New Toys: Warm Audio WA-67 Tube Condenser Studio Microphone

Like the German microphone it is based on, the WA-67 is a multi-patterned condenser with upfront clarity in the mid-range. It uses a brass, 34-mm K67-style capsule with dual, gold-sputtered, 6-micron thick Mylar diaphragms. The front and back diaphragms are center-terminated and the back-plate uses the same drilled-hole pattern as the original. Frequency response is said to be similar as well—it varies depending on which polar pattern you’ve selected—be it cardioid, omni-directional, or figure-of-8.

Inside the WA-67 is a specially selected EF86 pentode tube surrounded by a circuit using high quality polystyrene Wima capacitors with a large Solen cap connecting the audio signal to the custom-made LL1965B Lundahl output transformer.

Other important stuff: a sturdy, main printed circuit board supports the tube’s socket and transformer, and another board just under the capsule has mini-switches for the polar pattern, -10dB attenuator pad, and 100Hz high-pass filter. This is a well-made, sturdy microphone with a good heft and comes with a separate world power supply unit.

I first tried the WA-67 for a voice-over recording with good results using the cardioid pattern for a tight-sounding articulated narration. I got a clear, upfront present lead vocal sound too! And because I prefer the singer to stay close to it, especially for soft to quiet singing, the 100Hz high-pass filter reduced the bass buildup due to the proximity effect.

Next, also in cardioid, I switched in the -10dB pad and put the WA-67 right on a guitar amp speaker for an awesome sound that is fat, present and immediate. If you happen to be working in a nice sounding room, try pulling the mic away from the amp and switching to omni-directional or figure-of-8 pattern to include the room’s reflections.

The WA-67 sells for $899 MSRP and is an excellent path to the sound of an all-around workhorse microphone that works great for any source, from drums to guitars to acoustic instruments and always vocals!