Warm Audio continues their success at offering careful renditions of classic professional audio gear at affordable prices with the new WA-47 Tube Condenser and WA-47jr FET studio microphones.
The Warm Audio WA-47jr FET uses the same K47-style 34-mm diameter capsule with a 6-micron thick diaphragm as Warm's WA-47 Tube condenser microphone. In place of the tube electronics is a transformerless solid-state discrete FET (Field-Effect-Transistor) circuit. The Toshiba FET is surrounded with Wima film capacitors and Panasonic electrolytic types--all first rate components.
The side-address WA-47jr features three polar patterns: Cardioid, Figure-of-Eight, and Omni-directional all switchable right on the front of the mic itself. There are switches for a gentle 70Hz high pass filter and -10dB attenuator capsule pad on the back of the mic.
The mic weighs in at just under 500-grams and measures about 210-mm tall by 52-mm in diameter. Its self-noise is 9dBA, dynamic range specified at 138dBA and max SPL is rated at 147dB.
I tried out the WA-47jr for a lead vocal using an API 1608 console. I found the WA-47jr to put out a good level with the mic gain knob on the board somewhere just below the mid-way point and without using the console pad. For lead vocals the mic produced a clear and articulated sound that seemed to fit into the mix well. It is crisp but not overly bright as lot of new condenser mics are.
The 70Hz high-pass is very gentle and, even on male vocals, was barely noticeable except that it removed some of the air-conditioning noise and rumble. In my studio on hot days with the A/C running this can be a problem when recording quiet vocals.
The -10dB pad worked great when I placed the WA-47jr on a medium loud guitar amp. I went with it set cardioid and about one foot away and aimed mid-way between the dust cover and the surround of the 12-inch speaker.
If I switch to the omnidirectional pattern, more of the surrounding space is included. This is more of a total speaker cabinet sound if you're using a multi-speaker cabinet. The Figure-of-Eight polar pattern works great for a room mic. I tried aiming the side nulls of the pattern at a loud drummer to pull in more of the room and less direct sound from the kit. The Warm Audio WA-47jr will sound awesome in a good sounding room!
The Warm Audio WA-47jr sells for $299 MSRP and I think it is a great all-around utility studio condenser microphone. Good for vocals, acoustic and electric guitars or even as a mono drum overhead mic.
Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com