The WA273-EQ is a "Desert Island" boutique preamp, but it can also be classified as a studio and live work-horse
Classic '73-style preamps are known for being versatile tools that work with all kinds of microphones from Condenser, to Dynamic, to Ribbon. The WA273-EQ 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-EQ can't handle.
Hand Wired & Hand Assembled
Classic '73-style preamps were often hand-wired and so is the WA273-EQ! Guru's claim that a portion of the sought after classic British tone can be attributed to the hand-wired nature of the build. The WA273-EQ is hand-wired and hand assembled, including the pcb components that are all populated by hand.
UK Custom Carnhill Transformers
Enthusiasts unequivocally get excited about the components used in classic '73-style British preamps. The signal transformers are a common topic of conversation. Vintage units used various versions of transformers throughout the years, but the most coveted were the earliest versions. These are regarded as the most desirable 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 reproductions of these most coveted, early version transformers. We at Warm Audio have not yet heard a modern day '73-style preamp sound as sweet and musical as does our WA273-EQ 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 reproductions.
UK Blore Edwards Switch-Pots
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 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 a '73-style preamp-eq in this price range.
Dual Channel, Class A, '73-style British Microphone Preamp with EQUK made Carnhill TransformersUK made - Blore Edwards EQ dual-concentric switch potentiometersHand Wired, hand assembled80dB of gain - resistor stepped gain switchFully discreteTONE button - Changes input transformer impedance for varying tonePolarity switch48v phantom powerInductor based 3 band EQLow Band Boost/Cut - 35, 60, 110, 220 HzMid Band Boost/Cut - 360, 700, 1600, 3200, 4800, 7200 HzHigh Band Boost/Cut - 10, 12, 16 kHzAdditional high band frequency EQ points added (compared to vintage 1073)4 position inductor based hipass filter - 50, 80, 160, 300 HzXLR mic inputs (front & back)Line level TRS inputTS Send/Receive insert jacksXLR & TRS line level outputsDirect In, instrument inputOutput controlLed level indicationFreq response 20Hz - 20kHz +/-.5 dB19" rackableInternal IEC 115v/230v power inlet