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Thread: HOW TO easily build AUTHENTIC RE-CREATIONS OF LA2A, PULTEC, UA176... ALL BY YOURSELF

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    Lightbulb HOW TO easily build AUTHENTIC RE-CREATIONS OF LA2A, PULTEC, UA176... ALL BY YOURSELF

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    UPDATE:

    Thanks to the great feedback I got from you guys I finally made my initial step and released a first landing page
    This page contains a video in which I outline the basic idea of creating a free platform as extensive knowledge base with step by step guides to build legendary studio gear ourselves.

    here's the link:

    www.analogvibes.com

    Your feedback is much appreciated!

    If you're new to this thread you're welcome to read through the discussion first


    -----------------------------------------------------------


    Hey guys,

    I'm new to this forum, but some probably know me from other gear or music-production related message-boards.

    I'm opening my first thread here because I'm working on something that I figured could be extremely helpful to many of you and probably, if you're like me - even change your life as a gear-nerd

    I'm a young musician, songwriter and producer from Southern Germany and I consider myself a digital native, so obviously I started out in-the-box before my love for analog gear was brought to life.

    I know there's a gazillion of threads of digital vs. analog and I certainly don't want to go there.

    All I can say is, my key turning point (as a young musician) was when I had the chance to work in a mostly analog studio with lots of vintage gear for the first time.
    It completely changed my view on how music can be created and I learned what a huge difference it makes in the process of creating music.

    Anyway, as I couldn't afford to buy these legendary pieces of gear for my own studio, I discovered the magic of DIY to recreate these gems for myself.
    Now, some of you might feel me, some of you might laugh - some might even think that DIY stuff has little to do with the real thing...

    However, by DIY I don't mean to buy some kind-a-like kits, I mean authentically recreating legends like LA2As, Pultecs, UA176 etc. from scratch - with original components - down to the last screw.

    Before you paint your picture you're welcome to follow these links to get an idea of my work so far:

    NEW: authentic style LA2A, Pultec EQP-1A, MEQ-5 & Ultimate Mic-PSU chassis

    Universal Audio 176 from scratch - a 100% faithful recreation of a legend!


    Now - ever since I started this, a lot of people began following my work which lead to getting tons of emails from all over the world, how I did this and how I did that etc...

    And that in turn made me come up with the idea to create a free platform to help guys like you and me to recreate these amazing pieces of gear ourselves by providing everything needed to know from beginning to end, easily understandable - even for DIY newbies - and creating a small community & blog to share the knowledge, tips and mods.

    So now I'd love to hear what you think!

    Have you ever tried to DIY your favorite piece of gear?
    If yes, what were your main issues?
    If not - wouldn't you love to be capable of doing it?
    I'd also like to know what would you want to see and what would be your expectations?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!


    Martin
    Last edited by rainton; 12-17-2017 at 13:44.

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    While I certainly have the skills to put together any of this gear from a kit...TBH, I have little interest in that much DIY.
    Maybe in another 15-20 years, if/when I retire from making music and recording.

    I know that to be done right, you need to take the time, if you want a clean build, without issues.
    One of the things we all seem to have these days is little time to spare.
    I'm sure there are people who mainly like to do this kind of DIY stuff, rather than make music...but while I do all kinds of studio maintenance and repairs when needed in the studio...and I even like doing that stuff most times, it can be therapeutic... my real focus needs to be more about making music and recording...and that's time consuming enough.
    I already have spent too much time on studio crap that needed to be done...which cuts into the actual recording.

    I'm also curious what does a complete kit cost?
    While you may end up with a great re-creation of a classic piece...if the cost of components plus the cost of time to build it adds up, I would probably be equally happy to find a ready-built piece of gear that does pretty much the same thing.
    One piece of this gear might be real cool to build and to have...but for any real significance in the studio, I would probably want a whole bunch..and man, that's a lot of time, and probably cost too.

    So just out of curiosity, since you show some completed pieces in that link...do you sell any finished pieces, or just the kits?
    Some people would rather pay for a finished piece, than burn up their time building one.

    I wouldn't mind a couple of Pultec EQs....

    By the way...looking at those pics...you do some very nice work.

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    I'm rather tempted by the LA2A kit, but it's a high voltage system. Like the Nixie clock on my desk, I'd be perpetually worried that I'll have screwed up the high voltage system somewhere and it's just waiting to kill me or set fire to the house.

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    I had thought about DIY when I was recently rebuilding my studio components. Instead I picked up a Warm Audio WA76 and WA2A, certainly not the high-end units by UA etc, but for around $500 and change for the 76, it seemed worth a try. If the units don't work out, I'll sell them and then I may reconsider a DIY, but I just don't have the time for that right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmorris View Post
    I'm rather tempted by the LA2A kit, but it's a high voltage system. Like the Nixie clock on my desk, I'd be perpetually worried that I'll have screwed up the high voltage system somewhere and it's just waiting to kill me or set fire to the house.
    Yeah, that always gives me the squits too.
    Everything I've built/racked runs on +/- 18-24.

