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Affordable "1176-style" Outboard Compressor
Old 13th February 2011
  #1
Deleted User
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Affordable "1176-style" Outboard Compressor

Does anybody know of an outboard compressor in the 500$ or less category that has a relatively similar setup/sound to an 1176? (FET based w/ input gain, makeupgain, attack, release... Nice and colored sounding)

Was at a friend's studio today who had a Retro 1176 that he used to slam vocals and the way it compressed sounded RAD!!!

Please no sassy remarks, I'm not in the know about this kind of thing and would really like an 1176 style compressor, even if it's not 'perfect'. I don't like perfect stuff anyways. I currently have an ART VLA II opto-comp and an Ashly SC50.
Old 13th February 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
Look for Gain Brain II, kick ass FET compressor with some similarities to 1176 IMO
Old 13th February 2011
  #4
Altec 1612a FET compressor/limiter. See the classifieds.
Old 13th February 2011
  #5
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dysenterygary's Avatar
 

Definitely the overstayer, or you could build an 1176 for under $500 if thats what you're into.

Hairball Audio
Old 13th February 2011
  #6
perhaps also the MXR Dual Limiter? But the Overstayer is defo more versatile...
Old 13th February 2011
  #7
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not sure of sub $500 but the cheapest i know of that is 1176 style and works well is the

IGS Audio - Professional Studio Equipment - 1176 (stare)
Old 13th February 2011
  #8
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I'm curious about ISG.

Do you own any of his gear? How do you find it?
Old 13th February 2011
  #9
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Thanks for the responses.. I didn't realize there were some DIY type 1176's out there.
Old 13th February 2011
  #10
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KRStudio's Avatar
 

BTW if your friend used a Retro then it was a Retro 176. VERY different from an 1176. The 176 is about $3000 and nothing will do what it does in the $1000 or under range. Make sure you are looking at the right unit.

Jeff
Old 14th February 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRStudio View Post
BTW if your friend used a Retro then it was a Retro 176. VERY different from an 1176. The 176 is about $3000 and nothing will do what it does in the $1000 or under range. Make sure you are looking at the right unit.

Jeff
Thanks. Aware of this.
Old 14th February 2011
  #12
Deleted User
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Any thoughts on the Purple Audio MC77? It's out of my price range for now but anyone use this one?
Old 14th February 2011
  #13
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

If I was shopping for this, I would at least consider the FMR RNLA7239. I haven't heard one or seen the inside of one, but I suspect it's based on the 1176.

I would buy one from some place with a good return policy and check it out. You could buy two of them for $500...
Old 14th February 2011
  #14
The DIY route is no walk in the park, but doable and there is some nice help out there. I've done a few of them myself, and the wiring is fairly complicated. There is great informations and it's almost a color by numbers thing now but you won't get there for under $700 without any tools already.

The Purple is a modified Rev D.
The UA rev is based on the Rev D
The Mohog version if a modified Rev G/F I believe.
Old 14th February 2011
  #15
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Illmo's Avatar
 

Overstayer is a Great peace of gear for the money. Definate 1176ish.
Old 14th February 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo View Post
If I was shopping for this, I would at least consider the FMR RNLA7239. I haven't heard one or seen the inside of one, but I suspect it's based on the 1176.

I would buy one from some place with a good return policy and check it out. You could buy two of them for $500...
I'm afraid someone has steered you wrong on that. The RNLA is a levelling amp where the 1176 is a FET compressor. The RNLA has fairly slow attack & release times while FET compressors are very, very fast. The 1176 has a very upper midrange "forward" sound while the RNLA is darker and softer.
Old 15th February 2011
  #17
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I agree with sparqee in that the RNLA is more of an opto type sound vs. a FET sound, however, you can dial up some pretty fast attack/release times with it. It's definitely got a cool retro vibe.

Toft Audio used to make a stereo FET comp. I'm not sure if they still offer a stand alone unit or not, but it's included in their channel strips. The EQ in those units is supposed to be stellar.
Old 15th February 2011
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparqee View Post
I'm afraid someone has steered you wrong on that. The RNLA is a levelling amp where the 1176 is a FET compressor. The RNLA has fairly slow attack & release times while FET compressors are very, very fast. The 1176 has a very upper midrange "forward" sound while the RNLA is darker and softer.

All that may be true, but when I compare my RNLA to my Waves 1176, they sound eerily similar. I know its just a plug-in... but still.
Old 15th February 2011
  #19
Ive got an overstayer and had a dual Gyraf 1176...dont shoot me - but the Waves 1176 is pretty good...much better than the UAD which I also had and preferable IMO to the Softube...
Old 15th February 2011
  #20
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Apples and Oranges

I think the Waves CLA-76 is a rockin good plugin and I love my RNLA for certain things, and while it's certainly possible to set the plugin to sound similar to the RNLA I think it's misleading to say that they *are* similar. The 1176 is capable of much faster attack and release times than the RNLA making it possible to really squash transients and bring up tails (e.g. room ambience, etc.).

