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1176 CLA Mod
Old 14th November 2013
  #1
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
1176 CLA Mod

Hey everyone I was looking around on ebay and ran into this 1176 blue stripe: 1176 CLA ModUREI Universal Audio 1176 Rev B Bluestripe Vintage Limiter Compressor Unique Mod | eBay.

Here's the listing:

This auction is for a Urei 1176 bluestripe limiter, serial 698, revision B with a modification that is beyond rare. The unit has been modified to be exactly the same signal flow as the infamous "bluestripe lead vocal" compressor as used by one of the world's leading mixers.

I shared the same tech as this mixer about 5-10 years ago, and apparently he brought his blue stripe in and said... "fix the meter on this one, but don't change anything in the audio path on this b/c it's my favorite lead vocal compressor. It doesn't sound like my others, there may be something wrong with it or different about it but don't change that under any circumstances. I love the way it sounds." (paraphrasing here).

The tech took note of what made the unit different, a subtle wiring change. He was a good friend of mine and he offered to modify mine to be the same as said mixer's.

I've never seen any mention of this mod on any forum anywhere, and this unit is priced accordingly... as it is the only other unit in the world (to my knowledge) that has this option. It's not a terribly elaborate wiring change, but it does add quite a bit more 2nd order harmonic distortion to the sound, which is probably why it became the lead vocal compressor of choice on a lion's share of the world's most famous mixes. It adds quite an edge to the sound. It is not something you could "guess" on your own. This is not BS, I've heard the unit before and after and it's clear to me that this mod is a big part of the sound people associate with the most notorious use of this compressor, but until now had no way to replicate.

I recently had a (different) tech put the mod on a toggle on the back of the unit, so you can use the unit in it's original capacity, or in the higher distortion mode which would be great for vocals (in case you don't have two or more original bluestripes like the mixer who popularized it). This same tech put the unit up on an Audio Precision 1 to check the characteristics that the mod gave the unit... he said that basically it spec''d high for distortion when in the modded mode, which is probably why it sounds so good. It's a richening effect, gives the program density to cut through a busy mix.

I'm guessing the person who purchases this unit will either be a high-end mixer, or a plug-in developer who will want to model it (Waves has already modeled a unit like this one, but it would be great to see someone do an even better job). I'm not mixing anymore, hence the sale... although this was on my lead vocal track 95% of the time when I was.

The unit has had XLRs mounted on the back previous to my acquisition for ease of use. Otherwise the unit has its important original electronic components. It functions correctly and is in good electronic health, with some normal outward cosmetic signs of aging as seen in the pictures.

Do not email or message me re: the modification, I will not divulge it. If you want the mod, you need to purchase the unit.

There was a bluestripe 1176 posted with James Brown pedigree within the last year, which sold for nearly 8K on this auction site. I believe this unit to be far more valuable both as an important historic piece and in functionality.

No returns. Bid / offer with confidence, I've sold many high-dollar studio items by names like Pultec, Fairchild, Studer, Ampex, Neve etc. in the LA area and on eBay and have very high feedback.

Local pickup available as well.



First of all... Asking 11 grand for a single compressor is ridiculous... I doubt it will sale for that price. He states the CLAs tech performed a mod on it by changing a wire to a different spot for more harmonic distortion. Why would that be worth over $11,000 is beyond me but I would be interested to hear what mods are possible with this unit to possibly build a hairball 1176 with this mod done.
Old 14th November 2013
  #2
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
I highly doubt that david kulka did the mod imho its a false advert trying to cash in 6-7 extra grand.

Weather it's legit or not, it just seems like way too much for a solid state compressor. All the vintage parts for a blue stripe can be found if you look hard enough. I've found transformers original NOS caps used etc... And it can be built for under $1000. I don't understand these outrageous prices people are asking.

Is David Kulka CLA's tech? If so it would be easier to just ask him about the mod directly.
Old 14th November 2013
  #3
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The switch on the back is pretty funny. Normal / CLA.
Old 14th November 2013
  #4
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack P View Post
The switch on the back is pretty funny. Normal / CLA.

