Klark Teknik KT-2A
« on: February 17, 2019, 10:19:46 AM »
This baby arrived yesterday, so i took some time to play with it, and make a short video with comparison.

I'll open it up during the next few days and take some pictures, so expect those coming...

My initial impression:
I used high reduction levels and a drum track because the difference and character is easier to spot compared to a vocal track for example.

Opto cell is very difficult to emulate in software because of it's non linear, somewhat unpredictable behaviour. Software "pumps" and "spanks" a bit too much compared to hardware. It almost feels like a VCA compressor at times (DBX 160, SSL, etc.)

I have also done comparisons with files compressed with an original La2a at -5 and -10db reduction. KT-2A is really there, it does the same job for ridiculously low amount of money.

If anyone has some audio files of their LA-2A units originals/recreations i will gladly run them through my unit for comparison and post results here.

The stock tubes sound great, are quiet (even though an original La-2a is not the quietest unit ever). One can go into tube rolling rabbit hole, but i can't really see the reason for that.

KT-2A's output can be overdriven to get some additional, very musical tube limiting/clipping. Even without engaging any peak reduction. I haven't encountered any VST plug-in that does this yet. At normal operation levels it has ridiculously low THD (measured it myself) and is within range of original unit according to published Teletronix specs. So i guess those Midas transformers are good stuff.

As far as FR response, it has slight HF roll-off at abouk 18K.


https://youtu.be/PD3lvHZ-oTY
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 10:36:11 AM by kingkorg »


Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 06:39:26 PM »
Here is a vocal track i found dry and compressed with true LA-2A. So i matched GR as best as i could, and got some pretty amazing results. I found that original LA-2A saturates a bit more at high end, and even sounds a bit pointy at sibilant letters. Could be that output was driven a bit more.

Other than that, i would call these two almost identical. For about 300 bucks, KT-2A is a no brainer.

True LA-2A
https://app.box.com/s/yy41uru6jijn06m28ley0abnd780k313

Klark Teknik KT-2A
https://app.box.com/s/58m0aiqtap6jcjyhzklp2qoptr6yzgqf
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 06:42:46 PM by kingkorg »

manulaudic

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 06:04:20 AM »
Awesome video ! thanks for taking the time to do this, impressive unit, i'm ordering one or two to track :)


rainton

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2019, 05:37:58 AM »
There's a video on youtube that compares a KT-2A against an authentic DIY version of a real LA2A.

The KT-2A is clearly lacking depth & dimension in comparison to the DIY one  - and that DIY clone is not even built with original transformers...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bRg1IqqUmk

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 09:30:58 AM »
Depth, dimension? Or is it the fact that it's built by Behringer that it has to be bashed right out of the bat?


rainton

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 03:35:45 PM »
Depth, dimension? Or is it the fact that it's built by Behringer that it has to be bashed right out of the bat?

Nope just judging by ears. And to my ears the difference is considerable.

Didn’t know the  KT-2A is made  by Behringer... but now it makes sense  ;D

Take it easy - no offense.
Good for you if you like how it sounds and you’re happy with it.


Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 04:34:08 PM »
No offense taken, i'm just struggling with those terms as they are very subjective and abstract. Since i am very technical guy and this techy forum i like to use some more defined terms.

TC, Midas, KT, and bunch of others are now owned by Behringer, so does that make the gear worse?

I personally wouldn't say so. KT2A is 1:1 circuit of La2a. And the components are all high quality. I havent only used ears, i have actually measured all the specs, and they are exceptional. Including the tubes which are extremely low noise, and Midas transformers that sound, perform and measure great.

However the opto cells of the two compressors in the video you posted are DIFFERENT, not by any means BETTER or WORSE. This goes for transformers as well. So you kind of get two DIFFERENT sounding compressors.

Absolutelly you can preffer one over the other, but KT2A is absolutelly performing as a LA2A type compressor, much more so than most LA2A inspired compressors on the market that are way more expensive.

abbey road d enfer

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2019, 04:58:20 PM »
The point here is that no two vintage LA2's sound the same, because the opto and the rest of the circuit have aged differently.
Replacing tubes and recapping changes the sound of a vintage unit, not necessarily sounding same as it did when it left the factory.
Who's right or wrong is irrelevant. What matters is what's right or wrong.
Star ground is for electricians.

Rlucas41

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2020, 09:43:09 PM »
I bought one on eBay cause it was so inexpensive... I changed tubes to a nos compliment of rca’ and upgraded the T4b to a kentech and changed the output capacitor to a Solen... it sounds great!!!  Very happy with it!!!

living sounds

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2020, 09:31:03 AM »
I bought one on eBay cause it was so inexpensive... I changed tubes to a nos compliment of rca’ and upgraded the T4b to a kentech and changed the output capacitor to a Solen... it sounds great!!!  Very happy with it!!!

What difference did changing the T4B to a Kenetek (I presume) make? Is it simply plug and play or did you have to take the opto cell apart first?

Changing the tubes to quality modern ones made a very noticeable difference, the dirt vanished and the overall sound is more open and clear.


Rlucas41

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2020, 10:40:46 PM »
What difference did changing the T4B to a Kenetek (I presume) make? Is it simply plug and play or did you have to take the opto cell apart first?

Changing the tubes to quality modern ones made a very noticeable difference, the dirt vanished and the overall sound is more open and clear.

Hi, no it’s simple stuff to change out T4B and tubes... to me the Kenetech “classic” gave it the slower smoother response I wanted from this box... the tubes also... the tubes are extremely responsible for the vibe of the la-2a in general.... I am very pleased with how it sounds and performs!!!

Whoops

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2020, 10:02:35 PM »
Opto cell is very difficult to emulate in software because of it's non linear, somewhat unpredictable behaviour.

