FLASHBACK: 1970 Universal Audio 1176LN Limiting Amplifier (Rev C)

1176AKA “The Blackface” Mic Pre

ROLE IN HISTORY: It’s classic, used on every important album since 1970. You couldn’t find a studio that didn’t have the blackface back in the day.

WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE: Warm and round is how I’d describe it. It finishes your idea on what the mic should sound like!

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BASIC FEATURES: It’s pretty simple: a couple of knobs and meters. The “LN” stands for low noise, so the unit is a preamp that doesn’t boost DS voltage while giving you gain. In simple terms, you won’t hear buzzing.

CUSTOM MODS: As is, baby.

MODERN EQUIVALENT: The UA plug-in versions of these old preamps are wonderful and I recommend them highly, but if you have the room and pockets for the real thing, you will be glad you got it.  

CAN BE HEARD ON: Everything from Elton John to Kings Of Leon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Don Miggs is a singer/songwriter/producer and fronts the band miggs (Elm City/Capitol Records). His love affair with vintage instruments and gear only presents a problem when he’s awake. Find out more at miggsmusic.com, @miggsmusic, thelalamansion.com or on his radio show, @thefringeAM820 (Saturdays 5-7pm EST).

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