If you're familiar with even just a few of the most famous American mic preamp designs, you'll probably have no trouble interpreting which of the classics is being cloned with this WA-412. This four channel mic preamp is ideal for drums and electric guitars, though it's no slacker for anything else you can think of to throw at it. It's blisteringly fast, and capable of being clear and honest or pushed forward in the mid-range with plenty of rock 'n roll color when you need it. When you want punchy drums or guitars that seem to be leaping out of the speakers right into your eardrums, the wa-412 is the right box for the job.
It's an ideal workhorse pre. It's clean enough, with the versatility to work well on any source, but it's not vanilla sounding AT ALL. when you need mojo, you've got it in spades, and it's incredible for pushing an instrument or voice RIGHT UP to the front of the line.
The 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. Because of this so many of the sources were recorded through poor-quality mic preamps. 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 is available on every channel for precise control and creative gain structuring. A Tone switch (transformer input impedance) is also available on each channel, which allows you to choose between a warm and punchy classic console tone, or go for 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 these classic preamps. The transformers also use a vintage winding technique that produces a very distinct smooth BIG 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 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
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
Self noise: <-90dB (nominal)
Frequency response: 20hz to 20khz <+/-0.25dB (TONE button out),
20hz to 20khz +/-2dB (TONE button in)
+48 volt phantom power
Output trim knob for precise level control and tone sculpting
Internal power supply (grounded, 3 pin IEC cord)