    Nice info, all the same. Welcome to the forums @rainton
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Thanks for sharing guys!

    Well, yes time is a factor of course BUT:

    That's exactly why I want to create this platform. Because in the past the most time consuming part of the projects was doing ALL the research, sourcing the parts, trying to figure out how to do it etc.

    If I had at hands back then what I'm going for now - time wouldn't have been the problem at all.

    If I have the parts ready, building an LA2A now takes me about a day - or maybe 2 afternoons.

    But one thing is: this isn't for people who have the dough to spend big dollars on all kinds of overpriced vintage gear. At least not in the first place

    It's for those, who always dreamed of one day having the chance to use these gems but could never afford it.
    And even though I spent a lot of time because I did all these projects completely from scratch - did all the research etc., considering the possibilities I have now - and how my approach on creating music changed completely - very much to the better, I would do it again - anytime!
    And now I can indeed make music again!

    Anyway - that's exactly where I wanna go from now. Based on all the feedback I got - if there was a platform where all information and instructions were gathered for these projects - in a way they can actually be found and understood easily, it would make many more people see that it's no rocket science and that it is indeed an incredible experience to end up with a legendary piece of gear you have actually built yourself!

    I still remember that very moment when I switched on the first LA2A I built with my own two hands...You remember that movie "Cast Away" with Tom Hanks when he managed to lighten the fire with his own two hands and he ran around shouting "Look at me - I HAVE MADE FIRE!"

    But beyond that the learning experience is absolutely amazing!

    So in terms of rather spending the time to make music instead of building legendary gear to finally create music with it - there's one huge drawback - it actually is addictive

    But my psychiatrist says I'm pretty much over it now...

    Anyway, regarding the fear of setting the house on fire:

    Of course there's always a chance to screw up, BUT first thing I'd want you to learn is to properly build up a FUSED power supply, before we go on.
    So in any case it won't be the house that burns, but the fuse that blows

    Jokes aside - I understand there's some healthy respect for what can go wrong, but I think good instructions and build manuals are key here.

    In tube circuits we are dealing with pretty high voltages, but there's certain things you have to know and rules to follow - and my goal is that these things
    are made really clear and understood before we actually approach the build(s)

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    Do you sell completed kits?

    Not sure why it matters to you if people want to build their own from the kits, or just buy the finished product?

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Do you sell completed kits?

    Not sure why it matters to you if people want to build their own from the kits, or just buy the finished product?
    No, for now I don't.

    Because for me this is not about selling gear but to share what I found was one of the most empowering experiences in my life so far, and trying to find a way
    to make that accessible to more people.

    If you build an iconic piece of recording history for yourself and switch it on for the very first time - it's pure magic!

    If you build gear for others on a day-to-day basis it becomes a job.

    My main reason for doing this - I mean working on that platform project is, because receiving tons of messages from people all across the globe asking questions led me to believe there's actually a need for a space where these questions get answered...

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    Well, if you ever do decide to sell finished units, I'm sure you will get a great response.
    If it only takes you 1-2 days to build one, you wouldn't need to build thousands to see a nice return on all the work and effort you already put into this.

    Some folks just don't want to be bothered with building their own...time is better spent on using already assembled units.
    We can still appreciate a finished product as much as one we build if it sounds great.

    Post back up if you ever have any completed units you wish to sell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miroslav View Post
    Well, if you ever do decide to sell finished units, I'm sure you will get a great response.
    If it only takes you 1-2 days to build one, you wouldn't need to build thousands to see a nice return on all the work and effort you already put into this.

    Some folks just don't want to be bothered with building their own...time is better spent on using already assembled units.
    We can still appreciate a finished product as much as one we build if it sounds great.

    Post back up if you ever have any completed units you wish to sell.
    Haha - thanks Miroslav!

    I get your point!
    And maybe I will at some point be in a position to offer finished units - who knows.

    But here's my promise to you: If you already can appreciate a finished product that much - if you build one yourself you'll be the one your neighbors are calling the cops for
    because you run around your block like a mad man shouting "LOOK AT ME!! I HAVE MADE FIRE!!

    Anyway I'd still like to see what the rest of you guys is thinking, so let me ask once more:

    Have you ever tried to DIY your favorite piece of gear? If yes, what were your main issues?

    If not - wouldn’t you love to be capable of doing it and what are your biggest concerns?

    What would you want to see and what would be your expectations from a project like the one I'm thinking of?

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