I've never built an electronic device, but am really interested in building an LA-2a. I've taken a little electronics course, but I'm really novice. Will this project be too much for a beginner, also if anyone here has done it I'm curious how it turned out.
I've done several opto comps, but not the LA-2A. While smashing sounding there's no really need for a tubed sidechain circuit. Also the PSU could do with an update.
I don't use the T4B gain reduction opto cell. It's too expensive and unreliable. I prefer discrete LDRs or Vactrols.
Beware there's several version os of the LA-2A, using UTC or Triad transformers for in/out. I'm not sure these can be found today. Perhaps you can get them as spare parts from Universal Audio (the company that currently builds it) or UREI (the company that used to build it).
You can also get the T4B cell from those companies. Very expensive and so are the trannies probably. I think Sowter (UK) have a direct drop-in output trannie..
All the tubes are availiable today at a reasonable price.
It's not too difficult to build, there's some VERY good schematics/articles on the net. Do you have those? I've also seen complete plans on how to to it yourself.
I'll dig the stuff up if needed.
Since a new UA LA-2A will run you about 3500US$ (same price as a good vintage, no coincedense, I guess) I do think it's worth to make one your own.
Lemme' know if you need nay help!
schematics & step-by-step
Check out this guy's site.
I've heard from another source as well that the schematic floating around on the web is slightly incorrect. For about 30 bucks (25 for PDF files) you get a book with schematics, info on suppliers and step-by-step instructions on putting the beast together.
Best of luck.
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