13 – Urei/Universal Audio LA-3A

Marking a departure from the valve design of the wildly successful LA-2A, the LA-3A, debuted in 1969, combines the UA transformers from the 1176 with the electro-optical attenuator of the LA-2A to offer a unique sonic signature.

Where the LA-2A does warmth and colour, the 3A does rich, hi-fi punch – particularly in the lower-mids, which explains why more than a few of the world’s finest engineers claim that the 3A is the world’s best guitar compressor.

Well into its grand fifth decade of life, the LA-3A, remodelled by Universal Audio in plugin form, remains a hugely respected studio stalwart at the top of the tree.

Author David Felton
13th November, 2012

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