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Warm Audio WA87

Just launched at AES 2016...would be interesting to see how it compares to the real thing.

Comments

pcrecord Tue, 10/04/2016 - 09:17

Interesting. But I keep wondering if those old designs and sounds are the best choices for recording today.
Keep in mind I'm referring to the purpose in which they were invented and I'm talking of large mixer and tape.
Since most of us don't have those anymore and that the converters are more precise than ever.. would a classic U87 still fit.. or a 414 ? will they be a bit too hyped in the HF since tape was demanding for more HF in the signal chain..

How about a new mic designed for DAW recording ?

Kurt Foster Tue, 10/04/2016 - 09:57

have you ever used a U 87? i would hardly call them hyped in any area. they are one of the flattest mics around . very neutral sounding. not at all like any AKG which are hyped in the high end. also many of those classic designs were created before tape and big consoles came into fashion. they weren't made to sound like they did because of that.

Sean G Tue, 10/04/2016 - 14:35

It was interesting to hear how Warm Audio have kept the price low on these, I would say they followed the same principle in regards to their WA-76's, EQP-WA's and WA2-A's where the pricepoint is lower due to lower margins and higher production runs.

It would be good to hear a comparison between this and a real U87. I don't expect it to sound exactly the same, although from the video it is stated that the signature is very close. ....then again I'm sure not every genuine U87 sounds exactly the same as another genuine U87 anyway.

I'm sure as soon as they hit the market come November there will be video comparisons soon after.

There are so many options today from manufacturers that IMO we are a little spoiled for choice.

Sean G Tue, 10/04/2016 - 17:12

Kurt Foster, post: 441881, member: 7836 wrote: i would bet the farm the capsules are of Asian origin. those kind of savings have to be from cheaper labor.

@Kurt Foster I have sent Warm Audio a message via their Facebook page asking where the capsule is made...as soon as they reply I'll post their response.

I am interested to know too now you bring it up. ;)

Sean G Wed, 10/05/2016 - 17:01

Warm Audio have replied overnight to my query regarding where the capsules are made.

Chad D Kelly from Warm Audio posted this response.

"Sean, we worked with a capsule developer based out of an Australian office as well as consulted with a couple other gurus to develop a line of replica capsules that are true to the period. quality brass, and NOS Japanese PET film (mylar). they are assembled in a small shop in Asia but definitely not your typical 'mass produced' capsule. They cost multiples of what most people in the industry are paying for 'chinese' capsules, plus they are made to our exact specs." Chad-Warm

I wonder if the developer from Australia they refer to is Rode?...maybe they consulted with Warm to develop the capsule design and manufacture.

audiokid Wed, 10/05/2016 - 17:06

Sean G, post: 441896, member: 49362 wrote: I wonder if the developer from Australia they refer to is Rode?...maybe they consulted with Warm to develop the capsule design and manufacture.

If not, they should be. To my understanding, RODE is the most advanced audio engineering/ microphone manufacturing plant in the world now.

I've heard RODE is making mics and related components for other company now.
Kudo's to RODE.

audiokid Wed, 10/05/2016 - 18:12

Kurt Foster, post: 441901, member: 7836 wrote: if they sound anywhere near like a U 87 they're a good deal.

Not sure if you are referring to the K2? But I sold the U87 after comparing it to many of the other mics here. The U87 was nice but far from what I expected for a $2500 mic. Once the USD hit $125 CDN, I sold it to get a Bricasti. Good trade.

Another alternative might be Mojave 200 and 300 sounds just as good.
http://recording.org/threads/neumann-u87-alternatives.53445/

audiokid Wed, 10/05/2016 - 18:19

thatjeffguy, post: 394554, member: 38103 wrote: I own a U87 but find it a bit crisp on some sources. My most used mics are my pair of Royer R-121 ribbons and my pair of Charter Oak M900T small diaphragm tube condensers.
But since the OP is inquiring about vocal recording, a good mic to consider is the Mojave MA-200 large diaphragm tube condenser. I use it frequently on vocals, both male and female, with great rersults. It is warm, clear and balanced, and designed/built by David Royer.

Jeff

audiokid, post: 394564, member: 1 wrote: I agree with Jeff!

I have a U87 ai and a Mojave MA 200, and [[url=http://[/URL]="http://mojaveaudio…"]MA 300[/]="http://mojaveaudio…"]MA 300[/]. These are a great suggestion indeed. MA-300 is more versatile. I have done mild comparisons and personally I wouldn't miss the U87 much. In fact, I have been considering selling it for a year already. I like it though because it is an impressive brand and it also sounds great too! The Neumann name ya know, which is worth something too.
I also have G.A.S.

