CP5176  FET Compressor 500 series 1176 style - DIY Analog Audio
  • CP5176  FET Compressor 500 series 1176 style - DIY Analog Audio
  • CP5176  FET Compressor 500 series 1176 style - DIY Analog Audio

CP5176 FET compressor for the 500 series

$391.11 VAT incl.
$391.11 VAT excl.

The CP5176 is a FET compressor based on the design that was originally used in the 1176 compressor, which has been adapted to the '500' format of API*.

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The CP5176 is a FET compressor based on the design that was originally used in the 1176 compressor, which has been adapted to the '500' format of API*.

This compressor became extremely popular because of some specific characteristics such as its ultra-fast attack time, as well as its unique sound, due to the FET transistor, the class A and the transformers.

It is typically used for compressing snare, vocals, guitars or drum bus in stereo.

The CP5176 adds a few features to the original 1176 such as a new ratio of 2, a high-pass filter in the side chain and a variation in the FET gain reduction circuit that produces more distortion.


    • Original Cinemag (Reichenbach) transformers on input and output,
    • 5 ratios + SLAM mode (all buttons mode),
    • All discrete class A audio path,
    • DOA based, API* 2520 compatible, output stage (discrete Op-Amp),
    • High pass filter in the sidechain,
    • Distortion mode adds 3% of second harmonic, close to Rev A,
    • High resolution gain reduction meter,
    • Golden contacts on relays and switches
    • High precision aluminium knobs
    • High grade components throughout
    • Available assembled or as a full kit (everything included


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1: InputPotentiometer that sets the signal level before compression. It defines the compression threshold.

2: Out Potentiometer that set the signal level after compression (make up gain).

3: Ratio Rotary switch that sets the compression ratio from 2 to 20. Ratio 2, allowing more subtle compressions, has been added to the original circuit. The SLAM mode is the "all buttons pressed" on the 1176.

4: Attck Potentiometer that sets the attack time: The delay before the compressor starts reducing gain.

5: Rel Potentiometer that sets the release time: Time that the compressor takes before returning to the "no gain reduction" state.

6: Gr High resolution gain reduction display: 16 LED's from -1dB to -22dB.

7: HPF Inserts a 80 Hz high-pass filter in the sidechain. Produces a Fat sound and eliminates bass driven pumping.

8: Dist Modifies the signal balance on the FET, adding second harmonic distortion. Close to the Rev A version of 1176.

9: Link Connects two compressors in stereo mode.

10: LED that shows the bypass status.

11: Off Compressor bypass button (hardware by relay).

What's in the kit?

Absolutely everything!

  • Passive components (resistors, capacitors, inductors),
  • 2 Cinemag transformers
  • Active components (diodes, transistors, LED's, IC's),
  • Discrete Op-Amp kit,
  • Front panel elements (switches, potentiometers, knobs),
  • Connectors, relay,
  • PCB's,
  • Front panel and side panel,
  • All hardware.

You bring the solder (use good quality solder, 1mm diameter max) and the Lunchbox.

Difficulty level

The CP5176 kit has an medium difficulty level. Nothing very difficult but a rather large number of components and a good density.

The setup is simple but requires using a good quality AC voltmeter.


Specific References

Technical specifications

Measure Conditions Value
Idle supply current No input signal V+ : +70mA
V- : -65 mA
Input impedance f=1kHz 13 kΩ
Maximum input level defined by input transformer +20 dBu
Maximum output level before clip f=1kHz +27 dBu
Minimum gain - ∞
Maximum gain +42 dB
Frequency response Deviation=+/-1dB 6 Hz - 27 kHz
Total harmonic distortion (THD) f=1kHz without gain reduction < 0.05%
with gain reduction < 0.1%
DIST Button ON 3%
Attack time from 20 us to 20 ms
Release time from 50 ms to 1.5 s


Emil Sarlija

A great compressor

This is the second Sound Skulptor kit I built as I was really impressed and happy with first. I already have an 1176 compressor clone, a Lindell Lin76, but the idea of having one in 500 format was really attractive and I knew the quality would be top notch.

Obviously, due to size, this isn't a one-to-one copy of the 1176 but it does everything my Lin76 does and has "that sound". A test with a drum loop I found online sounded huge. The gain reduction meter works really well too. Once again, I didn't get my moneys worth but I got a whole lot more.

Documentation was thorough and detailed. The setup guide was easy to follow and, although I have proper test equipment like a function generator and oscilloscope, I just adhered to the guide using basic equipment and I got a perfect result. I highly recommend this kit without hesitation.


Great kit

Very well packed with comprehensive instructions. Just unbelievably fast delivery inside EU.


Very musical compressor!

Just finished assembling. Very fun and easy to build. Very musical compressor, can easily go 10+ GR without pumping. Unless the most software emulations of the 1176's on the market, with added highs when compressing, this compressor actually smooth out the highs a bit, which I really love in this digital era.


I love this thing

I was really struggling to get transparent level control of my vocal recordings. My La2a clone was just pumping too much and it sounded unnatural. This thing completely solved the problem. This compressor is awesome.

Dr Dubwiser

Super son à un prix imbattable.

J'ai deux 5176, deux hairball 1176 et un kt-76. Le kt-76 n'est pas mal, les hairball sont vraiment top mais ils coûtent plus du double. En gros, je n'ai rien trouvé de mieux qualité/prix. Sans hésiter, si j'avais besoin d'un autre 1176 je reprendrais un 5176 (c'est pour ça que j'ai deux unitées, en "fet" ;P)


Great kit!

Great layout, great documentation, great price and of course the most important thing: GREAT sound!

Next up is an LA502, a pair of EQP501's and a CP4500. Based on this kit, I'm pretty confident those won't disappoint me at all.


Bread and Butter!

For the record, I had never soldered before I bought my first Sound Skulptor kit (CP5176). My CP5176 is about 2 years old now, and still running strong. I use this on literally everything I record. I am not professionally trained in the recording arts, but to my ear, this compressor is awesome. I am currently running it in series with the LA502 before it, and it makes for some really sexy Vox and Bass.

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CP5176 FET compressor for the 500 series

The CP5176 is a FET compressor based on the design that was originally used in the 1176 compressor, which has been adapted to the '500' format of API*.

Write your review