The Ward Audio WA-412 provides 4 channels of classic American console preamps in a sleek 1RU design.
This style of preamp is often referred to as "the sound of Rock n' Roll" for its BIG punchy low end and smooth open top end. The price/performance ratio of the WA-412 is almost unfathomable to the experienced studio engineer who has possibly paid much more for preamps of this style during their career. Featuring fully discrete socketed 6-pin opamps and custom wound Altran USA input and output transformers, the WA-412 leaves nothing to be desired. If you are looking for multiple channels of world class tone in an affordable package, the WA-412 is the right choice for you.
When I first started holding regular studio sessions years ago I always desired to have more channels of high-end mic pre's. I could only afford to have one or two in my studio at a time, which was never enough to record a full band or drummer. I knew very well that if signals were not recorded well "on the way in" they wouldn't be salvageable later, but my budget constrained me, so many of the sources were recorded through poor-quality mic pre's. If the WA-412 was available back then I likely wouldn't have had to settle for poor, low-quality tone. The WA-412 was designed "for the people" (if you will) and we believe it will become a serious work-horse in many professional and home studios. - Bryce Young (founder)
The WA-412 has all of the features one would expect from this style of preamp... and more. Output Trim has been added to every channel for precise control and creative gain structuring. We also added a Tone switch (transformer input impedance) to each channel, which allows you to choose the warm and punchy classic console tone, or a more open & neutral sound.
Each channel utilizes a fully discrete socketed 6-pin opamp that can be swapped with other opamps. Discrete opamp circuitry is known for its high headroom and low distortion characteristics and has much to do with the coveted sound of these classic console preamps.
We are proud to be using input and output transformers that are made in the USA by high-end transformer manufacturer, Altran. We worked closely with Altran to create unique transformers that extend the low frequency response of the design. The transformers also use a vintage winding technique that produces a very distinct smooth & open character.
Carefully choosing the WA-412 components has resulted in an amazing four channel 'workhorse' preamp/DI that performs at the highest levels, while still adding a touch of vintage console magic to your signal.
4 Channel Microphone Preamplifier + Instrument DI.Fully discrete, transformer coupled, through-hole component topology.Altran USA custom wound, premium input and output transformers.X520 discrete op-amp in every channel, socketed for convenience. Can be user-replaced with most 6 pin, discrete op-amps for varying flavor & tone.65db of gain.Inputs - Microphone XLR & Active Instrument 2Meg ohm HI-Z.Outputs - Transformer balanced XLR & TRS.TONE button - Input impedance switches from 600 ohms to 150 ohms (affects the tone of both the mic and HI-Z inputs).-20db pad - pads both mic and instrument DI inputs.+48 volt phantom power.LED metering.Output trim knob for precise level control and tone sculpting.Internal power supply (grounded, 3 pin IEC cord).