Warm Audio WA273 Two Channel 1073-Style Solid State Mic Preamp - Long & McQuade Music Educator Site
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Warm Audio WA273 Two Channel 1073-Style Solid State Mic Preamp

Departments > Pro Audio & Recording > Mic Preamps & DI Boxes > Microphone Preamps > Warm Audio > WA273 Two Channel 1073-Style Solid State Mic Preamp
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If there's one preamp 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 1073. The 1073 has been massively used in recording and live applications for decades and is still considered to be the "Holy Grail" of preamps 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.

The WA273 is a boutique, 2 channel "Desert Island" preamp, but it can also be classified as a studio and live work-horse. The classic 1073 was known for being a versatile tool that works with all kinds of microphones from Condenser, to Dynamic, to Ribbon. The WA273 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 and a fully discrete Carnhill Transformer balanced signal path, there's no recording, mixing or engineering task that the WA273 can't handle.

Hand Wired & Hand Assembled

The classic 1073 was hand-wired and so is the WA273! The WA273 is hand-wired and hand assembled, including the pcb components that are all populated by hand.

Capacitors & Signal Path

An important part of these classic British circuits not often discussed is the different styles of capacitors and output transistor used. Warm Audio has maintained 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 1073-style replicas.

Specifications:

• Two Channel, Class A, 1073-Style British Microphone Preamp
• UK made Carnhill Transformers
• Hand Wired, hand assembled
• 80dB of gain - resistor stepped gain switch
• Fully discrete
• TONE button - Changes input transformer impedance for varying tone
• Polarity switch
• 48v phantom power
• 4 position inductor based hipass filter - 50, 80, 160, 300 Hz
• XLR mic input
• Line level TRS input
• TS Send/Receive insert jacks
• XLR & TRS line level outputs
• Direct In, instrument input
• Freq response 20Hz - 20kHz +/-.5 dB
• 19" rackable
• Internal IEC 115v/230v power inlet

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreSaskatoon South, Saskatchewan
Impressive preamp indeed. Vary clean and clear
Posted by anonymous on Dec 13, 2020
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Exceptional product1 of 1 customers found this review helpful

FeaturesProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct rating
QualityProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct rating
ValueProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct rating
OverallProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct ratingProduct rating
Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreEdmonton Whyte, Alberta
I bought this preamp based on the reviews I had read, hooked it up and... did not use it for quite a while (during that time I worked mostly with ribbon mics for which I employ the excellent AEA TRP). Then one day I decided to try the WA273 "for serious" - and still cannot stop using it! I caught myself several times working on recordings for the sheer pleasure of using this unit. It is like enjoying a favourite dish for the umpteenth time without getting fed up. The WA273 has beautiful, clear, very subtle and unobtrusive tone which makes everything - everything - sound great. The combination of Gain/Output Control is deadly: they complement each other beautifully and let you set all levels appropriately; the WA273 is impressively quiet and handles a lot of gain without any hassle and without hurting the overall quality of your recording (not much high gain hiss). The Polarity and Tone switches are a welcome feature, as is HPF offering four options: 50 Hz, 80 Hz, 160 Hz, 300 Hz. I could go on and on, but will only give one advice instead: do not hesitate to experiment, to play with this unit and the available options. (Personally, I did not want the more expensive EQ version of this preamp, as I EQ and master within my DAWs - Logic/Studio One. With the pure tone the WA273 has I simply do not see any need to EQ anything while using it.) This preamp is so good it belies its relatively affordable price - you'd have to spend two-three times more for similar units offered by other brands (that’s right!). It is worth every penny and I have to say I do not regret at all living cheaply for a while after having bought it.
Posted by Piotr Grella-Mozejko on Jun 19, 2019
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L&M @ NAMM 2018: Warm Audio 73-Style British Mic Preamps