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UA6176

Universal Audio 6176

4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 16 Reviews

Mono Tube 610 preamp with an 1176 compressor linkable. Amazing product great sound!!!


3rd March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by protoolswiz

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
UA6176

The 610 preamp is a classic sound. Selectable impedance is a great feature. Two switchable EQ's, a pad and phase switch round off the left side of the unit. The 1176 Compressor on the right side is everything you'd expect from this great classic compressor.

I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a channel strip style piece of high quality.

3rd March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by timeghost

  • 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
UA6176

A lot of users find themselves searching for "THAT" sound when it comes to a channel strip. With the 610 pre and the 1176LN compressor individually being on the top of every major producer's list, it was only natural to put them together in a single channel strip. The Universal Audio 6176 Vintage Channel Strip was born.

With the all-tube mic pre-amp section, you will find instant gratification when you mic just about anything from percussion, to guitars, to orchestral instruments. Throw it in front of cranked half stacked or even an R&B Vocal, and the result will surely please. It's been a go to pre-amp to countless top producers, and will continue to be time and time again.

Then it gets better.

With the FET style 1176LN compressor, you get that legendary warm, fat sound without compromise. Another piece by UA that can be thrown in front of anything you can throw out it. It even had the capability to do the "All In" ratio that people have come to love.

Or flip a switch and have the capability to split the pre-amp and compressor for unparalleled flexibility.

When looking for a channel strip, look no further than the Universal Audio 6176.

Truly one of a kind.

3rd March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by burchpiano

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
UA6176

I have owned my UA 6176 about a year now. It’s primary pre that I use in my project studio and I mainly use it with a Chameleon Labs TS-2 tube condenser mic. This combination for me is just magic when recording acoustic guitars or vocals!

The UA 6176 is a channel strip with a sweet preamp based off of the widely used 610 and the compressor based off of the 1176. Even though these units are combined together in a 2-space rack unit they can be used individually with the simple flip of a join/split switch located on the front.

I recently upgraded the two tubes in mine (basically just to see what would happen) and found that I had a little more head room from the pre before any distortion or “color” would occur that seems to work well with my setup. Although for many people, they might want the opposite sound. I upgraded the tubes with a JJ ECC81 and JJ ECC 83 S. Both gold pins.

For me, this has given my studio a very universal (no pun intended) and flexible sound that I have really needed as I don’t have tons and tons of gear at my fingertips like some studios have and wouldn’t trade mine in for anything. It’s a piece of gear that I’ll never out grow and will keep close for quite a while!

4th March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by Wesma

  • 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
UA6176

I bought the 6176 Vintage Channel Strip last summer and have been more than pleased with the sounds I'm getting. I like it best with voices and acoustic guitar. The sound of the 610 pre is crisp and detailed with great presence and combined with the legendary 1176 this unit is truly a winner on a lot of sources.
On drums I really like it on snare drum. If I crank the input of the 6176 I can really get a mean and aggressive rock snare sound. The unit has a great way of taming the transients in a good way. I work ITB and I find the 6176 to give me some of that vintage sound I’ve been missing with other preamps.
Another area in which this unit really shines is with electric bass. I just plugged in a Fender Jazz bass in the Hi Z input, cranked the input gain, added some gentle 4:1 compression and the sound was simply warm, fat and I got that string presence to really support the track. Some more compression ITB and the track was done!
A good feature is that you can split the 610 from the 1176 and use them separately. I really like to send out stuff to the 610 if I want to maybe distort or just warm up a track or to compress the sh#t out of a mono drum room track with the ALL mode on the 1176.
I’m trying to find some cons about the 6176 and that would probably be that after getting this one I really want another one!

6th March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by Strut78

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UA6176

I have owned the 6176 for just over four years now and I have grown to love it. It has it's own vibe and sound going on, which I initially thought was a short coming, but upon spending a lot of time with the unit, I feel that what I once thought was a shortcoming, is actually a strength, and as always it is about finding the right tool for the right job.

The 6176 has both the 610 mic Pre and the universal audio version of the 1176 in the same box, and it really can be a killer combination. One of the real strengths is the ability to split sections and use them independently.

The 610 mic Pre has often been referred to as dark, however matching it with the right mic makes a huge difference. For example I have never really had great results when using a mic that needs a lot of gain such as an SM7 or a ribbon mic. But with higher gain condensers (u87/414) it works brilliantly. If you have an uncloured mic and need to add some mojo, this is a go to box. However when using super colored mics, it can be too much. The limited eq in the 6176 is also cool. A little high end goes a long way.

The UA 1176 is great, I also own a purple mc77 which is a little brighter, but I really have no complaints about the compressor in the 6176, it reacts a little differently to a vintage 1176, although in my experience it is more to do with the meters and not the actual compression

It is not my desert island Pre, but it does it's thing well and I can highly recommend it if you are looking for some color and already have some versatile clean mic pres. Try it for yourself.