Here's some samples of a snare hit. The first four are dry, the second four have an RNLA set at fastest attack & release settings and the final four are with the CLA-76 set at fastest attack and release. Notice how the CLA-76 really smashes the initial transient while the RNLA lets through the "crack". And of course you can't help but notice how the CLA-76's blindingly fast release brings up the room sound after the initial crush of gain reduction.

Again, I'm not suggesting that these two compressors don't share some common middle ground I'm just pointing out that the RNLA is not capable of some of the extremes that an 1176 (or it's plugin imitators) are capable of.

p.s. I matched the peak volumes of this example not the RMS and both the RNLA and the CLA-76 were doing about 12db of gain reduction.

p.p.s. I do agree that the OverStayer has a lot of 1176'ish qualities.
Attached Files

CLA-76 vs RNLA.mp3 (470.0 KB, 6504 views)

Old 16th February 2011
  #21
Deleted User
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Thanks for all the responses. I am going to look into the overstayer. I also am interested in a more expensive unit- the Purple MC77. Though, if I got into the 1200+ range, I might as well be looking at urei's. Thanks for the suggestions! I certainly wouldn't have known any of this without your help, in which case I'd be sitting online as usual drooling over 2,500 dollar compressors with only pennies in the bank.
Old 16th February 2011
  #22
Man - if its one thing I'd like to dispel in Gearslutz - is that you need high end compressors and Pres to make good music...now more than ever there are many great cheaper hardware options (that are preferable to plugs)...

In my opinion - unless you are a professional studio (and even if you are) I personally dont feel that you will necessarily benefit 'that' much from the premium nature of the $$$$ high end gear - compared to the cost difference...
I can understand for a Po studio - but does a independent musician really need to get hung up on a $2000 Neve when there is a decent $400 clone?

I think its easy to forget there is a broad range of people around Gearslutz, from bedroom producers to guys running big facilities - and the requirements are quite different...but there is a risk that bedroom producer can become convinced he needs an Antelope Atomic Clock...
Old 16th February 2011
  #23
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparqee View Post
Here's some samples of a snare hit. The first four are dry, the second four have an RNLA set at fastest attack & release settings and the final four are with the CLA-76 set at fastest attack and release. Notice how the CLA-76 really smashes the initial transient while the RNLA lets through the "crack". And of course you can't help but notice how the CLA-76's blindingly fast release brings up the room sound after the initial crush of gain reduction.
Excellent examples and very instructive.......
Old 16th February 2011
  #24
There is a company, they used to make only custom, hand-made gear, now they are on the testing process of some new gear (a preamp and a 1176 clone) that is made to be affordable (it's not going to be handmade anymore, it's factory build now). My guess is that the 1176 clone will be $500ish
Old 16th February 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeronimo View Post
There is a company, they used to make only custom, hand-made gear, now they are on the testing process of some new gear (a preamp and a 1176 clone) that is made to be affordable (it's not going to be handmade anymore, it's factory build now). My guess is that the 1176 clone will be $500ish
As a small business owner I can say that it's quite possible to make a good living doing what you love (on a small scale). I have the greatest respect for those people that hand make audio gear and sell it for an affordable price. I also love those people that share their DIY experience. The are many paths to every destination.
Old 16th February 2011
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparqee View Post
As a small business owner I can say that it's quite possible to make a good living doing what you love (on a small scale). I have the greatest respect for those people that hand make audio gear and sell it for an affordable price. I also love those people that share their DIY experience. The are many paths to every destination.
Me too!

I don't know if I can talk about prices and avaliability now, but I will as soon as I can. I'm very excited with these two products.
Old 16th February 2011
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Pies's Avatar
anyone made up any of the hairball kits?
The look very interesting, I might get one ordered and see how they sound.
At that price they seem too good to be true, just need to price up the parts that arn't included in the kit.
Old 16th February 2011
  #28
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softwareguy's Avatar
 

Thanks for the examples, really useful.
Old 27th March 2011
  #29
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studio1117's Avatar
 

100% say go for the Hairball audio. I built the REV A Blue Stripe and it's amazing. My main engineer loves it better than the black UA1176 We have. We probably we be buying at least 1 more kit from them. Really easy build (could have clearer, updated instructions) but overall easy and awesome!!
Old 27th March 2011
  #30
bee
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bee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dysenterygary View Post
Definitely the overstayer, or you could build an 1176 for under $500 if thats what you're into.

Hairball Audio
Those kits look great!
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