I figured for the cost, the plugin wouldn't replace the real deal hardware. I'm not that oblivious hahaNo. Not even close. There's no pedal that can even get into the same ballpark. The reasons are numerous, but one obvious reason is that the 1176 is applied after the amp, while a pedal is applied before. Also, a huge part of the 1176's sound is in the input and output transformers. Even in bypass mode, where the compressor isn't doing any compression, it still imparts a very distinct and pleasing sound signature. I could go on and on with more technical reasons and some subjective ones, but there's no point. Even the Waves CA-76 doesn't sound much like a real 1176 (of which there are many different versions, and even no two units of the same version will ever sound identical). But at least it stands a chance of reasonably passing off as one if no one is paying too close of attention. It's a good plugin, but plugins still haven't advanced to the point where they can replace hardware, at least as far a compressors go.
I know they sell pedals as 1176 flavored or 1176 inspired or whatever. But that's just marketing B.S. to prey on the uniformed. They might even be decent pedals in their own right. But they share nothing in common with a real 1176, other than the numbers 7 and 6.