Adventures In Audio
Introducing the WA-251 tube condenser microphone

Press Desk

Our Press Desk collects press releases from audio manufacters, software developers, and instrument manufacturers and distributors. All content is created by the original company or their PR representives and is only lightly edited for clarity where necessary.

Thursday January 3, 2019
FREE EBOOK DOWNLOAD ►

The WA-251 was created to offer a classic microphone design to a new generation of recording artists at an affordable price. We spent a great deal of time listening to different ‘251 microphones to determine what people liked about them and why, how various styles of components impact the tone, and how to give the WA-251 microphone a signature that pays homage to the vintage classic, but also stands out on its own.

The WA-251 is an all vacuum tube, large diaphragm, transformer balanced, multi-pattern, large condenser microphone, based on the classic ‘251 that has been used on countless hit records for the last 50+ years.  The WA-251 is designed for pro studio, home studio, live, and broadcast applications and sounds great on vocals, acoustic/electric guitars, acoustic/electric bass, drums, piano, strings, brass/woodwind instruments, and an array of other sources.

The classic ‘251 became extremely popular as a vocal microphone in the 1960’s and is now considered to be one of the greatest condenser microphones ever created.  The classic ‘251 is still widely used today in professional recording studios but has become extremely rare and cost prohibitive to acquire.

Designing our WA-251 to sound like the classic ‘251 was no easy task, especially since some of the vintage components are no longer manufactured or available.  We are pleased to release such a gorgeous sounding classic to the market at a price that’s reachable to more people than ever before.

A LOOK INSIDE

All Brass Capsule
The WA-12-B-60V is an all-brass, edge-terminated capsule that captures all the smoothness, rich top end, and warm vintage sonics of the original CK12 capsule. The WA-12-B-60V uses a variant CEK-12 back plate as a basis, which overcomes manufacturing limitations of the original CK12 capsule. The o-ring and housing of the WA-12-B-60V are all made from brass (no teflon parts), and the diaphragm is 24k gold sputtered 6 micron, NOS PET film (mylar). The end result is a very consistent, reliable capsule which matches the frequency response and tonality of the classic 1970’s classic capsule.

The Tube
A Slovak Republic JJ 12AY7 vacuum tube is used in the WA-251.  We auditioned 3 tube brands and fell in love with the JJ 12AY7.  The frequency response of the JJ tube, and the way it contributes to the circuit is tonally smooth and vintage in nature.

The Transformer
The WA-251 utilizes an American made CineMag USA transformer.  This transformer helps provide the present top end and the LARGE bottom end one would hope to get from a 251-style condenser microphone.

The Cable
One component of a tube microphone that is often overlooked is the 7 pin cable that connects the microphone to its power supply.  When auditioning the WA-251 and other tube microphones we learned quite a bit about 7 pin cables and how the shielding and wire gauge size can drastically change the sonics of a tube microphone.  We have partnered with Gotham Audio in Switzerland to use their very carefully built high-end 7 pin “GAC-7 cable”.  Using this cable increases top end presence and the overall size of the recorded image in the stereo field by reducing phase shift and the parasitic effect often experienced in poorly built cables.  Gotham Cabling is very expensive and boutique in nature and shouldn’t be considered a small addition to the WA-251 package.

The Capacitors
The WA-251 proudly uses polystyrene coupling capacitors, wima film capacitors throughout, and an imported Solen French capacitor on its output.

SPECIFICATIONS

• Custom WA-12-B-60V edge terminated, dual-backplate, all-brass vintage CK12-style capsule
• CineMag USA output transformer
• JJ Slovak 12AY7 vacuum tube
• Gotham 5 meter GAC-7, 7-pin tube microphone cable
• Wima, Solen French, and Polystyrene capacitors
• Polar Patterns: 3 patterns - Cardioid, Omni, figure-of-eight
• Dynamic range: 125dBA
• Maximum SPL: 132dB  (<0.5% THD) • Frequency Range: 20 Hz~20 kHz • Output Impedance: 200 ohms • Rated Load Impedance: ?2kOhms • S/N Ratio: 80dBA • Equivalent Noise: 12dBA (IEC651) • External IEC grounded PSU • Total Weight (Mic, PSU, shockmount, cables) - 12 lbs • Mic Dimensions: 247mm x 46mm ACT NOW! PRE-ORDER YOURS TODAY! Find A Dealer Near You!

Like, follow, and comment on this article at Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram or the social network of your choice.

Come on the Audio Masterclass Pro Home Studio MiniCourse - 60 great hints and tips to get your home recording studio MOVING

It's FREE!

Get It Now >>

How to choose the best key for your song

What is comb filtering? What does it sound like?

NEW: Audio crossfades come to Final Cut Pro X 10.4.9!

What is the difference between EQ and filters? *With Audio*

What difference will a preamp make to your recording?

Watch our video on linear phase filters and frequency response with the FabFilter Pro Q 2

Read our post on linear phase filters and frequency response with the Fabfilter Pro Q 2

Harmonic distortion with the Soundtoys Decapitator

What's the best height for studio monitors? Answer - Not too low!

What is the Red Book standard? Do I need to use it? Why?

Will floating point change the way we record?

Mixing: What is the 'Pedalboard Exception'?

The difference between mic level and line level

The problem with parallel compression that you didn't know you had. What it sounds like and how to fix it.

Compressing a snare drum to even out the level

What does parallel compression on vocals sound like?

How to automate tracks that have parallel compression

Why mono is better than stereo for recording vocals and dialogue

Clipping and compressing a drum recording to achieve an exciting sound texture

What can we learn about room acoustics from this image?

Can you hear the subtle effect of the knee control of the compressor? (With audio and video demonstrations)

What is the best studio microphone?

What is the Neve sound? (Using the Slate Digital FG-73)

What is the difference between recording, mixing and mastering?