The Stones, Zeppelin, Michael Jackson — you've heard it on countless classic recordings. It's the legendary 1176LN. In 1967, Bill Putnam released the solid-state redesign of his venerable 176 tube compressor, ushering in the modern era of dynamics processing. The Universal Audio 1176LN Limiting Amplifier was an instant classic. It featured ultra-fast attack and release times and a broad palette of sonic malleability ranging from inconspicuous compression to flamboyant distortion. Its Class A output stage, which incorporated a custom overwound transformer, always delivered sweetly musical results that quickly earned the 1176 a home in pro studios worldwide. Today, the Universal Audio 1176LN is crafted to original specifications in Scotts Valley, California, handwired point to point, with every component carefully selected for authenticity. It's a toneful beast that works wonders on every signal you pass through it. Basses sound gargantuan. It imparts a definitive thwack to lackluster snare drums. It has no equal for grabbing a vocal and pushing it to the front of your mix. Your studio simply isn't complete without it.
- Enhance your music with the legendary FET compressor/limiter
- Custom Class A output transformers
- Record your tracks through legendary vintage-spec solid-state circuitry
- Ultra-fast attack time as low as 20 microseconds
- Ideal for shaping dynamics on guitars, bass, drums, vocals, and more
- Impart vibe, color, and character to signals without using compression
- Faithful to the original in design, manufacturing, and performance
- Handcrafted in UA's Scotts Valley, California, labs
- Additional Media
Responsive, colorful dynamics control
In their 1970s literature, UA billed the 1176LN as a "true peak limiter with all transistor circuitry and superior performance on all types of program material." The superior performance part almost seems like an understatement. Sporting lightning-fast attack times as low as 20 microseconds, the '76 is certainly one of the most competent dynamics controllers ever designed, but it also has an iconic signature sound that is quite addictive. In fact, many engineers run signal through it with compression off, just for the tone. All by themselves, the unit's amplifiers and transformers bestow a seductive "hot" quality upon any signal that passes through. If you're seeking instant vibe, attitude, and character, you need an 1176 in your rack.
Push-button-selectable ratios and Nuke Mode
Individually, the 1176's famed push-button-selectable ratios of 4:1 and 8:1 (compression), and 12:1 and 20:1 (limiting) give you generous dynamics-control leeway, but they pack a sonic surprise when all four are pressed in simultaneously. Deployed on the right source — drum room mics, for instance — the so-called "Nuke Mode" can trigger warped, explosive results akin to a seismic event in your control room. Symptoms may include increased distortion, a plateaued slope on initial transients, and extended lag time — kind of like a fun house mirror for audio. At , we know of no other processor that can brutalize your signal quite so delightfully.
A legend returns
Bill Putnam, Jr. relaunched Universal Audio in 1999, and the company's first order of business was a faithful reproduction of the classic Blackface 1176LN. The discovery of extensive design notes enabled Bill Jr. to re-create and improve on his father's original creation. Based on the FET circuitry of the C, D, and E revisions of the classic 1176LN, the reissue includes a component that was critical to re-creating the sound of the original hardware: the original output transformer, complete with additional custom windings that deliver the feedback signal to the line output amplifier circuit. UA's obsessive attention to detail captures all the sonic character and nuance of the original 1176LN. The reissue takes its place alongside the countless vintage units still in daily service in top audio facilities around the world. Put it to work in your studio.