Item # 180216 | Customer Ratings: ( 5 Based on 7 reviews)

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ART Pro VLA II Tube Compressor
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Opto-compressor with mastering-quality audio signal path and tube gain stage.

The Pro VLA by ART is a tube driven Vactrol-based Compressor/Leveling amplifier designed to excel in any professional audio application, including tracking, mixing, mastering, live sound or broadcast situations. By using an opto-electronic design, (as opposed to a more typical VCA driven level detection circuit) the Pro VLA II allows more compression to be added to an audio source with a more natural, musical sounding output and virtually transparent dynamic leveling. This VCA-less design coupled with a 12AT7 vacuum tube in the gain stage makes the Pro VLA II tube compressor the ideal dynamic control device for critical studio and live sound applications.

These are the differences between the Pro VLA and the Pro VLA II:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. LED output meter.
a. Always monitors the output level allowing the user to view Both input and output levels at the same time.
b. LED meter indicates both average level plus Peak hold.

4. Attack and Release knobs vs. switches. The Old VLA compressor 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 an average).
a. Attack time as ranges from .25mSec to 50mSec
b. Release time ranges from 0.15Sec to 3Sec. (This is program dependant at shorter release rates).
c. Improved detector that lowers low frequency distortion at fast release rates.

5. Improved package
a. Rounded front panel machined to countersink all knobs and level meters.
b. Re-enforced ears.
c. Led lit switch caps.
d. Heavier chassis and cover ruggedized for longer life on the road.

6. Lower noise.
a. +4dBu/-10dBv mode switch optimizes the unit for Pro OR consumer operating system levels.
b. Toroidal transformer reduces mechanical and electrical hum.
c. Tweaked Tube circuit for better dynamic range.
d. Increased transformer shielding.

7. Increased ranges on Threshold and Output gain. This allows the user a wider range of operation.
a. Old threshold = -20 to +15, New Threshold range = -30dB to +20dB.
b. Old Output gain max = +10dB, New output Gain = +20dB

8. LED lit VU meters. No more dark meters due to blown out bulbs.

9. All of the pots have detents.
a. Imparts a more professional feel.
b. Makes settings more repeatable.

ART Pro VLA II Tube Compressor Features:

  • Vactrol Opto-compression design (No VCA)
    Mastering-quality audio signal path with tube gain stage
    Enhanced link mode
    Variable threshold, ratio and output controls
    LED backlit VU input/output level metering
    LED metering indicates both average level and peak hold
    Accurate ten segment LED gain reduction metering
    +4dBu/-10dBV mode switch
    Active-balanced XLR and 1/4" inputs and outputs
    Toroidal transformer reduces mechanical and electrical hum
    While in stereo link mode, channel 1 level control acts as a master output level and channel 2 becomes a balance control between them--optimizing the Pro-VLA II for use as a mastering tool

ART Pro VLA II Tube Compressor Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.50" H x 19.0" W x 9.17" D (89 mm H x 483 mm W x 487 mm D)
    Weight: 10.5 lbs. (4.8 kg)
    Input impedance balanced/unbalanced: 10K Ohms

    Maximum levels:
    Range switch: +4dBu/-10dBV selectable
    Inputs: +20dBu (in +4dBu mode) / +10dBV (in —10dBV mode)
    Output: +20dBu (R load > 10K, 0.1%THD)
    Output Gain: +20dB max

    Frequency response: 10Hz to 100KHz (+/- 0.5dB)

    Dynamic Range: >100dB (20-20KHz)
    THD: @ 0dBm Out <0.1% (typical)

    Equivalent Input Noise (EIN)
    @+4dBu: -99dBu ('A' weighted)
    @-10 dBV: -107dBu ('A' weighted)

    Attack time: 0.25msec. to 50msec. variable
    Release time: 150msec. to 3 sec, variable
    Slope variable: 2:1 to 20:1
    Max. attenuation: 30dB

ART Pro VLA II Tube Compressor

In general - one year warranty for equalizers, power conditioners, and personal processors.
3 year warranty for TPS, DPS, and studios.
5 year warranty for pro gear.
Check with manufacturer for specific product warranty.

Get your gear covered!

Now you can get added warranty protection for your new gear. Pro Coverage steps in where the manufacturer's "normal wear and tear" ends. Our PRO COVERAGE program offers you UPGRADED COVERAGE if your product ever fails!

Pro Coverage includes:

  • Accidental damage protection (new gear only)
  • Expedited Repair
  • Free Shipping (for returns or repairs)
  • 100% Coverage for Commercial Use
  • Extended Return Period
  • Extended Price Protection
  • No Lemon Guarantee
  • Free Transfer of Coverage to a new owner
  • Repair Costs Covered for up to 3 years from date of purchase
  • Repairs Can Be Authorized Toll-Free by Phone or the via the web
Product Reviews
(Based on 7 reviews)
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  • ART Pro VLA

    As reviewed by Jerry Jones on 6/29/2010

    I own a DBX 266xl and an Alesis 3630 and use them both frequently. I decided to pick up the Pro VLA based on what I'd read and I am not disappointed. The build quality is "tank-like" excellent. In my racks it adds a touch of vintage appeal. The unit works fantastic with everything I've thrown into it from Vocals, Drums, Guitars and Violins. To top it off it was an excellent choice for mastering too. Although I won't be ditching the DBX or the Alesis I am certain the Pro VLA will become my "Go to" compressor. I highly recommend this unit.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
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  • Great Warm Sound, Deadly With Vocals, Nice Master Compression

    As reviewed by Adam Lansky on 9/26/2013

    I have been using this unit for almost three years with outstanding results. It is an extremely cost-effective unit that can be further upgraded by replacing the stock tubes with higher grade components. This compressor has both analog VU meters & very precise digital meters for gain reduction as well as output. This unit performs with excellence on instruments of all types, but those seeking a better vocal recording will find their money well spent on this unit -- in fact, you may stop using plugins to compress vocals except for gentle limiting. In addition to precise dynamic control, this compressor adds a nice amount of warmth to the signal without over-baking. The ART PRO VLA II has helped me produce many sweet tracks in the past few years & I plan on purchasing a new one to daisy chain for mastering. I strongly suggest purchasing Pro Coverage with this unit. It has a very tough casing but the internals are still delicate & I would be concerned about rough handling. Otherwise this is probably one of the most important pieces of equipment any project studio engineer can purchase.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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  • so goog i ordered a 2nd one

    As reviewed by gumby on 1/3/2011

    I originally purchased one of these back in august of 2010 for my home studio setup. That I often end up bringing projects from work to work on at home. This unit is one heck of a compressor. I liked it so much I just ordered a second one earlier this month so i can have 4 channels of the vla II. The sound of this compressor is great extremely transparent which is excellent for a lot of sources, but if you want to push it for a bit of color you can do so with no problem. If your on a budget and want a compressor that gives out a pro sound, and holds its' ground against compressors that cost much 5-6 times more. The VLA II is it you will be more then satisfied with your purchase.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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PO Box 4769
Westlake Village, CA 91359
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