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WSW mic preamp owners, where are you? Condenser Microphones
Old 12th September 2010
  #1
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WSW mic preamp owners, where are you?

Looking and looking to find one of these specimens. Anyone know the history of them? How many were ever made? Where can I buy one? What country?


WSW 811301 Tube
WSW 811402 germanium
WSW 811403 Silicon

Thank you. thumbsup
Old 13th September 2010
  #2
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I've got one of the old tube pres and a custom power supply for it (it's at the studio, but I think it is an 811301).

WSW was the Austrian branch of Siemens. I got mine from a private seller in the states, but I have seen various WSW pieces of studio gear sold from Germany, Austria, and Hungary as well, including AKG mics with WSW logos.

There is some info and schematics online, I have never heard how many were made but I would think it would be proportionally fewer than the similar products made in Germany.

The preamp I have is very clean and clear sounding, you could easily mistake it for a solid state unit because of how clear it is. It does have a little bit of transformer/tube sweetness, but mostly it sounds real clear. When I bought it I was actually hoping for more thick coloration and lower headroom so I could get some grit and harmonics without sounding obviously distorted, and it doesn't really do that. But I like it for what it is, and with the (non original) power supply I use (and I presume, replaced electrolytic caps in the pre) it has very low noise, I think it's actually lower than a couple of vintage solid state Quad Eight pres I have.

The connector looks different than the V72 and similar units, and bear in mind that if you get tube preamps without an original power supply, custom power supplies that can do high voltage for the plate current as well as lower voltage DC for the bias and heaters are much more expensive than simple 24 volt (or similar) DC power supplies that the solid state units usually need.

Most of the WSW pres I have seen were labeled and marketed as universal amps, ie. able to be used as line amps or mic pres. However, the one I have has minimum gain that is high enough that I can't use it with some of my higher powered mics without clipping. Others that were for sale here a while back, were listed as universal amps that had been modded for higher gain to use as mic pres (which suggests that the unmodded units wouldn't have had enough gain to use with all kinds of mics) , so I would suggest double checking the gain and input impedance as well as connector and rack/power supply details if you are considering a purchase.

I wouldn't recommend paying a premium over comparable Siemens/Telefunken/etc discrete units, and these things don't have a lot of controls like modern preamps, but if you find a good deal and the details of the power supply, etc make sense for you, I suspect you'd be pleased with the sound and the standard of construction.

I think I recall an older post about these by Oliver saying that they used some parts that are hard to find when they need service, so I'd be careful about any that don't have working transistors or in/out transformers at the least.
Old 13th September 2010
  #3
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There is a fellow GS poster called "roginator" who lives in Europe and seems to know a lot about WSW stuff. He sent me a bunch of info a while back.
Old 14th September 2010
  #4
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PM roginator
Old 14th September 2010
  #5
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I know few generations of WSW Preamps

late 50s .........
Tube ones marked as 811350 LINE AMPS (also called IA - isolation amp).. kinda WSW v72 heh (as far as i know v72 was also buffer in design ).. 34 db of gain amplification... another one is 811301 ... tube HI gain amp .. not marked as UA (universal amp) but grand daddy of latter UA preamps. UA are differential amps!!!

811301 had over 70 db of amplification and 2 different impedance inputs on input transformer!!! .. I recommend using Eckmiller or EAB fader after that ones couse they are really HOT and LOUD!!!!

Sound is awesome ... no artifacts , no hum , no noise, clean and very rich with details!!!

--------------------

early 60s

WSW introduced germanium modules ....
early ones were 811401 UA and they added 3 different impedance inputs on input transformer... from all WSW amps only Germanium ones had interstage transformer in design .... also that generation had first generation of IA called 811450...

latter mid 60s WSW germanium upgraded their modules to 811402 UA and 811450B and 811451!!

I had small 6 channel wsw germanium console with great sounding preamps ..BUT i cant remember number of model!!!!

