New Music Gear Monday: UK Sound 1173 Mic Pre Compressor

UK Sound 1173 image

For about 50 years now, the Neve 1073 pre amp and the UREI 1176 compressor/limiter have been an unbeatable combination. This versatile signal path has been used time and again on countless records and has almost always worked for recording a variety of sources. It’s getting more difficult to find the original hardware devices without paying an arm and a leg though, and although the newer clones of the same hardware work well, you still have to buy two devices. Why not combine them into one? That’s what UK Sound has done with its 1173 mic pre compressor unit.

The initial concept of the 1173 was the brainchild of producer Warren Huart, who reached out to gear designer Michael Stucker to help turn that dream into a carefully designed piece of analog gear that captured the best of both circuits. They then reached out to Mark Loughman of BAE Audio, who established UK Sound to distribute the 1173.

The 1173 has the same controls found on your favorite 1073 and 1176, only in a small 1U package. The preamp has an all-discrete and Class A signal path with transformer balanced input and output. There are separate Mic, Line, and DI inputs (the 1/4 inch DI jack is on the front panel) with input Gain and Preamp Out level controls, along with +48V phantom power, selectable Input Impedance, and Polarity Reversal switches.

The JFET based compressor gives all the features and sound you expect from a FET compressor, plus a few extras. It has a fixed threshold, the familiar selectable ratios (4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1) on a rotary switch, adjustable Attack and Release controls, a 100Hz high pass filter on the side-chain signal, and even an “all buttons in” mode switch. The compression amount is indicated by an old fashioned round VU meter on the front panel.

The best part of the unit is its price at just $1,200. This is obviously way less than you’d spend on the vintage units or even some good sounding 1073 and 1176 clones. Plus you get both units in a very sleek and compact package. You can check out the website for details, or the video below.

Crash Course Access
Spread the word

Comments are closed