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ART Pro VLA II Pro Studio Edition Tube Leveling Amplifier

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List Price: $379.00
Our Price: $269.00

Availability: Usually Ships in 24 Hours
Product Code: 7536


ART Pro VLA II Pro Studio Edition Tube Leveling Amplifier

ART ProVLA II Pro Studio Edition Tube Leveling Amplifier

ART Pro VLA II Details

The PRO VLA II (Vactrol based Leveling Amplifier) is a multi-purpose tool for audio engineering and recording. Enclosed in a 2U (3.5" high) rack-mountable chassis are two independent channels of analog leveling/compression designed to work seamlessly with any recording, sound-reinforcement, or electronic instrument setup. ART??s PRO VLA II circuitry is a hybrid design utilizing the latest and most advanced analog and tube technology. Using a transformerless design throughout, the PRO VLA II maintains exceptional signal integrity and extremely low noise. Its VCA-less design utilizes optical electronics (Vactrol) coupled with a 12AX7 vacuum tube gain stage for superior musical performance.

The PRO VLA II is a soft knee leveling amplifier by design. Although it is capable of providing a thoughougly "squashed" signal, the PRO VLA II was designed to excel in areas where transparent, expressively musical dynamics control is desired. In addition to making signal levels more manageable, it is common practice to apply compression or limiting to a signal to make it louder or more "in-your-face". The benefit of using the PRO VLA II for these applications is in its design. By utilizing opto-electronics, the PRO VLA II allows you to add more compression without sounding like you??re squashing the daylights out of the signal. Unlike typical compressors which use VCA??s to control level detection, the PRO VLA II is very musical. The nature of its operation is much like the way your eye adjusts to light. Just as your eye transparently adjusts to changes in light, the PRO VLA II adjusts to changes in signal level.

Developed in partnership with studio and live sound engineers, the PRO VLA II possesses a "sound" that is not available from any other compressor on the market - at any price! The PRO VLA II was designed and constructed with the absolute best components, assuring a lifetime of quiet, reliable performance.

ART Pro VLA II Features

  • VCA-less Design Provides Unrivaled Musical Performance
  • Provides Superior Dynamics Control For Every Compression Application
  • Variable Threshold, Ratio and Output Controls
  • Smooth, Silky and Transparent Sound Quality
  • Variable Input and Output Gain Controls
  • Professional Backlit VU
  • Input/Output Level Metering
  • Ten Segment Gain Reduction LED Array
  • XLR and 1/4" Inputs and Outputs
  • Mastering Quality Audio Processing
  • Five Year Warranty

New Additions to VLA II

Enhanced Link Mode

  • In link mode, CH1 output control acts as a master output level and CH2 becomes a Balance control. This optimizes the Pro VLA II for use as a mastering processor

Active balanced outputs

  • The old VLA has balanced outputs that have 6dB more gain than when using them in the unbalanced mode. This shows up as an error when using the VU meter to compare the input and output level

LED output meter

  • Always monitors the output level allowing the user to view BOTH input and output levels at the same time
  • LED meter indicates BOTH average level and peak hold

Attack and Release knobs vs. switches

  • The old version has switches that allow the user to adjust the attack time between "Fast"(~1mSec) and Normal(~10mSec). The release switch can be set to "normal" (200mSec) and "Auto"(program dependant, but rather long on average)
  • Attack time ranges from .25mSec to 50mSec
  • Release time ranges from 0.1Sec to 3Sec. (This is program dependent at shorter release rates).
  • Improved detector that lowers low frequency distortion at fast release rates.

