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Help me choose a new vocal compressor! Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 23rd November 2006
  #1
Gear Nut
 
ArsenalSound's Avatar
 

Help me choose a new vocal compressor!

Hi guys, long time lurker, first time poster here. I really like this site and was hoping I could get some advice and suggestions.

I'm looking for a new compressor that will mainly be used for tracking male pop rock vocals and bass guitar. I already have the Purple Audio MC-76 and love it, but wouldn't mind having something else to compliment it. I used to have a Distressor, but I found the Purple much more pleasing to my ears.

The potential contenders I've come up with are:

Reissue Universal LA 2A
Retro Sta Level
Red Stripe (not the beer LoL like an la2a)
ADL CL 1000
Manley ELOP

I figure I probably can't go wrong with the LA2A. BUT, what about the new Retro Sta Levels? Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with them? Has anyone compared an LA2A to the Retro Sta Level, especially for male vocals? It's hard to find any reviews...seems like it might be a secret weapon comp lol.
let the brawling begin, and btw happy turkey day!
Old 23rd November 2006
  #2
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
Out of your list i pick the LA2 but you might want to try and find an older one not the reissue






steve perkins
Old 23rd November 2006
  #3
84K
Lives for gear
 
84K's Avatar
Vintage LA3 or a new Purple MC77
Old 23rd November 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
edvdr76's Avatar
You should add the Summit DCL-200 to your list. It's a great compressor with a beautiful color to it.
Old 23rd November 2006
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Poplab Studios's Avatar
 

2nd the Purple MC77 B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L
Old 23rd November 2006
  #6
Gear Addict
 
Poplab Studios's Avatar
 

Ups! it´s to early in the morning here;-) you already have a purple!
i also use the manley often for vocals, i find the Elop very nice too!

cheers
Old 23rd November 2006
  #7
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

The TubeTech tube-optos are very nice.

For something cleaner and less obvious but nice and musical check out the Buzz audio SOC 1.1.

The 1176-ish stuff you should have covered with the Purple.

Go with an optical, that would be a good companion to the purple.
Old 23rd November 2006
  #8
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
I love the MC77 but i saw he already has an MC76 ............

So thats why i said to go with the LA2 with the old trans






steve
Old 23rd November 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
jdjustice's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
The TubeTech tube-optos are very nice.
For something cleaner and less obvious but nice and musical check out the Buzz audio SOC 1.1.
The 1176-ish stuff you should have covered with the Purple.
Go with an optical, that would be a good companion to the purple.

totally agree here; the Tube-Tech CL-1B would be an excellent choice if not the re-issued LA-2A. and the Buzz Audio is also a top-notch choice.

i haven't used an original LA-2A but i think the re-issue sounds great, especially on vocals, and i don't see what the big complaint is with the re-issue. if it sounds great it is great, right?


~j.d.
Old 23rd November 2006
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Oh! oh! oh!

I have an 1176LN reissue and I just added an LA-2A after it. Couldn't be happier. Just compres lightly (-2db) or even less. Gives a great warmth. I love it. The Purple is basically an 1176 from what I hear.
Steve
Old 23rd November 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
foldback's Avatar
I run 1176 Classic into LA-2 Classic with a 1073 clone on the frontend, all the time. The best sounding, most controllable, lushess fat vocal chain I've ever heard or used. I'm recording me so I'm extremely particular.
Old 23rd November 2006
  #12
Old 24th November 2006
  #13
Gear Nut
 
ArsenalSound's Avatar
 

Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the responses I've got so far. Its been very helpful. Seems like the consensus would be some sort of LA2A, be it vintage, reissue, or a clone type, like the Tube-Tech. I was looking into the Buzz Audio SOC, but I want something with color, and I've heard that comp is more clean. I do however like Buzz Audio as I have the SSA1.1 preamp, and was actually thinking about getting the MA2.2; very clean pre's, but not sterile at all.

Funny tangent, MC76 vs MC77... I mentioned I have the Purple Audio MC76 for my 1176 thang, but some suggested that I upgrade to the MC77. However, I've heard that the transformers in the MC76's are more true to the original 1176's that they were trying to copy. The only difference besides that that I've heard is you can also true bypass the MC77 as an added feature. To me, that's not reason enough to get the newer MC77, especially if the trannies in the MC76 are better sounding. just a thought, perhaps I'm not informed entirely on the subject..maybe someone here knows.

Still no takers on a complete review of the Retro Sta Level? ; ( I have heard that it's amazing for bass guitar and for mixing though...
Old 24th November 2006
  #14
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Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by muziekschuur View Post
The Vipre is a Mic Preamp

You must have been thinking of the Glory Comp.

Old 24th November 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
gwailoh's Avatar
 

FWIW I compared the Manley ELOP with the Langevin version. Electronically the circuits are identical until you reach the make-up gain stage, which of course is a tube circuit in the Manley, solid state in the Langevin. Not surprisingly the compression characteristics are identical, but to my ear the Manley has a little bit of a smokey kinda vibe thing going on in the low mids, which may be the perfect secret sauce for you, or maybe not.

In the end I went with the Langevin. It's the only compressor I've tested so far which can take a few db off electric bass without altering the overtones that make it so gorgeous. Also, the Langevin DVC contains the same ELOP circuit plus pre amps and eq for about the same cost as the Manely ELOP, so it's a pretty good deal.
Old 24th November 2006
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Vocal compressor...

For smooth jazz and pop absolutely the LA-2A is amazing. I have the ADL 1000 and it is terrific. I think maybe better than the UA or an original, for the old ones are seldom in great condition. Anthony Demaria claims THE 1000 to be closer to the original than UA. All I know is it is one of the best values in High end...