Lol I thought the same thing. Flip the switch for instant $11,500 CLA mode.

anyway, I emailed Chris's tech so I'll see what he has to say
Old 14th November 2013
  #5
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brianellefson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
Lol I thought the same thing. Flip the switch for instant $11,500 CLA mode.

anyway, I emailed Chris's tech so I'll see what he has to say
And the voodoo switch is on the back? I guess CLA mode also means not racking your gear.

Interesting.
Old 14th November 2013
  #6
Gear Nut
 
BamesJond's Avatar
 

I can build sooo many DIY 1176's for that price, and the pile of 1176's would be bigger than my house! I could even leave them all at different settings and do it the lord-alge way!

I wouldn't even buy CLA's own blue stripe 1176 for that amount of money. Still an interesting thread...
Old 14th November 2013
  #7
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 

Silly add...

Gustav
Old 14th November 2013
  #8
I sent the seller a message:
"thanks for giving the entire pro audio community a good laugh. "CLA Mode" - that's hilarious. Almost as funny as the price!"
Old 14th November 2013
  #9
Old 14th November 2013
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
woodsman's Avatar
 

its a scam. they do not say who the famous mixer is so you cannot prove them wrong.
Old 14th November 2013
  #11
I would doubt that this is real. I will chime in and say the broken mod on his main 1176. Is 100% real and has been confirmed. I dont think DK would do this though.
Old 14th November 2013
  #12
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brianellefson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Carson View Post
I would doubt that this is real. I will chime in and say the broken mod on his main 1176. Is 100% real and has been confirmed. I dont think DK would do this though.
Yeah but ...

I'm gonna start putting dummy switches on my stuff with labels above them like ... "Maserati, Vig, Swedien."

I shall make a fortune when I sell them on eBay in front of my flower pots.
Old 14th November 2013
  #13
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herecomesyourman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel View Post
i start to think this ebay item was put on ebay by CLA himself as a kickoff to his new line of 1176 rev a clones. mark my words.


You might be right.

Still...I would rather own a Slate Dragon...or a Mohog Mofet...or a Purple Audio MC77 for the money.

Hell for that kind of money I could own all three.
Old 14th November 2013
  #14
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brianellefson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by herecomesyourman View Post


You might be right.

Still...I would rather own a Slate Dragon...or a Mohog Mofet...or a Purple Audio MC77 for the money.

Hell for that kind of money I could own all three.
Yes but they wouldn't have a classy "CLA" switch on the back. See, this one is very very special.
Old 14th November 2013
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Carson View Post
I would doubt that this is real. I will chime in and say the broken mod on his main 1176. Is 100% real and has been confirmed. I dont think DK would do this though.
FYI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kulka View Post
In my opinion it's definitely broken, or at least not working correctly. The unit was in our shop a couple of years ago and we discovered a miswire in the preamp circuit that caused unusual things at certain levels and frequencies. We fixed it, but Chris was bummed about the change in sound and had us restore the "fault". The other day he was talking about having us refurb one or two other 1176's that he picked up, but I don't think he wants the "broken" one touched, ever, unless it completely dies some day.

It's funny that the story about the broken 1176 got out. Is it in an interview?
Old 14th November 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
High end parts are simply high end parts - parts are parts. Paying 11K for a compressor that has $500 of parts in it s really something. $1000 for the unit and $10,000 for the hype.
Old 14th November 2013
  #17
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
So I talked to Mr Kulka this morning and he stated that he did not mod the unit on eBay and this story was incorrect... So there you have it. Scam a $11,500 CLA turbo scam.


However.... I'm interested in the preamp miswiring thing
Old 14th November 2013
  #18
Gear Head
 

1176 compressor history of changes

Here is some information from diyrecordingequipment.com on the history of the 1176 compressors.

