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Universal Audio 1176 LN Limiting Amplifer

Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier

4.6 4.6 out of 5, based on 6 Reviews


14th December 2011

Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier by gyrosphere1

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Universal Audio 1176 LN Limiting Amplifer

True to the original 1176 compressor. Whether it be for vocals, drums or guitars, this amazing sounding FET-Style compressor is great for just about anything.
Soft, warm and vintage by design. This bad boy is the daddy !

Last edited by Grahamdwc; 4th August 2014 at 01:10 PM..

18th December 2011

Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier by Preme Diesel

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Universal Audio 1176 LN Limiting Amplifer

There is not a better all around compressor in the world, as far as I'm concerned.

I am always shocked there are so many debates on the forums about what someone's first high end compressor purchase should be - there is no question: it is the 1176.

It can be very aggressive with the release set fast. It can smooth things right over with a slow release. You can very easily dictate the tone of something with attack, release & ratio. There's really nothing it can't do.

This is one piece of gear i believe no studio can be without.


Cons:

- Light in VU meter burns out quickly.
- Although it is worth every penny, not everyone can afford one.

22nd December 2011

Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier by neeko

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Universal Audio 1176 LN Limiting Amplifer

My go-to comp! One of the all time great compressors for rock/R&B bass. Works very well on drums, acoustic instruments and high transient sources. Great for mixes because it's so quick that it doesn't alter the "sound" unless you want it too. Also great on vocals but it can get pretty "aggressive". Finally, the only drawback I found is the price, but well worth it in the end.

22nd December 2011

Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier by IGive'nTakeInfo

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Universal Audio 1176 LN Limiting Amplifer

as if this needs reviewed, every studio has got one, we know its sound from every record ever made. I'm reviewing it anyway so I can get another virtual ballot in the sE draws.

I own two UA 1176LN. I purchased them this year (2011) and will never again track vocals or bass without it. Its also great on snare and good on kick (i prefer la 2a on most kicks).

This thing makes a good vocal great. Its like a touch of goodness in the low mids that makes the vocal smooth and silky.

I gave it a 9 for usability because sometimes it takes me ten seconds to get all buttons in one just keeps popping back out lol

  • 1
10th February 2012

Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier by rev9recording

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Universal Audio 1176 LN Limiting Amplifer

wow I cant believe no one has reviewed the ua 1176 yet! this is such a great compressor. Im reviewing the reissue version, which sounds relatively(ymmv)similar to most other 1176 revisions. after all, they are all 1176's right?(it looks pretty darn cool as well!)

anyway, what a great sounding compressor! it is plenty fast, this classic yet simple box makes nearly every source sound better. In fact one of my favorite things about the 1176 is that things sound better going through the box, even with no compression applied.

Overall I consider the 1176 to be one of the simplest compressors out there. perhaps not as simple at something like an la2a. but in the big picture, the simplicity vs. feature ratio is just perfect. the features of the unit are pretty cut and dry. four ratio buttons, and of course the famed all button mode. attack/release, input/output and gain reduction meter. Thats it, super simple.

i recommend this compressor, to anyone interested in an easy to use, classic sounding unit. they are a little pricey, and not quite in the low budget territory, but for anyone wanting to step up their game to the big leagues, this box is a perfect starting point.

20th June 2014

Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier by Glenn Bucci

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Universal Audio 1176 LN Limiting Amplifer

Universal Audio 1176 LN (low noise) compressor

I received a new 1176 LN compressor from Vintage King who provided excellent customer service and timely shipping.

The compressor has a field effect transistor (FET) that uses as a voltage-controlled variable resistor as oppose to a opto, or VCA type compressor. The ratio options are 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, or 20:1. You also have the option of pressing combinations of buttons to provided different responses as well.
There have been many revisions of the 1176 since it came out. Model C included a low-noise circuitry which later in Model D was revised. Model E came out in the early 1970s that included a European 220V voltage selector on the rear panel. Model D or model E appeared to be the most popular over the years.

