Hot on the heels of their WA-47 and WA-47Jr mics inspired by the Neumann U47, Warm Audio have unveiled a whole range of preamps based on the universally venerated, frequently imitated Neve 1073 channel module. With single- and dual-channel versions, with or without EQ, the four-strong WA73 family, as Warm Audio are calling it, aims to fill a 1073-shaped hole in any project studio, in typically price-conscious fashion.
Designed back in 1970 and featured on countless classic recordings, the 1073 is probably the most famous preamp of all time. There’s no shortage of 1073 reissues, remakes and re-imaginings already on the market, ranging from budget to high-end, and it’s almost surprising that Warm Audio have not offered their own take before now. But the company are keen to stress their desire to do justice to the real thing — if you come at the king, after all, you best not miss.
To this end, all four members of the WA73 family feature custom Carnhill input and output transformers that are said to be faithful replicas of the vintage Marinair transformers found in coveted early versions of the original circuit. Warm Audio promise a sound that’s extremely close to those vintage units, with sweet saturation and a smoother response at higher gain settings than typical modern 1073 circuits. These claims are as bold as they are intriguing, particularly given the price.
The single-channel WA73 ($£599) and dual-channel WA273 ($£999) feature stepped gain controls, a variable-frequency high-pass filter and an output level trim knob, with a convenient front-panel instrument input and a simple five-LED level meter. If you want 1073-style three-band EQ too, the single-channel WA73-EQ ($£799) and dual-channel WA273-EQ ($£1499) provide variable low, mid and high bands with the classic dual-concentric knobs. These units feature the same preamp controls, as well as a front-panel XLR input and an EQ in/out switch. You can rest assured that we’ll be putting them through their paces as soon as possible.
UK distributor: Nova Distribution +44 (0)20 3589 2530