6th March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by Syncamorea

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
UA6176

The 6176 is a simply awesome channel strip that is versatile enough to use on almost any input but I keep it reserved for vocals. I do mostly live recordings on stage and in the project studio setting and have found the headroom of the mic pre and the compressor to have saved my butt on numerous occasions when a singer gets loaded up with adrenaline and belts it out WAAAYY louder than their sound check big note.

I've used the preamp stage from the clean end up through saturated and depending on the song's needs, the whole range has utility. I am still blown away by the clean gain this pre has. It's like heaven. The EQ may look limited on paper since it only has three low end choices (70, 100 and 200Hz) and three high frequency choices (4.5K, 7K and 10KHz) but in practice, the EQ has worked great for me. Tasteful and effective. Skrillex might want more range for abuse, but I'm fine with this. And the compressor is a dream, with a wide range of usable squish and plenty of ~transparent use.

I've used this to feed a FOH console effectively and the vocalists love how much better they hear themselves in their in-ears and how great the recordings sound. That's a huge treat for me to hear.

What would I ask for if I could? Some wild preamp distortion, maybe? The ability to parallel compress in the unit. Low frequency bandpass through the compressor. That's it. I love it!

9th March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by My Tiny Circus

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UA6176

I found this to be a great pre for bass guitar.

I don't like the switchable frequency EQ and would prefer sweepable.

The compressor sounds great and driving the pre can impart a colour to vocals that's great for blues, roots and rock.

It wouldn't be my first choice for clean vocals.

I found it a bit noisy with the gain high enough for an SM7b.

Being able to use the pre and compressor separately is a bonus.

12th March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by e12

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
UA6176

I have one of these awesome pieces of hardware. I can say it is my favorite sound for most recordings.

The 610 preamp has a very distinct tube-but-accurate sound and it counts on two shelving (high and low) EQ which tend to be very musical (it follows the Bill Putnam-designed 610 modular console). There's an input and an output gain knobs (very stylish), a -15dB attenuation pad, a phase button, and a very useful High Z Input. You can change the input impedance in the High Z as you can also do in the Mic Input. This is very nice feature because mics will sound different for each impedance value.

The 1176 section has all the controls you will find in a regular 1176 design, but in a 610's skin finish. The only feature you might not feel the same is the "all button" function, because it comes in one position marked as "all" (in the original you have to press all buttons together, which is not possible in this case). Anyway, this does not affect the resulting sound, that's still unbelievable! I don't know if I need to say that, but this is one of "THE compressors" we have in the world. I don't know any other FET comp I like more than this... It's somehow very musical, very tasty and it has many many possibilities of use. In one word: special. I like it using less compression, a lot of compression or even any compression at all!

I can say the most significant advantage having the 6176 Channel Strip resides in the fact you can use both (pre and compressor) separated as a single gear or together, internally connected in serial mode. This feature is achieved choosing one of the two modes in the split/ join button. If I'm not wrong their other channel strip (LA-610) doesn't allow that (which is the reason I never both a unity). You can also connect two unities to achieve a stereo operation with an 1176-SA (not included).

Talking about the strip use: love it most on vocals and bass, but it rocks on everything! Even in "line guitar styles"... I can say that what I like better is to use it in joint mode and forget about analog clipping. The distortion you can get is pretty amazing and harmonically rich!!

22nd March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by Ginja Ninja

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UA6176

I haven't really used a whole range of gear in my time, however 6176s are boss for what I've been using them for. The slow attack kinda kills me sometimes but that's only for transient hits really. I love the clarity of 6176s, very snappy kind of sounding. I tend to always push the gain +10 to get a bit more colour out of the preamp and adjust the level according to that. One of the pointless parts about this gear is the lame EQ, often I find I can't even hear it when I push the EQs pretty hard. The switchable EQ is kind of annoying, I'd like something a bit more versatile in that end of the spectrum.

Often I find myself using the 610 and 1176 part of the 6176 with other pieces of gear, just because I like the sound of the preamp with some other smoother compressors like a Distressor, and I like the compressor especially with bass guitar with some better EQ preamps just for the versatility there; often this is a Neve Portico because I love the natural sound of that.

So yeah, cool piece of gear, it'd be one of the first things I'd get in a home studio.

26th March 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by dontfeedmecurry

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
UA6176

Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip

The UA 6176 Channel Strip combines the highly sought after 610 preamp and 1176 compressor into one compact and much more cost effective unit. I say 'much more' cost effective because it still costs around $2500 when usually you would have to pay around that for just a 610 or 1176 - in this case, you get both in one. The cool thing about this unit is that you can split the preamp and the compressor and use them independently of one another if need be. So, down to the review!

