Compressors/Limiters Continued


Teletronix Leveling Amplifier LA-2A 


  • Audio professionals revere the LA-2A. The original (the one in our studio) is desired for its smooth and natural compression characteristics
  • Electro-optical attenuator system allows instantaneous gain reduction with no increase in harmonic distortion
  • Invented in the early 1960s by James F. Lawrence II, founder of the Teletronix company in Pasadena, California.

“LA-2As warm things up ... they equalize all the warmth and low mids and bass. When you put bass and drums in them they get fatter and bigger. And unless you hit them way hard and make the tubes sizzle they don't really distort.”

Jim Scott (The Rolling Stones, Sting, Tom Petty and The Dixie Chicks)





Urei Model 1176 LN Compressor/Limiter Revision C 


  • Introduced in 1970 
  • The first true peak limiter with all solid-state circuitry
  • Inducted into the TEC Hall of Fame in 2008
  • Revision C added low noise circuits on additional circuit boards, reduced distortion and changed faceplate to black
  • Its sound is, in part, due to the fact that it’s program dependent. The attack and release are program dependent as well, as is the ratio. Anything you compress will sound true to itself.  The 1176 is capable of faithfully compressing or limiting at the selected ratio for transients, but the ratio will always increase a bit after the transient. To what degree is once again materially dependent. This is true for any of the 1176’s ratio settings and is part of its sound.

“The 1176 absolutely adds a bright character to a sound, and you can set the attack  so it's got a nice bite to it ... there's a sound on the attack and release which I don't think you can get with any other compressor.”

Mike Shipley (Queen, Aerosmith, The Sex Pistols, Green Day and Kelly Clarkson)

“They add a coloration that's bright and clear. Not only do they give you a little more impact from the compression, they also sort of clear things up.”

Jim Scott (The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sting and The Dixie Chicks)


Urei Model 1176 L-N Compressor/Limiter, Revision F 



  • Introduced in 1973 
  • Revision F (changed the output amplifier from class A to push-pull design. Metering circuit now uses an op-amp)
  • Most of its proprietary qualities remain the same as the original


DBX 165A Over Easy Compressor - Limiter 



  • Introduced in the late 1970s and never reissued.
  • One of the first compressors to use a VCA to control audio volume 
  • Has a soft approach or a ‘soft knee‘ threshold. 
  • Very unobtrusive



Gates STA-Level Compressor 


  • Designed in 1956
  • The sound of hit radio in the 1960s
  • Gates discontinued the product and the Retro company reissued it, but both of ours are original Gates!
  • It compresses audio signals with a great musicality and inspires experimentation on any instrument or audio source.
  • Famous for the VCA thump its design transmits on a signal. 

"The Sta-Level was the main compressor I used throughout the Clapton record. I also used the Sta-Level on Wynton Marsalis’ trumpet, which kept the edges of the sound round.The Sta-Level has the warmth, color and control I've always looked for in a tube compressor.Thanks again for another magic box.”

Justin Stanely (Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow and Beck

"If you own a Sta-Level, treasure it, pamper it, give it a special place in the middle of your equipment rack ... If you don't own one  buy a Retro Sta-Level and find out what makes them so desirable! This is the real thing!"

Sylvia Massy (Johnny Cash, Prince, R.E.M, Sublime, Tool and Tom Petty) 



RCA AGC Program Amplifier Type BA-25A 


  • Designed and introduced by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in the early 1950s
  • "We were going to sell it but it's just too damn cool sounding." - Flying Blanket Recording Studio
  • Rare 

Used On:

Originally used in the 1950s by NBC and KHQ for live broadcasts and telecasts 




Drawmer 1960 Vacuum Tube Compressor Pre Amp 


  • Comprised of completely natural sounding “soft knee” vaccuum tube compressor and extremely low noise microphone pre amp. 
  • Exploits the full potential of high performance condenser microphones
  • It gives vocals an "angelic choir sound"
  • Great for round, acoustic sounds. 
  • Combines the '60s sound with modern performance efficiency