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ART PRO VLA II Compressor - Not Bad AT ALL

jesse g

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I wanted an additional compressor in my hardware rack but I didn't want to break the bank on it.  I started watching YouTube videos to see what folks were purchasing that worked well but didn't cost a lot and offered dual ins and outs.   I came across the ART PRO VLA II Compressor and started to investigate further.  This is not a bad compressor to use mainly on vocals, but it can be used on other things as well. 

I know this Compressor has been out for a while, but I never considered it before with all of the big name compressors floating around.   Nice Job ART!   Currently $400.00 +Tax





Edited by jesse g
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i have an old ART DPS. dual mono tube mic pres. spdif out (if wanted),

it uses starved plate tube setup, my guess is PRO VLA is the same.


the DPS sounds great! i still use it sometimes on certain tracks where i want more color.


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23 hours ago, Alan Tubbs said:

Haven’t used it but it has some good reviews.  Is it a full voltage tube?



Information from the ART website  (Keep in mind that the tubes in this Compressor doesn't have much to do with the  sound coming out of the compressor, so changing them wouldn't make much of a noticeable  change,  however, others may differ)  😉


The ProVLA II is a tube driven Vactrol®-based Compressor / Leveling amplifier designed to excel in any professional audio environment. Superior performance and an incredible tone makes the ProVLA II and indispensable tool for tracking, mixing, mastering, dynamic control of live sound sources or for use in broadcast audio.

Capable of delivering a far more musical natural sounding and sonically transparent compression than competitive units in its class, the ProVLA II uses an Opto-electronic circuit rather than the more typical design VCA driven level detection circuit. This VCA-less design coupled with a 12AT7 vacuum tube in the gain stage makes the Pro-VLA II the ideal dynamic control device for critical audio applications.

Exceptional signal integrity with extremely low noise and low distortion is achieved in the ProVLA II by utilizing a transformerless design throughout.

Vactrol® Technology
Unlike typical compression units that use Voltage Controlled Amplifiers (VCA’s) to handle level detection, the Pro VLA II’s Opto-electronic design allows a far more transparent and musical sounding compression without sounding aggressive or un-natural. This Vactrol based optical electronic circuitry is the basic component of the classic highly sought after compressors of past. Vactrol® design allows the ProVLA II to react to audio signal in much the same way the eye naturally adjusts to fluctuations in light levels – smoothly, quietly and almost imperceptibly.

Soft Knee Leveling
The ProVLA II is a soft knee leveling amplifier by design. Although capable of providing dramatic compression effects, the ProVLA II was designed to excel in any application where transparent, expressively musical dynamics control is desired.

Comprehensive Metering
Large highly visible backlit analog VU meters accurately display input and output levels while extremely fast 10-segment LED’s display gain reduction. For added functionality, the LED’s display either average level for mastering & mixing applications or peak hold for monitoring individual sources when tracking audio.

Versatile I/O
XLR and 1/4-inch TRS balanced inputs and outputs are provided to ensure the ProVLA II can connect with any audio source or hardware. A +4dBu/-10dBu mode switch optimizes ProVLA II I/O for either consumer or professional equipment.

Key Features

VCA-Less Vactrol Opto-Compression Design

Mastering Quality Audio Signal Path with Tube Gain Stage

Enhanced Link Mode – 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

Variable Threshold, Ratio & 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/-10dBu Mode Switch Optimizes Pro-VLA II For Interface with Professional OR Consumer Grade Components

Active Balanced XLR And 1/4-Inch Inputs & Outputs

Toroidal Transformer Reduces Mechanical & Electrical Hum


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

Maximum Attenuation30dB

Input Impedance10K Ω

Maximum Input Level+20dBu (in +4dBu mode) / +10dBV (in -10dBV mode)

Maximum Output Level+20dB max

Frequency Response10Hz to 100KHz (+/- 0.5dB)

Dynamic Range> 100dB (20-20KHz)

Attack Time0.25msec. to 50msec. variable

Release TimeVariable 150ms to 3s

SlopeVariable 2:1 to 20:1

Total Harmonic Distortion<0.1% (typical)

Dimensions3.5″ x 19″ x 9.2″ (8.9cm x 48.3cm x 23.3cm)

Weight10.5lbs (4.76kg)

Edited by jesse g
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