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LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler

A Beloved Solid-State T4 Electro-Optical Classic Compressor

The LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler combines custom UA transformers and design cues from the 1176LN with the T4 electro-optical attenuator of the LA-2A to create its own unique compression characteristics and sonic signature. The original LA-3A marked the departure from the tube design of the Teletronix LA-2A. Immediately embraced as a studio workhorse — serving in the rack of the remote van used to record Prince & The Revolution’s Purple Rain and employed for double-duty during the recording and mixing of Justin Townes Earle’s Midnight At The Movies as examples — the LA-3A remains a favorite of engineers and producers worldwide to this day.

  • True to the original in design, solid-state, T4 electro-optical classic compressor
  • Custom UA transformers & T4 cell
  • 1.5ms attack time or less
  • Hand-built in USA; backed by 1-Year limited warranty
  • View All Features

Our UA Classics reissue of the LA-3A meticulously retains all the internal and external qualities of the original: The same simple control set, and the T4 electro-optical attenuator, which is the source of the LA-3A's program dependent compression. It also retains the 2RU half-rack design, and comes complete with a single-unit rack assembly — no additional kit is necessary. All the original rear panel connections and controls are also maintained, while the commonly performed “LA-3A gain mod” is added as an additional switch for maximum studio versatility.



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  • Glenn Rosenstein

    (Ziggy Marley, U2)

    "There's a very specific reason why pieces of gear like an 1176 or an LA-2A or an LA-3 became ubiquitous."

    Justin Gerrish

    (Vampire Weekend)

    "Mixing [Vampire Weekend] I put LA-2As on the bass. I also used an 1176 and an LA-3A on the vocal, together in series."

    Bob Clearmountain

    (Bruce Springsteen)

    "[The new LA-3A] is every bit as smooth and transparent as the original – I really couldn't tell the difference."


    (Music Tech UK)

    "[The LA-3A has a] Rich, classic sound."

    Justin Peacock

    (Recording Magazine)

    "I tried the new LA-3A on a number of different sources and really liked its performances."

  • Michael Cooper

    (Mix Magazine)

    "[With the LA-3A] ... the nuances and perceived dynamics of the performance come shining through."

    Justin Peacock

    (Recording Magazine)

    "No matter how hard you push it, the sound remains remarkably clean ... the LA-3A is reassuringly in control"

    George Shilling

    (Resolution Magazine)

    "The sound remains remarkably clean, and you feel the LA-3A is reassuringly in control at all times."

    Craig Schumacher


    "To say that UA has done a good job of recreating the LA-3A would be an understatement. They have done an amazing job!"

    Craig Schumacher


    "[The LA-3A] is one of the best compressors ever made and an essential addition to the Universal Audio line.”

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Average Rating ( Reviews)

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Features & Specs
LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler

  • True to the original in design, solid-state, T4 electro-optical classic compressor
  • Custom UA transformers & T4 cell
  • Discrete amplifier – up to 50dB gain
  • 1.5ms attack time or less
  • 0.06 seconds for 50% release
  • Rear panel "Gain Mod" switch for gain control
  • Designed by ex-UREI® engineer, Dennis Fink
  • Hand-made at UA; backed by 1-Year limited warranty
Technical Specifications:

External Connections
Jones Barrier terminals and XLR connectors

Input Impedance
50, 150, 250, 600 ohms

Less than 0.33% at +24dBm

Frequency Response
20Hz - 20kHz +/- 0.5 dB

Noise Floor
-80 dB below program at threshold of limiting

30 ± 1dB, 50 ± 1dB

Output Level
+20 dBm nominal

Input Level
0dBm @ 50dB gain; +20dBm @ 30dB gain

1.5ms or less

0.06 seconds for 50% release


UA 2011 Product Catalog.pdf

LA-3A Manual.pdf