Improved package

  • Rounded front panel machined to countersink all knobs and level meters
  • Re-inforced ears
  • LED lit switch caps
  • Heavier chassis and cover ruggedized for longer life on the road

Lower noise

  • +4dBu/-10dBv mode switch optimizes the unit for Pro OR consumer operating system levels
  • Toroidal transformer reduces mechanical and electrical hum
  • Tweaked Tube circuit for better dynamic range
  • Increased transformer shielding

Increased ranges on Threshold and Output gain. This allows the user a wider range of operation

  • Old threshold = -20 to +15, New threshold range = -30dB to +20dB
  • Old output gain max = +10dB, New output gain = +20dB

All of the pots have detents

What We Think - ART Pro VLA II Review

The ART Pro VLA II is a great bang for the buck. The pots are smooth, the metering is clear (you can even calibrate the VU meters to match the LEDs), it can be used for mono, dual mono, or stereo (with the channel linking function), and looks good while doing it. It can be subtle and light, or punchy and thick with good breathing. I personally like it on vocals and drum buss. The tubes give it an extra bit of character that nicely smooths things out and adds a touch of presence. The VLA II is definitely a great buy for those on a budget that need a quality two channel comp to add so character and control to their tracks.


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Average Customer Review 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 11

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
New Tubes and You are Rocking September 29, 2014
Reviewer: scott neilson from Highland, UT United States  
Ok so When I first got this unit Id say I was less than stocked. I was like what the heck, its a tube comp and it sounds kind of sterile... that being said I got a recommendation on a popular gear forum that suggested I order a pair of NOS mallard tubes to swap the cheap stock Ruby tubes out.... Holy crap when I did it opened the unit right up. I would say the units top brightened up and the bottom got tighter. After that swap the unit had a present character. There is a reason you see these "cheap" units in a lot of studios, even high end ones.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
If you are outside US and ... June 27, 2012
Reviewer: Vladimir Koldomasov from Moscow, Moscow Russia  
... you have 220V just remove the fuse box, turn it and then reinsert. Your amplififier now 220V device!
I have no idea about that on other ART products...

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
the other bang for the buck classic May 25, 2012
Reviewer: DW from Manassas, VA United States  
Along with the RNC, RNLA, and DBX 160 I think this is the other bang-for-the-buck classic dynamics box.  This one sets apart from the others with a largeness and beefiness of sound thanks to the tube/optical design.  It has great clarity or fidelity at the same time.  I used it on things that I wanted to thicken up like bass and vocals, most of the time.  It also worked really well on drum rooms for some pumpy action.  If you drive it too hard it will act a bit crazy, but, that can be good for pumpy drums, and, in other cases I never wanted to drive it that hard anway.  Two sides for the price of one is another great feature.  I don't think you need to swap the tubes in this I think they are JJ which are high quality tubes.  If you're going to throw money around like that just go higher on the ladder, something like the FMR PBC-6A.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
I rarely curse at it : ) May 16, 2012
Reviewer: Matthew Moorman from Hillsdale, NY United States  
I like this. I use it. It's colored but not nearly to the level that I would say it has "mojo". Most signals will get rounder, fatter through this box. Beefs: The bypass switches are horribly crackly which really damages A/B analysis, and I don't entirely trust the meters, and the stereo link function does something weird to the signal (sounds better with both channels separate and matched). But I am overall happy with it.
If you're just gearing up, try to remain honest with yourself and remember that when a signal gets louder 9/10 times the listener/ear is going to say that it just got better.
Also, I put an expensive "matched" set of mullard tubes in the unit, and while I do believe there was clarity improvement, it was verry, very slight. For the bang for buck factor, I would not recommend the tube upgrade. If you have them try em out. If not , don't bother...unless you need mental placebo.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Can't live with out it May 16, 2012
Reviewer: nicholas d'angelo from torrance, CA United States  
this is my 2nd one. i bought the earlier version back in the mid 90s and have used it on every recording i have done since then. so now i use both versions for tracking vocals and instruments. this thing is ir-replace-able. it defines my sound. i use one channel for limiting and one channel for leveling. either parallel or series i get perfect predictable recordings every time. Vocals sit in the mix like "breasts in a bra"; direct bass sounds like "McCartney's sound in "Come Together"; electric or acoustic guitars are given new life. and for the price... it's a no brainer. wish i could take these with me on the road, but in my situation that would be quite impractical. but if i could. you know i would.

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