At NAMM 2018, BAE Audio-owned brand UK Sound introduced a pair of rack-mount hardware compressors that promise a lot of vintage compression mojo for a fair price. These are the UK Sound 176 and 276 units – let’s see what they’re all about!
UK Sound 176 Single Channel Compressor
A take on the good ol’ 1176 compressor that stands for a high-quality replica at an affordable price. The controls are very simple – Input, Ratio, Attack, Release, and Output. Just like on the original 1176, the input control doubles as a threshold control, which means you can adjust the output gain to ideally match your DAW, tape machine, or whatever you are recording with.
Supported ratios vary between 4:1 and 20:1. Furthermore, the ! switch lets you engage the well-known “all buttons in” mode and extract the most analogue mojo out of the 1176-style compressor. UK Sound also added a SC filter to let low frequencies pass through without engaging the compressor – this is said to result in a more transparent sound. Good stuff, all in all!
UK Sound 276 Stereo Compressor
The 276 is a stereo compressor featuring the classic operation and sound characteristics of hit-making compressors from the 60s and 70s. In other, less marketing-drenched words, this is a stereo version of the 176 comp where both channels can be linked for true stereo operation. This makes for a great choice when dealing with a mix bus, rear bus parallel compression, pianos, or drum overheads – says UK Sound. Knowing the 1176, we find it hard to disagree!
Price & availability
No such information is to be found anywhere, so we contacted UK Sound’s dealer in hopes of finding out more. We will update this post if we hear back! Comparable products include the 1176-kt by Behringer brand Klark Teknik or Warm Audio’s WA76 – it’ll be interesting to see if UK Sound can match that price…