Classic American Console Preamp Design
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.
Inspiration behind the WA-412.
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)
Packed With Features
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 & tone.
- 65db of gain.
- Inputs - Microphone XLR & Active Instrument 2Meg ohm HI-Z.
- Outputs - Transformer balanced XLR & TRS.
- -20db pad - pads both mic and instrument DI inputs.
- TONE button input impedance - Switches from 600 ohms to 150 ohms (affects the tone of both the mic and HI-Z 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.
- LED metering.
- Output trim knob for precise level control and tone sculpting.
- Internal power supply (grounded, 3 pin IEC cord).
In this example, the WA-412 is being used as a microphone preamp, and instrument DI simultaneously. Both signals are then feeding into separate line inputs on the recording interface.
In this example, the WA-412 is being routed as an insert into a recording device. This is useful for using the WA-412 as an “analog plug-in” or insert for mix-down. The recording device is feeding the WA-412 with a balanced 1/4” cable via a line output. Then, the recording device is capturing the WA-412 via a LINE LEVEL input.
Note: It is important to use a line level input on your recording device as opposed to a microphone or instrument level input
“The WA-412 works well on all sorts of signals, but is particularly good on drums, as well as on guitars.”
“The four channel API 3124 mic pre is a staple in my own rack as well as other high-end Nashville studios. I tested the WA-412 side-by-side, and the WA-412 has all of those great qualities we love plus an even more impressive low end. That added with the output trim and impedance option make this a real winner!”
“We love the 412s. I love their tone and the fact that I can get more color when pushing them, something that does not happen as nice with my Manley or API 512s. I have a Toft board with the Trident style pre amps and these Warm 412s are way different which gives me a variety of tonal options. I'm very happy I bought two units for the studio. I ran all 8 channels on drums and did all bass, vocals and guitar overdubs with only the Warm 412s. They killed it on all the instruments and vocals!”
“The WA-412 is all i’ll ever need on guitars. The detail in the high mids is simply killer - and it doesn’t wipe out the bank balance. You can’t go wrong.”