BAE Audio imprint UK Sound has announced the debut of its new 176 single-channel compressor. Featuring the same operation and sound characteristics as the 1176 — a mainstay in many studios throughout the late 1960s and early ’70s — the 176 is a mono Field Effect Transistor (FET) compressor and peak limiter.
Built by the same audiophiles who design BAE Audio’s hand-wired studio equipment, the UK Sound 176 compressor 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 — at an affordable price point, removing an economic barrier-to-entry for engineers, mixers, and musicians looking to upgrade their studio arsenal with classic compression quality.
“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 analog gear for the masses, while retaining sonic integrity.
“We can build things like the 176 because we have the heritage,” Loughman continues, referring to BAE Audio’s decades-long experience creating 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 UK Sound 176 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 users access to more gain than standard compressors while ensuring low output distortion. The 176 compressor features selectable, time-honored 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, which let users tailor the compressor’s action to be suitable 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. And, in addition to the classic 1176 features, the UK Sound 176 compressor 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 fans of UK Sound 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.
As with BAE Audio, all UK Sound products are built in California with carefully chosen components.
Visit UK Sound and BAE Audio at AES New York 2018, booth 330 between October 17–20.