This is more than just a good looking unit, that features the vintage styling of the original 1176 but also is a very affordable copy of that unit that is versatile, easy to use, and able to give great compression on bass, vocals, guitar and according to many reviews drums. According to a lot of reviews and comparisons, the WA76 does sound similar to the 1176. This I cant confirm however, never having owned the original.
I have read a lot of complaints about noise issues, which I think depends more on what is being fed into the WA76 however, my only issue with the unit is the GR dial and Output dial that in real life, look and feel not as high quality as the images may suggest. When adjusting these dials there is also a static noise, however it hasn't hindered anything, and according to forums, a lot of people had the same experience.
So in all, good unit for the price, I guess those who have the cash to splash would probably be better off getting higher quality gear, but I think to be honest as a beginner (Like me) or someone who wants a 1176 without wanting to jeopardize their marriage and mortgage, I think this is a good compromise.