Warm Audio WA-2A Single-Channel Tube Optical Compressor

Warm Audio WA-2A Single-Channel Tube Optical Compressor

Warm Audio WA-2A Single-Channel Tube Optical Compressor

B&H # WA2A MFR # WA-2A
Warm Audio WA-2A Single-Channel Tube Optical Compressor

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Product Highlights

  • Leveling Amp with Discrete Signal Path
  • Selectable Compress/Limit Mode
  • Adjustable Gain & Peak Reduction
  • Adjustable Sidechain Tone Control
  • Tung-Sol & Electro-Harmonix Tubes
  • Dual CineMag Transformers
  • Kenetek Opto-Cell
  • Balanced XLR & 1/4" TRS I/O
  • Stereo Link via 1/4" TRS
  • VU Meter with Selectable Display Mode
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Warm Audio WA-2A overview

  • 1Description

The Warm Audio WA-2A is a single-channel tube optical compressor that recreates a classic leveling amplifier originally released in the late 1950s. With Tung-Sol and Electro-Harmonix tubes, dual CineMag transformers, and a Kenetek opto-cell, the WA-2A offers smooth, warm compression ideal for vocals, bass, guitars, drums, and parallel submixes. Its discrete signal path is terminated with balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS input and output connectors, and delivers a high output with minimal noise.

Use compress mode for moderate peak attenuation, or switch to limit mode for more aggressive gain reduction. Operation is simple and efficient, thanks to the adjustable gain and peak reduction controls. The rear-panel "Pre-Emphasis" serves as a tone control for the sidechain. A large VU meter allows easy viewing of gain reduction or output level, and can be calibrated via a dedicated potentiometer. The WA-2A supports stereo linking to a second WA-2A through a 1/4" TRS cable (available separately).

Transformed-balanced, high-voltage, optical tube compressor built in the classic "2A" style
Up to 40 dB of gain reduction
Up to 40 dB of make-up gain
CineMag USA input and output transformers
USA-made Kenetek opto-cell attenuator T4-style module
Socketed construction to allow retrofitting of other opto-cells and tubes
Tung-Sol and Electro-Harmonix tubes including two 12AX7s, one 12BH7, and one 6P1
Fully discrete signal path
Variable pre-emphasis allows for reducing high frequencies in the sidechain
Supports stereo linking via 1/4" TRS
Balanced XLR and 1/4" TRS I/O
VU meter with selectable display of gain reduction or output at +4 dB / +10 dB above the meter reading
Rear-panel meter adjust function for easy VU calibration
Occupies 2 RU of rack space
UPC: 638142859097
In the Box
Warm Audio WA-2A Single-Channel Tube Optical Compressor
  • IEC Power Cable
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Warm Audio WA-2A specs

    Function Compressor/Limiter (Leveling Amplifier)
    Number of Channels 1
    Inputs 1 x XLR 3-Pin Female (Balanced)
    1 x 1/4" TRS Female (Balanced)
    Outputs 1 x XLR 3-Pin Male (Balanced)
    1 x 1/4" TRS Female (Balanced)
    Link Connector 1 x 1/4" TRS Female
    Input Impedance 600 Ohms
    Output Impedance 600 Ohms
    Maximum Input Level +16 dB
    Compression Threshold Fixed
    Compression Ratio Compress Mode: Fixed and Source-Dependent
    Limit Mode: Approximately Infinity:1
    Attack Time 10 ms
    Release Time 50% Release: 60 ms
    Complete Release: 500 ms to 5 sec
    Maximum Output Level +16 dB (+10 dB Nomimal)
    Make-up Gain Up to 40 dB ( 1 dB)
    Gain Reduction Up to -40 dB ( 3 dB)
    Frequency Response 15 Hz to 20 kHz ( 1 dB)
    Distortion (THD) < 0.1% at 10 dBm
    Noise -74 dB
    Fuse 250 V, 1 A Fast-Blow Fuse
    Power Requirement 115/230 VAC, 50/60 Hz
    Dimensions (W x H x D) 19.0 x 3.5 x 7.0" / 48.3 x 8.9 x 17.8 cm
    Weight 12 lb / 5.4 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 11.4 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 23.1 x 10.4 x 5.5"

    Warm Audio WA-2A reviews

    WA-2A - Tube Optical Compressor is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from The tool you always wanted but couldn't afford I've been lusting after a physical LA2A for years. I actually first used one in the early 1970's in a radio station, their original market. I've tried a number of plugins, some of which aren't bad. But the weird mixture of tubes, transformers and a light bulb (panel in this case) is just hard to beat. Like all great audio gear, you may cease to notice it when it's there, but you'll truly miss it when it's not there. I have a number of wildly dynamic singers in the studio, and this just works the magic to make their vocals sit in the mix. And it makes those same vocals bigger sounding at the same time. Is it the best LA2A clone out there? I don't know since I can't test it against all the rest. But it's darn good. BTW, let me put to rest any fears about build quality, etc. This is my second (and won't be my last) piece of Warm Audio kit. Absolutely no issues with the way these beasts arrive and work. Possibly, outside of acoustic treatment, the best investment I've ever made in my studio.
    Date published: 2017-03-06
    • y_2018, m_12, d_4, h_17
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