“This pedal isn’t just a piece of gear; it’s a journey into the soul of timeless studio tones”: Wampler unveils the Ego 76, a feature-packed compressor inspired by the legendary 1176 Peak Limiter

Wampler Ego 76 Compressor
(Image credit: Wampler Pedals)

Wampler Pedals has expanded its compressor pedal lineup with the Ego 76 Compressor, a stompbox inspired by the legendary 1176 Peak Limiter that has been an evergreen piece of studio hardware ever since its launch in the ‘60s.

Indeed, there are few more revered pieces of processing technology than Bill Putnam’s 1176, its transistor-based design presenting an alternative to the tube-driven compressors and limiters that were hitherto the industry standard. The Ego 76 aims to offer that tone-sweetening processing power onto your pedalboard

Though it seems more than that. It’s Brian Wampler’s love letter to the 1176, and a tribute to Putnam, whom he describes as “the Leo Fender of recording gear”.

“The 1176 was quite unique when it came out in the ‘60s,” says Wampler. “Back then all studio equipment still relied on tubes, but the 1176 was one of the first compressors to use FETs to create the compression effect. 

“Now the FETs gave it a super-fast attack, but guitarists and producers quickly realised that it was really fantastic at just giving a guitar tone, or even layers of guitar tone, just more life, and no matter how you ran it it just made everything sound bigger, fuller and punchier. It just sounded so good.”

Wampler Ego 76 Compressor

(Image credit: Wampler Pedals)

Wampler says the 1776 sounded so good that engineers took to running signals through it without using the compression just to add some flavour to the tone. 

There are, of course, 1776-inspired compressor pedals on the market. But Wampler says his is different. Eighteen months in the making, the Ego 76 presents 1176 compression that is specifically designed for use on electric guitar tone – and bass guitar for that matter – and includes a Blend control for parallel compression, allowing players to dial in the mix between their unaffected and compressed signals.

The Ego 76 presents ample control over the compression, with Attack and Release dials, a tone control that can add or take away high-end presence. 

The Compress dial adjusts how much compression is applied to your signal, and is tuned to work similarly as the Ratio control on a 1176. Level adjusts the overall output volume. And what else do you need?

Wampler Ego 76 Compressor

(Image credit: Wampler Pedals)

Well, how about a snazzy finish and top-mounted jacks for easier pedalboard integration? The Ego 76 enclosure finished in sort of flip-flop metallic sapphire. 

Nice. But its real charms are more subtle. It’s the tone-sweetening potential that could make this your next always-on effect. The Ego 76 Compressor is available now, priced £219 / $225. For more details, see Wampler Pedals.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.