BAE Audio imprint UK Sound promises ‘classic 1176 sound at an accessible price point’ with the 176 single-channel FET compressor.

UK Sound 176 compressor‘The UK Sound 176 compressor features the same build philosophy that BAE has always used,’ says UK Sound founder, Mark Loughman, who is also the president of BAE audio. ‘Our vision for UK Sound is to create accessible, high quality analogue gear for the masses, while retaining sonic integrity.

‘We can build things like the 176 because we have the heritage,’ he continues, referring to BAE Audio’s decades-long experience creating high-end studio equipment. ‘While we use slightly different build for UK Sound, our goal is to create great sounding studio pieces of gear that are more accessible to the common man.’

The 176 single-channel Field Effect Transistor (FET) compressor and peak limiter features the same operation and sound characteristics as the Universal Audio 1176 – a mainstay in many of the most influential hit-making studios throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. The 176 emulates intuitive features of the original 1176, as well as the brightness, presence and energy the compressor imparts on the sound – even at its most transparent settings.

The unit features a single Input control knob – effectively acting as a threshold control that depends on the ratio selected – as well as an output gain control, which, like the original 1176, gives access to more gain than standard compressors while ensuring low output distortion. The 176 compressor features selectable ratio options of 4:1 and 8:1 for compression, and 12:1 and 20:1 for limiting, as well as variable attack and release controls to tailor the compressor’s action to a given source.

With the ‘!’ toggle switch, the UK Sound 176 also features the classic 1176 ‘All Buttons In’ feature, which delivers increased distortion, plus a plateaued slope and lag time in response to initial transients. In addition to classic 1176 features, the includes a Bypass toggle switch, as well as a side-chain filter switch to let low frequencies pass through without engaging the compressor when the SC Filter is switched on.

While the 176 FET compressor is great for single-channel recording applications like guitar, a room-mic on a drum set, or a live vocal chain, UK Sound will also be releasing a two-channel version – the 276 two-channel FET compressor – to follow the release of the 176, giving the ability to compress multiple tracks simultaneously. Both the UK Sound 176 and 276 feature OEP/Carnhill transformers, which are known for their warmth and clarity in the high end and natural-sounding harmonics in the low end.


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