The WA76 Discrete Compressor is a modern reproduction of the Classic '76 Revision D. The WA76 has a fully discrete signal path and uses the original Reichenbach Engineering's (now CineMag) transfo... read more
its not perfect but its damned good for $400 lightly used
I think this will suit a lot of people for alot of sources because their only exposure to an 1176 is a plugin. This is easier to use and sounds at least as good until you start really flattening bassy sources.
I have heard talk about these guys being noisy, I have had the output up really loud on a heavily compressed snare track with lots of bleed in the mic and it was fine. Didn't add any noise and it really didn't amplify the bleed in a way that caused more problems and the added snap on my snare was well worth it.
This guy's output amp is a bit less colored than an old one, but then again you don't know which revision you have at someone else's studio unless it has a blue stripe or is plain silver... you can pay a lot more and get a UA reissue or pay double for a purple audio and probably not be that much happier. Those units are better at smashing things to death, but the time constants and general flavor are there with the warm. It dials in fast if you know what you're doing. I also have a black lion bluey but they're different revisions and the bluey clones CLA's personal blue stripe so tis not a valid comparison. Lets say they are different in timbre but can be used for the same applications generally and get closer the more conservative your settings are. I kinda wanna do a shoot out of all the clones on the market right now... get behring--errr--a klark teknik, pick up some other options like the revive clone, a purple and just round 'em up. try to shoot them out on their own merits as fet compressors, not even include a vintage 76 or a UA reissue.
My verdict is that this is a useful addition to any studio at a bargain basement price, not as cheap as the Klark, but still a heckuva deal.... there's been a lot of comparison between the klark and this guy and I gotta say i don't expect to hear a lot of difference when I get around to buying a klark. The used market on Warm stuff isn't huge but you can get a good 200 dollar discount if you scan around patiently making it just about the price of the behringer klak teknik version. I really might get another one of these soon. It only falls down when using higher ratio settings on bass heavy content. It definitely sucks more bass than an actual 1176 in good working order. All compressors WILL do this to some extent and the warm is tolerable, but if you're expecting a real 1176 level of bottom when you brutalize a bass guitar or kick then be prepared for a bit of a elt down. I suggest not brutalizing those sources, you don't need to.
A word about ratios for the uninitiated. Yes, you can do all buttons in. That's not to say you should. You can also combine 4 and 8 to make a 12:1 ratio that sounds different than using the 12:1 button... and using 4 and 12 gives you a 16:1 ratio in theory but it has a whole different feel than you expect based on the 12 and 20 settings... the 16:1 in between setting is a great way to catch overs while tracking vocals set so its only tickling the loud bits. The time constants have a different slope to my ear when you combine 2 or more buttons so experiment and learn your 76. The warm has all of these quirky behaviors.
for day to day tasks my WA76 is serving me really well. Out of my recent acquisitions its making me the most happy because it can pretty much do anything I throw at it and its not tweaky or difficult to set.