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LA2A reissue vs. ADL1000 vs. SH Mono Optograph!! Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 17th August 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

LA2A reissue vs. ADL1000 vs. SH Mono Optograph!!

Hi guys,

I have a dilemma. My "small and simple" studio has become an all consuming monster, and I'm trying to save on some rack space if possible.

I was about to pull the trigger on a pair of the current UA LA-2A reissues. While these take up 6U of rack space, alternatively, I'm also considering a pair of ADL 1000's (saves me 2U) (and yes, I know that an ADL1500 could save me 4U) or a pair of Shadow Hills Mono Optographs in the 500 Series. (saves me 3U, and leaves space for 6 more units in the 2nd 500 rack as well)

My question is this: These are meant for Lead vox, Chorus Groups, bass and acoustic guitars, wherever/whenever required. I have a pretty comprehensive selection of multiple other outboard compressors to handle different stuff. (Elysia, API, Shadow Hills, Manley, TK Audio, JDK Audio, etc) I would love some input on essentially LA2A reissue (current version only) vs. ADL1000 vs. SH Mono Optograph. Please speak from personal experience, and I would love to know which one does it for you, and why. Are they, broadly speaking, interchangeable?

Thanks in Advance!!!

Farhad
Old 17th August 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
Can't comment on what you are specifically asking but I did want to let you know (in case it helps) that I LITERALLY just read a thread where Anthony DeMaria confirmed that the ADL1500 is exactly the same as the ADL1000 - hopefully others can help you with the bulk of your question.
Old 17th August 2011
  #3
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

for what you are describing i would go for an old Urei LA 3A over the ADL or the UA LA 2A any day...........
Old 17th August 2011
  #4
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farhadkd's Avatar
 

@superwack

Thanks for that info!!! My concern here is more that service and support is not easy here, and well something going down in a stereo or dual mono unit in a single chassis (for e.g.. the power supply) equates to losing 2 processes instead of just one if a mono unit goes down for the same...
Old 18th August 2011
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluerental View Post
for what you are describing i would go for an old Urei LA 3A over the ADL or the UA LA 2A any day...........
Even with the LA3A "crunch"?
Old 18th August 2011
  #6
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

i love the tone of the UREI LA 3A if that is what you mean by "crunch."
mine only crunches if i want it to.
it always imparts a certain tone on things, but so do all the boxes mentioned if you ask me. it just comes down to which tone one likes best.

for me, the UREI LA 3A is one of my favorites on all the sources the OP listed.
vocals, bass, acoustic and electric guitars............
it can go from very transparent compression on a vocal or ac gtr, to downright dirty and squashed on electrics or is also great for holding a bass in place and giving it some balls, especially in series with a distressor or DBX 160x.

the UA LA 3A is somehow not the same and i did not care for its tone at all.

these are all matters of personal taste.
Old 18th August 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
farhadkd's Avatar
 

guys...

buying vintage gear and getting it 220V, AND maintaining it is not an option here in India. I'm seriously well covered on other compressor type/colour fronts. Seriously. Just want to know about these in particular...
Old 18th August 2011
  #8
The ADL compressor does a funny thing to audio and not in a good way. It tends to thin out the audio a bit. I owned a pair of them for a while.
Old 19th August 2011
  #9
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
I have and use an ADL-1500 every day and I would never describe it as thin sounding. Are you sure your unit is working properly? The ADL-1500 is my favorite compressor for tracking. It is more transparent sounding than a vintage LA-2A, but again, I would not classify it as thin sounding.
Old 19th August 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
TonyR's Avatar
 

I have a ADL 1500 and my unit doesn't sound thin, too.
I don't know if it sounds like a LA2A but it sounds good.
Old 20th August 2011
  #11
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
for the LA2A vibe but w more options, check the Acme opticom.
I've got one here.very vibey.sounds great.
Old 1st July 2014
  #12
*bump*

I'm wondering the same thing as the OP. Has anybody had any use with all three?
Old 1st July 2014
  #13
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Cathedral Guitar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by superwack View Post
just read a thread where Anthony DeMaria confirmed that the ADL1500 is exactly the same as the ADL1000
I have been reading threads saying that they not only do the ADL 1000 and 1500 sound different, but you can put them on a scope to demonstrate it. They may both have 100% identical circuit designs, but the components are laid out differently on different circuit boards, and it is the placement and interaction of the components in relationship to each other can change the sound.

I'm sure the same principle is in part responsible for audible differences between some 19" rack and 500-series designs of the same exact circuit. So just because the circuit is 100% identical, the different component/board layout can still change the sound.

