Positives:A GREAT unique sounding compressor
Negatives:Pricey, inconsistent tone from one unit to another. Needs to warm up to get to full tonal potential.
A modern reproduction of a studio classic. Up until a few years ago, the only way to get a new 1176 was to have a clone built for you by an electronics savvy tech. With many “clones” on the market (both private and public, think Purple Audio) the UA version has made slight modifications to the classic Revision D FET compressor design bringing it into the modern day, low noise, studio. Still hand wired in the UA factory, the $2000 price tag isn’t terrible when you consider you’re getting a hand built and tested piece of gear. All the original features are on this repro, and yes, you can still mash all the buttons in and get that slammed sound that we’ve all come to know and love. The case is solid black anodized and has some good weight to it (attributable to the multiple transformers inside) They have added the stereo port to the back of the unit if you wish to chain two of the units together, but for some reason retained the barrier strip connection. (I guess if you want to save money on XLR connectors…) The compressor is unique in that it has no threshold setting. Thats fixed. You set the amount of compression using the input knob and adjust your ratio using the push buttons (4,8,12, 20:1 and of course all buttons). One feature that made the unit popular and set it apart from the other great compressor of the day (the LA2 series) is the adjustable attack and release times. These knobs allow you to adjust how fast the compressor kicks in and how fast(or slow) it releases after falling below threshold. Another studio staple that no good studio should be without. An analog classic that up until the UAD 1176 plugins, no plugin has really captured the essence of. One other thing that should be noted… EVERY unit sounds different. (UA can claim all the standards and quality control they want… its the nature of an analog unit, especially a FET unit) try out a few if you can at the store, you may be surprise at what you find!