The Warm Audio WA-251 is a faithful replica of the classic ’251-style large-diaphragm condenser microphone. The original, introduced in 1960, is reverentially considered to be one of the most gorgeous-sounding mics ever made. With rare working-condition vintage ’251s going for big money, the WA-251 is a no-brainer if you’re after that uniquely smooth, present, and open sound you’ve heard on countless hits. Simply put, this microphone delivers sumptuous results on any instrument. Stock your mic locker with a meticulous rendition of a classic: the Warm Audio WA-251.
A sound heard on countless iconic recordings
Their acclaimed vintage-inspired compressors, preamps, and mics have famously upset the pro audio price/performance ratio, so when Warm Audio turned its attention to the godfather of large-diaphragm tube condenser microphones, you know it had to be good. And is it ever! With its discrete, transformer-balanced vacuum tube circuitry and custom reproduction capsule, the Warm Audio WA-251 nails the huge, creamy sound of the beloved and revered ’251 — a sound heard on countless iconic recordings.
No source the WA-251 can’t finesse
Flash back to any top recording studio in the 1960s, and you’d see the venerable ’251 everywhere. Now it occupies a lofty perch in the pantheon of the greatest microphones ever made. It’s this classic circuit design — dating back more than a half century — that Warm Audio closely followed for the WA-251. This faithful replica uses a custom all-brass true CK-12-style capsule. Three polar patterns and robust 132dB SPL handling translate to incredible versatility; there’s literally no source the WA-251 can’t finesse with its inimitable, seductive sonics.
Explore the sonic possibilities
The WA-251’s three polar patterns — cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8 — give you immense flexibility when it comes to exploring the sonic possibilities offered by different recording techniques. With two of these superb microphones, you can implement stereo techniques such as spaced pair (A/B), XY (including Blumlein), ORTF array, and mid-side (M-S). For full orchestra, add a third WA-251 for the minimalist — and highly effective — Mercury Living Presence technique: three spaced omnis across the orchestral soundstage, centered above the conductor’s podium. Set all three channels for unity gain, trim for the loudest musical peaks, and leave those faders alone. Let the conductor balance the orchestra (as nature intended).
A ’251 for the rest of us
What can you achieve with the WA-251? Every studio needs at least one pair of high-quality large-diaphragm condenser mics, and the Warm Audio WA-251 is designed after a legendary one. You can use the WA-251 on anything — with world-class results. It’s simply stunning on vocals, acoustic guitars, double bass, electric guitar and bass cabs, piano, drums and percussion, strings, brass, woodwinds, and any other source you’d care to throw at it. In fact, you could mic an entire symphony orchestra with nothing but three judiciously placed WA-251s set to omni. Considering its amazing value, it would be wise to get two for recording tracks in stereo. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a grand piano spring to life when miked with a pair of ’251s. For drum room mics, use two WA-251s and nuke the stereo signal with a fast compressor. Positively explosive!
Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone Features:
- Faithful replica of the classic ’251-style large-diaphragm condenser mic
- Custom all-brass CK-12-style capsule
- Custom CineMag USA transformer
- JJ Slovak 12AY7 vacuum tube
- Gotham 5-meter GAC-7 7-pin tube microphone cable
- WIMA, Solen French, and polystyrene capacitors
- 3 polar patterns: cardioid, omni, figure-8
- Dynamic range: 125dBA
- Maximum SPL: 132dB (<0.5% THD)
- Frequency range: 20Hz–20kHz
- Output impedance: 200 ohms
- Rated load impedance: ≥2k ohms
- S/N ratio: 80dBA
- Equivalent noise: 12dBA (IEC651)
- External IEC grounded PSU
- Includes 7-pin cable, wood box, power supply, and shockmount
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