Warm Audio WA-73 Processors ReleasedJan 05, 2018 - 11:52
If there’s one preamp-eq that professional engineers would unanimously agree has defined the tone of pop/rock records for the last 50+ years, it would most definitely be the venerable ’73 Style. The ’73 Style has been massively used in recording and live applications for decades and is still considered to be the “Holy Grail” of preamp(eq’s) today. The Warm Audio “WA73 Family” provides single and dual channel re-creations of this classic British preamp (with & w/out EQ), that each pay careful and humble homage to the original circuit.
When Warm Audio decided to release the WA73 Family it was imperative to them that the products pay respectful homage to the sacred British console history in both design and performance. The tone and sweet character that the vintage units impart is so unique and familiar, that Warm Audio had only the pure desire to release truly sonic accurate replicas. After years of R&D, careful reverse-engineering, and countless hours of auditioning, the WA73 Family has been born!
The WA73 Family of preamps are “Desert Island” boutique preamp(eq’s) but can also be classified as studio and live work-horses. The classic ’73 Style is known as a versatile tool that works with all kinds of microphones from Condenser, to Dynamic, to Ribbon. The WA73 Family equally shines on all types of microphones and sources including; vocals, acoustic/electric guitars, bass, drums, percussion, orchestras, keyboards, and even as a tone shaping tool to run partial or complete mixes through. With 80dB of gain, a fully discrete Carnhill Transformer balanced signal path, and versatile 3 band inductor EQ (on WA73-EQ and WA273-EQ products) - there’s no recording, mixing or engineering task the WA73, WA73-EQ, WA273, and WA273-EQ can’t handle.
A LOOK INSIDE
Hand Wired, Hand Assembled
The classic ’73 Style was hand-wired and so is the WA73 Family! Guru’s claim that a portion of the ’73 Style’s classic tone can be attributed to the hand-wired nature of the build. The entirety of the WA73 Family of preamp(eq’s) is authentically hand-wired and hand assembled, including the pcb components that are all populated by hand.
UK Custom Carnhill Transformers
’73 Style enthusiasts unequivocally get excited about the component history in these classic circuits. The signal transformers are a common topic of conversation. The classic vintage units used various versions of transformers throughout the years, and the most coveted were the very first versions made by Vintage ’73 Transformer Radar. Vintage ’73 Transformer Radar Transformers are regarded as the most desirable ’73 Style choice due to their fluid and forgiving nature. They saturate sweetly when pushed, and have been known to make engineers cry when they hear how beautiful their mixes sound through them! Warm Audio worked closely with Carnhill Transformers of Cambridgeshire, UK, to design faithful replicas of these most coveted, early version transformers. The entire WA73 Family proudly utilizes these fantastic Carnhill Transformers. We at Warm Audio have not yet heard a modern day ’73 Style preamp(eq) sound as close to the early vintage ’73 Style design as do our WA73 Family units with these beautiful custom Transformers.
Capacitors & Signal Path:
An important part of these classic British circuits not often discussed is the different styles of capacitors and output transistor used. We found it important to maintain integrity to the original design by using tantalum and polystyrene capacitors in the signal path and an output transistor choice that is much smoother in the high gain settings than what is typically found in modern '73-style replicas.
UK Blore Edwards Switch-Pots (WA73-EQ & WA273-EQ only):
A great sounding ’73 Style circuit should be just as reliable as it is great sounding. The complex dual concentric switch potentiometers in the EQ sections of the WA73-EQ and WA273-EQ are made in the UK by Blore Edwards who manufacture military spec switches and potentiometers. The use of Blore-Edwards components is no small inclusion for '73-style preamp-eq’s in this price range.
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