Warm Audio WA-251 Large-Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

Warm Audio's WA-251 is an homage to the venerable classic 251 tube mic, right down to the CK12-style capsule, JJ 12AY7 vacuum tube and CineMag transformer.

The Warm Audio WA-251 was created to offer a classic microphone design to a new generation of recording artists at an affordable price. They 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.

The Capsule:

read more The WA-251 utilizes a custom reproduction of the vintage CK12 style capsule that was used in the classic '251 microphone - designed with a similar hole pattern and frequency response. Our version of this capsule (model# WA-12-B-60v) is carefully manufactured by an Australian capsule supplier and is precisely reproduced to the vintage specs. We are pleased to offer such a great CK12 style capsule re-incarnation because it allows us to nail the sonics of the most important piece of the formula.

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.


- Custom true CK12 style capsule - WA-12-B-60v
- 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
- External IEC grounded PSU
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.p65Warnings.ca.gov.
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- Polar Patterns: 3 patterns - Cardioid, Omni, figure-of-eight
- Dynamic range: 125dBA
- Maximum SPL: 132dB (less than 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)
- Total Weight (Mic, PSU, shockmount, cables): 12 lbs
- Mic Dimensions: 247mm x 46mm
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 10.46 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 19 x 14 x 6 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): WA-251

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Web: https://warmaudio.com/contact-support/

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. (4 ratings)
Submitted February 12, 2019 by Jordan S in Seattle, WA

"Hi-Fi sound with a vintage color"

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
The WA-251 has a clear and airy high-end, smooth and creamy mids, and a warm low-end that all come together to create a truly beautiful sounding mic. I work in a studio near Seattle, and have used mic’s that are triple the price of the WA-251, and I gotta say the WA-251 definitely can hold its own next to some big name mic’s. I think the magic of this mic is the clear and open top end that really shines on R&B and Pop vocals. The mic is particularly great when you need something to cut through a mix without being aggressive or harsh. One of the challenges I face when selecting vocal mic’s is trying to find that balance of warmth and clarity, and the WA-251 seems to have found that sweet spot. I must say, on its own, the mic may show a little too much detail and that can throw some vocalist off at first. But trust me, you’ll find it works great within the context of a song! Plus, if you Pair it with a warm EQ and 1176, you’ll get that classic vintage HI-Fi sound that’s so iconic on many records.

Musical Background:

15 years in the music industry. Singer for 15 years, Session musician for 6 years, engineer for 5 years.

Musical Style:

Rock, Pop, Blues, Singer-Songwriter, soundtracks.
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