Universal Audio 6176

6176, Channel Strip from Universal Audio.

All user reviews for the Universal Audio 6176

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Average Score:4.7( 4.7/5 based on 15 reviews )
 12 reviews80 %
 2 reviews13 %
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chrislieck's review"LOVE IT"

Universal Audio 6176
Line balanced and XLR inputs. Join switch. You can use separately or linked. I love this unit and I do mean love this unit. I was hesitant to buy it and it was the very last pre amp I will buy for this year. We buy so many pre amps over a given year and most we just sell and move on to others.

I love this pre amp and I think that this review should help you decide if you want to spend the money. If you have never used an 1176 compressor then you may not know how to find the right sound but I am sure you have used the Bomb Factory 1176 so use that as a gauge of whether or not you will be able to use this unit correctly as it is a very pricey unit for a mono unit. The input has one BIG EASY TO READ knob that is very simple to use. There is shelving on the highs and lows and I normally just take everything out at 100hz and I cut the high mid as well. There is not much to the input of the 610 side but the thing you need to know is that if you are doing vocals, start out with the compressor out or no gain reduction. This will help you get a feel for the pre amp side. I really don't hear much difference when using really expensive mics and or mid level mics such as the Blue Bottle with the B8 capsule. I think that you will learn this pre amp better and faster if you don't start with the compressor engaged. Let the singer get warmed up or the guitarist. Get use to the input stages and the 610 will not let you down. It has a really fantastic sound but it is colored a bit. It has an old school sound and you will notice it right away. If you are not prepared to deal with playing with the unit and being patient then don't get this unit. It will not work for you at all. You have to have a great deal of time to dial in the right sound but when you do it is unmatched by to many pre amps out on the market today. There are few that can provide the same power that this unit has.


Once you have your input stage down start with a slight compression such as 2:1 or 4:1 and get a fast attack setting with a medium release and you will start to immediately hear the compression kicking in on high level inputs. I like the fact that the 610 input stage works so well with the input gain knob on the compressor side. You will find that you will be constantly editing the settings. I like to have one setting for the softer parts of a song and another for the louder parts of the songs. This allows me to control my compression levels and the sound of the compression. I like the chorus settings on a song to have less compression and some producers don't use the compression side rather only the 610 pre amp side. I like a bit of compression going in the unit so for me I like using the Join switch.


A bit colored sounding but old school in a good way. If your ears are not trained to hear compression then this unit will not be the one for you. Most kids new to the engineering world tend to talk about a unit and what is does but they can't hear it. If you can't hear it on this unit you probably should not be engineering.


Yes I have the luxury of owning so many pre amps so getting this one was a no brainer. If you have the money this unit is worth it.

crankyrayhanky's review"Modern Clarity with Old School Vibe"

Universal Audio 6176
The 6176 is a composite two of universal audio’s finest pieces: the preamp of the 610 series coupled with the compression of the 1176. This is an analog unit with tube circuitry- not to be confused with the starved plate designs of inexpensive units, this preamp delivers actual tube warmth.
There is a direct input available, which (for me) excelled in di bass recording situations. The typical xlr connectors allow mic inputs. There is a solid needle; I owned cheaper units where the needle bounced around so much it was basically useless. This UA meter responds the way it should, presenting the critical information needed to dial in a great sound.


It may be hard to jump in and get a great sound with this unit. The preamp is notorious for having a large number of criticisms, particularly in the preamp gain staging. With quick dialing, it appears difficult to get a hot level to disk, it seems to go from low/moderate gains to ugly breakup. The key is to use the pad (when necessary) and …get ready for it…dial with your ears, not your eyes. The interplay between the settings is symbiotic; everything has a drastic impact on other parameters and thus the end product. Also know that most of us are no longer recording to tape, but to disk, so extremely hot track levels are unnecessary and mostly ill advised.


I would not describe this preamp as transparent; it is a character piece. That being said, you could dial in some decent clean tones, but if that is your goal, look elsewhere. This preamp loves old school gristle and delivers in a big way. Sinatra to Van Halen, UA has been on a lot of legendary records. This unit helps to take the edge of that surgical clarity that cpu recording tends to deliver.


