Retro Instruments 176

Audio Compressor

CAP2: 0 £3,385.00
£2,820.83 ex VAT
in stock

The Retro Instruments 176 Limiting Amplifier has the largest feature set in any variable-mu design.

At a glance

  • Authentic tube circuitry
  • Vintage warmth, impeccable modern specs:
  • Precision Knob scales for easy recallability
  • Continuously variable attack and release times
  • Four compression ratio settings (2:1, 4:1, 8:1, 12:1)
  • Delivers subtle compression, limiting, and everything in between
  • Wide-Range Sidechain Highpass Filter
  • Vocal Asymmetry Tool
  • Hard-wire bypass switch
  • Interstage Transformer Bypass switch
  • High-Quality VU Meter switchable between Input, Output and Gain Reduction
  • XLR input and output connections
  • Integral tube balance test
  • Easy stereo strapping of two or more units
  • Selected NOS tubes and components
  • 115/230V AC mains; IEC power connector
  • Hand-crafted in Retro's Northern California factory

The Retro Instruments 176 Limiting Amplifier is a faithful recreation of the legendary 176 vari-mu compressor designed by Bill Putnam with added features such as a new interstage transformer bypass, high-pass filter, hardware bypass, and stereo linking options. 

The Retro Instruments 176 is a painstakingly faithful recreation of the original delivering the very essence that made this compressor such a classic. At its core, the 176 Limiting Amplifier is a tube compressor with 4 compression ratio settings (similar to the FET 1176 also developed by Bill Putnam). It boasts variable attack and release times and a very unique Vocal Asymmetry tool.

The Asymmetry tool lets you choose whether the detector reacts to the entire waveform or only one side (positive or negative). This can be very useful when working with asymmetrical sounds that are inherent to certain vocals or brass tracks as it only affects the desired sound, which can be compared to opening up the compression.

This version however goes even further by including a raft of modern features to better suit modern productions. First is the inclusion of a high-pass filter which ensures that modern bassy heavy sounds do not unwillingly trigger the compression. Furthermore, it includes a hardware bypass to ensure the unit is properly removed from the chain when in bypass. Stereo linking is also available when using two units simultaneously. A small but welcome change is the new front-panel zero meter adjust which lets you calibrate your unit without the need for opening the unit.

Retro Instrument&rsquo's also took the opportunity to add an interstage transformer bypass which removes the transformer from the signal path adding a different colouration to the sound if desired.

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