vari-mu limiting amplifier

the complete kit

a limited “176TT” edition of one of the rarest compressors of all times

Don’t miss the preorder: subscribe to the newsletter

Video 1: 
No more concerns

Video 2: 
3 iconic knobs

Video 3: 
The final countdown

Build Your Legends Series No. 3

The Tube Opto Compressor featuring the legendary "Silverface" LA2A

Ask any sound engineer or artist out there to name one of the most iconic tube compressors ever made – the majority would certainly say it’s the Teletronix LA2A. With its extremely silky sound and unrivaled simplicity of controls it’s the go-to weapon for most engineers when it comes to vocals or bass…

As with other projects in the past, we will again create a ton of easy to understand and well visualized content that will make building this piece of gear almost as easy as painting by numbers.

At the end you will know everything you need to know about this famous opto compressor and – more importantly – how to get this legendary piece of gear in your studio by building one yourself!

Part I


No more concerns

As in the past I created a video for you as an introduction to the upcoming series. Those of you, who have been around for years now may notice, that I’ve also included some footage from the last series. But I think much of it is extremely valuable for those of you who are (rather) new to analogvibes, and an absolute essential to create a solid foundation for your journey to build your legend(s).

As a professional interpreter, I work on rockets and I deal with precision-machined parts and finishes on a daily basis. The execution (sheet metal bending, cut-outs) and the paint job is absolutely fantastic! Way to go! Your hard work means a lot to us gear heads.

As a long term analogvibes community member you surely remember the last series covering the Tube Program Equalizer aka the legendary Pultec EQP-1A. Back then we asked you about what is holding you back from building your own gear, your feedback was incredible. And it was exactly your feedback that led to this e-paper – an extremely valuable foundation for all those who explore their ways into the DIY world! This one’s for you – from the community for the community!

Part II


3 iconic knobs

Still not enough? OK, take a look at our LA2A knowledge base

It’s time to continue the Build Your Legends Series saga!
The 2nd episode is all about the Silver Face Tube Opto Compressor – its history, how it does its magic and of course we all wanna know how it sounds, right!

And because I believe it’s extremely important to know how the gear you use actually works, here’s „The 3 iconic knobs“ e-paper that explains the working principle of an LA2A in every detail!

It’s the second e-paper of this Build Your Legends Series and you can just download it – as always – for free!

You’re welcome 😉

don't take just my word for it

what others are saying so far...

Part III


the real deal

As always, I really had a lot of fun shooting these videos and I hope you also had fun watching them – and more importantly will have even more fun Building Your Legend.
So now, your turn – plug out and play the real thing:

Tube Opto Compressor

the complete kit


Pre-orders closed!

What you get

High quality chassis + every single component
(click on the + for details)

  • authentic silk screened brushed aluminum front panel & rack ears
  • silk screened anodized aluminum 2 pieces chassis made to original specs
  • stainless steel press in nuts
  • hinged face plate with thumbscrews (as in vintage units)
  • engineered and made in Southern Germany
  • 100% faithful re-creations of the vintage UTC A10 & A24 transformers made by AMI in the USA
  • custom high end audio pots by Blore Edwards (supplier for Neve) with authentic log tapers Made in the UK
  • analogvibes edition Kenetek T4B cell made in the USA
  • custom made high end rotary switch by Blore Edwards made in the UK
  • authentic „Teletronix“ replacement VU meter made by SIFAM in the UK
  • original pointer knobs used in the vintage Silver Face LA2A made in the USA
  • New Old Stock 6AQ5A tubes for the gain reduction circuit
  • New Old Stock C4 trimmer cap for adjustment of the frequency response
  • authentic CE Manufacturing can cap  Made in the USA
  • high end audiophile Mundorf Output cap Made in Germany
  • high end audiophile Mundorf film caps Made in Germany
  • custom Gold Lion Tubes for the signal path
  • all screws, nuts, terminals
  • original style terminal boards
  • high quality hook-up wires made by Alpha Wire
  • literally everything you need to complete the build

(Bill Of Included Materials)


…the complete Build Your Legend Series e-paper collection
(click on the pictures to open)


…the ultimate Build Guide to make building your legend almost as easy as painting by numbers

How we’ll make it happen

pre ordering together = GROUP BUY

As mentioned in the videos we can only make a new project happen together – meaning we are going for a GROUP BUY. We have done this several times in the past for all our available projects. It has proven to be the best way to bring these projects to life which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.

