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LA2A vs. CL1B

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LA2A vs. CL1B are among the most liked compressors in the music industry for various bass, music recordings, and much more.

You might find similarities in both, but the differences are something that needs to be discussed to get a better idea of the two instruments.

Features of LA2AFeatures of Tube-Tech CL 1BFeatures of ELOP+ Manley
The original is accurate in terms of design, production, and performance.Special gain-reduction component with low distortion.Using 10:1 limiting and 3:1 compression ratios, an electro-optical compressor/limiter.
System for an optical attenuator without lag or distortion.Push-pull Amplifier made entirely of tubes.Two channels (stereo linkable).
Below 0.5% THD in distortion.Numerous compressors are connected through two buses.Dual-triode tubes 5751 and 6922 are used in the vacuum tube music route.
Amplification limiting from 0 through 40 dB.Measuring input, compressor, and output using a VU meter.Transformer-coupled Manley IRON-balanced XLR connectors.
Stereo connectivity using balance.Fluctuating attacking and releasing times all the time.XLR outputs with resistance balancing.
Response to frequency at 1 dB, 30–15,000 cpsRange of gain (off to +30dB)auto-mute, per-channel bypass switch (warm-up delay)

Tube Tech CL1B Vs LA2A

Tube Tech CL1B Sound Characteristic

An all-tube optical stereo amplifier, the TUBE-TECH CL 1B. Here is where CL 1B distinguishes out when contrasted to other compressors because it provides a melodic and smooth stretch while maintaining the source’s quality even at high settings. 

Additionally, the operation is highly intuitive, allowing you to swiftly and easily accomplish your aim.

The CL1B is by far the most widely used TUBE-TECH product. With good reason: The CL1B provides exceptionally musical and smooth compression for voices and instruments like guitar, bass, and keys (independent of the musical style), only what’s needed to make the recording fit into your combination without any harmonic distortion or damage, even at very high levels.

It’s VERY simple to operate the CL1B; just type in what you require! There is no need to question whether the setting works because you will listen and experience the action immediately.

The CL 1B is unquestionably the most popular TUBE-TECH product, with thousands of units purchased, and its characteristic tone can be found on many great records.

The LA-2A’s Sound Characteristic

Brochure for the LA-2A Leveling Amplifier from the Putnam period. Over fifty years after the introduction, is the LA-2A still so favored by audio artists of all stripes?

Everything revolves around the lengthy, soft, and flexible multi-stage release period. 

According to Bill Putnam Jr., President of International Audio, “It handles your signal so gently.” “Singing through it is motivating mentally. 

It reacts to the human voice particularly well in a way that promotes performance.

Because the LA-2A’s T4 optical attenuator depends on both the program and the frequency, the compression ratio can vary significantly depending on the source.

The LA-2A has a set 10-millisecond average attack time, but its distinctive releasing characteristics provide its distinctive sound. 

The initial 50% release takes place in a matter of 60 milliseconds, while the subsequent 50% proceeds gradually over the duration ranging from 1 to 15 seconds until the signal returns to 100%.

The length and power of the input signals have a significant impact on the time of the release. 

The release will be delayed if there is substantial compression or the signal exceeds the threshold for an extended period. The release will happen more quickly if the signal falls below the threshold.

People may see that after a protracted period of high compression, it takes a while for the meter to reset around 0 VU (no compression).

STA Level Vs. CL1B Vs. LA2A

STA Level

The renowned 1956 Gates Sta-Level has been recreated as the Retro Sta-Level. In the 1960s, The Sta-Level commanded the pop radio landscape. These incredibly musical-sounding compressors are now appearing in today’s tunes. 

The Retro Gold Version commemorates the company’s fifty years of history. Featuring six recoveries (release) time options and three operating settings, the Retro Sta-Level enhances the classic. Bass tracks can be quite smooth using single. 

For the majority of sources, Double is ideal. The Sta-Level can clamp down on quick transient waveforms while maintaining excellent musicality when using the Triple mode.

With these new modifications, you have a lot of freedom to choose the ideal stability controller for your applications.


John G. Petersen, the inventor of Tube-Tech, reimagined traditional optical compression with the 1991 release of the CL 1B Compressor. The CL 1B has since developed into a professional studio standard used by studios worldwide. 

It is actually the “go-to” processor for bass and singing in LA and Nashville. The explanation for its lasting popularity is obvious: even when pressed hard, it maintains the source’s purity while delivering velvety-smooth, musical-sounding fusion. 

The CL1B is a paradigm of simplicity in operating, allowing independent command for ratio, threshold, strike, and releasing.

Simply start dialing; you’ll understand what it’s doing right away and be able to focus easily on the ideal parameters.


With only two knobs—Gain and Peak Reduction—the LA-2A Leveling Amplifier is one of the easiest compressors to use.

It only has one gain stage. It can be used as a preamplifier and compressor because it has a 40 dB increase from input to output.

Now let us take a closer look at the LA-2A’s T4 optical attenuator. The electroluminescent screen and two cadmium-sulfide photographic capacitors, one of which regulates gain reduction while the other, which regulates the VU meter in Gain Reduction mode, are the core elements of the T4 cell.

The LED panel becomes brighter as the input current gets stronger. The gain decreases as the photo resistor’s admittance rise with increasing light intensity.

The illumination shrinks, and the resistor’s impedance falls as the input rate falls.

Tube Tech CL-1B vs. Manley ELOP

Tube Tech CL1B

An all-tube optical conventional single compressor, the TUBE-TECH CL 1B. CL 1B shines out compared to many other compressors, providing a highly melodic and seamless compression while maintaining the source’s clarity even at high settings. 

