1990 UREI (Universal Audio) 1176 LN Compressor/Limiter

This is a vintage/used matched pair of 1990 UREI (Universal Audio) 1176 LN compressor/limiters. These particular examples, serial numbers 11387 and 11406 are the 8th revision of the 1176 compressor and are the only versions with the blue “Urei” logo. This original matched pair was recently purchased from a professional film-scoring studio, where they had been since purchased new over 20 years ago.

This pair is in pristine, all original, condition. With no evidence of rack wear, the front panels are exceptionally clean. They were purchased together new, and while not sequential (albeit really close), were sold as a matched pair. They are calibrated identically, and respond and work in the same way. Both units come with high-quality XLR attachments and IEC power cables. This is a great set.

The 1176 was a major breakthrough in limiter technology being the first true peak limiter with all transistor circuitry offering superior performance with a signature sound. The ultra-fast attack time and trademark sound have set the standard for all limiters to follow. The single large, lighted VU meter measures either RMS gain reduction or output level and offers a choice of either +4dBm or +8dBm calibration.

-Compression ratio of 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1
-Attack time adjustable from 20 – 800 microseconds
-Release time adjustable from 50 milliseconds – 1.1 seconds

The way the 1176 sounds, and specifically, the way All-Button mode sounds, is partially due to it’s being a program dependent compressor. The attack and release are program dependent, as is the ratio. The 1176 will faithfully compress or limit at the selected ratio for transients, but the ratio will always increase a bit after the transient. To what degree is once again material dependent. This is true for any of the 1176’s ratio settings, and is part of the 1176’s sound. But in All-Button Mode, a few more things are happening; the ratio goes to somewhere between 12:1 and 20:1, and the bias points change all over the circuit. As a result, the attack and release times change. This change in attack and release times and the compression curve that results is the main contributor to the All-Button sound. This is what gives way to the trademark overdriven tone. The shape of the compression curve changes dramatically in All-Button. Where 4:1 is a gentle slope, All-Button is more like severe plateau! Furthermore, in All-Button mode there is a lag time on the attack of initial transients. This strange phenomenon might be described as a “reverse look-ahead.”