The Complete Guide to UREI/Universal Audio 1176 Revisions FET Compressor
By Peterson Goodwyn

According to Universal Audio’s website, the 1176 underwent at least 13 revisions from 1967 to 1973. Most of these consisted of either cosmetic makeovers, such as rev H, or minor tweaks that didn’t reach the audio path, such as revs D and E. Others, however, were overhauls that significantly affected the compressors’ sonic character. With “Mnats” (a veritable Bill Putnam of the DIY world) now offering PCBs for revs A, D, and F/G, “which one should I build?” is becoming a common question. So without further ado, let’s look at the revisions and what they can do for your sound…

1176 Revison History

Revisions A/AB

Bill Putnam created the first 1176 compressor in 1967. Although it was the basis for all 1176 revisions, the rev A has numerous peculiarities that set it apart from the others. It is the only revision to use FETs rather than bipolar transistors in the preamp and line amps. It is also cosmetically unique, sporting a distinctive blue stripe through the meter. Finally, the rev A does not have the low-noise circuitry of later revisions, which means it imparts more harmonic distortion at the expense of a higher noise floor. The Universal Audio website tells us that there were only 25 of this revision made (serial no. #101-125), which makes them about as rare as a piece of gear can be.

Mnats’ Rev A PCB is actually based on what UA calls “rev AB,” which changed some resistor values and added a bypass cap for the resistor feeding the gain-reduction FET. So, for all intents and purposes it is a rev A 1176, but with a more stable and controllable limiter.


Revisions C/D/E
1970: A clean up, a suffix, and a dark new look.

Most 1176 fetishists reading this have already noticed two conspicuous differences between the rev A and the compressor most of us know today: the black front panel and the “LN” signification. These were both introduced with rev C and codified with the rev D. ”LN” stands for “Low Noise,” and all of the circuit changes in rev C were intended to reduce noise and distortion. These include reducing the voltage going to the gain-reduction FET to make its operation more linear, and incorporating a Q-bias pot to minimize distortion. Mnats reported that his rev D build tested 3.4dB quieter than the rev A.

Revisions C, D, and E are all in fact the same circuit with some superficial differences. For rev C, the LN circuitry was kept in its own epoxy module to protect the not-yet-patented design, but was added directly to the main PCB for rev D. Rev E merely added 220v operation in order to aggravate transients on both sides of the pond.

Universal Audio’s current reproductions are based on these revisions, so if you are looking to DIY an 1176 rather than buying a new one, rev D is the way to go.

Revisions F/G
1973: Pulling out of class A / Integrating integrated circuits.

From the beginning the 1176 had used the class-A 1108 preamp for output gain. Rev F replaced this with a push-pull amplifier based on the 1109 preamp. This gives the rev F more output gain and a slightly different sonic character than previous revisions. In spite of this, this revision measures the lowest harmonic distortion of any revision, making it the best choice for those looking for 1176-style compression with less coloration.

Rev F replaced the UA-5002 output transformer with a Bournes B11148 which, according once again to the estimable Mr. Mnats, adds a small boost in the extreme high and low frequencies.

Revs F and G were also the first to incorporate integrated circuits. First, the rev F switched from a discreet to an opamp-based metering circuit, while the rev G replaced the input transformer with an NE5532 IC. This gives the rev G the potential to be the cleanest 1176 yet.


We had 5-1176 compressors during my tenure at Ocean Sound Studios in Vancouver in the 80's. The "f" were the only ones similar enough to each other to be used as buss compressors. The early class "A" version definitely had more distortion and noise plus the 600 ohm UTC input transformer was not always compatible with more modern output gear.

The balanced IC input stage in the F was much more forgiving and placed much less load on the driving stage. The Trident Series 80 inserts preferred the higher impedance balanced IC input than the old transformer coupled "D" models. The older versions always seemed more "tweaky" than the F series. They took more maintenance and we found leaky capacitors in the gain reduction detector circuit. It took a lot of work to get them to sound as good as a new "F" version in my experience. Not considering any increase in harmonic distortion that might be deemed "magical" or adding some "edge".

Also, hitting the transformer coupled "D" circuit with a high audio level would produce more pleasing 2nd harmonic distortion because of transformer saturation which you don't get from the "F" series with its IC balanced input stage. Other than the transformer the difference between a Blue Stripe and the much later "F" series would be $10 worth of parts in the front end.

