Legacy Products

VLA-500 – ART 500 Series Compressor


The VLA-500 brings the same VCA-less Vactrol based compression circuit used in ART’s legendary Pro-VLA, putting to a convenient 500 Series format for the first time. Capable not only of delivering incredibly smooth compression and overall dynamic control, the VLA-500 also offers two user selectable tone shaping circuits making it one of the most versatile signal processors in your 500 Series rack.

The ‘Punch’ circuit is a J-FET Harmonic Enhancer that adds even-order harmonic distortion for a fuller, “punchier” tone while taming nasty peaks that may escape the Vactrol. The Grit circuit adds frequency-dependent signal distortion to make any track truly stand out. This is a highly creative effect that can work especially well on drums and percussion, solo brasses and woodwinds and even vocals when added presence and position in a mix is required. Bypassing both ‘Punch’ and
‘Grit’ circuits delivers the purest Opto-compressor tone, perfect for critical solo instruments and clean vocals. ‘Punch’ and ‘Grit’ circuits can even be combined for additional tone shaping options.

Key Features


Equivalent Input Noise -102dBu (‘A’ weighted)
Input Impedance 10K Ω
Output Impedance 100 Ω
Inputs Level +20dBu
Output Level +20dBu
Output Gain +20dB max
Frequency Response 20Hz to 100KHz (+/- 0.5dB)
Dynamic Range >120dB (20-20KHz)
Attack Time 0.25msec. to 50msec. variable
Release Time 150msec. to 3 sec, variable
Slope Variable: 2:1 to 20:1
Total Harmonic Distortion <0.003% (@1kHz, typical)
Power Requirements 80mA (75mA @+ 15V, 4mA@48V)
Max Gain Reduction 30dB
Dimensions 5.23″ H x 1.49″ W x 6.6″ D
Weight 0.7 lbs (0.32kg)