Anthony's gear is great and his support is excellent. He will talk to you personally for a good long time. Great guy. And way more affordable than UA or the original as they can be had new for around a $1000.00

I use the ADL 1000 with a 1073 clone called the CA-73 made by Thomas Kristiansson (Vintage Design) in Switzerland with slight improvements to add airiness to the highs while keeping the 1073 fatness and a special DI. Again, Thomas makes GREAT gear, more custom and hand made than Vintech, and his service and personal attention is terrific. A true gear slut (and his personal favorite combo he told me is the 1073/LA-2A, BTW...)

And one could not mention compressors without the Urie 1176!!!! It defines rock and roll!

Then at last I have a m147 which i love. Hoping someday to get a 149. But still it is an amazing combo. I have recorded my voice in dozens of BIG studios and I never got vocals as good as I'm getting at home on this rig. Could of course have been crappy engineers.....:~)

I am also getting ready to get an apogee AD as the final link.

BTW AL Schmidt who got the grammy for engineering Dianna Krall recently, told me he uses that Summit mpc-100 compressor mentioned by someone else here and swears by it for the versatility, and also the LA-2A, and he mostly uses the Martech MSS-10 pre-amp which I am surprised to not see mentioned in any posts here. It is supposed to be phenominal.

IMHO
Old 24th November 2006
  #17
Gear Nut
 
ArsenalSound's Avatar
 

Hey Lust4lyfe, thanks for your response....I was interested in the ADL 1000, but it seemed to get really mixed reviews here on this site...some people loving it and saying it's the second coming of Christ for the LA2A, and some people thinking it was death!!! I'm glad to hear a good review on it, b/c it does have a great price. I heard that Mike Shipley has a pair of them and loves them. I dunno, I know you can find a used LA2A reissue for around 1600, so I was thinking about going in that direction; perhaps I should take a second look at the ADL 1000 though. Anybody else? thanks again SLUTZ ; )
Old 24th November 2006
  #18
Moderator
 
James Lugo's Avatar
 

Another vote for an La2a. I'm Pacifica>1176>La2a... It sounds wicked.
Old 24th November 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
For vocal Tube Tech CL1B is my first choice for vocals, in most cases to my ears better than LA2A, but still LA2A is must have.
Higher league are Requiste Audio and Innertube Audio ASB, well price only
Old 24th November 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArsenalSound View Post
Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the responses I've got so far. Its been very helpful. Seems like the consensus would be some sort of LA2A, be it vintage, reissue, or a clone type, like the Tube-Tech. I was looking into the Buzz Audio SOC, but I want something with color, and I've heard that comp is more clean. I do however like Buzz Audio as I have the SSA1.1 preamp, and was actually thinking about getting the MA2.2; very clean pre's, but not sterile at all.

Funny tangent, MC76 vs MC77... I mentioned I have the Purple Audio MC76 for my 1176 thang, but some suggested that I upgrade to the MC77. However, I've heard that the transformers in the MC76's are more true to the original 1176's that they were trying to copy. The only difference besides that that I've heard is you can also true bypass the MC77 as an added feature. To me, that's not reason enough to get the newer MC77, especially if the trannies in the MC76 are better sounding. just a thought, perhaps I'm not informed entirely on the subject..maybe someone here knows.

Still no takers on a complete review of the Retro Sta Level? ; ( I have heard that it's amazing for bass guitar and for mixing though...
I'm pretty sure all of the people who suggested the MC77, hadn't actually read your original post saying that you already have an MC76. However, if you are interested in the extra features of the MC77 (e.g. the true bypass and side chain insert), I think Purple can modify the MC76 to MC77 specs. I would imagine you could request that they leave in your original transformers, if this is something that you are worried about.

An alternative to the UA LA-2A reissue is the bloo LA-2A clone, which is available as a DIY kit, but can also be bought pre-assembled. I like the Tube Tech CL1B, but it's a lot more transparent than an LA-2A. You might want to take that into consideration given your reservation about the Buzz.

Finally, if you are based in or near the UK, I have an orginal Sta-Level for sale that has just been serviced by Funky-Junk.
Old 24th November 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
gainreduction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy Williams View Post
I have an orginal Sta-Level for sale that has just been serviced by Funky-Junk.
How much are you asking ?
Old 24th November 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Steamy Williams's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
How much are you asking ?
PM'ed you.

I'll be putting an add in the classified section in the next week or two, if anyone else would like to know the asking price in the mean time please PM me.
Old 24th November 2006
  #23
tube tech CL1b is great, I also like the elop,
Old 24th November 2006
  #24
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
tube tech CL1b is great, I also like the elop,
Hard to beat an LA2a, and it depends on the music, but boy I sure still love the LA3a on pop/rock vocals...

TH
Old 24th November 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Pepe Ortega's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
boy I sure still love the LA3a on pop/rock vocals...

TH

My LA3a Vintage modified by Jim Williams sounds great on Vocals !!!
Old 24th November 2006
  #26
Gear Addict
 
usamike's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
Hard to beat an LA2a, and it depends on the music, but boy I sure still love the LA3a on pop/rock vocals...

TH
Original or reissue?
Old 24th November 2006
  #27
another vote for an original La-2a,

if you want to go custom, one of my favourite voc compressor is a custom made 1176 with a 1272 make up gain circuit instead of the original FET design, a great vocal comp thumbsup (especially when followed by an La-2a )
Old 24th November 2006
  #28
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Are you looking for something that sounds affected or remains clean / transparent?

War
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