Warm Audio WA273-EQ Dual Channel British Mic Preamp + EQ
Warm Audio WA273-EQ Dual Channel British Mic Preamp + EQ overview from GAK
Hailed by many as the preamp that defined the rock & pop tone for a number of decades, the 73-style mic pre is an industry legend. Warm Audio's latest collection of 73 pre's the "WA73 Family" is comprised of single and dual channel '73-style preamps both with and without EQ, each one a carefully constructed, professional-grade unit that pays tribute to British audio history.
The 19" rackable WA273-EQ is a versatile workhorse with the vintage tone and sonic character of early '73 preamps, able to work with a vast array of microphones including condenser, dynamic and ribbon mics. The WA273-EQ sounds fantastic dealing with a range of audio sources, from vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keys, drums, orchestras and more. Furthermore, the WA73's can act as a tonal shaping tool to run partial or complete mixes through. Equipped with a fully discrete Carnhill Transformer balanced signal path and a solid 80dB of gain, the WA273-EQ can handle any challenge thrown at them.
In keeping with the traditional construction methods of the original 73's, the WA73 range is fully hand-wired, many claiming that the distinctly "British" tonal quality is the result of this construction method.
Inside the WA273-EQ you will find superbly crafted UK Custom Carnhill signal transformers. These transformers are based closely on the earliest versions found in vintage 73's, hailed as having a fluid nature that saturates smoothly when dealing with high input levels. The result is a colourful and musical preamp that produces beautiful audio.
Warm Audio has paid particular attention to the capacitor and output transistors us in '73 style circuits, understanding what components made up this area of the preamps of yesterday is a fundamental aspect of the British tone. On the WA73's, Warm Audio use tantalum and polystyrene capacitors in the signal path with a transistor that handles high gain notably better than most other '73-style preamps.
The WA273-EQ features low, mid and high-band Boost/Cut, with additional high band frequency EQ points added. These EQ section features expertly crafted dual concentric switch potentiometers, made by the UK based Blore Edwards, who are known for manufacturing military spec switches and potentiometers, another reason why the Warm Audio WA73 range goes above and beyond the quality of other preamps in its price range.
The WA273-EQ Dual Channel preamp's front panel features TONE buttons for each channel that changes your input transformer impedance for varying the tonal quality of your recording, to the right you will also find a 4 position inductor based high pass filter with options at 50, 80, 160 and 300Hz. Also on each channels front panel is direct in instrument input, 48v phantom power switch, input switches and LED level indication lights (coloured).
Each channel has a single XLR mic input found on the right of each rear-panel section adjacent to a line input, TS insert send/return and XLR & TRS line outputs (with independent output control).
- Dual Channel, Class A, '73-style British Microphone Preamp with EQ
- UK made Carnhill Transformers
- UK made - Blore Edwards EQ dual-concentric switch potentiometers
- Hand Wired, hand assembled
- 80dB of gain - resistor stepped gain switch
- Fully discrete
- TONE button - Changes input transformer impedance for varying tone
- Polarity switch
- 48v phantom power
- Inductor based 3 band EQ
- Low Band Boost/Cut - 35, 60, 110, 220 Hz
- Mid Band Boost/Cut - 360, 700, 1600, 3200, 4800, 7200 Hz
- High Band Boost/Cut - 10, 12, 16 kHz
- Additional high band frequency EQ points added (compared to vintage 1073)
- 4 position inductor based hipass filter - 50, 80, 160, 300 Hz
- XLR mic inputs (front & back)
- Line level TRS input
- TS Send/Receive insert jacks
- XLR & TRS line level outputs
- Direct In, instrument input
- Output control
- Led level indication
- Freq response 20Hz - 20kHz +/-.5 dB
- 19" rackable
- Internal IEC 115v/230v power inlet
Sounds great. Build quality is excellent. Nice to get away from plugins for once!