I spent most of this review speaking of the preamp, but the compressor is beyond glorious! It slays in every application I throw at it: kick drums, overhead, room, VOCALS (YES!), bass guitar, acoustics…it can give cool special fx with the all buttons in. I love that compressor, the preamp on the other hand was more love/hate. The gain staging is not an easy task, and there are many units that will deliver more accurate results. So if you are looking for 1 killer preamp, I may not recommend this unless you are a Sinatra type performer. But if you have an array of modern preamps and need one that will be unique flavor, look right here. Sadly, I flipped this piece…regretted it a year later, than proceeded to flip that one too. I’m just not getting the business nor utilizing my studio enough to warrant a preamp of this cost…but if I run into a (2) 1176 at a good price, I would pounce. I think the biggest flaw in the 6176 is knowing that you will want two to serve as a stereo set, making it a costly investment. Perhaps the day will come when I can swing that….

moosers's review

Universal Audio 6176
The Universal Audio 6176 is an analog channel strip consisting of a pre amp, built in EQ, and a compressor.  It has XLR connections in the back and a 1/4 inch input in front if you want to plug your instrument directly into this.  It is indeed a rack mountable piece of gear and will take up take rack spaces.


The make up of Universal Audio 6176 is generally pretty easy to follow.  The sections are clearly marked and the parameters are all pretty familiar.  Starting from the left, you've got the mic pre section containing knobs for level, gain, mic/line, and a high and low EQ band.  It also has switches for a -15db pad, phase, and to choose a fixed frequency for the EQ.  On the other side you've got a compressor containing parameters for attack, release, input, output, ratio, and a switch to choose what comes up on the VU meter.  There are also phantom power and a compressor bypass switches.  I haven't had a need to look at the manual, so I can't say if it would be helpful or not.


The overall sound of the Universal Audio 6176 is pretty awesome.  It definitely sounds a lot similar to the other modern Universal Audio gear, which is a good thing as far as I am concerned because it is a great sound.  It won't color your sound beyond doing its job and is all around a clean sounding unit.  The compressor I believe is modeled after an 1176 and definitely has a similar sound to one that is great for a variety of applications.   Since this strip is so versatile, I really think that you can use this with just about any instrument.


The Universal Audio 6176 is overall a very impressive unit.  It has a great sound and is very easy to use granted that you know the basics for mic pres, EQ, and compression.  While the price is definitely reasonable, it is still probably out of reach for most home studio owners.  Having said that, I do think it would make the perfect channel strip for a home studio owner looking to get a warmer sound without having to get a console.  I'd definitely recommend the 6176 to both home and professional studio owners.

massivejob's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Excellent"

Universal Audio 6176
This is a tube preamp in 4U rack. There is also a compressor and an equalizer. It has XLR connectors and a high impedance input jack 6.35.


Configuration is very simple, however, the settings are very thin. The manual is clear but for this type of gear, better knowledge of the operation and trust his ears.


The sound quality is excellent, but not transparent. When used for the vocals, you get a nice presence, and slightly discolored.


I use it for over 2 years. I also work regularly with a VT-737 Avalon. I appreciate this preamp for its color, unlike the Avalon, I find it more transparent. I find the quality / price ratio good enough. With experience, I would do this choice without hesitation.

Bear2Beer's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" The good stuff"

Universal Audio 6176
Tube preamp + compressor fet
Format rack 2 inches.
All XLR connectors, 3 format entries for the preamp (line, mic, di), possibility to use separate compressor and preamp via a handy splitter, in the studio where I was working I had installed fixed with two outputs connected, its use in protools with pathways called was very fast, I could quickly turn the compressor alone insert, save my preamp dry, record the complete chain, or use the online preamp and compressor to treat a single source like a snare track to swing in the console, physically processed (it changes everything ..)


It can not be simpler ... The only thing I do not understand what is the input impedance selector of the compressor, simply because I do not know that it is a normal line level device impedance, so when know, it is actually a mountain. Good but it is not serious, the tool is handy, versatile and friendly.


The word is best to describe the type of color that brings preamp is a sound "character" pom pom, which is warm, round but defined. Like everything, it's good to use it sparingly, and good taste, as a condiment in cooking, if you put cinnamon in every dish, well we can not feel it, and we can not distinguish the qualities of the other ingredients. Station and therefore to indigestion! Vary the preamp if possible to understand when to use it!


I use it for two years, I used neve (portico, 1073, 1081) chandler, tech tube, avalon. I love him, and self-sufficiency that creates the signal is clean, rich and deep. What I like least is that the coup is quite vintage and it takes a modern preamp for against-swing in its config. The value for money is not discussed because it pays the intellectual property, trademark and exclusive.

Soulm8studio's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" The Day After"

Universal Audio 6176
Everybody knows.


