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Warm Audio introduces the WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone Condenser Microphones
Old 2nd January 2019
  #1
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Warm Audio introduces the WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone

Warm Audio introduces the WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone-unnamed-1-.jpg

Warm Audio introduces the WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone

The WA-251 was created to offer a classic microphone design to a new generation of recording artists at an affordable price. We spent a great deal of time listening to different ‘251 microphones to determine what people liked about them and why, how various styles of components impact the tone, and how to give the WA-251 microphone a signature that pays homage to the vintage classic, but also stands out on its own.

The WA-251 is an all vacuum tube, large diaphragm, transformer balanced, multi-pattern, large condenser microphone, based on the classic ‘251 that has been used on countless hit records for the last 50+ years. The WA-251 is designed for pro studio, home studio, live, and broadcast applications and sounds great on vocals, acoustic/electric guitars, acoustic/electric bass, drums, piano, strings, brass/woodwind instruments, and an array of other sources.

The classic ‘251 became extremely popular as a vocal microphone in the 1960’s and is now considered to be one of the greatest condenser microphones ever created. The classic ‘251 is still widely used today in professional recording studios but has become extremely rare and cost prohibitive to acquire.

Designing our WA-251 to sound like the classic ‘251 was no easy task, especially since some of the vintage components are no longer manufactured or available. We are pleased to release such a gorgeous sounding classic to the market at a price that’s reachable to more people than ever before.

A LOOK INSIDE

All Brass Capsule
The WA-12-B-60V is an all-brass, edge-terminated capsule that captures all the smoothness, rich top end, and warm vintage sonics of the original CK12 capsule. The WA-12-B-60V uses a variant CEK-12 back plate as a basis, which overcomes manufacturing limitations of the original CK12 capsule. The o-ring and housing of the WA-12-B-60V are all made from brass (no teflon parts), and the diaphragm is 24k gold sputtered 6 micron, NOS PET film (mylar). The end result is a very consistent, reliable capsule which matches the frequency response and tonality of the classic 1970’s classic capsule.

The Tube
A Slovak Republic JJ 12AY7 vacuum tube is used in the WA-251. We auditioned 3 tube brands and fell in love with the JJ 12AY7. The frequency response of the JJ tube, and the way it contributes to the circuit is tonally smooth and vintage in nature.

The Transformer
The WA-251 utilizes an American made CineMag USA transformer. This transformer helps provide the present top end and the LARGE bottom end one would hope to get from a 251-style condenser microphone.

The Cable
One component of a tube microphone that is often overlooked is the 7 pin cable that connects the microphone to its power supply. When auditioning the WA-251 and other tube microphones we learned quite a bit about 7 pin cables and how the shielding and wire gauge size can drastically change the sonics of a tube microphone. We have partnered with Gotham Audio in Switzerland to use their very carefully built high-end 7 pin “GAC-7 cable”. Using this cable increases top end presence and the overall size of the recorded image in the stereo field by reducing phase shift and the parasitic effect often experienced in poorly built cables. Gotham Cabling is very expensive and boutique in nature and shouldn’t be considered a small addition to the WA-251 package.

The Capacitors
The WA-251 proudly uses polystyrene coupling capacitors, wima film capacitors throughout, and an imported Solen French capacitor on its output.

Specifications:
• Custom WA-12-B-60V edge terminated, dual-backplate, all-brass vintage CK12-style capsule
• CineMag USA output transformer
• JJ Slovak 12AY7 vacuum tube
• Gotham 5 meter GAC-7, 7-pin tube microphone cable
• Wima, Solen French, and Polystyrene capacitors
• Polar Patterns: 3 patterns - Cardioid, Omni, figure-of-eight
• Dynamic range: 125dBA
• Maximum SPL: 132dB (<0.5% THD)
• Frequency Range: 20 Hz~20 kHz
• Output Impedance: 200 ohms
• Rated Load Impedance: ≥2kOhms
• S/N Ratio: 80dBA
• Equivalent Noise: 12dBA (IEC651)
• External IEC grounded PSU
• Total Weight (Mic, PSU, shockmount, cables) - 12 lbs
• Mic Dimensions: 247mm x 46mm

