Although also making a variety of different products, Universal Audio Inc. are best known for their guitar pedals. Branded as UAFX, their pedal arsenal is now stronger, bringing a total of four new devices.
We’re looking at four predominantly vintage-inspired devices that include one compressor, one delay/echo pedal, and two different reverbs. These four are called 1176 Studio Compressor, Orion Tape Echo, Heavenly Plate Reverb, and Evermore Studio Reverb. Although all four are conceived as single-switch devices, there are some pretty interesting details to share here so let’s go with one thing at a time and share all the details we know of so far.
1176 Studio Compressor
As the name suggests, this one takes us back to the legendary 1176 Peak Limiter but is a guitar-friendly device in a pedal format. We could talk for days about 1176 which is one of Universal Audio’s biggest achievements.
As the official press release states, “the 1176 Studio Compressor delivers the same punchy, expressive tones of the world-renowned hardware, in a compact stompbox.” They also add that it’s the “authentic emulation of the 1176LN Limiting Amplifier” with Single, Dual, and Sustain modes.
The pedal brings the usual attack, release, and ratio settings, as well as the input and output levels. There’s even an option to choose between buffered and true bypass modes.
In short, we’re looking at a compressor pedal that offers a lot more than just your usual basic controls. It’s like one step further from that which can be pretty interesting in combination with a responsive tube-driven amp.
Orion Tape Echo
Orion is the alternative version to Universal Audio’s Starlight Echo Station. As the company explains, it’s directly inspired by the old Maestro Echoplex EP-3. Obviously, it doesn’t have an actual tape, which would be highly impractical these days, but it brings the option to have that old-school tape-style flutter.
Additionally, the company also adds that the pedal helps create that “fat, boosted” kind of tone. There are also a few modes of operation that emulate different ages and states of magnetic tapes.
Once again, there’s the buffered and true bypass mode options, but it’s also enhanced with some additional controls that double-down on the tape-inspired effect. It just seems like an incredibly fun pedal to use.
Heavenly Plate Reverb
Here we have a simpler alternative to Universal Audio’s Golden Reverberator. The company’s goal with these is to recreate “1950s German-made studio plates.”
It comes with three modes called Vintage Bright, Vintage Dark, and Modern Full. On top of the usual reverb parameters, there’s even a control for modulation and a singular EQ knob, presumable like a tone control. Obviously, it adds a lot of fun options to a seemingly simple effect. And, of course, there’s also the bypass type selection option.
Evermore Studio Reverb
And finally, the Evermore Studio Reverb is designed to recreate the early digital reverb devices from the late 1970s. As the company explains in their official press release, it’s an “authentic emulation of a vintage digital studio hardware, in a compact stompbox.” The three onboard modes called Room, Small Hall, or Large Hall are, as they say, “bit-by-bit emulations.”
Of course, there are other detailed tone-shaping parameter controls on there as well. And there’s even a modulation control that can let you add some of that “early digital” kind of tone to the mix. And, of course, just like with other pedals here, there’s the option for true and buffered bypass modes.
Of course, Universal Audio isn’t like your usual super-budget-friendly brand but the prices for these are pretty reasonable considering the options you get. Here’s what you can expect from them:
- 1176 Studio Compressor — $199
- Orion Tape Echo — $219
- Heavenly Plate Reverb — $219
- Evermore Studio Reverb — $219
So it’s basically $199 for the compressor while the other three are $219. For more info, feel free to visit the Universal Audio website here.