The Rode K2 is another contender.

Ribbons rocks.

pcrecord, post: 441866, member: 46460 wrote: Interesting. But I keep wondering if those old designs and sounds are the best choices for recording today.
Keep in mind I'm referring to the purpose in which they were invented and I'm talking of large mixer and tape.
Since most of us don't have those anymore and that the converters are more precise than ever.. would a classic U87 still fit.. or a 414 ? will they be a bit too hyped in the HF since tape was demanding for more HF in the signal chain..

Sean G Wed, 10/05/2016 - 18:20

Pricepoint for the WA87 I believe is $599 USD and I believe they are available from November.

Even here in Australia it would work out at around $789-$799 AUD mark, which isn't too bad a pricepoint.

I think a mic comparison / shootout in that particular pricepoint across a few different manufacturers would be good and very informative. It would give those looking for an affordable option a good place to start.

I think Marco's shootout a little while back was a really good comparison when it came to comparing DIY kit builds with off the shelf comparisons. We really need a little more of this IMO.

When I do get a chance to try the WA87 a review is definitely on the cards. Stay tuned.

Sean G Wed, 10/05/2016 - 18:31

audiokid, post: 441903, member: 1 wrote: The U87 was nice but far from what I expected for a $2500 mic

The price continues to rise on the U87's still Chris from what I have seen on some sites...on ebay there was one in the US only a few weeks ago which looked like it had taken a few knocks in its time...it was at just under $3k US, while one was recently listed in Canada for just over $3k CAD.

There was a vintage U67 that was just under $9k USD as well.

When you think about it, if the WA87 is close to sounding like a U87... for its pricepoint it is a very attractive option, if you are not partial to what makers' badge adorns your mics.

pcrecord Thu, 10/06/2016 - 03:07

Sean G, post: 441905, member: 49362 wrote: I think Marco's shootout a little while back was a really good comparison when it came to comparing DIY kit builds with off the shelf comparisons. We really need a little more of this IMO.

http://microphone-parts.com/collections/microphone-kits offer very easy DIY kits. They offer all the parts and very detailed instructions on how to build your own mic.
I built a T47 and a T12, both transformer based designs (same circuit). Over time I found I like the T47 better.
The t47 have less HF and detailed low end. It does a great job on high pitched and nazal vocals. Also it performs well on too bright guitar cabs.

My T12 have less low end unless you are nearly touching the grill and it has a bump in the HF. When I get time, I intend to put the RK47 capsule in it and see if it performs like the T47. If so, I'll order another RK47 to make a pair. I don't know if I damaged the RK12 when I made the build but it has a peak in the 10k area that I don't like, it makes things sound metalic. Matt (the owner) said it's not suppose to do this.

I think I like the T47 so much because it's the opposit of hyped in the HF.

Sean G Sat, 10/15/2016 - 09:42

audiokid, post: 442247, member: 1 wrote: It would be interesting to see what the average Warm WA87 consistency is.

True Chris, but it would also be good to see it in comparison to the average U87 as well...although I think that data would be hard to get for the older models no doubt...newer models maybe.

audiokid Sat, 10/15/2016 - 09:45

Sean G, post: 442248, member: 49362 wrote: True Chris, but it would also be good to see it in comparison to the average U87 as well...although I think that data would be hard to get for the older models no doubt...newer models maybe.

WA87 more so to see how the infamous offshore reputation compares now. I don't think having the exact sames specs of a U87 is as important as consistency is to a product. Consistency might well be the second most important part to a product.

Sean G Sat, 10/15/2016 - 09:47

audiokid, post: 442249, member: 1 wrote: WA87 more so to see how the infamous offshore reputation compares now. I don't think having the exact sames specs of a U87 is as important as consistency is to a product. Consistency might well be the second most important part to a product.

I see what you mean...good point.

audiokid Sat, 10/15/2016 - 09:55

Sean G, post: 442252, member: 49362 wrote: That is what I am led to believe...someone suggested it may be a second test to confirm the data, but if it was the same mic would the frequency response not be identical?

Maybe. That would be where @Boswell could clarify and expand on.
I doubt that is as important as how all their mics stack up. No two mics are the same, which is why we hand pic through mic specs to find and make a matched pair. Most likely why matched pairs cost more as well.

kmetal Sat, 10/15/2016 - 17:02

What I wonder is if all the savings is actually in the manufacturing, or if other things are compromised as well. If you look at a company like cathedral pipes vs warm, they're both more affordable than the mics they're 'inspired' by, but priced significantly different from each other.