$ 799 USD | 899 € INC VAT

Available February 2019

Attached Thumbnails
Warm Audio introduces the WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone-unnamed-1-.jpg   Warm Audio introduces the WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone-unnamed.jpg  
Old 3rd January 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
 
ManMulcahy's Avatar
I like the look, more of a nod than a replica. The price makes me want a pair for overheads...
Old 3rd January 2019
  #3
Gear Nut
 

To be quite honest I waited for this mic.Better said this or a warm C12 clone.But since they already gave the "wa12" label to a pre I knew we would get the "Wa251"..who cares as long as it is the "other side" to their wonderfull 47 style clone.
Old 3rd January 2019
  #4
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Wow, nice touch with the Gotham cable.
Old 6th January 2019
  #5
Gear Head
Tempting!!

Warm Audio really continues to release amazing stuff, i‘m sure it sounds great!
Old 7th January 2019
  #6
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Awesome. Can’t wait to give this one a try. Would really love to see Warm do their take on an M49.
Old 8th January 2019
  #7
Here for the gear
Was just about to say the same thing... would love to try their take on a Neumann M 49
Old 9th January 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
I would love to see them try the 33609

Stam have just done the Fairchild, so that would be a nice different angle.
Old 10th January 2019
  #9
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Uncite's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjono2000 View Post
I would love to see them try the 33609

Stam have just done the Fairchild, so that would be a nice different angle.

Ditto, would definitely spark my interest.
Old 10th January 2019
  #10
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retractablezing's Avatar
 

Not to hijack this thread, but being a Warm Audio conversation, outboard wise, it would seem that most of these companies are waiting to see what the other will put out next and doing mostly the same, just different prices and faceplates. What none is doing is putting out a decent valve based, transformer coupled, preamplifier. That would certainly be interesting to see.
Old 10th January 2019
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Tough business.Good times for poor musicians.Even better times for poor musicians who don't have the bucks to pay studios to record their own stuff.
Old 10th January 2019
  #12
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
What none is doing is putting out a decent valve based, transformer coupled, preamplifier. That would certainly be interesting to see.
Weight Tank :: WT-72 Preamp
Old 10th January 2019
  #13
Dgr
Gear Nut
On the assumption that folks considering this are looking for a lower-than-1000 251 mic, anyone seen/heard/stumbled upon this?

N-SONIC NS-251 Tube Condenser Microphone



– Astound Sound
Old 11th January 2019
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
Not to hijack this thread, but being a Warm Audio conversation, outboard wise, it would seem that most of these companies are waiting to see what the other will put out next and doing mostly the same, just different prices and faceplates. What none is doing is putting out a decent valve based, transformer coupled, preamplifier. That would certainly be interesting to see.
As far as what I've heard this is no coincidence. I believe it's due to patents running out and opens up for a new level of reverse engineering for companies.
Old 11th January 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 
retractablezing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Right, but i'm much more interested in older, simpler designs, preferably with circuitry not reeking of negative feedback.
Old 11th January 2019
  #16
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retractablezing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slogun View Post
As far as what I've heard this is no coincidence. I believe it's due to patents running out and opens up for a new level of reverse engineering for companies.
And that's certainly a good thing. But i was referring to the sort of predatory approach that there seems to be in waiting to see what company X will put out, and then following through with a cheaper price tag.

That and the fact that it's always the same old tired designs that get hyped to oblivion here and that have been cloned one way or another dozens of times. While it's certainly what the market wants, does the world really need its seventeenth 1073 clone or whatever it is? Much more interesting designs have no patents associated, be it in terms of compression, preamplification, etc. Wouldn't a decent, valve based spring reverb, that could sort of pull of what the old AKG BX units did and more, be much more interesting than another 1176 clone?

But that's me, of course, other than the EQPs, i have no use nor interest in most of what's coming out these days. I just feel it wouldn't take much to come up with much more interesting options, but then again, risk, playing it safe and quick profit margins are major factors to any company these days, of course.
Old 11th January 2019
  #17
I don't disagree with you It's definitely a business model as much less expenses have to go into R&D combined with a certain security that it will sell.