Usage is quite simple, the manual is very well explained and Universal Audio has a comprehensive approach to music not only on the access technique.
The use of the compressor requires a little practice and practice but with good ears, no one is lost!


There was the before and after ...
Since I have my prods have reached the professional level, he has a strong character but can reduce the color anyway.
I have a fairly substantial micro park so I could test it with a lot of different microphones and of course, some do not go at all with the 6176 U87 but coupled with this preamp sounds great.


I use it for 4 years, I love it!
I used a 737 Avalon before and I missed it a little less clean rawness but with more character. I do a lot of rock / pop / folk and I love the heat lamps that gives a little life and my body made of drums, guitar and many other acoustic instruments. Even the keyboards are processed, it is a treat!

Sure it's a budget, but hey, there is no alternative when seeking quality first. I liked it so much I bought a second a few months later.
Today, I use them all the time plus 2-610S, which is the same preamp but no compressor.
It's simple, people who come to the studio and listen not taken back the magic that emanates raw sockets.

mic78's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Universal Audio 6176
Preamp mythical lamps (610) and EQ with the equally legendary 1176 compressor chain ...

All connections are well thought out: enter (XLR) and out (XLR line) of 610 and 1176 and they can be used in link mode without connection, very convenient. The input jack (high impedance) is ahead, as the input impedance selector for instruments, well done.


The configuration requires a bit of practice, especially when you want to use it as a real channel strip.

Amp side: EQ are rather practical and immediately change the sound. Impedance options are somewhat less sensitive to sound. You can also smear the sound easily by playing with the preamp gain and heat lamp as it should.

The compressor is easy to adjust by itself (especially with the meter mode Gain Reduction). The manual is clear from this point of view.

The combination of the two is a little more difficult to handle because the compressor is on the principle of negative feedback (equivalent to an insert I guess) with an input (which triggers the reduction) and an output of the compressor. In addition, the use of a line input is more or less easy depending on the DAW you have. In a Digi 003 (my case), there is often a problem of headroom and it is difficult to set a good sound "link" fashion ie with the preamp and comp in the chain without any DAW clipper having a good level to work on both the mix after but also for monitoring.

Finally, the last time I made my recordings using the output of the 610 (ie without going through the comp), even tweaking the sound behind putting the compressor 'hardware' in insert or using a plug in compression.


This preamp is obviously not transparent and it is important not to buy it. I think he made a very beautiful on vocals, bass and guitars (acoustic as electric). It flatters the voice, bringing a nice grain microphones too clinical kind AKG C214, which is my microphone to my home.

The combination preamp and comp gives a vintage feel to the sound jacks (vocals, guitars) with very powerful bass, a little dirty but very pleasant in the mix I think. Easy to use as a bass DI to go into a DAW or even in concert (already done on an acoustic guitar and a bass, very nice).


I have this channel strip for 2 years now. I use it on all my recordings to give the hots for my shots and it works completely! If I had the choice again I think I will opt for a 2-610 or Neve 1073 DPA with (another register of course) because I find that having the comp output of preamp settings and requires a lot of patience to out good sound and good level of momentum in the DAW (which is actually being used more easily plug ins comp ', cf. my comment above). Use in home studio, for me that does not record that often, I'm looking good sound right away, and in this case you have to forget the 1176 to possibly better use in the mix later in insert.

jemacon's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Good animal"

Universal Audio 6176
COMP EQ DI preamp tube


Very simple configuration, we easily get a good sound


the preamp is either transparent or highly colored (saturated) according to the settings


I used it for two years. I have a UA LA610, Studer 900 and Helios Type 69. I sold it in 1176 to buy two 1176 because if the preamp is identical to the compressor 610 is not the crunch of 1176.
This is a good channel strip lamp and can be used independently of the compressor preamp.
Robin Schneider06/17/2012

Robin Schneider's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)"Timeless and high quality"

Universal Audio 6176

This is an analog processing rack comprising two distinct sections:

-The preamp EQ 610 with its lights (high and low shelf).
This section is based on circuits of 610 consoles by Bill Putnam Sr. This is therefore a scheme about 60 years old that has proved its worth.

-FET compressor Ln 1176, also created in the 60's by Bill Putnam, and to this day one of the most widely used compressors in the studio.
Even those who know that digital has certainly used plugins inspired or modeled (more or less) from 1176.

XLR connectors except the DI input jack in the front.
Each section has its own inputs / outputs.


Once one knows the basics of recording and sound processing, this strip is easy to use.
I did not have the manual, it is not necessary but can be retrieved at any time on the Universal Audio website (in English).