In a nutshell, the UA 6176 sounds incredible! I have a home studio and the 6176 adds such a gorgeous warm vibe, no matter what I record with it. Often I don't even have to tweak the unit, it just sounds that good. When I do have to tweak the unit it doesn't take long to find the sweet spot of whatever I am recording. I have used dozens of different units over the years, and I am not a veteran with this unit [I will confess], but at this point I could easily get myself several more when my funds permit.

The 610 pre sounds great on just about anything as a stand alone pre - guitars, vocals, perc, stringed instruments - you're hard pressed to make it sound bad. But adding the 1176LN compressor just gives you so much more fatness, making it the perfect channel strip for electric bass. Although I have also used it on bowed/pizz upright bass and it sounds wicked. The "All In" setting [which is a modern user friendly ratio of the old 60's method of literally pressing ALL the ratio buttons in simultaneously for rock records] just pushes the 6176 capabilities even further, especially on amped electric guitars. Beautiful stuff!

It really is a great idea executed brilliantly. If you're after that vintage warm tube sound in your studio, this is for sure the way to go - I can't think of a better bang for your buck if that's what you're in the market for! Don't underestimate how important the front end of your studio is to your final mix. I have recorded some mixes the last few months where certain tracks were not using the 6176, and when I go to the final mixing stage, the 6176 tracks just sit so naturally and musically amongst everything else. It's kind of crazy to be honest!

As far as mics go that I have used with the 6176, I use the following with this unit with pleasing results: Audio Technica 4033, 4040, 4050, Shure KSM137, KSM32, Neumann TLM49, Neumann TLM103, Neumann KMS105. I also use an Apogee Duet and record into Logic Pro. I'm sure many other micas work brilliantly, but I am a home studio, and don't have millions of mics to choose from!

Buy the Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip - it transforms the vibe of your home studio!

1st April 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by skyboy

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
UA6176

I'm reviewing the Universal Audio 6176, a two rack space unit combining two of bill Putnam's classic designs; the 610 Tube Pre and the 1176LN Compressor, with added High and Low Shelf EQ.

This seems to be the unit that many of the slutz turn up their noses at, proclaiming it "too colored" for their taste. I think I hesitated purchasing this unit for a long time due to post's of similar nature on this forum. Then they had a special promotion featuring this unit and throwing in a UAD-2 Quad DSP Accelerator and I couldn't resist.

Well, after owning the 6176 for about 7 months, all I have to say is "This thing rocks!"

Now I am a well equipped, medium sized (by today's standards) recording studio with a Neve 8232 console and several awesome outboard Pres, including Pendulum, Gordon, and John Hardy. I love and respect them all, and each one has it's specialties that none other can match. But i have to say that since greeting the 6176, it has probably been used more than any of the others. Particularly on vocals and bass. Just seems to render those two elements beautifully. Of course, the 1176 is a large part of that equation, but I had an 1176 before. The 610 Pre is definitely colored, but it's often the perfect shade. and being able to drive the tube more or less allows you to quickly shape the character to fit the song.

The most recent implementation was on a session with David Mallet, the Mallet Brothers, and the make and Spain Brothers. Seven guys singing sand playing acoustic instruments simultaneously in a medium sized room, no baffling. An engineering nightmare. But I digress. (Actually it all turned out quite nice)

I had never met Dave until that session. I put up a newly purchased Miktek C7 running into the 6176, It was a beautiful match. Dave's voice is weathered, but incredibly rich and vibrant. (and he is an extremely hip and seasoned pro) As soon as I heard it i knew it was perfect. Larger than life, wonderfully detailed, deep and round. With no EQ it just sounded like a finished vocal. The next day I did rough mixes and ended up EQ'ing all the other mics except Dave's.

Love it!

12th April 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by vulchobonev

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UA6176

I really love this combo preamp. the 1176 inside the combo channel amp works wonderfully. Comparing the hardware to UA Plugins is very impressive with UA DSP processingEmulations. I am very happy with my UA Gearheh

15th April 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by BOWIE

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
UA6176

I'm often asked if the 6176 is an uncompromised combination of the 610 pre and 1176 comp, or a cheap version of both. Having used one on many sessions, I feel that it offers both the modern 610 pre and 1176 without compromising the audio quality or features. Being able to use the pre and comp independently is what really makes this a winner as it adds to the overall value.