The clone compressor/preamp/mic market is indeed saturated in my opinion as well. Me personally would like to see a larger offering of EQ clones But I suppose they're much more demanding to engineer.
Old 11th January 2019
  #18
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tkaitkai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
Right, but i'm much more interested in older, simpler designs, preferably with circuitry not reeking of negative feedback.
The Weight Tank is an older design, though. It’s based on a Telefunken V72.
Old 11th January 2019
  #19
Gear Addict
 
sirthought's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
Right, but i'm much more interested in older, simpler designs, preferably with circuitry not reeking of negative feedback.
Explain "reeking of negative feedback" please. That box looks all kinds of sexy to me, but maybe you know something I don't.
Old 11th January 2019
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
.And that's certainly a good thing. But i was referring to the sort of predatory approach that there seems to be in waiting to see what company X will put out, and then following through with a cheaper price tag
Absolutely.Did you expect something different;Now it is "all or nothing" untill all the bubbles burst.I am a naive,romantic guy but as soon as golden age announced their 251 I knew it would be only a matter of weeks before WA offers their 251 for under a grand.Actualy I waited for this.I love their wa47 and hope their 251 clone will be as good and the same bang for buck.
Old 11th January 2019
  #21
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retractablezing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Explain "reeking of negative feedback" please. That box looks all kinds of sexy to me, but maybe you know something I don't.
I put circuitry in my comment for a reason, i'm talking about what's going on inside, i don't have anything negative to say about this company. The V72 uses negative feedback, as many other valve amps, to stabilize the circuit among other things. Makes for a cleaner, harder to my ears, type of sound. Personally, i prefer earlier american amplifiers, more even and 2nd order harmonics, much more pleasing kind of breakup. I'm not a fan of the Vxx, but again, that's me.
Old 11th January 2019
  #22
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by retractablezing View Post
I'm not a fan of the Vxx, but again, that's me.
That's 100% fair, but it's also fair to say that the V Series of mic amps are one of the most coveted and iconic preamps ever made. I'm really looking to getting my pair later this month. Cheers, bp
Old 12th January 2019
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Cool

I can't wait to try one out, I'd like to get a tube mic, and this seems like a great package.
Old 12th January 2019
  #24
Here for the gear
 
larold@socal.rr.'s Avatar
 

I just ordered a WA 251. I have a pair of WA 47's and compared them to a particularly good vintage one. Everyone in the control room was shocked at the similarities. Really amazing. Just a hint of a difference in upper mids, but in the ballpark. A different vintage 47 could have had the same differences.

Can't wait for another blind shootout.
Old 13th January 2019
  #25
Here’s the thing. I mixed a project that used an Aston origin on the vocal. It sounded surprisingly nice. It did not sit in the mix well and took an amazing amount of work to have the presence of other microphones. These mics may sound nice soloed or in a shoot out but how do they sound when you drop that track in the mix? Pop records need vocals that are 3D and have a massive amount of presence.. which in my limited experience.. doesn’t seem to be as easy as an eq on any microphone.
Old 14th January 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Every time I think I’ve moved on from Warm they come out with a really intriguing product like this. I’m super excited to hear this on vocals, acoustic guitar, and drum overheads.

I wish Warm would confirm if they are using 3u capsules in their mics. That would be a big selling point for me. 3u are several classes better than any other Chinese capsule.
Old 14th January 2019
  #27
Wondering how something like this compares to, for example, a Rode K2
Old 17th January 2019
  #28
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TS-12's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Explain "reeking of negative feedback" please. That box looks all kinds of sexy to me, but maybe you know something I don't.
sexy ?
You’re on the wrong site here I believe,
even thou the title has “slutz” in it, it’s not what you were thinking apparently..
Old 17th January 2019
  #29
Looks good; Warm have done a great job bringing interesting gear at the price point.
Old 17th January 2019
  #30
Here for the gear
We need a c800g clone
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