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Old 12th August 2019
Gear Nut

Originally Posted by Funkybot View Post
I'm not disagreeing about it being noisy, nor am I trying to definitely state it should be noisy. I have limited experience [on the client side] with UA reissues and Purple MC77s, and mostly use plugins, so I'm not claiming to be an expert on 1176's. I had the same questions about the noise myself. In fact, earlier, in this very thread, I asked about the lack of a perceivable difference between Rev's A and D, which wasn't what I was expecting, and Josh indicated there was a slight difference in volume (I don't hear/see it).

When I got the units I did some research on 1176 noise just to try to get a baseline as to what normal is, and I came across a bunch of information that made me think ~72db at unity (no input, running +4dBu levels from line-in/outs) may not be that out of line. For instance:

Here's the UA page on the reissues (note the >70db signal to noise ratio):

Purple Audio MC77 - which is an improved circuit still has a >81db signal to noise ratio:

Here's some info on the Group DIY forum saying about -80dBu is normal for an 1176 circuit:

Not to mention the countless other results that come up when you Google "1176 noise" - including tons of theads on Gearslutz covering Urei, Universal Audio, and even Klark Technic. Just the first few I clicked on:

UA 1176LN noisy - normal?

1176-KT owners: output noise and other concerns--normal?

Would be nice to have solid references as to what normal is for various units. The Stam unit sounds great, but there's definitely a noise floor to contend with. The question I still have is: is the noise floor higher than it should be or is this within normal bounds for these particular revs.
It sounds like we've both had the exact same thought process. For starters, I had the same experience as you with the A and D revisions. Mine don't really have much of a perceived difference. The noise floor is definitely about the same (and around -70dbfs at unity) and you really have to turn down the input pretty far if you're feeding it a +4 line level signal. I was hoping to be able to push the noise floor down a bit by feeding it a slightly hotter signal, but it already starts grabbing pretty hard when it's down around 9 o'clock on the input. I gotta do a little more poking around with it before emailing Stam so I have a better idea of what's going on, but if this doesn't seem normal to others then maybe our units have issues.