Universal Audio states the following regarding the new reissue:
Features:
True to the original in design, manufacturing and performance
Modeled after 1176LN, blackface, D and E revisions
Ultra fast attack time -20 microseconds to 800 microseconds
Class A line level output amplifier
Custom built Putnam-designed output transformer
Stereo interconnect operation
Hand-built in USA; backed by 1-year limited warranty
Input Impedance
600 ohms, bridges-T control (floating)
Output Load Impedance
600 ohms
Gain
+50 db

Lets get to the finish line and tell how it compares to the UAD 1176 Collection. The answer is a clear audible difference. The hardware sounds like a part of the original signal that provides a clearer sound while the UAD 1176 Collection adds some more color, and has the ability to smear the notes if not used properly.

For my bass guitar DI test (Fender jazz active), I used the UAD 1176 bass guitar preset. This provides a med fast attack and very fast release with a ratio of 4. The hardware unit offered a clearer sound which resulted in hearing every detail of each note very well. The transformers add a little more bottom end (fuller) while still remaining clear and detailed. When you compress up to -3db, it is more on the transparent side. When you compress more, you hear it reduce the signal in a gentle way controlling the peak levels. The compressor controls the transients while still allowing the track to breath. Obviously you can hit it harder and get more of an effect including pumping. None of the 1176 plug ins provide this type of character. Having large control knobs make using this a joy to use.

The UAD 1176 Rev E (purplish face) adds character which clouds the notes slightly in a good way if adjusted correctly. The same settings on the hardware and software provide different results. I actually found the AE 1176 plug in to sound closer to the hardware. It still though affected the signal so it was slightly cloudy.

In comparing the 1176 hardware to my Portico compressor with feed forward (cleaner option) option, the Portico added more smoothness to the signal with its transformers. It was not cloudy like the plug ins, but it gently rounded the signal. The 1176 offered a cleaner sound like the bass amp was in front of you with a nice punchy sound. Depending on your needs, one will be better than the other. After using the large knobs on the 1176, the tiny knobs on the half rack Portico were a little disappointing.

On vocals, the hardware provided great control of the peaks while providing a punchier sound if so desired. The plug ins also sounded very good, but could add (positive word) character (negative word) slight cloudy-ness to the signal. Depending on the type of music, and character you want, one will be better than the other.

I tracked with the 1176 on guitar and bass. I then tracked with the Portico compressor, and then tracked with no compressor and added the UAD 1176 compressors with the same attack and release settings and matching up the amount of reduction which peaked around -6db. Once again I found the 1176 offering a clean modern punch with a little low end umph added. The Portico smoothed the signal and its transformers made the sound a little thicker. The UAD 1176 AE took something away from the clarity and added a gentle character as did the Rev E version. It was like it added a veil to the signal.

Some people claim the original 1176 or other 1176 compressors from other company’s offer a better character than the new Universal Audio 1176. I cannot comment that but know each has their own flavor. If you want character you can easily go to Portico, or API compressor. I personally really like the clean punchy sound of the new Universal Audio 1176 compressor. I also like that the transformers add a little more fullness while still maintaining the original sound of the bass. It simply sounds better going through this compressor. When it reduces the signal, it never makes the sound too soft or a jumpy reduction in volume when used with normal settings. It sounds very smooth when it reduces the signal.

Would I still use the UAD 1176 compressors if I had the hardware? The answer is yes; when I want to add a little smoothness or color to the signal. If tracking with the 1176, I would be gentle with the settings since if you over compress while tracking, you can’t undo it later on. Even with gentle tracking, the transformers make the overall sound fuller and more up front. This compressor is a great complement to a studio and offers a sound the plugins do not offer. I said before, having large controls make it a joy to work with. It does lack a ratio control, and feedforward/feedback option as some other compressors offer. However I found it was very easy to obtain the results by playing with the input (which affects the ratio) and output control. In the States, it cost $2,000 and used ones are seen around $1,300. If this type of compressor appeals to you, I encourage you to try one out.

 
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