I’m sure like many of you, I was under the impression that “251” style valve condenser microphones were mainly used to record female vocals. John McBride of Blackbird Studios in Nashville is on the record as saying that an original Telefunken 251 is his “go-to” microphone when recording his wife Martina. But how does the new Warm Audio WA-251 stack up as an instrument mic. I invited composer and guitar player Paul Sundt back to the studio to record one of this tracks playing a couple of my acoustic guitars recorded using the WA-251.
Warm Audio WA-251
The team at Warm Audio are doing a great job of bringing us affordable re-creations of some of those classic mics that most of us could only dream about having in our mic locker and the WA-251 is another to add to the collection. With a US MSRP of $799 this is still far from a cheap mic but it is well with in the reach of many of us as opposed to a “real” Telefunken 251 which, if you can find one, will sell for over $10,000.
The WA-251 is the usual Warm Audio combination of retro style and tone with modern design and components, like CineMag transformers. To me this is the best of both worlds. You get all the benefits of a great “classic” sound without all the hang-ups of breakdown servicing bills. Vintage mics to pack-up and normally when you least expect or need it.
The mic comes in a nice wooden box with it’s clip-to-secure wire shock mount, power supply and cable as you would expect.