Cheers, Dave Thomas
aamicrophones.com



Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Rash View Post
Hey everyone I was looking around on ebay and ran into this 1176 blue stripe: 1176 CLA ModUREI Universal Audio 1176 Rev B Bluestripe Vintage Limiter Compressor Unique Mod | eBay.

Here's the listing:

This auction is for a Urei 1176 bluestripe limiter, serial 698, revision B with a modification that is beyond rare. The unit has been modified to be exactly the same signal flow as the infamous "bluestripe lead vocal" compressor as used by one of the world's leading mixers.

I shared the same tech as this mixer about 5-10 years ago, and apparently he brought his blue stripe in and said... "fix the meter on this one, but don't change anything in the audio path on this b/c it's my favorite lead vocal compressor. It doesn't sound like my others, there may be something wrong with it or different about it but don't change that under any circumstances. I love the way it sounds." (paraphrasing here).

The tech took note of what made the unit different, a subtle wiring change. He was a good friend of mine and he offered to modify mine to be the same as said mixer's.

I've never seen any mention of this mod on any forum anywhere, and this unit is priced accordingly... as it is the only other unit in the world (to my knowledge) that has this option. It's not a terribly elaborate wiring change, but it does add quite a bit more 2nd order harmonic distortion to the sound, which is probably why it became the lead vocal compressor of choice on a lion's share of the world's most famous mixes. It adds quite an edge to the sound. It is not something you could "guess" on your own. This is not BS, I've heard the unit before and after and it's clear to me that this mod is a big part of the sound people associate with the most notorious use of this compressor, but until now had no way to replicate.

I recently had a (different) tech put the mod on a toggle on the back of the unit, so you can use the unit in it's original capacity, or in the higher distortion mode which would be great for vocals (in case you don't have two or more original bluestripes like the mixer who popularized it). This same tech put the unit up on an Audio Precision 1 to check the characteristics that the mod gave the unit... he said that basically it spec''d high for distortion when in the modded mode, which is probably why it sounds so good. It's a richening effect, gives the program density to cut through a busy mix.

I'm guessing the person who purchases this unit will either be a high-end mixer, or a plug-in developer who will want to model it (Waves has already modeled a unit like this one, but it would be great to see someone do an even better job). I'm not mixing anymore, hence the sale... although this was on my lead vocal track 95% of the time when I was.

The unit has had XLRs mounted on the back previous to my acquisition for ease of use. Otherwise the unit has its important original electronic components. It functions correctly and is in good electronic health, with some normal outward cosmetic signs of aging as seen in the pictures.

Do not email or message me re: the modification, I will not divulge it. If you want the mod, you need to purchase the unit.

There was a bluestripe 1176 posted with James Brown pedigree within the last year, which sold for nearly 8K on this auction site. I believe this unit to be far more valuable both as an important historic piece and in functionality.

No returns. Bid / offer with confidence, I've sold many high-dollar studio items by names like Pultec, Fairchild, Studer, Ampex, Neve etc. in the LA area and on eBay and have very high feedback.

Local pickup available as well.



First of all... Asking 11 grand for a single compressor is ridiculous... I doubt it will sale for that price. He states the CLAs tech performed a mod on it by changing a wire to a different spot for more harmonic distortion. Why would that be worth over $11,000 is beyond me but I would be interested to hear what mods are possible with this unit to possibly build a hairball 1176 with this mod done.
Old 14th November 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Zep Dude's Avatar
 

I'm going to buy it then send an email to every major label saying that I will mix their rock albums for $5 less than CLA. Once I have his 1176 mod I'm sure there will be no difference. If at this point you believe me, this is called sarcasm, a new form of communication on the web where you say something you don't mean to make a point.
Old 14th November 2013
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
JeromeMason's Avatar
Hilarious!!!

I saw this on Ebay and searched on GS to see what the hell this guy was talking about, and the first thread to pop up is this one.

I looked at this and thought what a load of BS. The guy thinks he can get a software DEV to buy it and model it. Why in Gods name would they do that when they could just go to CLA, model his, get him to endorse it, and then makes tons more money.

