Retro 176


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SKU: RET-RI176 Categories: , ,
Retro Instruments



The Retro 176 is based on a Bill Putnam classic, the UA 176. The Retro 176 faithfully reproduces the sound of the 1960s original with new features for the modern recording studio. The Retro 176 provides one of the most desirable compression signatures in recording history.


Read about the Bill Putnam original here.



The Retro 176 Limiting Amplifier has the largest feature set in any variable-mu design.


* Precision Knob scales for easy recallability
* Continuously variable attack and release time
* Four settings of compression ratio from soft compression to limiting (2:1, 4:1, 8:1, 12:1)
* Wide-Range Sidechain Highpass Filter
* Vocal Asymmetry Tool
* Hard-wire Bypass Switch
* Interstage Transformer Bypass Switch
* High Quality VU Meter switchable between Input, Output and Gain Reduction
* XLR input and output connections
* IEC power connector
* 115/230V AC Mains
* Integral tube balance test
* Easy stereo strapping of two or more units
* Selected NOS tubes and components


* 20 dB of available gain reduction
* Signal to noise ratio of greater than 76dB
* Flat frequency response within 0.5dB from 20-20,000Hz

* Harmonic Distortion of less than 1% from 0-15dB gain reduction

176 Artists

 “I put the Retro 176 in the same class as its legendary inspiration. There are only a handful of compressors that everyone an agree are desert island worthy, time will prove this to be one of them. It’s a perfect vocal tool, now I can’t imagine mixing without it”


Jacquire King

Grammy Winning Producer & Engineer


“Phil Moore did a great job! Bill Putnam would smile!!! The Retro 176 has become my first choice for lead vocals It now stands alone at the finish line! ”


Chris Lord-Alge

Grammy Winning Producer & Engineer




“The Retro 176 pulls out the breath of vocals with out any need of additional EQ. With all the versatile controls it’s very easy to make a vocal sit in a mix with out losing definition or clarity.”


Al Sutton

Grammy Nominated Producer & Engineer




“Just wanted to thank you for the AMAZING Retro 176, the vocals on is wawwwwwwwww! Cheers!”


Jean Marie Riachi

Grammy Nominated Producer & Engineer



“The 176 sounds as impressive as my old tube giants (Gates, Federal, RCA) but also more modern if needed. I continue to use my three 176’s on every project I do. I can’t be without them! Please keep making gear like this. ”


Greg Wells

Grammy Nominated Producer & Engineer







Artist: Green Day

Album: 21st Century Breakdown

Single: Know Your Enemy

Date Recorded: September 2008

Producers: Butch Vig, Green Day

Engineer: Chris Dugan

Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge at Mix L.A.

Mastering Engineer: Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound

Other Projects: Smashing Pumpkins – Gish , Nirvana – Nevermind, Against Me! – New Wave, The Subways – All or Nothing

Single Songwriter: Billy Joe Armstrong, Green Day

Mixing Monitors: Yamaha NS-10, Infinity Systems BU-2, M&K MPS-2510, Sony SZ-M1 Desktop MiniDisc System

Mixing Console: Solid State Logic G Series with all E modules

Vocal Signal Chain: (Billy Joe Armstrong) Telefunken|USA U-47, Changler LDT-1, Retro Instruments 176, Apogee AD-16X; (Mike Dirnt) Telefunken|USA Ela M 251, Chandler TG Channel MKII, Retro Instruments 176, Apogee AD-16X

Recorder: Digidesign Pro Tools

Additional information

Weight 9.9999 kg