Universal Audio 6176

Analog Channel Strip with 610 Tube Microphone Preamp and 1176LN Compressor
Universal Audio 6176 image 1
Universal Audio 6176 image 1
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Universal Audio 6176
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Two Studio Classics in One Chassis

The Universal Audio 6176 combines two pro audio legends — the 610 mic/line tube preamp and the 1176LN solid-state compressor/limiter — to create what may be the ultimate channel strip. The preamp section is packed with features, such as mic, line, and hi-Z inputs; two bands of shelving EQ; and a 15dB pad. The dynamics section maintains all the classic features found on the classic 1176LN. Each unit has dedicated ins and outs and can be used independently in Split mode or in series in Join mode via a front-panel switch. Handcrafted in Universal Audio's Scotts Valley, California labs, the 6176 offers weapons-grade build quality and colorful sonic character at an accessible price.

Classic vintage sound for your studio

Advances in digital recording technology are providing users with tremendous power and flexibility for increasingly less money. All too often, however, the audio quality of these systems is limited by their input stages. Many users who demand the power and flexibility of today's recording technology find themselves yearning for the warmth and tone of yesteryear's handbuilt analog circuitry. Now with the release of the 6176, Universal Audio combines their highly acclaimed 610 tube microphone preamp with their legendary 1176LN compressor to create the ultimate single-channel signal path for everything from vocals to vibraphones. Sweetwater's advice: if you want to make great-sounding music, you need a great front end: the Universal Audio 6176.

A legendary tube preamp

The tube preamp/DI/EQ section of the 6176 is based on the legendary console modules developed by Bill Putnam in the late 1950s and early '60s. From Sinatra and the Beach Boys to Van Halen and Coldplay, countless classics have been recorded using these preamps, noted for their musical character and warmth. This preamp delivers a versatile sonic palette ranging from warm, vibrant cleans to tasty vintage coloration. The 2-610 has all the essentials: a classic tube mic/line pre with switchable 48V phantom power, direct instrument input, 15dB pad, polarity reverse, and flexible dual impedance selection for both Mic and DI inputs. For maximum flexibility, you also get great-sounding low-and high-frequency shelving EQ, each with three selectable hinge frequencies. The 6176's preamp section packs tremendous sonic versatility and is an ideal front end for tracking with modern DAWs and the serious project studio seeking authentic UA sound.

The most iconic solid-state compressor, ever

The Stones, Zeppelin, Michael Jackson — you've heard it on countless classic recordings. It's the legendary 1176LN. In 1967, Bill Putnam released the solid-state redesign of his venerable 176 tube compressor, ushering in the modern era of dynamics processing. The Universal Audio 1176LN Limiting Amplifier was an instant classic. It features ultra-fast attack and release times and a broad palette of sonic malleability ranging from inconspicuous compression to flamboyant distortion. Its Class A output stage, which incorporates a custom overwound transformer, always delivers sweetly musical results. UA re-created the 1176LN for the compressor section of the 6176. It's a toneful beast that works wonders on every signal you pass through it. Basses sound gargantuan. It imparts a definitive thwack to lackluster snare drums. It has no equal for grabbing a vocal and pushing it to the front of your mix. And if you've never heard of all-in "Nuke Mode," you're in for a real treat. Your studio simply isn't complete without an 1176. Combined in one chassis with the legendary Putnam 610 mic preamp, you've got what may well be the ultimate channel strip.

Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip Features:

  • Classic Putnam 610 console mic/line preamplifier
  • High- and low-frequency shelving EQ, each with 3 selectable hinge frequencies
  • Classic 1176LN compression
  • Variable input gain and output levels
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Mic, balanced line, and hi-Z inputs
  • Multiple impedance settings
  • 15dB pad, polarity reverse, 48V phantom power
  • Stereo interconnection of multiple units via 1176-SA
  • Use mic pre and compressor separately (Split) or in series (Join)
  • Legendary UA build quality and heritage
  • Handcrafted in UA's Scotts Valley, California labs

