Warm Audio has made its reputation by designing and building affordable re-creations of classic hardware. Its latest product, the WA-8000 ($1,199), a large-diaphragm tube mic, continues that tradition.
In the press release, Warm Audio describes it as living up to “the sonic legacy of a highly sought-after and revered design of the early 1990s.” What they can’t say for legal reasons is that it’s a reproduction of the classic Sony C800G, an iconic mic in the hip-hop and R&B world.
The C800G built its reputation based on a pristine and detailed sound. It’s been a staple mic in commercial studios for vocals and other acoustic sources. Its use in the hip-hop and R&B world, by artists like Dr. Dre, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, Eminem, Rihanna and Drake, to name just a few, made it a much sought-after mic.
But a C800G is not an impulse buy. A new one will set you back over $10,000, and vintage models even more. A search for it on Reverb.com reveals several used C800Gs being offered for $20,000 and up. With prices like that, the idea of the WA-8000, an affordable-sounding emulation, makes one sit up and take notice.
From the shape and color, the WA-8000 looks a lot like the C800G. It also features an external heatsink designed to lower self-noise and keep the operating temperature at optimal levels.
On the inside, it’s similar, too, with its K67-style capsule, Lundahl Transformer and a 6AU6 (new old stock) tube. Both the Sony and the WA-8000 offer cardioid and omni polar patterns.
Spec-wise, the WA-8000 compares closely to the C800G. Naturally, the proof will be in the sound quality, which we won’t be able to judge until we review the mic, but based on Warm Audio’s successful track record of making hardware emulations, the release of the WA-8000 is an intriguing and exciting development.
The WA-8000 comes with a power supply, a shock-mount, a 7-pin cable and a hard-shell carrying case. It’s shipping now.