If anyone has ever looked inside an 1176, 11,500 for one almost makes me want to piss my pants. The Schematics are all over the internet and like another poster above said, you could literally build a house full of these for that price, and probably experiment around and figure out what's causing CLA's to do whatever it's doing because it's broken. Or maybe someone already knows what's broken about it that makes it do what it does. That's what I was trying to find out, what exactly is broke in the unit he has.
Old 15th November 2013
  #21
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Joe Haze's Avatar
 

The post should have read, this will get you a Grammy, or just randomly insert 1073. LAME
Old 15th November 2013
  #22
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
The listing isn't up anymore. I guess he knew he got busted.
Old 18th December 2013
  #23
Lives for gear
 

listing is back up. it's still kind of funny.
Old 18th December 2013
  #24
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Lol so it was took down from $12,000 to $8,000 witch is still a complete ripoff. David Kulka, (Chris Lordge Alge tech) was saying the listing was inaccurate but was talking about the miswiring thing that the real CLA 1176 has, and due to the fact that the clone has a SPST switch on it with the hilarious "normal" and "CLA" mode it would indicate that all the mod is, is a simple wire switch. More than likey a transformer wired wrong or something like that. Simple.

I suppose I will try to email David and see if he cares to comment on it. Or at least point him to this thread, I know he's here on GS
Old 19th December 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 

i just think it's silly that a wiring mismatch is asking for so much money. it's not really modded, it was never used by CLA, and there is 0 proof it's a replica of CLA's famous blue stripe 1176. absolutely none. this guy can have all the ebay feedback he wants but his word saying it is a second version of CLA comp is completely without merit.
Old 20th December 2013
  #26
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Joe Haze's Avatar
 

Chode Warrior - Super lame E-BAY tard.
Old 20th December 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 

also, asking $8000 for something without providing assurance from the actual tech with proof of schematics is a joke.

ps - even if it actualy was CLA's it's still not worth $8000 but realistically speaking it is improper in my opinion to try to sell something without getting it certified and a statement from a tech saying exactly what was done. anyone that buys it without that guarantee is either allergic to their money or just plain crazy.
Old 20th December 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 

i don't think it's pure malice on the guys part i think he's just a bit unrealistic… again, there is 0 assurance or authenticity beyond his word. and $8,000 is a hell of a risk for someones online ebay "word."

anyone can put a switch that says "cla" and maybe move a few wires around. without CLA himself, or the actual tech, saying it is a realistic identical twin of CLA's blue stripe it's just a fake as far as the consumer goes. it's asking a hell of a lot from people to just take that big of a leap of faith.
Old 20th December 2013
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aramism View Post
i don't think it's pure malice on the guys part i think he's just a bit unrealistic… again, there is 0 assurance or authenticity beyond his word. and $8,000 is a hell of a risk for someones online ebay "word."

anyone can put a switch that says "cla" and maybe move a few wires around. without CLA himself, or the actual tech, saying it is a realistic identical twin of CLA's blue stripe it's just a fake as far as the consumer goes. it's asking a hell of a lot from people to just take that big of a leap of faith.
It's 8K or best offer - he might accept way less, who knows..
Old 20th December 2013
  #30
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Aaron Rash's Avatar
Here's my guess...

We all know transformers create distortion at some degree. A capacitor, resistor or FET can pretty much only sound one way. Good, or bad and if the part is bad it gets replaced. This 1176 has cheap Xicon replacement caps in it so its becoming very obvious, especially with what Kulka said earlier that it is a preamp miswire.

Building lots of 1176s myself I can tell you, there are only about 8 different combinations of mis-wiring a 1176 pre. And is a very easy spot for a tech to make a mistake and hook the transformer up incorrectly without even knowing.

More than likely the primary or secondary is wired in series instead of parallel. Just like a 1073 when you change the input impedance on the input transformer via the "SPST" you are changing the wiring of the input transformer witch also changes the impedance witch drastically changes the tone and distortion characteristics.

Old Urei UTC-12s aren't exactly hard to find on ebay...

That's just a guess
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