As you probably know by now, especially after issue 24's feature interview, the Putnam brothers reactivated their dad's company and started building some of his old products again. And they are wonderful products, like the 1176 compressor, the 610 mic pre, and also this LA-2A - one of the most-loved compressors ever made. This is a tube compressor, with a light panel and photosensor controlling the attack and decay times, and is built nearly identical to the original (they added XLRs on the back and moved a knob to the front for easy access). The first time I used a vintage LA-2A I was surprised that there's only two knobs, which makes it easy to set, and the fact that it sounded so good. The reissue sounds just as good, I swear, and has become a daily-used tool at my studio. Vocals are reigned in without getting all squashed, bass evens out in the nicest way, guitars sound fuller - on the downside, because of the way it works this compressor is usually kinda slow for drums (so you may not enjoy the sound of a kick drum through it) and although it's not as expensive as an original vintage LA- 2A, it's not cheap at $3495 (list price, real price is much lower). But sometimes there's a reason that gear becomes classic - because it really works. (

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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