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Serpent Audio Chimera 500-Series Opto Compressor  From Serpent

The solid-state opto with all the meat and weight you could ever want out of a compressor! Based on the fabled LA-3A, the Chimera provides a smooth, full sound with a touch of high-end polish and is one of the best examples of a true workhorse compressor.

Serpent Audio

$1,099.00

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What We Think

While not as popular with the clone-building community as the LA-2A, the solid-state opto LA3A offers a very similar simplistic design and smooth, natural sounding compression, but with a more transparent tonal palette that lends more flexibility. As an LA3A clone, the Serpent Chimera follows through with that standard but offers a bit more “meat” to the signal. In every source we heard the Chimera on, this added thickness and color was a welcomed addition that made a vocal “pop” with more focus and edge, a kick drum “thump” with more thunder, and a rhythmic acoustic guitar become more rounded and, well, interesting sounding. 

The Chimera provides just one degree of control up from the simple original LA-3A units, making it slightly more powerful yet still easy enough to use as a tracking compressor without spiraling into a never-ending gear dialing sessions. Comp/Limit switching gives you a more aggressive voicing while the high-frequency sidechain boost turns the unit into more of a de-esser, and not just for vocals (think aggressively bright overheads or even electric guitar amps). 

Serpent Audio Chimera 500-Series Opto Compressor Quick n' Dirty

In this video, Sound Pure pro audio expert David Barrett describes the many benefits of the Serpent Audio Chimera 500-Series Opto Compressor.

  • Signal Chain
    • Serpent Audio Chimera 500-Series Opto Compressor

Manufacturer's Description from Serpent

The Serpent Chimera is a faithful replication of the classic LA3A design, available for the first time in 500 series. Featuring an all discrete circuit design, class AB transistor output, true T4B optical cell, and transformer balanced input & output, the Chimera delivers that thick, rich, & smooth opto compression sound that you're looking for. Built like a tank with zero compromises, the Chimera is Pro Audio at its finest, with Orange Drop and Elna capacitors, full steel enclosure & cover, Hard Bypass, Sifam VU meter, and PCX Power Monitoring* feature. The Serpent Chimera is Made In The USA to the highest of production standards

Serpent Audio

About Manufacturer

Serpent Audio represents the best practices of the boutique pro audio world - hand-build and hand-picked classic designs with innovative new features designed to make our lives as engineers easier, more creative, and more enjoyable. 

Specifications

-All Discrete Transistor Design
-Transformer Balanced Input & Output
-True T4B Optical Cell (User Replaceable/Upgradable)
-CinemagInput Transformer
-Custom Wound Output Transformer (Made to Original Specifications)
-Full Steel Enclosure & Cover (for maximum signal shielding)
-Infamous "Mod" Incorporated
-Hard Bypass (Relay Controlled)
-Stereo Linkable
-HF Sidechain Boost (for De-Essing)
-Compress/Limit Mode -Sealed Pots
-Sifam VU Meter -PCX Power Monitoring*
-VPR Compliant (100mA total power consumption)
-Made In The USA