UAD did it pretty well

True LA-2A

What is a True LA-2A?


I havent only used ears, i have actually measured all the specs

Can you please post the specs you measured?


Midas transformers that sound, perform and measure great

I really don't know what that means.
Midas is not a well known transformer manufacturer. Never heard anyone said that they wanted to buy a Midas transformer for their great build.
I don't even know if Midas did ever produced any transformer at all or outsourced it to other companies.

Midas as Klark Teknik are companies and trademarks bought by Behringer.
Uli can put a Midas sticker in anything he wants.

Like they did with Klark Teknik, it was a great company, well known for doing good products for the Live Sound Reinforcement market and after the takeover from Behringer the company is just a name for Behringer clone line of vintage gear.


I don't know the KT-2A, never tried it, but I imagine that if it's easy for us to build a good LA-2A clone with all the info in this forum then It's much easier for Behringer to build one, probably with a lot of SMD parts to keep costs as low as possible.
I just find some of your arguments misleading
« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 12:24:33 PM by Whoops »

cyrano

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 03:14:20 PM »
Midas as Klark Teknik are companies and trademarks bought by Behringer.
Uli can put a Midas sticker in anything he wants.

Like they did with Klark Teknik, it was a great company, well known for doing good products for the Live Sound Reinforcement market and after the takeover from Behringer the company is just a name for Behringer clone line of vintage gear.

It might amaze you, but not one engineer left when Ulli bought KT. Ulli invested in a 1 million UK pound building for KT. It's definitely not a Harman run show.

Quote
I don't know the KT-2A, never tried it, but I imagine that if it's easy for us to build a good LA-2A clone with all the info in this forum then It's much easier for Behringer to build one, I just find some of your arguments misleading

Saying this, personally nowadays for the price of the  1176 and LA2A clone from Behringer , they're so cheap, that I would prefer to buy one and mod it as I wanted than to build a unit from scratch

Some Berhi gear sucks. Some is great. Like with most manufacturers.
Why is it people love to believe and hate to know?

Whoops

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2020, 03:22:30 PM »
It might amaze you, but not one engineer left when Ulli bought KT. Ulli invested in a 1 million UK pound building for KT. It's definitely not a Harman run show.

Nothing amazes me really.
Of course they needed a new building,
they didn't have a Cloning department before, Uli needed a place to put people reading groupdiy threads all day and developing Clones

JMan

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2020, 05:32:55 PM »
There's a video on youtube that compares a KT-2A against an authentic DIY version of a real LA2A.

The KT-2A is clearly lacking depth & dimension in comparison to the DIY one  - and that DIY clone is not even built with original transformers...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bRg1IqqUmk

I saw this video not too long ago and I had the same reaction.  The KT-2A in the comparison doesn’t sound as rich or substantial as the DIY unit.  Another thing I was surprised wasn’t commented on more was that it had a great deal of noticeable unpleasant fizz that was hardly present at all in the DIY version. 

While I’m definitely in the “DIY is better” camp on this one, I also don’t mean to hate on the Klark unit, especially since OP is having such a positive experience with his.  I have some KT gear in my rack that I find very useable, provided that I am using it in a way that takes advantage of its strengths.

living sounds

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2020, 06:02:00 PM »
I saw this video not too long ago and I had the same reaction.  The KT-2A in the comparison doesn’t sound as rich or substantial as the DIY unit.  Another thing I was surprised wasn’t commented on more was that it had a great deal of noticeable unpleasant fizz that was hardly present at all in the DIY version. 

Again, replace the crappy tubes in the signal path of the KT-2A with quality ones and you will be rewarded with much better sound. The "fizz" is entirely down to the cheap chinese Behringer tubes.

scott2000

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2020, 06:48:01 PM »
Quote
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bRg1IqqUmk

I'd be interested in hearing the KT with different tubes......

From listening quick, the diy sounded much better than  the KT in the medium and limiting demo..///more weighty anyhow.......imo

but I guess in context of a mix it may not be relevant...

.. First light compression clip was closer...but it was a confusing transition.....

These are level matched???
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 09:55:46 PM by scott2000 »

Headless_Harry

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2020, 06:34:30 PM »
I bought one on eBay cause it was so inexpensive... I changed tubes to a nos compliment of rca’ and upgraded the T4b to a kentech and changed the output capacitor to a Solen... it sounds great!!!  Very happy with it!!!

I just bought one of these, very curious about changing the t4b. Black lion audio just released a clip of a KT with their new t4bla, but if you could expand on the differences made with the kenetek (or even a clip), I would be grateful as I am still leaning more towards the kenetek

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2020, 06:48:41 PM »
Has anyone tried anything interesting with these? I got one for $213 USD so I purchased a Kenetek I'm about to throw into it and changed the signal path tubes to NOS RCA I had lying around. It's very transparent. Maybe TOO transparent. I'd like to fatten it up if possible. Would consider changing one or both of the transformers. Signal patch capacitors don't look bad but I haven't compared it to the LA-2A schematic yet.

Re: Klark Teknik KT-2A
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2020, 07:28:42 PM »
So after swapping the opto cell for the kenetek and the tubes for NOS RCA, I noticed differences in the sound but nothing that truly blew me away. I could take it or leave it. But today I swapped the electrolytics for good Nichicon PM and the yellow films for wima.

WOW.

First I sat and listened to old studio takes through it. Then I just started listening to old mono jazz recordings through it. Everything is better.

At first I was amazed that it seemed to now sound exactly the same coming in as it did coming out. Then suddenly I released how fat and hefty the bass was on it post. Then I started getting ASMR. I am not kidding. I've never worked with an LA2A, but if it sounds even better than this then I am speechless.

Get rid of Jamicon's in the signal path! Those yellow polys are probably not great either.

Ryan


 

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