Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - 129

TO THE
LIMIT

The Effectrode LA-1A
Leveling Amplifier

I

n the world of guitar effects, there are
consumer-grade pedals and pro-grade
pedals. The former are affordable and fun,
the latter are for players who crave stellar
sounds and are willing to pay a little more
for them.
Enter Effectrode's LA-1A Leveling Amplifier. In short, it's a studio-grade compressor
in a foot pedal, and its name evokes the
famous Teletronix LA-2A limiter, one of the
most famous studio compressors. The folks
at Effectrode have taken that legendary vibe
and made it fit it on a pedalboard - which
is the main reason many players will take
notice of this box.
The LA-1A stands out in part by deploying
a set of tubes to assist with clarity, quiet,
and boost. Two 12AU7s and one 12AT7 are
housed between two metal rails to protect
them onstage, and make the LA-1A essentially two devices in one - an opto-photocell
compressor/limiter and a tube booster.
On the go, the LA-1A works like most classic compressors, with Peak Reduction controlling the amount of compression dropped

on t he
signal, and
Gain adding
the "makeup
ga i n" t hat
brings it back
up to the desired
output. Attack and
Knee shape the compression applied. In
lay terms, Attack provides the speed
at which compression kicks in, and Knee
provides either organic-sounding compression on the lower side or hard limiting at the
upper end - a fast chop that isn't too natural
but can control the output of the wildest
guitar or bass pickups. In back, a Dynamic
EQ toggle switch pushes the high-end frequencies - good for Rickenbacker 12-string
jangle - or restrains unruly treble tones.
The tube-fired boost function works as
one would hope, giving +6dB of clean gain
for guitar solos or to make a thumpin' bass
part really stand out. With Peak Reduction set at 0, the Gain knob can also add

Price: $469
Info: www.effectrode.com

+15dB of boost over the bypassed signal,
essentially giving you two levels of boost for
your volume needs. All of this comes in an
amazingly quiet pedal perfect for the stage
as well as the most delicate studio sessions.
You might look twice at the price, but
consider that a rackmount LA-2A limiter
costs about $3,500. For all kinds of compression/limiting and tube-boosting needs, the
Effectrode LA-1A is a formidable piece of
guitar and bass hardware. When it comes to
managing your volume and tone, grab this
box and don't stress - compress. - Pete Prown

FRACTAL X-LOAD LB-2

CARVIN AUDIO X1

Carvin Amps and Audio's X1 pedal is based
on the X100B with an all-tube design.
It offers four gain stages for its Rhythm
and Lead channels, along with Master
Volume, five-band graphic EQ, controls
for Bass, Mid, Treble, and Presence.

Fractal Audio Systems' X-Load LB-2
Reactive Load box creates a reactive load
for use with guitar amplifiers up to 100
watts. It has balanced and unbalanced outs,
speaker-thru, and can be run into a range
of speaker simulations. The front panel has
DI Level control and a Voicing switch.

GRETSCH G6118T-135
ANNIVERSARY

Gretsch's G6118T-135 Anniversary has
with a 16" body, High Sensitive Filter'Tron
pickups, Bigsby, locking tuning keys,
three-piece maple neck, ebony fingerboard, chrome G-Arrow knobs and
hardware, bar bridge on pinned ebony
base, and Gotoh locking tuners.

Got something new and cool? Let us know at www.VintageGuitar.com/Gearin-Up-Submission
June 2018

129

VINTAGE GUITAR


http://www.effectrode.com http://www.VintageGuitar.com/Gearin-Up-Submission http://www.vintageguitar.Com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open

Contents
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Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - IFC
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