..............................
late 60s

WSW introduced their silicon compact console !!!! to me one of best sounding pres are in that console.... module called 811510B
that is mid 60s design of gain amp i found same in latter NEVE 1073 .. BA183 and BA184 modules from 1972
WSW 811510B had that preamp design in 1966!!!!!!!!!!

also in set and tradition of UA and IA amps WSW made silicon version of UA called 811403.... and IA called 811453!!!

just for reference they made few revisions of 811453 and also created 811454 diferential IA with cca 34 db of amplification!!!

they had that design till 80s!!!!!!

/////////////////////////////////////////

I hope that basic info help a bit!!!!

there are WSW: microphones, passive eqs, Compressors , begrenzers (limiters), and BEST CONSOLES.. but that is other story

WSW is best hidden secret in vintage audio!!!
Old 14th September 2010
  #6
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Hey thanks roginator !, this is some good info and this kind of stuff makes this place great. I am very interested in owning these preamps. As a huge fan of vintage broadcast German pres and mics. I find the sluttiest need to learn more about these Austrian pres. heh

Am I am nutz? But...I thought the same thing. Thinking that Neve and EMI got their inspiration and ideas from these old German broadcasting pres. I know this is a bold statement. But I want to learn the history here and love to know the facts. Who started it all? I know Emile Berliner (German) invented the microphone and Germans were very proactive in microphone technology due to the war. So my thinking is if they made the microphone, they must have made the mic pre as well. right or wrong? The V72 was supposedly created somewhere between 1949 to 1952.

Neve is great. I love em as well. But man, the german stuff gives me that feeling and sound that these are the pres that started it all. I may be wrong. And if so, please proceed to educate me.

So from what I understand, you like the silicon versions the most or just the 811510B?

Is there any fix cut off frequency's like the old Tabs have? 40hz to 15khz? Or are they 20-20? I understand that these old preamps were made this way to eliminate all the radio noise that was drifting around back in the old days.

And lastly are the parts easily replaceable or to locate in Austria?

I can't wait to try these out Thanks to all
Old 14th September 2010
  #7
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WSW is king .. I have cca 400 MB of documetation on wsw if anybody need!!!
Old 14th September 2010
  #8
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some pictures of WSW preamps in general!!!!






schematics of UA811403


and some of my WSW babies!!!!!!




Old 14th September 2010
  #9
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roginator's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post

Am I am nutz? But...I thought the same thing. Thinking that Neve and EMI got their inspiration and ideas from these old German broadcasting pres. I know this is a bold statement. But I want to learn the history here and love to know the facts. Who started it all? I know Emile Berliner (German) invented the microphone and Germans were very proactive in microphone technology due to the war. So my thinking is if they made the microphone, they must have made the mic pre as well. right or wrong? The V72 was supposedly created somewhere between 1949 to 1952.

Neve is great. I love em as well. But man, the german stuff gives me that feeling and sound that these are the pres that started it all. I may be wrong. And if so, please proceed to educate me.

So from what I understand, you like the silicon versions the most or just the 811510B?

Is there any fix cut off frequency's like the old Tabs have? 40hz to 15khz? Or are they 20-20? I understand that these old preamps were made this way to eliminate all the radio noise that was drifting around back in the old days.

And lastly are the parts easily replaceable or to locate in Austria?

I can't wait to try these out Thanks to all

lets start about parts!!! ..all parts for silicon models are in every store

parts that are only hard to locate are transformers:
silicon WSW is based around transistors BC 109 and BC140 some relay and few caps and resistors!!!

I never had problem to locate parts!!!


About Hi pass... no they are 99% full range only one i ever had was Line amp 811453C that has 100hz hi pass!!!!

Cant say about what i love most ..BUT i found 811510B very good for everything ... great on vocals, synths, Drums.....o yes BASS!!!!



about tech stuff i can talk a lot but I find a lot stuff designed by siemens and WSW in neve many years latter!!!

Who knows maybe im wrong .... but anyway... My 1073 sound great also!!!
Old 15th September 2010
  #10
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Killer photos man. Those pre/eq black units 811 501A.B are tight. thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup

Are those old modules re-racked by you? Or are they originally built that way?

