SA-23A – Analog Tube Optical Compressor

Tube-Driven Electro-Optical Compression & Limiting

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(3 customer reviews)


The Stam Audio SA-23A is a unique four-in-one compressor that covers the entire timeline of the Teletronix optical-based compression history.

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SKU: sa-23a-plus-2019-b-1 Category: Tags: , ,

The ultimate four-in-one optical compressor

For the first time ever, one unit can span the compression styles of two iterations of the Teletronix LA-2A, the LA-3A and the later LA-4.

We were highly praised for our exact individual replicas of both units, the SA-2A and SA-3A compressors. Customers around the world were finally able to access the renowned tone of the LA-2A, commonly used on bass and vocals, or the smooth mid-range of the LA-3A on guitars, or its unique transient response on drums. All at a price point that greatly opened up accessibility to these types of units.

At Stam Audio, part of what we believe in is moving our designs forward and producing the best possible product. However, if we measure success in being sonically identical to vintage units first produced in the 1960’s and 1970’s, how can we improve upon their designs?


The sound and function of the classic units, with innovative accessibility

We first decided to make one unit that contained both compressors, the SA-23A. This ambitious unit would allow the user to instantly switch between the circuits of a 1960’s LA-2A, the later 1970’s revision of the same unit, an LA-3A, and finally the LA-4. This was achievable based on the design of our SA-23A. While this design contained the circuits of the LA-2A and LA-3A, we could add a second T4B unit with a faster attack and release based on the late 70’s LA-2A. The LA-4 shared the same transformers as the LA-3A, so it was possible to include this model as well. Each unit has a selectable four-way switch which allows you to choose between all four designs, which have independent circuits inside. One unit, one price, four industry standard compressors.


We had two main challenges to overcome

Firstly, each compressor had to sound 100% identical to the original unit, respecting the original signal path and schematic. While technology has moved on a long way since the 1960s, it is the unique characteristics of the components in the original units that produced the sound that we all now associate with professional music production. Sourcing these components or identical alternatives is a big part of what makes Stam products superior to other replicas. Secondly, the unit had to have the distinctive appearance of an original Teletronix compressor. In order to achieve this while adding the switching functionality, we removed the +4 and +10 metering options, leaving the VU meter in standard Gain Reduction mode. This allowed us to utilise the original switches to select between the four modes. We also used several relays to ensure that when switching from one version to another, the transition is seamless.

Each unit comes with a Sowter input transformer, an auto-former and two output transformers, Philip capacitors, and Ohmite carbon comp resistors.

Like every fan of audio gear, we love seeing those pictures of huge studios filled with vintage equipment, but for us at Stam Audio, we like to see professional sounding units in the studios of every level of music creator. Commercially, it may have made more sense for us to release each revision separately and hence sell more units, but we hope to provide our customers with more for their money. We are also conscious that not every studio has unlimited rack space, and optimizing several units into one could be a benefit to many. If you are a studio owner, or dedicated hobbyist, saving your money up and trying to decide which vintage optical compressor is going to benefit your studio the most, Stam Audio says “why not all of them?”

You can now have the all three Teletronix compressors in four versions with the highest quality premium components available in the world, along with the finest transformers found on the market, all at a fraction of the price of one original unit, let alone three.


100% satisfaction guarantee – if you don’t love your SA-23A, we’ll refund you

If you’ve used an original Teletronix LA-2A, LA-3A, or LA-4 before, we’re extremely confident the SA-23A will put a big smile on your face every time you use it.

However, if you’ve never touched the originals before, as gear-lovers ourselves, we understand that the only way to really know if this compressor is right for you is to put it through its paces. That’s why the SA-23A comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. This allows you to get it into your studio and see how it impacts your recordings. If you love it (and we think you will!), great…keep the unit and create amazing music with it. If not, no problems.

Just send it back to us and we’ll fully refund your purchase. Don’t worry, whichever way you decide to go we will remain friends.

Technical Specs

  • Sowter / Crimson / Carnhill Transformer
  • Two Kenetek T4B optical attenuator (fast and slow)
  • True to the original LA-2A, LA-3A and LA4 schematic
  • 12AX7, 12BH7 and 6AQ5 tubes
  • Premium carbon / metal film resistors
  • Premium film capacitors
  • Matched transistors
  • True original attack/release times
  • XLR input
  • XLR output
  • Voltage switch selector (115V or 230V)
  • Final assembly by hand in Chile
  • 1-year warranty
  • 30-day money back guarantee

3 reviews for SA-23A – Analog Tube Optical Compressor


    I have the singular version of the LA3A and it is amazing. Sounds just like the vintage LA3A’s that I have used in some of the more expensive studios. My guitars live on it.

  2. Michael van zetten

    I recieved my Stam SA3A 3 months ago i live in Australia and all i can say is its a true work of art i have access to a very well kept vintage UREI la3a so i did the a b thingy and it won to my ears and im into the vintage tone i do old 50,s 60,s music i use just a touch on vocals and bliss my friend has the sa2a and again magic i sold my warm audio wa2a which are good but on a different level so this made me without hesitation put a deposit down on the sa23a+ Oh i almost forgot the sa23a+ has the highly under rated la4 on it now there is a lot of controversy over the urei la4a but i find it fabulous on vocals it was the compressor used on roy orbisons album california blue so what a monster this comp is gonna be i am drooling to get it i think that Joshua is a young enthusiastic genius and Camila is an Angel take care of her and she will take care of you if you can wait a bit you will be estatic im sure and i never write reviews just thought i had to in this case thanx Mike

  3. niklas

    This is really a lovely piece of equipment. Use it all the time in 2A slow mode while recording vocals. Heard a lot about it before the purchase but never expected it to sound this smooth. Will keep it forever!

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