When it comes to compressors, fewer are more famous than the LA-2A. However, for many of us, price is still a factor in the gear acquisition process, with units costing around $3500. So, when Warm Audio announced that they would be launching an optical compressor based on the same schematics as the original LA-2A for only $899/£799, we decided we had to take a look. We spoke to Bryce from Warm Audio to find out more.
Information follows from Warm Audio.
Press Release: Warm Audio is pleased to announce the latest addition to their growing lineup of products, the WA-2A optical compressor. True to its inspiration; the WA-2A boasts an all tube, completely discrete signal path with through-hole component topology. The WA-2A proudly features custom, large-core Cinemag input and output transformers, four premium vacuum tubes, and the legendary Kenetek opto-cell, considered by many to be the world’s finest.
No plug-in or other compressor type quite compares to the warm, forgiving, fluid qualities of this classic optical tube compressor. For decades, the renowned ‘2A type circuit has become the go-to device for seamlessly handling vocals, bass, and a wide variety of other instruments and program material in an effortlessly smooth way.
Keeping it real...
From the first stages of development we felt it essential to stay true to the classic design. The WA-2A uses the same four-tube design, dual transformers, and optical photo-cell as the original circuit.
We are proudly using Cinemag Transformers in this product and truly believe they are of the finest quality available. CineMag provides premium transformers that we feel meet and exceed the specifications of anything found in the vintage units.
The heart of any optical compressor is the opto-cell; a delicately crafted enclosure packed with photo-resistors and a luminescent panel. Though technologically archaic, the making and fine-tuning of these esoteric modules is something that will ‘make or break’ an optical compressor. For this, we turned to Kenetek, who are considered by many to make the world’s finest opto-cell.
An optical compressor you can afford...
Releasing the WA-2A would be for nothing if we couldn’t make it affordable. Since the start of Warm Audio we have strived to give an unprecedented value to our customers, by putting high end audio within the reach of more people than ever before. This philosophy drives everything we do, and every product we offer.
The WA-2A’s price is £799.00 including VAT in the UK, $899 in the USA.