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Universal Audio LA-3A Compressor

Dolphin id:36895 Product SKU:LA3A

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Classic Audio Leveler

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The original LA-3A Audio Leveler made its debut at the 1969 NY AES show and marked the departure from the tube design of the Teletronix LA-2A Leveling Amplifier. The LA-3A incorporated components and design concepts from the Putnam-designed 1176LN Limiting Amplifier. Immediately embraced as a studio workhorse and still widely used today, the LA-3A remains a favorite of engineers and producers worldwide for its unique compression characteristics and sonic signature.

Our UA Classics reissue of the LA-3A meticulously retains all the internal and external qualities of the original: The same simple control set, and the T4 electro-optical attenuator, which is the source of the LA-3A’s program dependent compression. It also retains the 2RU half-rack design, and comes complete with a single-unit rack assembly--no additional kit is necessary. All the original rear panel connections and controls are also maintained, while the commonly performed “LA-3A gain mod” is added as an additional switch for maximum studio versatility.


  • Classic Solid-State Opto-Compressor
  • Custom UA Transformers & T4 cell
  • Discrete Amplifier – up to 50dB gain
  • Rear Panel "Gain Mod" switch for gain control
  • Designed by ex-UREI engineer- Dennis Fink

Technical Specifications

  • External Connections Jones Barrier terminals and XLR connectors
  • Gain Reduction up to 40 dB
  • Distortion Less than 0.33% at +24dBm
  • Frequency Response 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.5 dB
  • Noise Floor -80 dB below program at threshold of limiting
  • Gain 30 +/- 1dB, 50 +/- 1dB
  • Output Level +20 dBm nominal
  • Input Level 0dBm @ 50dB gain; +20dBm @ 30dB gain
  • Attack 1.5ms or less
  • Release 0.06s for 50% release
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