They look modern. Love the classic module look too. And you can tell from the inside guts how detailed the work is. Fine craftsmanship.

Thats one thing I love about Vintage Gear. Guys took the time to make every slight detail right. Banded and group the wires, tighten them up to look nice inside even though many never look inside the unit. Lots of pride and perfectionism is something I respect

What tubes do the tube modules use? Are they easy to find?

Thanks
Old 15th September 2010
  #11
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Awesome photos and info. That gear looks great. Sometimes lately I feel sick of some of the lame threads and info appearing on GS now..........but threads like this with knowledgeable posts make visiting GS all worthwhile
Old 15th September 2010
  #12
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Thanx Donnx
that 811510B racks are handmaded here from gutz of old WSW modules!!!
racking is not a simple job on WSW for a beginer!!!

here are some guts !!



Also a nice video of a stereo PAssive eq EQ i made for a guy in NL!!
YouTube - My new studio gear


classic WSW 811301 tube preamp use ECC83 and E88CC .. that are easy to find!

Old 15th September 2010
  #13
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Nice work! love all the good components inside. And those fat transformers. Man I want one of these.
Old 15th September 2010
  #14
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I collect WSW audio gear, so I thought I'd chime in. Austrian Siemens made many excellent consoles (and so much more, from traffic control electronics and telephony to radios) and the history of the company goes well back to 1940s. For most of that time, until the 80s, they maintained the same modular console plug-in concept using their own designs - e.g. the Studio Plug-in Amplifier (or Universal Amplifier) modules, which were the company's flagship microphone preamps, as well as Isolating Amplifiers (serving as bridging or line amps), Compact Limiter modules, Talkback Amps, Power Amps of various sizes, Peak Meters, Test Signal Generators, Limiters for radio transmitters, Summing modules and so on. They made the console frames to order and outfitted them w/their own modules (w/the exception of faders, sometimes equalizer/filters, meters etc.). The Universal Amplifiers - well, as the name suggests - are designed to be utilized as high-gain microphone preamps, as well as program/mixing amplifiers, etc. depending on the input (different taps on the input transfomers) and gain (~30-70 dB) used...

There are usually many versions and sub-versions (e.g. there was a version of 811 301 w/6072A tubes at the input). The 811 301 was a 1960s design and as such, it is a pinnacle of tube technology - low noise, no distortion, very clean sound w/extended freq. response. As mentioned earlier, not that much of a "tube sound". The Germanium modules followed shortly in 1965. The Compact Module System program was later modernized w/ discreet silicon transistor technology (the 811 403 are excellent!), and later w/ IC designs (e.g. there was an IC-based limiter module called "LIM").

All in all, on par w/the German designs, V72, V76, V276 etc. and excellent build quality. But as always - these are usually old and unused for decades and as such require experience as well as love to get them going again...

Hope this helps!
Old 15th September 2010
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

i have a 402 germanium here which is an incredibly nice preamp. it took some time for me to appreciate its quality but i could not part with it anymore.
Old 15th September 2010
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark1 View Post
I collect WSW audio gear, so I thought I'd chime in. Austrian Siemens made many excellent consoles (and so much more, from traffic control electronics and telephony to radios) and the history of the company goes well back to 1940s. For most of that time, until the 80s, they maintained the same modular console plug-in concept using their own designs - e.g. the Studio Plug-in Amplifier (or Universal Amplifier) modules, which were the company's flagship microphone preamps, as well as Isolating Amplifiers (serving as bridging or line amps), Compact Limiter modules, Talkback Amps, Power Amps of various sizes, Peak Meters, Test Signal Generators, Limiters for radio transmitters, Summing modules and so on. They made the console frames to order and outfitted them w/their own modules (w/the exception of faders, sometimes equalizer/filters, meters etc.). The Universal Amplifiers - well, as the name suggests - are designed to be utilized as high-gain microphone preamps, as well as program/mixing amplifiers, etc. depending on the input (different taps on the input transfomers) and gain (~30-70 dB) used...

