The FET-type solution was first used for its application in the legendary UREI 1176 compressor from the 70s. The most important feature inspired by revision A is the input transformer used and pure class A output stage. The compressor is equipped with a relay bypass, 2:1 Ratio and Slam Mode accessible on the front panel.
The 576 BS’s major selling point is its ultra-fast attack time — 20 µS. The 576 BS Ratio buttons allow four different modes of operation: 2:1 Ratio (soft compression); 4:1 ratio (moderate compression); 8:1 ratio (severe compression); 12:1 ratio (mild limiting); 20:1 ratio (hard limiting); S – SLAM, All Buttons In trick mode. SLAM Mode can definitely give a male or female rock vocal track an in-your-face sound that you can’t get anywhere else.
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Billed in the 1968 release as a “true peak limiter with all transistor circuitry and superior performance on all types of program material," the 1176’s major selling point was its ultra-fast attack time — a mere 20 µS (.00002 seconds) at its fastest setting. It also offered contemporary design, featuring knobs with clear surrounds, pushbuttons, and a brushed aluminum face panel with a blue stripe near the VU meter — none of those then typical big Bakelite knobs in sight. The initial price in 1967 was $489.00.
Similar to the 176, the 1176 featured no threshold control — just input and output controls — and included a continuously variable attack and release, which was a novelty at the time. The amount of compression was determined by setting the input level — the hotter the signal reaching the detection circuits, the greater the resulting compression. Another unique feature was the selectable ratios of 4:1 and 8:1 for compression, and 12:1 and 20:1 for limiting.
The Rev A Bluestripe 1176 compressor,
known for its aggressive sound.
The 1176 became an instant favorite with producers and engineers because of its unique lightning-fast attack and release times (20 µS to 800 µS Attack, 50 mS to 1.1 seconds for Release), its Class A output stage, and its wide range of sounds, ranging from a very subtle, near-transparent compression at 4:1, to its most notable setting, the “All Buttons In” mode, where all the ratio buttons are depressed simultaneously. This allowed the 1176 to make a sound unlike any other processor ever heard before. Distortion increased, along with a plateaued slope and a lag time in response to initial transients, creating an explosive sound on drum room mics, making an incredible grungy bass or electric guitar sound, or squeezing a vocal so it sat right in your face.