UREI and UA Repair and Service
When I began doing studio work back in ’75, nearly every music studio had an outboard rack with at least one or two pieces of UREI gear. Three decades later, this is still true. In particular, the fantastic UREI and Teletronix compressor/limiters are seen as must-have items by many engineers, and have increased sharply in value.
When I was a tech at United/Western Studios in the late 70’s, the rooms were loaded with UREI goodies. United/Western and UREI were partner companies, with Bill Putnam at the helm. When the UREI factory was especially busy, they’d sometimes send batches of limiters or EQ’s to United/Western for wiring or testing. It was a fun change of pace to help with the production of those beautiful units, and learn more about their innards. Click here for the compressor/limiter history on Universal Audio’s site.
Studio Electronics has serviced hundreds of UREI units over the years and recently, the amount of them coming into our shop has greatly increased. Many out of town customers have found us on the internet, but another factor is simply the age of these valuable units. Many of these 30 year old units have never been recapped, or even tested. UREI build quality was very good but deterioration of capacitors and other parts is inevitable, and typically units that haven’t been serviced are way off their original specs. Here are the services we provide, along with typical costs. Please note that all declined repairs are subject to a minimum $75 testing and evaluation fee.
Since December 2006, we have been Universal Audio’s designated service provider for UREI classic gear, and UA legacy gear. Thanks, UA!
Teletronix / UREI LA-2A: Teletronix / UREI LA-2A: Test tubes, replace small electrolytic caps, replace 4-section “can” capacitor, check other caps, replace neon lamp regulator, service power supply and check voltages, install output termination resistor, re-select VU trimmer resistor, check T4B performance, calibrate, do other minor repairs, check dynamics and overall performance. About $510. If replacement T4B or tubes are needed, there will be will be an additional charge. Interested in a little LA-2A’s history? See our story about servicing an amazing unit that came from Norm Petty studios!
UREI LA-3A: Replace all 8 electrolytic caps, check other caps, replace VU meter lamps, check T4B performance, perform internal calibration, check dynamics and overall performance. Add trimpot for VU meter calibration. About $368. (Other mods and upgrades available on request.) If replacement T4B is needed there will be will be an additional charge.
UREI LA4: Replace 9 electrolytic and tantalum capacitors, replace VU meter lamps, replace both opto LED’s with selected pair, replace both photoresistors with selected pair, calibrate threshold, ratio, meter tracking, stereo tracking per UREI spec. Install selected meter resistor for 0 VU calibration, install termination resistor on output. Check all 5 ratios, check dynamics and overall performance. About $516. (Note: a large part of the cost with this job is the pair of matched photoresistors, which saw a big price increase in 2017. )
UREI 1176LN: (black face): Replace all 14 electrolytic capacitors, check other caps, replace VU lamps, replace hardware as needed, Check dynamics and overall performance. Check connection on zener regulator, do other minor repairs as needed. Add termination resistor to output. Install selected VU meter resistor. Calibrate per spec. About $454.
Note: in 1176LN Rev D and E versions, most VU meters have excessive “bounce” when in GR mode. This is due to the balanced bridge circuit used in those versions, which exaggerates the needle overshoot that occurs in the VU meters used in these models. Later versions of the 1176LN (revisions F through K) use an opamp in the GR meter driver, which buffers the meter mechanism and avoids this issue. We have developed a minor mod to the metering circuit that resolves this issue, and now perform that mod on all D and E versions that we service. This mod has no effect on audio performance.
UREI 1176LN: (silver face): Replace all 14 electrolytic capacitors, check other caps, replace VU lamps, replace hardware as needed, Check dynamics and overall performance. Check connection on zener regulator, do other minor repairs as needed. Add termination resistor to output. Install selected VU meter resistor. Calibrate per spec. About $423.
UREI 1178: Replace 26 caps, check other caps, replace VU lamps, perform internal calibration, check dynamics and overall performance, confirm both channels are matched. About $645.
UREI BL-40: Replace 20 caps, check other caps, replace VU lamps, perform internal calibration on all three gain reduction sections. Check dynamics and overall performance. Various mods available. Please call for pricing.
Universal Audio 175, 176, and 177 models: We do a very extensive and labor intensive refurb on these models that includes replacement of nearly all capacitors with appropriate parts, replacement of most tubes, hand selecting a NOS vari mu tube to meet the original specs, testing of all resistors, cleaning of pots and attenuators, etc. About $1,200. Please contact us for more information about these fine units.
T4’s (T4B’s): We carry genuine T4 cells manufactured by Universal Audio. These new T4 cells are built and tested with great care to exactly match the performance of original UREI T4B cells. Our UA T4’s are available in the formats — the original “long” type, used in all LA-2A’s, and the shorter type that were used in LA-3A’s. The internal components are identical, and a short T4 can be used in an LA-2A, if desired. The only difference between the two is the length of the can enclosure. Replacement is simple and can be performed by anyone; they simply plug in. We can usually match pairs of these units for stereo use, at no extra charge — contact us for details.
We also stock UA’s T4-UA cell. This is the internal component assembly for the special T4 cells that are used in UA’s LA-610 models. (Unlike the short and long T4 cells that are used in LA-3A’s and LA-2A’s, this unit does not simply plug in, and replacement should be performed by a qualified technician.)
Single Rack kit UA LARK1 for UREI LA3A LA-4, other gear: These kits are most often used on LA3A’s and LA4’s, but they also work on UREI graphic EQ’s, the UREI Digital Metronome, etc. All parts are anodized black. $70.
Adaptor cable kit Lugs-XLR for UREI LA2A LA3A 1176: High quality adaptor cables, built with Quad Star cable. These cables are perfect for making connections to standard XLR from UREI and Universal Audio LA2A’S, LA3A’S, and 1176’s, Pultec EQP Tube Equalizers and other 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s tube and solid state with screw terminals.
The lugs are marked + and – to help you avoid phase reversals. A termination assembly with a metal film resistor is included for proper matching older 600 ohm gear. We also include a handy guide with guidelines for termination of vintage 600 ohm gear. Length: 12 inches at $75., 24 inches at $80., and 5 feet at $85.
We also offer expert service for dbx and Drawmer limiters along with older tube models like the UA 176, LA-1, LA-2, RCA, Gates, Collins, and others. Call 818-843-7981 or email us for info and prices.