  1. 2015 TUBE OPTO COMP V1
  5. 2017 TUBE OPTO COMP V2
  9. 2018/19 VARI-MU 176
  10. 2018/19 TUBE OPTO COMP V3

Important notes & conditions

please click on them & read thoroughly!

Update: we reached our goal very fast, so the KIT will happen – Thank you guys!

As we face minimal order quantities for several parts of the kit we’ll need at least 30 kits pre-ordered to make it happen. If we should somehow not reach that goal (I really don’t think so) the group buy is off and we will refund the preorders that have already been paid for. 

Global logistics are under great pressure since covid and are only recovering slowly. So we estimate rather generously.

Estimated time depending on your location:
Germany: 4-7 days
EU: 5-10 days
World: 10- 30 days, depending on your location & and on customs clearance.

These are the shipping times only – not the manufacturing lead time (see roadmap below) – just to be clear 😉

If your are located outside the EU there may be additional costs for import duty & taxes.

The HS Code for the Kit is: 8543 7090 ** **** **** *
Best to check with your local authorities. You can also try to check your customs here.

Please note that analogvibes is not responsible for your import taxes and duties.

With your pre-order you agree to opt in to the analogvibes newsletter so we can keep you up to date with the progress.

The already finished e-papers will be sent to you with the order confirmation. The upcoming ones follow via email once the kits are ready for shipping.
We highly recommend though, that you create an account during checkout, so you have all the e-papers in their latest versions – always accessible in one place. 

Roadmap to your Kit

For better understanding & transparency we have set up a small roadmap for you. To be more on the safe side, the timeframes for each phase are generously estimated so if everything runs smoothly we may be quicker. But although we prepared this very carefully, if unforeseen obstacles arise (and experience tells there’s quite some possibility for that) it is also possible that it may take a little longer. 

Phase I – BYLS & Group Buy

Open cart for collecting group buy pre-orders -> Dec. the 14th 2022

Phase I – BYLS & Group Buy
Phase II – Getting started

Obtain final quotes and place orders until the end of the year.

Phase II – Getting started
Phase III – Manufacturing & global sourcing

Production of the chassis, the silver face plates, manufacturing custom made parts & getting all parts into stock.
estimated time: 10-12 weeks -> march 2023

Phase III – Manufacturing & global sourcing
Phase IV – Putting together your Kits

Preparing & assembling of the kits for shipping
estimated time: 1-2 weeks

Phase IV – Putting together your Kits
Phase V – Shipping

Shipping your Kit (yesss – finally ;-).
estimated time depending on your location:
Germany: 4-7 days
EU: 5-10 days
World: 10- 30 days, depending on your location & on on customs clearance

Phase V – Shipping
Phase VI – B U I L D I N G

Building Your Legend
estimated time: your call

Phase VI – B U I L D I N G
All the time – keep you posted

Of course we will keep you in the loop constantly & well informed about the progress of our project.

All the time – keep you posted

Any questions left? If yes, put them in the comments for me, so I can reply to them. Maybe some others have the same questions (praise is also welcome ;-).
You might also have a quick look at the Meet-The-Legend-Page of the Teletronix LA-2A for details on that legendary piece of gear.

All set? 

Well, then go for it!

Pre-orders closed!

& also let others know about our analog passion:

We hear you

Your Questions, Feedback & Comments are highly welcome…

For starters we have a few question for you:

  • What are your top two or three questions about building the upcoming Tube Opto Compressor (aka LA2A) that you’d want me to answer in the BYL-Series?