For the preamp, we first select the input (Mic, Line, DI), with a choice of different impedances. We get a neutral sound with higher values, more colorful with lower values ​​(color due to poor impedance matching).
Then we choose the input gain from -10 to +10. This is actually the force with which one enters the lamp, and at -10 preamp has less gain but less than color (useful for a neutral sound with microphones capacitors), the sound will be at 10 more colorful to a high saturation versatile but not really interesting. The 10 is very useful with dynamic microphones, including ribbons.

The Eq tube offers two shelf bands ranging from -9 to +9 dB
Serious EQ: 70, 100 and 200 Hz Treble: 4.5K, 7K and 10K
It is simple to use and helps fill the gaps or mitigate excesses. Personally I use it along with the audio Feq-50 Summit to have more margin.

For the compressor, the regulars will find their marks in 1176, a few details:
The potentiometer of attack will not stop the compression circuit, it is adjusted with the knob ratio.
The ratio is chosen via a dedicated knob: Byp bypasses, one for staining with transformers without compressing, position the All button and finally the classic 4,8,12 and 20:1 ratios.

For novices, simply set the Input to adjust the threshold, and in fact gain reduction, output to set the output gain (FET here I recall), the ratio for the force of compression, attack for tolerance towards transient (percussive sounds), and release to select the speed at which the compressor returns to baseline.

Final details: besides the fact that the sections preamp / compressor can be separated, there is a switch on the back impedance of the compressor. It offers 600 ohms (vintage) and 15K (modern). Having tried both I prefer the 15K position, although the difference is subtle.


This strip is excellent but is a considered choice in advance.

As I explained, this strip of circuits used for years 50/60 updated to meet modern studios and digital, especially in terms of noise and bandwidth.

Therefore immediately think of the music styles that you wish to work and the "type" of sound you like. I knew several people disappointed by this unit (this is actually how I acquired mine) parcequ'elles did not really aware of the type of sound they wanted. These people are generally more attracted to more modern brands, such as SSL or Focusrite.

The 6176 vintage is resolutely. This is a tube preamp that colors the signal in the medium / low medium while delivering enough bass and treble (thank you EQ in case).
It is not suitable for all microphones or any style.

Personally, I have resolved my installation guide "neo retro", which is why I also have a LA-610 (less versatile, I will explain why), a summit audio EQ, and especially an AEA R84, tape of her condition.
So my sound system is fully consistent "vintage" and is unbeatable for the Blues, Rock (except metal and derivatives), the sound acoustics. The guitars are alive, the low round and present.
As for the voice, the combination of heat from the lamp and the clarity of 1176 allows me to juggle all styles.

The gain is sufficient for all types of microphone, including ribbons. If you want absolute perfection, the cloudlifter can be useful.

For those seeking a more modern and less colorful ChannelStrip with this, there is a trick little we know of the hidden talents of 1176.
Indeed, the 1176 has a line amplifier input and output. It offers a total of about 50 dB of gain.
In practice this means it can be used in conjunction with the tube preamp to get a clearer sound and less typical. If you want more light, turn down the output of the compressor, if you want less light, increase output and lower the gain of the preamp section.


It has been nearly a year I use this ChannelStrip as it almost every day, all going on, even my delusions beatbox.
I always liked the sound Universal Audio, and I also like the history of the brand identity, including its branch digital DSUs.

I heard this ChannelStrip for the first time in a Paris studio and I dreamed about until I get a used but in perfect condition.

I like virtually everything in this unit, both simple and complete.
It adapts to all sources and all the microphones when we seek his musical aesthetic. It can also restore life and warmth to see some very cold ice microphones. Even the cruel U87 becomes comfortable with.
Of course, you'll get great sound with the tape, which was originally designed for them (yes in the 50's USA tapes were very common).
Its only flaw is the absence of a band parametric EQ for, for those who really need it. Personally I have solved this problem with the audio Feq-50 Summit.

The quality / price is right for me, but I got it at 1500 €. This type of opportunity is relatively common, often just look at the ads.

I do it again this choice and would even be prepared to buy a second one with closed eyes and ears open.

I hope my experience will help you make the right choice.

rombautsdidier's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Clear and precise"

Universal Audio 6176
Preamp with a compressor used in series or separately.
XLR input and output and an input device
It is rack mountable on a 19 "on 2 U


Rely on his ears is the best way to use this device.


Often used in pairs with a Brauner Phantom for taking voice, he always made her a transparent, clear and precise


Used for 5 years, I recommend it
I had several preamp and is a master-choice.