The Urei 1176 is one of those classic compressor-limiters that many boutique manufacturers are now trying to put their own spin on. What do Wes Audio bring to the party?
here’s an increasing trend for small manufacturers to take the design of a classic piece of outboard gear and improve on it, whether by enhancing the technical performance, adding or tweaking functionality, or simply swapping out components for replacements that are deemed more sonically desirable — and which are usually correspondingly more expensive! The Urei/Universal Audio 1176 compressor limiter is one of the more popular processors to be aped and improved upon, not least by Universal Audio themselves. The ‘official’ design has undergone several revisions over the years, and while all retain the same essential FET compression characteristics, there are models that employ input and output transformers and others that use solid-state circuitry for the input and a transformer on the output. Some models even offer a different choice of ratios. Still more tweaks have been made by other manufacturers: by way of example, check out my review of Lindell Audio’s 17x compressor in SOS February 2012 (www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb12/articles/lindell-17x.htm
). The latest such product is Wes Audio’s Beta76 Limiting Amplifier. Or ß76, for short.