As you know this is an homage to the iconic Silver Face LA2A – how important is authenticity for you when it comes to:

  • Limit/Compress switch:
    on the back = more authentic vs. on the front = more practical
  • Electrolytics:
    big can cap on the back = more authentic vs. modern electrolytic inside the enclosure = cheaper
  • Audio connectors:
    XLRs in addition to terminal strips = much better connectivity in modern studios vs. terminal strips only = more authentic

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    Wow! What a great idea to include everything! Will keep an eye on your newsletter for the next pre-order event 😉

  2. Darianna

    When will the next round be? Would be super interested. Thanks!

    1. Jan

      I would be interested as well!

  3. Jeremy Barnes

    Looking forward to another round of these beauties.

  4. Tahar

    When do you think re-opening pre orders ?

  5. Jimmy

    When will unit kits be available

  6. Tom Garneau

    Sign me up!

  7. kobdzey

    Front switch
    big can cap
    XLR of course 🙂

  8. Jojo

    Hey Martin,
    Danke für dein Angagement.
    Wäre das kit auch mit dem „weissen“ Front-Panel erhältlich, oder hast zufällig noch eins „rumliegen“
    Danke Dir + LG

  9. Julian

    I think Internal caps will do, front switch, and XLRs.

  10. Juanfe

    Hallo Martin, wie viel Zeit schätzt ihr wird von der Preorder bist zum Lieferzeitpunkt sein?

    1. Martin

      Hallo Juanfe,
      wir haben weiter oben auf der Seite eine “Roadmap” eingebaut mit dem gesamten Zeitplan 😉

  11. Jean Pierre Crespo

    Front Switch, Big Can, XLR’s

  12. Doug

    Front switch
    Big can cap

  13. Baird

    Front switch, internal cap, XLR’s

  14. Garron

    Hi Martin,
    Cant WAIT !!!
    Limit compress – i cant decide !!! because its way too Fantastisch !! – you decide for me Martin 😉
    Cap on the back !! 100% – That is the real deal – like an AMG G63 with exhaust out the side – there is NO other option.
    Audio – my 1176’s have both – lets do both. If money or rear panel space is a challenge – my vote XLR

  15. Florian

    The best solution due to practical and functional reasons would be:
    Front switch
    Big can cap

  16. Vasilis

    Hey !happy thanksgiving everyone!front switch ,can cap and xlrs !

  17. Andrew

    Front switch
    Big can cap

  18. John

    my vote:
    comp/lim switch on front
    big can cap
    XLR’s a must.

  19. brandon Bell

    front switch
    internal electro caps

  20. Okay ill

    I vote internal caps, front switch, and XLRs!!!

  21. Florian

    Hallo Martin,

    im FREE E-Paper zum Thema Löten steht, dass auf der letzten Seite ein hilfreiches YOUTUBE Video verlinkt ist. Leider habe ich den link nicht finden können.

    1. Martin

      Hey Florian,

      den Link zum Löttutorial findest du im “No more concerns” E-Paper im Kapitel “Basics” auf der rechten Seite

      For all of you non German-speaking folks here – Florian asked “Where can I find the link to the soldering tutorial?”
      You can find the link to the soldering tutorial in the “Basics” chapter of the “No more concerns” e-paper.

  22. Daniel

    Hallo, wie kann ich das full kit für den LA2A erwerben?

    1. Martin

      Hallo Daniel,

      im nächsten Video wird angekündigt, wann die Pre-Orders starten. Wenn es soweit ist, kannst du das Full Kit direkt hier auf der Seite vorbestellen 🙂


      For all of you non German-speaking folks here – Daniel asked “How can I purchase the full kit?”
      I’ll announce the date when the pre-orders will start in the next video. When the time has come you’ll be able to order the kit right here on this page 🙂

  23. edi

    Hallo, ist das full kit nur das Gehäuse oder sind die widerstände , kondensator, röhren,opto und übertrager mit dabei? LG Edi

    1. Martin

      Hi Edi – ALL inclusive 😉

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