Warm Audio launch new valve & FET condenser mics

Published 20/2/19
Introducing the WA251 & WA84

Warm Audio's WA251, a recreation of Telefunken's ELA M 251E

Warm Audio have gained a reputation for recreating various much-loved classic pieces of studio recording kit for a fraction of the price the originals now command, including the Teletronix LA2-A compressor and the Neumann U87 mic (reviewed in SOS June 2016 and December 2017 respectively). Now they've announced two new microphones, the WA251 and the WA84.

The WA251 (above) is modelled on the famous Telefunken ELA M 251E (to give the original mic its full name), as developed by AKG for Telefunken at the end of the 1950s, and as such, is a large-diaphragm, three-pattern (omni, figure-of-eight and cardioid) valve-based condenser mic, designed for vocals but usable on just about anything that produces noise in a studio or live context. The WA-251 features Warm's own brass AKG CK12-style WA-12-B-60V edge-terminated capsule, a Slovakian JJ 12AY7 valve, an American CineMag transformer, and a custom Gotham Cabling seven-pin power cord.

The WA84, Warm Audio's take on the discontinued Neumann KM84.

The WA84 (above) similarly takes its lead from the classic (and long-discontinued) Neumann KM84; like its forebear, it's a small-diaphragm, FET-based condenser mic suitable for use on instruments of all kinds, live or in the studio. The new mic features a removable cardioid capsule designed to what Warm Audio claim are "vintage specifications"; no other capsules are currently available, but clearly Warm Audio have designed the mic with replacement capsules in mind. The mic also incorporates a heavy nickel large-core CineMag USA transformer, high-quality polystyrene, tantalum and Wima capacitors and a Fairchild FET. It's available in black or nickel finishes, and should be shipping during February.

The WA251 retails for $799 in the US£799 in the UK and ships with its own power supply, shockmount and wooden box; the WA84 is $599£399 and comes with a carrying case, a shockmount, windshield and mic clip.

Warm Audio founder Bryce Young gave SOS Features Editor Sam Inglis a run-down of the features of both new mics at NAMM 2019, where both were exhibited for the first time; see the video below for details.