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Old 29th March 2018 | Show parent
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foldback's Avatar
I have:
1x UA 1176 (13 years old)
2x WA76
4x KT-76

I had problems with the input attenuators in both of my WA76 just after 1-year warranty expired, Sweetwater totally took care of it. The WA76 are a little brighter sounding than the UA or the KT 1176 style compressors. I'd say the KT's are a bit closer in sound to the UA1176 but the WA76 are very useable, they have the fast attack I love on an 1176. I usually use one of the WA76 on the kick drum, I use the other one on my female partners vocals, the hint of brightness provided by the WA76 complements her contra alto vocal range.

All of my KT processors work fine, no bad noise floor here. I insert them on channels in my 40-channel Soundcraft GB-8 every day and love the power they give me.

Overall I do like the WA EQP better than the KT model, it sounds a bit bigger in the bottom end. Would I pay double to get them again? Maybe on the pair that I use in my mastering loop, I'm addicted to their sound. I follow the WA EQP with precision mastering attenuators so I can zero out the gain and only hear the EQ difference when they're switched in (I bring them in and out with the mastering loop on my Neve 8816 for comparison and level setting).

The KT EQP might sound a bit tighter than the WA models, just a little different but still good, very useable and not noisy (not nearly as noisy as a tube guitar amp :-)
I use the KT EQP units on electric guitar channels during mix-down. I've experimented with NOS tubes in KT EQP and there was no magic bullet here, the NOS tubes were $100 and the difference was basically unmeasurable, I don't think any ears could pick one or the other in blind A-B listening test.

Overall the UA 1176 is my favorite but not for 4x the price ($2000 vs $500, not even for half the price $1000 vs $500). One of the happiest days of my life was when BH sent me four KT76 for less than the one UA1176 (which, in itself is a copy of the original by senior Mr Putnam). The UA1176 is a good complement for my voice, it's a small difference but I can use every bit I can get. I'd be using a KT if I did not have the UA model.

In my testing I think ALL of these hardware units sound better than any plug-in styled to offer similar performance of the originals. I prefer the hardware, no updates, no OS changes, no new firmware, no iLOk, just great sound. I'm very thankful the clone guys are at it.

I hope the Midas 500-series EQ modules drop to $299 each, I'll take eight.

Good luck, happy experimenting and good music to all!