Additional Media

Studio Preamp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Preamp Type Tube
Number of Channels 1
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Phantom Power Yes
EQ Yes
Compressor Yes
Analog Inputs 1 x XLR (Preamp, Mic), 1 x XLR (Preamp, Line), 1 x XLR (Compressor, Line) 1 x 1/4" (Hi-Z)
Analog Outputs 1 x XLR (Preamp), 1 x XLR (Compressor)
Rack Spaces 2U
Height 3.5"
Depth 12.5"
Width 19"
Weight 12 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number 6176D

Customer Reviews

Based on 18 reviews
Write your review

Solid and Classic

I have owned one of these for nearly 10 years, purchased new from Sweetwater. The 610 has loads of tube smoothness but it also has an amazing clarity. The term hi if comes to mind. It is one of my main vocal pres. Used on the lead vocals for at least 20 CD's and demos from Irish folk music to metal. Jazz crooners to screamers. Great on wind and brass instruments and bass players regularly choose this box to plug into over many of my other pres. The 1176 is one of the few compressors I like and trust to track with. I love mixing with it and adding it to just about any source that could benefit from compression. It definitely has its own signature sound that is always musical never clinical. The 6176 is the perfect marriage of the 610 and the 1176 but you can also use them independently. Replaced the tubes twice since I owned it and never had any problems with it. Love tweaking the large knobs. This is one piece of gear that will be in my will or I just might take it with me.
Music background: Sound Engineer, Professional Musician

THE channel strip for vocals!

I'm using this primarly for vocals and after one day worth of tracking I am completely bowled over by how much better everything sounds. Things sit perfectly in the mix with little in the way of after-the-fact tweaking. I've previously used both digital and tube preamps and compressors, including the 6176's "little brother," the LA-610. I can't believe I waited this long...should've sprung for this years ago! GREAT piece of gear and worth every penny, even if it is pricey. Thanks for the 12 months financing, Sweetwater! If you're tracking vocals in your home/project studio, you will not find a better mic preamp/compressor in this price range.
Music background: Project studio owner, singer-songwriter

Highly Recommend

Great piece of gear. Two classics -- the 610 pre and 1176 comp -- which you can use together or separately. Both have distinctive sonic character. I use it on every track-and-mix I do. Of particular note: It sounds tremendous on DI'ed bass.
Music background: Composer, Instrumentalist

This is the best period...

This unit is the best sounding for vocals,acoustic guitars and drums...However when it comes to bass I would prefer a less gooey sound-But in terms of an all around warm sounding all in one unit this it...Period.
Music background: Pro Musician

Awesome Channel Strip

I've only had this unit about 2 weeks now, but I LOVE it. I considered many other strips, but went for this based on legacy reputation and experience in pro studios in the past with UA gear. I am using this in my project studio, and planned to use primarily for voice. I have a BLUE baby bottle and immediately this strip made the mic come to life. The controls are very basic, but very useful and effective. For a clean tone I found their set-up instructions to be very useful. The pre just sounds amazing, open, warm and detailed, and it seriously made my mic sound amazing.... The compressor setting was very intuitive and I found watching the amount of compression was helpful to achieving settings from tone only (minimal) to slamming (I will certainly be using this for a room drum feed). I also have now used it as a direct/DI for my bass, and it equally shines there. My only complaint is how you can't leave multiple lines connected, but it's worth the tone this thing is giving. Pertaining to my recording and writing process...........one word: Inspirational
Music background: Live Sound Engineer, Project Studio Musician and songwriter.

Sweetwater Advice

Alan Carter

One of the biggest benefits to having one of these, besides the amazing sound quality, is the fact that you can say you own a piece of history. The 1176 compressor, coupled with the 610 mic pre, is a legend in the audio industry and is used on tons of hit records in all styles. I am proud to have a 6176 in my rack....did I mention it sounds absolutely amazing?

Brian VanDeKeere

If you are looking for a classic mic pre with a very smooth compressor, the 6176 is your channel strip. 6176 has the vintage 610B pre amp and 1176LN compressor in one box, how can you beat that in a 2U rack space?
See also: Universal Audio, Universal Audio Channel Strips, Universal Audio Preamps