First Look: Warm Audio WA-44 & WA-19

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First Look: Warm Audio WA-44 & WA-19

Warm Audio WA-19 and WA-44
Words by Kalani Giddey

Vintage gear is often seen as automatically better, just because it has a history behind it.

For some, it holds true; sometimes you really just can’t get that “warmth” from anything but the real deal… right? Maybe that ‘58 Les Paul doesn’t actually have to cost that much, and your vintage Fuzz Face might not actually be what you think it is, but what we do know for sure is that the market for all things vintage is growing, and our wallets are only getting lighter. In comes Warm Audio.

Those who know, know, but anyone not in the loop must be kidding themselves. Warm Audio has made a bit of a name for themselves over the past 10 odd years, pioneers of audio recreation, wizards that meticulously attempt to reconstruct and capture that lightning in a bottle that we associate with vintage mojo, but at prices that won’t cost you all your belongings.

Read more features, columns and interviews here.

Known for stellar clones of some of the most revered pro-audio gear, Warm Audio are now offering up two new additions to their fleet of high-end microphones, the WA-44 and the WA-19. 

While nothing new, their “no corners cut” approach to the cloning provides gear-heads and engineers alike with the piece of mind that they’re getting the same vintage tone in modern digs.


The WA-44 is an homage to (a clone of) the legendary RCA 44BX ribbon-microphone, one of the single most coveted pieces of gear in any studio’s arsenal. Finding its way into a whole manner of iconic recording sessions, this mic was favoured by the likes of Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Jeff Tweedy, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and many, many more. Big shoes to fill, and Warm Audio’s ambitious tribute hopes to fill them out in spades.

Warm Audio WA-44

The first thing that becomes obvious is just how weighty this microphone feels in the hands. It’s a real monster, coming in at nearly three kilograms, courtesy of its gargantuan, true-to-size neodymium magnet designed to capture the nuances and detail that lives in the mid-range. Combined with a custom Made-in-Japan ribbon that’s 99.1% aluminium and 2.5 microns thick, as well as a USA-made Cinemag transformer, prepare yourselves for a gooey, syrupy tonal experience sure to tame any unruly high-end that troubles your mix. Complete with a rugged metal exterior that’s sure to take whatever beating it may receive, as well as a nifty embroidered mic sock that’s guaranteed to keep your new best friend in the studio nice and toasty, the WA-44 feels like a genuine, high-end ribbon-microphone, mojo present or not. 

An incredibly versatile bit of kit, the WA-44 has a sonic footprint that’s easily recognisable, the mic sets out to retain the warm tonal character of the RCA 44, excelling in capturing loud audio sources, in turn preserving the mids and bass (and an excellent proximity effect), while softening the high-end, perfect for making those de-essers and LPFs that we so rely on obsolete. Its figure-eight polar configuration makes the WA-44 an excellent bi-directional mic as well, picking up signal received on the left and right sides of the microphone, or the front and back, the ideal choice for handling all of your recording needs. 


The WA-19 may be the little brother of the two, but make no mistake, this little mic can certainly run with the big boys. A faithful recreation of what has been dubbed “the Ringo Mic”, the WA-19 is Warm Audio’s own AKG D-19 variant with a few new bells and whistles. A more budget friendly offering, the WA-19 offers functionality aplenty, being a microphone that blurs the line between more traditional dynamic and condenser microphones. 

The construction itself is pretty standard upon first inspection, but very quickly the WA-19’s unique features begin to make themselves known. A sleek, all metal casing and a double layered headbasket keep the internals tucked away and safe, with ventilated slots in the casing down the sides of the microphone designed to reduce proximity effect and keep bass frequencies more or less consistent at all distances, much like the “Variable-D” system found on other microphones.

Warm Audio state the WA-19 has a hand assembled dynamic cardioid humbucking capsule at the helm of the beast that aims to utilise both the innate critical noise rejection of a dynamic microphone, while retaining the top-end clarity associated with condenser microphones, all the while reducing the overall noise floor. Additionally, the WA-19 features a unique “variable acoustic high-pass filter ring” that adjusts that modifies the resonant chamber behind the transducer, capable of reducing up to 10dB at 50Hz, a solution to the possible phase issues that can be accrued through preamp filtering.

The real question here is, how does it stack up against the real thing? The long-winded answer is: does it really matter? While vintage gear can sometimes sound better than modern stuff, going to great lengths to recreate it opens up the floor to further debate, and vintage gear can’t compete with the reliability of modern kit!

It may tickle the nostalgia centre of the brain seeing these old designs have new life breathed into them, but at the same time, at what cost? Will it ever really be the same? These microphones do an amazing job of emulating their inspirations, and capturing the source they’re aimed at… or not if you’re micing off-axis!

For local Warm Audio enquiries, keep reading at Studio Connections.