UA 6176 output: attenuator?

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ochaim
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UA 6176 output: attenuator?

Post by ochaim » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:55 pm

I’m looking at the manual for the 6176 preamp, to get the cleanest sound turn gain all the way down and level to around 7-10. Elsewhere, I see general preamp setup suggesting to turn the output up to 10, if its an attenuator, and level just high enough for a good signal to get the cleanest sound.

It appears to be important that the output is an attenuator so it doesnt add noise when its cranked to 10.

Anybody know if the output suggestion applies to the 6176, ie is the output an attenuator?

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Re: UA 6176 output: attenuator?

Post by Len911 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:10 pm

Owen, I think it works like gain/volume does on a guitar amp, especially a tube one. Turning up the gain in the preamp drives the tube into a level of saturation, and then it goes to an amp to increase the volume, the amp stage doesn't drive the tubes into saturation or distortion, or it takes a lot more power to do so because there are more or more powerful ones, so they usually offer a clean or cleaner gain section. Transistors or fets have been used also to create distortion but have a different sound.
The output probably has a transformer, not so much as an attenuator, which is a resistor, and is like a fader on a mixer. The noise has more to do with an amp than a resistor or attenuator does, as an amp is active and resistors are passive.
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Re: UA 6176 output: attenuator?

Post by Len911 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:25 pm

also the transformer matches impedances or increases or decreases the level more like an inductor, also passive. The differences between resistance an inductance etc. are further explained by physics and math, and I'm not an engineer,lol, but I hope it gives a generalized explanation.
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Re: UA 6176 output: attenuator?

Post by ochaim » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:37 am

Thanks for the detailed explanation, Len. I thought "level" here also somehow contributed to the saturation on the preamp side, but that's not the case.

I think I misunderstood the terminology of output and "level" labelled on the preamp side of the 6176. I thought I should be turning up the output on the compressor side of the 6176 because it is the only place that is labelled "output". But looking at the manual again, the level determines the volume sent to the preamp side.

Thanks again, Len!

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Re: UA 6176 output: attenuator?

Post by Len911 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:53 pm

yw Owen! I found an old review of the unit. https://www.mixonline.com/technology/un ... rip-369646

Sounds like a wonderful piece of gear! A channel strip with tube preamp, eq with a transistor compressor, nice features also like the impedance control.

In pure speculation theory,lol, I would guess that because the preamp has 2 tubes, one is used for the gain and one for the level.
the 12AX7 tube (x 100 gain) and the 12AT7 (x 60 gain), which one for which I'm not sure.
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Re: UA 6176 output: attenuator?

Post by LOCK88 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:43 pm

Hey Owen, I been using a 6176 for some time now. I've realized that for all my edgy tracks, that need a bite, whether on vox, Gtr, bass, etc, the 6176 is outstanding. When I'm looking for a really clean sound, I go to the 1073. 'Clean' out of the 6176 hasn't been possible for me, regardless of my gain/level settings. For the cleanest sound, I turn gain & levels down, and increase the input/output settings on the compression side for makeup gain. But this still doesn't sound super clean IMHO. Please let me know if you are able to find a nice clean signal.
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Re: UA 6176 output: attenuator?

Post by ochaim » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:25 pm

LOCK88 wrote:Hey Owen, I been using a 6176 for some time now. I've realized that for all my edgy tracks, that need a bite, whether on vox, Gtr, bass, etc, the 6176 is outstanding. When I'm looking for a really clean sound, I go to the 1073. 'Clean' out of the 6176 hasn't been possible for me, regardless of my gain/level settings. For the cleanest sound, I turn gain & levels down, and increase the input/output settings on the compression side for makeup gain. But this still doesn't sound super clean IMHO. Please let me know if you are able to find a nice clean signal.

Thanks for the tip, Robb! I had a weekend of recording vocals. Although setting up the gain/level as the manual recommends with the compressor’s input/output at unity gain gave me the cleanest signal so far, I did notice that “bite” you mentioned. It’s what I was looking for but I’m not sure I like it on my voice. I’ll have to experiment with the input/output in the compressor side that you mentioned. Did you notice any difference between bypass and 1:1 ratio when you have output turned up?

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