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LA AUDIO "classic" black face compressor Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 17th December 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
castle's Avatar
 

LA AUDIO "classic" black face compressor

Does anyone have any experience of the original LA Audio CLASSIC compressor (black faced). It says "a Guy Martin design", and I think it is FET based. I've been getting some really agressive sounds from it - with fast release, the distortion is amazing! Any opinions...?
Old 17th December 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dave-G's Avatar
My opinion is : it sucks rat doody balls. sell it to me for cheap ...

... It's been probably 17 years since I've even seen one of them, but on that memory -- it's a cool box. Nothing terribly fancy or schmancy, but a good utility compressor that can do a variety of things.

-dave
Old 17th December 2005
  #3
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

I haven't used or even seen one since 1996, when I used it as the mix buss comp on an avant-garde/jazz/rock disc I mixed. I remember it being pretty darn okay; not remarkable, nor terrible. I wound up using it because of all the stereo comps I had available that week it struck the best balance between too subtle and not subtle enough.
Old 17th December 2005
  #4
One word...boring.
Old 18th December 2005
  #5
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I have had one since they came out. Very handy tool, though I have to admit it doesn't get nearly as much use today as it used to. They were about 1200.00 new I think.

Quite a few guys that have come through here who were unfamiliar with it ended up using it quite a bit.
Old 24th December 2014
  #6
Yug
Here for the gear
Hi castle. That 'signature' classic compressor must be a rarity as I was unaware that any had been released with my name. Anyhow, I'm glad you've engoyed some of its sonic capabilities, some of which, I'd not intended it to be used so aggressively !
Old 25th December 2014
  #7
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These hardly come up for sale, maybe one or two units per year (those that have them keep them). FET circuit and sounds great for the little amount of money per channel it costs. If you are looking for a FET comp, grab the new Warm Audio WA76 at $600 for it's one channel 1176 clone as it's readily available and well recieved here. If you are waiting to grab the LA Audio Classic Compressor it's likely going to be a very long wait.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #8
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dlmorley's Avatar
I think they are GREAT. Not at all boring. The opposite. Certainly not a use on anything comp, but really nice.
Old 3rd July 2015
  #9
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

+1 ... very underated

Wiggy
Old 7th September 2017
  #10
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Which would be better, a LA CL2 or a Klark Teknik 1176-KT? I realise one is two channel and the other mono. I already have an 1178, will the CL2 do anything an 1178 can't do?
Old 24th September 2017
  #11
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All hardware compressors bring their own thing to the party. The 1178 is a stereo version of the 1176 but doesn't sound exactly like the couple prized earlier versions of the 1176 that are most in demand. The KT is one of the new cheap 1176 clones, Warm Audio also makes one and they sound a bit different too. The LA Audio Classic compressors (blackface original and later model 2) share a fixed threshold design feature found in the 1176. All listed are FET circuit designs and will have a fast grab charactistic.

The obvious differences between the two LA Audio Classic compressors is that the blackface original has 9 stepped ratio choices (off/1.3/2/3/5/8/12/20/30) and the later model 2 has 6 stepped ratio choices (1.5/2/3/5/10/20).

LA Audio also made a single rack space, 4 channel, FET circuit comp called the 4C. It's super cheap and sounds like it was designed for live sound use, so not really comparable to the above listed comps.



Below is some info I've saved off the net (but don't remember where - maybe even from here) which gives some other details so sorry I can't give proper credit.


"The LA Audio CLASSIC COMPRESSOR (blackface version) was designed by Guy Martin in the 1980's. Guy designed a 2 channel compressor (2 mono channels or linked stereo) that performed like an 1176. Both the the 1176 and LA Classic have a fixed threshold with variable inputs and outputs allowing the user to virtually move the threshold by varying the input signal. Where the 1176 has four compression Ratio settings buttons (2:1 - 4:1 - 8:1 - 20:1), the LA Classic's compression Ratio is set via a nine click stop pot per channel (OFF - 1.3:1 - 2:1 - 3:1 - 5:1 - 8:1 - 12:1 - 20:1 - 30:1). There is no "ALL Buttons In" setting like on the 1176. Under the LA Classic's "Stereo Link" function, both channels are controled via Channel A's pots except the "Input" pot which is still independent per channel.

Now for the REAL 1176:

When under "ALL IN" button Mode, a few more things are happening. The ratio goes to somewhere between 12:1 and 20:1, and the bias points change all over the circuit. As a result, the attack and release times change. This change in attack and release times creates a compression curve that results in an “overdriven” tone. The attacks and releases in All-Button become more like a severe plateau than a gentle slope! Furthermore, under "ALL IN" button mode there is a lag time on the attack of initial transients, creating a punchy attack (famously heard on hard rock drum kits in the early 1970s). This is followed by a “sucking” phenomenon that might be described as a “reverse look-ahead”. Finally, the perception of distortion is increased with lower frequencies. Because of this, you can get a very explosive sound from overheads or room mics with the 1176, especially with the frequencies and transients created by the kick drum. Pretty good for what is a "happy accident" setting of the 1176.

Back to the LA Audio Classic Compressor . . . To recreate the "ALL IN" button mode of the 1176 you would pick either the 12:1 or 20:1 ratio click stop. You may even be able to get something in between ala pickup selector switch of the Telecaster Guitar (set pot between click stops), but only testing the unit will reveal if thats possible. You can set "ATTACK" and "RELEASE" pots to get the compression curve similar. What you can't set is bias point circuit changes and attack lag. Basically you would have to compare and adjust next to an 1176 by ear then write down the settings if you can come close. I doubt it will be that close but only testing will tell. The LA Classic will however be more suited for master 2 buss use than the 1176 given it's stereo link and lower ratio options (is anybody even using 1176's or an 1178 on the master 2 buss though?)."
Old 24th September 2017
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Nothing like an 1178. I remember it kind of slick/oily sounding but with a punch if you want and the thing that would come out when you had used up all the comps that really excited you. It would get a job done without ruining and often better, depending on the job, but not something I'd bother chasing down now. Was a long while ago though.....
Old 25th September 2017
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Nothing like an 1178. I remember it kind of slick/oily sounding but with a punch if you want and the thing that would come out when you had used up all the comps that really excited you. It would get a job done without ruining and often better, depending on the job, but not something I'd bother chasing down now. Was a long while ago though.....
Are your comments about the 1178 or the LA Audio? i already have an 1178.
Old 25th September 2017
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Funk View Post
Are your comments about the 1178 or the LA Audio? i already have an 1178.
The LA Audio based on memory from many moons ago. Did use it a lot though as they had one in the studio I learned in.
Old 1st March 2019
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by castle View Post
Does anyone have any experience of the original LA Audio CLASSIC compressor (black faced). It says "a Guy Martin design", and I think it is FET based. I've been getting some really agressive sounds from it - with fast release, the distortion is amazing! Any opinions...?
I have a LA Audio 4G Studio Compressor for sale
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