<https://www.gearslutz.com/board/4772034-post13.html>
Old 1st July 2014
  #14
Here for the gear
 
jonathanmardukas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathedral Guitar View Post
I have been reading threads saying that they not only do the ADL 1000 and 1500 sound different, but you can put them on a scope to demonstrate it. They may both have 100% identical circuit designs, but the components are laid out differently on different circuit boards, and it is the placement and interaction of the components in relationship to each other can change the sound.

I'm sure the same principle is in part responsible for audible differences between some 19" rack and 500-series designs of the same exact circuit. So just because the circuit is 100% identical, the different component/board layout can still change the sound.

<https://www.gearslutz.com/board/4772034-post13.html>
What he said.

I have two 1000s (one with the Jim Williams mod) and a 1500. There is a sonic difference between the 1000 and 1500. If you buy a 1000, do yourself a favor and send it Jim Williams, I couldn't believe how much better it sounded.
Old 1st July 2014
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
alexkemp's Avatar
 

SH opto - absolutely perfect for the uses you describe!
Old 2nd July 2014
  #16
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Swurveman's Avatar
What kind of input are you going to get on a message board that is going to persuade you whether or not to buy arguably the best mono compressor ever made due to rack space concerns? Think about it: You're considering a $6,400.00 investment for two LA-2A's and you're concerned about rack space?
Old 8th July 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
I owned a ADL 1500 for a while and it was the beefiest and thickest sounding compressor I've ever used. I hope to one day get an ADL 1000/1500.
Old 8th July 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
I owned a ADL 1500 for a while and it was the beefiest and thickest sounding compressor I had ever used. I hope to one day get an ADL 1000/1500.
Old 8th July 2014
  #19
Lives for gear
I owned a ADL 1500 for a while and it was the beefiest and thickest sounding compressor I had ever used. I hope to one day get an ADL 1000/1500.
Old 8th July 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
I owned a ADL 1500 for a while and it was the beefiest and thickest sounding compressor I had ever used. I hope to one day get an ADL 1000/1500.
Old 8th July 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
I owned a ADL 1500 for a while and it was the beefiest and thickest sounding compressor I had ever used. I hope to one day get an ADL 1000/1500.
Old 8th July 2014
  #22
Lives for gear
I owned a ADL 1500 for a while and it was the beefiest and thickest sounding compressor I had ever used. I hope to one day get an ADL 1000/1500.
Old 8th July 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
I owned a ADL 1500 for a while and it was the beefiest and thickest sounding compressor I had ever used. I hope to one day get an ADL 1000/1500.
Old 11th January 2017
  #24
Gear Head
 
Ladderwalker86's Avatar
Wondering the same thing as the OP. I own an LA2A reissue for vocals but I have room in my 500 chassis and could save space and $ by switching to the SH Optogtaph. Would love to hear from anyone that has used both.
Old 11th January 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
 

I've been here - I walked away with the Buzz Audio SOC 20 an Opto that has Great Lundahl Transformers and better is totally modular in its PCB build, this means should one board or circuit PCB go down, you send for a replacement and don't end up stuck in mud. The Buzz SOC 20 has amazing Mid/Side Depth control, Theshold for days, Great timing options, bling like LED lights and it's Feel and Round sound is sublime. If I were in India it would be my solution. Swapping parts makes repairs easy etc.

I doubt I'd go for 2 X LA2a's if your thinking space is a problem, that's the wrong way of looking at form and function, the ADL 1000 (I love this unit) and 1500 do both carry some mighty junk in the back, so getting knocked about could be an issue! The LA3a I simply don't think is my cup of tea. Seems modernity has made up for these lost relics, yes they have uses, though I cN think of preferred options. I'm certainly not a plug in person though in India, I'd certainly consider it! I think the Three Units you list leave so many new options out, and going 500 series on some types of designs Big Trafo and Opto seems wasteful when you can utilise 24 volt rails. Still...15 Volt 500 series could be seen as a safe harbour in India, good luck!
Old 11th January 2017
  #26
m03
Gear Maniac
 
m03's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLastByte View Post
Still...15 Volt 500 series could be seen as a safe harbour in India, good luck!
Hopefully he's worked it out in the six years since he posted in the thread
Old 15th May 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by m03 View Post
Hopefully he's worked it out in the six years since he posted in the thread
Seriously if you've never found a mouldy old thread, your just not looking!
It's near an artform when 10 year old replies flood in!
Cheers
TLB
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