Warm Audio WA76 1176 Style Discrete Single Compressor (Stereo Pair)
A special upgrade modification to the hugely popular Warm Audio WA76 – 1176 styled FET Limiting Amplifier.
This special upgrade includes 2 x WA76 units with installed custom-made stereo link upgrade boards. After installation of the stereo link boards our electronics engineer calibrates the pair of WA76’s as a complete stereo system and matches the two units together to provide true stereo linking capabilities.
The WA76 Stereo Link Modification consists of a small circuit that is installed inside each unit of a paired set. A small toggle switch and a 3.5mm stereo connector will be added to the back panel of each unit. A 3.5mm stereo cable is used to link the two units. The toggle switch selects dual mono in the down position and linked stereo operation in the up position.
The WA76 pair is calibrated as a set. In dual mono operation the two units operate independently, and gain limiting is not shared. In stereo configuration, all controls are set identically on both units. The output of the internal pre-amplifier stage in each unit is buffered and combined with the paired unit and fed to the compression circuit. Both units respond to the combined input signal, resulting in the same amount of signal dependant gain reduction being applied to both limiting amplifiers. The audio content, however, is not mixed and stays integral. The result is that left-right image shifts produced by the dual mono operation are eliminated in favour of stereo compression. The WA76 pair are calibrated to have matched output levels to within 0.5 dBu and matched Gain Reduction to within 10% while operating with all controls set top dead centre and the 20:1 ratio selected.
Warm Audio WA76 1176 Style Discrete Single Compressor
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) transformer design. The classic '76 was a major breakthrough in limiter technology and used on hundreds of hit records since its inception. Engineers have craved the ultra-fast attack time and trademark sound of the '76 for decades, and now it is finally affordable!
Our goal was to make a compressor of this pedigree affordable for the first time, without compromising the quality and design parameters that make this type of compressor so desirable.
All Buttons In
The WA76 can reproduce the classic effect known as ‘All Buttons In’ mode, sometimes also referred to as ‘British Mode’ or the ‘Four Button Trick’. Originally an accident due to the mechanical nature of the interconnected latching switches, this mode is reproduced by pushing in all four ratio buttons simultaneously and getting them to latch. This can take a bit of practice. The resulting compression curve is aggressive and unmistakably unique and can be heard on the drum tracks of many classic recordings.
All-buttons-in compression is typically characterized by having a very aggressive compression ratio, attack and release curves that are more drastic plateaus opposed to gentler slopes, and more audible distortion or ‘overdrive’ on the signal. Initial transients are more likely to come through loudly, followed by heavy compression curve sometimes described as having a ‘sucking’ effect as the compressor releases. Because this mode is considered a design accident, faithfully maintained; it is normal for the meter function to ‘peg out’ and cease providing accurate metering.
We have faithfully reproduced the circuitry of the revision D, generally considered one of the best and most popular among the different versions made over the years. We’ve used all discrete, through-hole components, high quality CineMag input and output transformers, and a class A circuit that stays true to the legacy design.