Additionally, the operation is highly easy, allowing you to swiftly and simply accomplish your aim. The CL1B is perhaps the most widely used TUBE-TECH product, with good reason. 

The CL1B provides melodic and smooth compression for voices and instruments like guitar, bass, and keys (independent of the musical style), only what’s needed to make the recording blend within the mix without intermodulation distortion or noise, even at the most severe levels.

Numerous popular records have used the CL1B, and irrespective of the style they play in, it is the rule that an increasing ratio of singers and artists requires the CL1B for future recordings.

For instance, the CL1B is a well-kept mystery that all the major Hip Hop and Rap singers primarily rely on for their voice quality.

History of CL1B

The Tube-Tech CL 1B has been a contemporary studio classic since its introduction in 1987. Why do engineers and producers frequently patch in this compressor for their sessions?

The compression provided by the optic tubing compressor is practical, butter-like, and free of the roughness sometimes found in conventional compressors. 

Particularly in the mainstream and hip-hop music scenes, this Tube-Tech CL 1B has grown to be known as the preferred compressor for voices.

Voice performances, including Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, and many other top-charting hitmakers, have often used the compressor. 

Despite its well-deserved status as a go-to voice microphone compressor, the Cl 1B can accomplish much more with various acoustic signals.

Manley Elop

Since its debut in the early 1990s, Manley’s ELOP has maintained a crucial link in the signal networks of top engineers. 

Manley now raises the bar with the ELOP+, a reinvented and re-engineered variation of the celebrated optical tube attenuator that offers the customer the flexibility of an additional 3:1 higher compression and the acoustic advantages of a compressed nitrogen tubular sound system, a White Follower production phase, and a cutting-edge fast switching power amplifier. 

The ELOP+ is expertly made in Manley’s Chino, California, facility and features the flawless sound, performance, and durable construction that Sweetwater has become accustomed to from Manley.

Similarly towards the LA-2A’s electro-optical architecture but with current improvements

The ELOP uses an electro-optical design similar to the Teletronix and Urei LA-2A, AL-3, and LA-4 safety systems. The signal is attenuated by shining an LED onto an LDR, which together works as a fluctuating voltage divider. 

The ELOP, however, uses cutting-edge VACTROL technology, providing sample-to-sample tracking and preventing high amounts while deep restricting, issues that many other Opto-limiters suffer from.

Quick assault for vocal or instrumental recording

The ELOP is a great “go-to” limiter whether you are recording voices or instruments, working life, or want those professional “squashing” sounds. It works well and is simple to use.

The ELOP additionally has two more operating modes: Stereo link mode and running each channel independently.

100Hz or 200Hz-switchable sidechain highpass filter

The ELOP now has a helpful sidechain highpass filter that Manley added. It can be switched between a 100Hz and a 200Hz frequency.

When turned on, the switch is easily toggled, preventing the ELOP from just responding to the music’s strong bass lines. This feature is particularly helpful for containing electronic and hip-hop genres.

Is Tube Tech CL1b worth it for vocals?

An optical compressor built entirely of tubes is the TUBE-TECH CL 1B Compressor. The device has a gain-reduction component placed just after the input converter.

The two consecutive control circuits, one for fixed Attack/Release and the other for variable Attack/Release, are housed in the present for a significant portion compressor, which also serves as its controller. 

You can use the two-time controllers alone or in tandem. The whole control of this circuit is made up of semiconductor OP-amps. A separate Bus selection with three points is utilized when connecting several compressors. 

However, most of us favor having an Opto first and a FET second, if necessary, for a tracking compressor. 

The Opto will “align” it, which is a non-professional’s way of saying that it appears to associate all the harmonics with responding together in an extremely pleasant way, smoothing out the voice and thickening the tone. It is only an allegory for the way it sounds. 

A FET as 1176 will halt any significant changes in the program material level, but it will not truly smooth out or deepen the tone similarly.

Who uses Tube-Tech CL1B?

The Tube-Tech CL-1B dynamics amplifier enhanced Kanye’s voice during the recording stage and all of his stage concerts.

Since Mr. West typically doesn’t want his name associated with any particular piece of equipment, we are thrilled to have a musician of this stature on the user’s page.

But in this instance, he has consented, and we view it — with all humility — as a crucial endorsement of the Tube-Tech sound.

Frequently Asked Question

Why is LA-2A a beneficial vocal substance?

The more pressure that occurs in the LA-2A takes longer to let go. Since there are no insane peaks or transients, the LA-2A keeps things smooth out, which is why it works great for speaking, slow tunes, or singing. In vocals, it sounds great. Bass benefited greatly from its use.

What is an Opto compressor?

An optical converter is an analog compressor that modifies the characteristics of an acoustic signal using a lighting component and optical cell. The light chemical element more light as the audio signal’s amplitude rises, which leads the optical cell to reduce the output signal’s amplitude.

Is LA-2A a tube?

The LA2A becomes a component of tube equipment where the differences in 12AX7 brands may be heard. Additionally, the quantity of noise between tubes is easily audible.

The LA-2A can maintain the appearance of musical characteristics while executing extreme-level management—a sound feature that several audio engineers seek out, especially for vocals and bass guitar usage.

The LA-2A is a tube-based compressor that was hand-wired. To gain control, it employs an electroluminescent screen in conjunction with a cadmium-sulfide light-dependent resistance (dubbed the T4 cell by the LA-2A).

The T4 features provide the LA-2A with its distinct personality by giving it a completely program-dependent structure.