Posted On April 9, 2012 By In Reviews And 668 Views

Warm Audio WA12 Review Part 1: The Writing

Warm Audio… Ever heard of them? In most cases you probably haven’t, but I have a feeling, very soon, this name will be synonymous with the word insanity. Now, why would I say that? The answer is another question and is very simple: Why would someone charge you $450 for a preamp that sounds just as good, if not better, than one twice its price? Now you’re probably asking me, “How can you prove this?” Very easy, I own both of the culprits in question

Naming your company after an adjective that is used almost exclusively to describe the most desirable trait in recording sound is a brave move. If you don’t follow through on delivering nothing short of vintage analogue tone, you’ve pretty much lost all credibility in the pro sound industry. Consider the founder, Bryce Young, justified in boldly naming his company Warm Audio. What’s even crazier about Bryce is that this started out as just a hobby; but his designing of custom “one off” preamps and modding of other preamps got him quite a bit of attention from customers. So much that he decided to take a crack at designing his own line.

The unit, no doubt, will stand out in the studio with its orange color and vintage vibe. It comes in a half rack one channel version, but can be rack mounted when you buy two of them (more on why you’re going to want two in a sec). The simplicity of this unit is what makes it so great, even down to the button labeled “tone” that I have determined is linked, by some sorcery, to a (more…)

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9 Responses

  1. What would you think about this pre, and the Avatone Cv 12?

    • Well one of the great things about the WA-12 is how it handles mics. I used a $200.00 Blue Spark in the comparison and since then I’ve used that signal chain in a lot of sessions. The Avantone is an even better quality than the spark plus it’s tube so you’re going to really get a good combo out of it.

  2. Pingback: Warm Audio WA12 Review Part 2: The Audio Files | Everything Recording

  3. Hi there . . . Have you tried the CAD E100S mic before? I’m really curious how the CAD and the WA12 would match up for voice/vocal duties. Thanks!

  4. I was curious, you didn’t mention much about the way this Pre-Amp sounds with recording vocals, and I was also wondering if you prefer using the tone button while recording with vocals or not. Im kind of interested in getting it so id def. appreciate the info, thanks alot.

    • It really depends on the situation. Usually I run vocals with the Tone off unless I’m using a ribbon mic. Although the tone button uses a boost and adds a great deal of low end, it can work especially well on female vocals.

  5. hi. i have a 414 xls and a rode nt1 – will it warm them up? i am going to get an re20 and nt5 (will it have a greater impact with valve and ribbon mics?) – i’m just trying to develop a sound at the moment and wonder if this will steer away from an overly modern vocal sound…..

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