What can I reasonably expect to get for it--it's in great shape and sounds amazing. I don't know if I'll be able to forgive myself but the bottom line is staring me down and I'm not gonna win the contest. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
Ouch, thats a tough one!
Old 12th May 2011
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Deuce 225's Avatar
 

Recent LA-2A Pricing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mat1975 View Post
I own #262 and I need to pay for a wedding. What can I reasonably expect to get for it--it's in great shape and sounds amazing. I don't know if I'll be able to forgive myself but the bottom line is staring me down and I'm not gonna win the contest. Any guidance would be much appreciated.
Recently I've seen most of that era sell in the 3K to 3.6K range depending on condition, originality and maintenance records.
Good Luck.
Tim Cochran
Old 29th July 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 

yeah most likely cuz the diff xformers
Old 29th July 2011
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce 225 View Post
Recently I've seen most of that era sell in the 3K to 3.6K range depending on condition, originality and maintenance records.
Good Luck.
Tim Cochran
Did you ever find one Tim?

Hope you did! Im sorry I ended up wasting your time... I never did buy any 1081s though!

And I must admit, Im really glad I didn't sell mine... I really love it on bass and vox... But I haven't turned it on in over a month at least... Been working elsewhere. Seems like such a waste!
Old 29th July 2011
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The "Sunnyvale" units [before SN # 383] are the best I've heard... as always, YMMV.
those are pretty cool
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Sugarman / High End
109
darwin / So Much Gear, So Little Time
332
Robert King / So Much Gear, So Little Time
14
BigEvil / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
9
LAstudio / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
2

Forum Jump
Forum Jump