My guess would be component tolerances being the biggest factor. Besides the capsule assembly I think that the assembly differnces/QC wouldn't be as much of a significant factor between say hand made or assembly line.

I scooped a Korean Ibanez prestige guitar that was their top of the line at the time, and handmade or handfinished, it's build quality is as high or higher than any PRS I've seen at GC. mine was 1k plus the new pickups I installed, PRS is 3-4K.

I think overseas manufacturing isn't necessarily a compromise, but I think varies wildly. But a good overseas factory is as good as any other imho.

Man I hope warm does a c12 soon!!!!

Sean G Sat, 10/15/2016 - 17:17

I see that keeping a high level of quality control is key...keeping on top of that over the life of the product can make or break things IMO.

From what I am led to believe, higher production runs and lower profit margins allow Warm to hit the price point that they do....but I would think that cost of manufacturing also plays a part along the line just as it would with any manufactured product in the market today.

I have reached out to one of the guys at Warm...he replied to a few of my messages regarding product specs...I may just have another chat with him to see if we can get him on to answer some product questions about the Warm range. That would make for an interesting and informative discussion.

audiokid Sat, 10/15/2016 - 18:20

FWIW. Not at all trying to pull Warm down but has anyone found it odd, curious how they are making gear and mics now. Mic design doesn't normally cross over into pre-amp manufacturing.

The focus on cloning leaves a knot in my stomach. Never the less, I'm wondering about their methods, who is actually making it all and just thinking out loud.

Sean G Sat, 10/15/2016 - 19:24

When it comes to their outboard gear, I don't really see any difference between what Warm are doing now and companies such as Purple have done before them...ie- with the WA-76 for instance.

As we all know they started cloning the Pultec when Pultec were not in production anymore, now Pultec EQ's are being made again...I wonder how much the success & popularity of Warms' EQP-WA and other clones had on the decision to start making them again.

Also clone kits have been around for a while now too...if you have the know-how and access to the right components it wouldn't be all that hard...its just that a company is making them for you if you don't have the ability or time & patience to build or source components to do it yourself.

Maybe with the WA87 it was a case of "So, what's next...?" after the success of the EQP-WA, WA-76 and WA-2A, all which have been cloned by companies before them as well...

- Its not like they are the first ones to do a version based on the U87 style either.

I think there is a market for an affordable version of the originals, even though they may not sound exactly the same but perform to a similar fashion.

I could never afford the huge prices an original 1176 commands today or a Pultech for that matter...so I look for the next best thing to accomodate my needs. YMMV.

And after all it is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...one could look at it from the viewpoint that they are paying homage or a genuine compliment to the original designs...which have stood the test of time and have much appeal.

IMHO.

audiokid Sat, 10/15/2016 - 20:09

Sean G, post: 442262, member: 49362 wrote: I think there is a market for an affordable version of the originals, even though they may not sound exactly the same but perform to a similar fashion.

indeed

Sean G, post: 442262, member: 49362 wrote: I could never afford the huge prices an original 1176 commands today or a Pultech for that matter...so I look for the next best thing to accomodate my needs. YMMV.

As most of us, including myself.

Sean G, post: 442262, member: 49362 wrote: And after all it is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...one could look at it from the viewpoint that they are paying homage or a genuine compliment to the original designs...which have stood the test of time and have much appeal.

That part I am not sure about, but I'm not calling the kettle black either. Just saying as its no different than sampling someone work and then using it plus part of their name to profit on. But, we all take parts of creative stuff and add our own to it which has been going on since this all began.

The thing about gear, even though people copy the basic spec and call it to suggest its like "", you still need the components and most of the time I'd say the deal means its not really a total ripoff. We just read some great stuff from John Hardy who couldn't have put it clearer. Everything is matched to make a Hardy pre-amp. I would imagine the same goes for mics.

I have no loyalty to Neumann. Those big ticket items are over priced and over rated imho. I'm more so curious and thought it was interesting how they are making mics now, too. I'm beginning to think these are someone else's work with Warm name on them. Just thinking out loud, again :)

Sean G Sat, 10/15/2016 - 20:28

audiokid, post: 442265, member: 1 wrote: Me too. Same with the Pultecs.

From my experience I think you'll like those.

The first thing I did went I opened the box was to open the top cover to replace the 12AX7 tube with a Tung-Sol...