There are usually many versions and sub-versions (e.g. there was a version of 811 301 w/6072A tubes at the input). The 811 301 was a 1960s design and as such, it is a pinnacle of tube technology - low noise, no distortion, very clean sound w/extended freq. response. As mentioned earlier, not that much of a "tube sound". The Germanium modules followed shortly in 1965. The Compact Module System program was later modernized w/ discreet silicon transistor technology (the 811 403 are excellent!), and later w/ IC designs (e.g. there was an IC-based limiter module called "LIM").

All in all, on par w/the German designs, V72, V76, V276 etc. and excellent build quality. But as always - these are usually old and unused for decades and as such require experience as well as love to get them going again...

Hope this helps!
hey

thanx for great expended info!!
Old 17th September 2010
  #17
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Here's some photos I got scouring around.
Attached Thumbnails
WSW mic preamp owners, where are you?-190.jpg   WSW mic preamp owners, where are you?-187.jpg   WSW mic preamp owners, where are you?-186.jpg   WSW mic preamp owners, where are you?-185.jpg   WSW mic preamp owners, where are you?-183.jpg  

Old 6th December 2010
  #18
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ANOTHER CRAZY RACK!!!

WSW dual 811511 preamp !!! from SAS!!!



more pictures here:
WSW 811511A Dual Mic Preamp RACKED - a set on Flickr
Old 6th December 2010
  #19
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WSW Stereo Passive eq 811511B-E



More pictures here:

WSW Passive Stereo EQ 811511B-E RAcked - a set on Flickr
Old 6th December 2010
  #20
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soon special Mastering Version of WSW passive eq 811511B-EM ...
Old 7th December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roginator View Post
WSW Stereo Passive eq 811511B-E



More pictures here:

WSW Passive Stereo EQ 811511B-E RAcked - a set on Flickr

Hey that looks great. How do they sound? I never see any WSW stuff here in NZ.
Old 7th December 2010
  #22
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They sound AWESOME !!!!

Im just finishing mastering version for a Mastering studio in Australia///

Ill make some audio clips when i have it ready in a week!!
Old 21st March 2011
  #23
Gear Addict
 

wsw mic pres are cool
Old 13th April 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
Looking and looking to find one of these specimens. Anyone know the history of them? How many were ever made? Where can I buy one? What country?


WSW 811301 Tube
WSW 811402 germanium
WSW 811403 Silicon

Thank you. thumbsup
cool stuff
Old 27th June 2011
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

I have been offered 6 x WSW 811301 with PSU in original 6 bay rack unit.. Just wonder how useful they would be direct into protools as a Drum pre setup?? there os no out put control so I guess I would need to get one made up.? anyone know if there are any good for Old `Ribbon mics? and can you over drive them???



Andy
Old 27th June 2011
  #26
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forgot to up load some pics

WSW 6x Rack
Attached Images
File Type: png wsw pic.png (122.9 KB, 1311 views)
Old 27th June 2011
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grayedout View Post
I have been offered 6 x WSW 811301 with PSU in original 6 bay rack unit.. Just wonder how useful they would be direct into protools as a Drum pre setup?? there os no out put control so I guess I would need to get one made up.? anyone know if there are any good for Old `Ribbon mics? and can you over drive them???



Andy
perfect for ribbon .. awesome preamps
Old 27th June 2011
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

is there a good way to control the output level??


Andy
Old 28th June 2011
  #29
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also I read here there are very clean.. but can you overdrive them at all?
Old 1st July 2011
  #30
Here for the gear
 

Hi there

We are mjQ and we have 30 x WSW's in stock at the moment which came from EMI studios Barcelona.

our website mjQ Sales - Recording Studio Property and Equipment Auctio

our email normally [email protected]

but off line at the moment because some trouble with the server

or you can get me at [email protected]

Best

Malcolm

p.s. ( notice there is no 'e' in equipment in the address)
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