The preamp is similar to what you will find in UA's 2-610. It has a more EQ options than the Solo-610 and M-610, and a slightly different circuit than the LA-610(s). The EQ itself is fairly limited and certainly not a big reason to buy the unit, but can be surprisingly useful at times. In fact, I've talked to a lot of people who like the 6176 eq. Unless you have one of the first releases, you'll have the option of a -15db pad which is essential for some applications. The tone itself definitely qualifies it as a "character pre". Those who don't like it will call it dark and muddy, whereas 610 fans will define it as warm and smooth. The truth lies in the context. If you want a pre that will subdue the harshness of an electric guitar, add body to a thin vocal, etc, it's one of the better choices. This isn't a pre that you go to for a bright pop vocal. I find it extremely useful as I prefer to plan my mix at the engineering stage. If I know that I want the electric guitar to be fat and smooth, I may run a Royer into the 610 followed by an LA-2A to establish that tone I want, rather than fighting to create that color in the mix stage. Though you can't say that the 610 is "versatile" (being that it has a strong character), you can still use it on a large number of sources and use it often. Low frequencies are a bit smeared/thick and not extremely deep. Low-mids are full and bold. Upper-mids are pulled back a little (though the tonal qualities really depend on the tubes in your unit). Highs roll off but they're not entirely dark and you can bring them out with EQ fairly well, if desired. The newer versions are a little more open in the highs than the earliest 6176s. There is a texture in the lows and low-mids that should be mentioned. It's a subtle grind or "growl" that will flatter some bass guitars and vocals. It's not the type of thing you'd want on a classical performance though as it would simply sound grainy in the wrong application.

Most people want to know if the 1176 portion is up to snuff. I say that it not only sounds like the stand-alone UA 1176, but I admit that it might even sound just little smoother than the UA 1176 I owned (one of the very first re-issues). My impression is that it's a tad less aggressive in the upper-mids/low highs and doesn't have quite as much of that 1176 bite. This is welcome on female vocals and anything else that needs to be as silky as possible. We're talking about something very subtle here though. I have not directly A/B'd it will another hardware 1176, so these observations are just based on my thoughts while tracking and mixing (I've done a lot with both comps, though I don't own the 6176). I have compared it to directly with a couple of 1176 plug-ins (sorry, I don't recall what brand they were) and the 6176 was absolutely in another league, offering a sound that separated much better in mixes. With heavy gain reduction, the 6176 will bring a vocal forward and give it a smooth presence, just as an 1176 should. Sure, it doesn't look as sexy in the rack as the traditional 1176 design, but you'll soon forget about that once you make friends with the 6176.

All-in-all, it's a good unit to have. The 1176 has universal appeal and even if the 610 isn't your bag, there's bound to be applications in which it will give you the right character. Just be aware that it's a character pre before you make a purchase. Most people will will get a lot use from the 6176, in one capacity or another.

29th April 2012

Universal Audio 6176 by tntsparkz

  • 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
UA6176

If you don't want to read, here's the punch line: Earns a 9/10

The UA 6176 is overall an excellent preamp. It is extremely versatile and I feel comfortable using it for just about anything and knowing I'll get a great result.

This review contains no comparisons to the vintage 610 or 1176. It is unbiased from the perspective of current use an comparisons to newer gear in my rack.

Pros:
This preamp is probably my favorite in the rack. It definitely scores high marks overall.
The 6176 is extremely versatile and very easy to use. If you have a clue what you're going for, this preamp can get you there very quickly. Besides this being my go to vocal and guitar preamp, I also find it very useful for warming up harsh percussion instruments such as bells or tambourines. The compressor brings through just the right harmonics particularly with those harsher applications, an the EQ is very useful and effective though simple.

Cons:
There are only 2 minor qualms I have with this equipment as reflected in my ratings.
The 6176 is pricy. For almost $1k less you can get the LA-610 which has the same preamp and preamp features with another good sounding easy to use compressor, though it isn't quite as tweakable an I don't like it QUITE as much. Nonetheless, that is a large price point for what I would consider a less than proportional sonic improvement.

The 6176 also features an EQ that I wish had a few more dimensions to play with. A 3rd band in the mid range or a Q (or both) would be very useful (purists may disagree).

Overall:
All in all this is an excellent piece of equipment and the ease of use and versatility far outweigh the very few minor cons. I am glad this workhorse is in my studio and I have come to rely on it almost daily. Once again, good job Universal Audio!

In my humble opinion, this preamp/compressor combo earns a 9/10.

15th January 2013

Universal Audio 6176 by Scenariofever

  • 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
UA6176

The 6176 is a very cool and easy thing to work with.

After 2 years in use: YES, it still lives up to its promises for vocalsound.

Every Singer that runs through it, gets fatter and more fits in the mix, even if i run the signal just through the compresser using no ratio-settings!

As its said by the reviewer before: This thing rocks!

There is no question that the pre 610 has its own colored sound - but on vocals there is really no better choice than using the 610 and 1176 together!
Even my Millenia STT-1 can only hint at the 6176 (on vocals).

I also have used it on some E-Bassguitars - but therefore it isn't my first choice!

 
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