Only to find that the Warm factory had fitted it with a Tung-Sol (y)

Next I may try a Mullard or a NOS Telefunken down the track.

audiokid Sat, 10/15/2016 - 21:00

Curious again.
Some manufacturers do not recommend changing Tubes to a completely different spec without it going through some (I'm no tech guy) is it, @Boswell a bias or voltage check or something?
I know SPL was pretty adamant about this which was the first I learned about thaat. UA has mentioned that but of course, a lot of people go right ahead and switch for different results. Thus, brighter, darker, louder etc.
What does Warm says, anything about swapping out tubes?

kmetal Sun, 10/16/2016 - 09:27

audiokid, post: 442261, member: 1 wrote: FWIW. Not at all trying to pull Warm down but has anyone found it odd, curious how they are making gear and mics now. Mic design doesn't normally cross over into pre-amp manufacturing.

The focus on cloning leaves a knot in my stomach. Never the less, I'm wondering about their methods, who is actually making it all and just thinking out loud.

I believe it's just a contract job, outsourcing is a way to save in many areas R&D being no different.

It's probably good, but I take each model seperatly since I belive some will be bang for the buck awsome, and others will be just average.

audiokid, post: 442267, member: 1 wrote: Curious again.
Some manufacturers do not recommend changing Tubes to a completely different spec without it going through some (I'm no tech guy) is it, @Boswell a bias or voltage check or something?
I know SPL was pretty adamant about this which was the first I learned about thaat. UA has mentioned that but of course, a lot of people go right ahead and switch for different results. Thus, brighter, darker, louder etc.
What does Warm says, anything about swapping out tubes?

Perhaps what people are digging is the technical mismatch vs the actual tube??

Sean G, post: 442262, member: 49362 wrote: I think there is a market for an affordable version of the originals, even though they may not sound exactly the same but perform to a similar fashion.

Huge market. To the point where I really wish we would see more innovation. How many 70 year old circuit copied do we need??

audiokid, post: 442263, member: 1 wrote: I have no loyalty to Neumann. Those big ticket items are over priced and over rated imho. I'm more so curious and thought it was interesting how they are making mics now, too. I'm beginning to think these are someone else's work with Warm name on them. Just thinking out loud, again

ThAts the first thing I thought of, you beat me to it.

kmetal Thu, 11/17/2016 - 10:46

Wow. Perfect balance of body and cut, with tasteful subtle air. Gifted performer. Great song, controlled/neutral recording environment.

That's the recipe.

Ain't nothing pro-Sumer about that recording. I'd love to hear the raw tracks on that one.

Very interested in that wa-412 now.

Excellent. If you told me it was
neumann-api-UA, I'd have not doubted it for a second.

rmburrow Fri, 11/18/2016 - 13:46

Sean G, post: 442266, member: 49362 wrote: From my experience I think you'll like those.

The first thing I did went I opened the box was to open the top cover to replace the 12AX7 tube with a Tung-Sol...

Only to find that the Warm factory had fitted it with a Tung-Sol (y)

Next I may try a Mullard or a NOS Telefunken down the track.

I never attempted to use a 12AX7 with the extremely high input impedance (hundreds of megohms) of any condenser microphone. It's hard enough to find quiet and non-microphonic 12AX7's (or 7025's) to use in a mixer such as the Altec 1567A with the grid impedance that of a mic input transformer (50 k ohms or so).

AKG successfully used a 6072 in its famous line of tubed microphones. The 6072 (low noise 12AY7) didn't have the gain of a 12AX7, but quiet, non microphonic ones can be found. A 6072 may work in the WARM mic with no adverse effect. The 6072 is plug in compatible. I personally like the "sound" of the 6072 or 12AY7 in a preamp.

One of the reasons Neumann supposedly stopped production of the U-67 was the high reject rate of EF86 tubes from the Telefunken factory....

Sean G Sat, 11/19/2016 - 02:45

rmburrow, post: 443606, member: 46233 wrote: I never attempted to use a 12AX7 with the extremely high input impedance (hundreds of megohms) of any condenser microphone. It's hard enough to find quiet and non-microphonic 12AX7's (or 7025's) to use in a mixer such as the Altec 1567A with the grid impedance that of a mic input transformer (50 k ohms or so).

AKG successfully used a 6072 in its famous line of tubed microphones. The 6072 (low noise 12AY7) didn't have the gain of a 12AX7, but quiet, non microphonic ones can be found. A 6072 may work in the WARM mic with no adverse effect. The 6072 is plug in compatible. I personally like the "sound" of the 6072 or 12AY7 in a preamp.

One of the reasons Neumann supposedly stopped production of the U-67 was the high reject rate of EF86 tubes from the Telefunken factory....

My quote was actually referring to the Warm EQP-WA with the 12AX7 tube...not the Warm WA87 microphone.

The Tung-sol tube is actually factory fitted in the EQP-WA.

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