New Music Gear Monday: Warm Audio WA-8000 Condenser Microphone

Warm Audio WA-8000 image, a low-priced replica of the Sony C-800G

Most vintage mics are from the golden era of the 50s and 60s, but one relatively new mic has become a staple of hip hop and R&B – the Sony C-800G. This unusual mic came out in 1992 and took those genres by storm, and would probably have even more traction today if it wasn’t for its $10,700 price, which for most studio owners is way out of reach. Now the clever folks at Warm Audio have come out with their own more affordable version of this classic and it’s called the WA-8000.

It’s The WA-8000

The company claims to have built the WA-8000 to the same specs as the C-800, with the same natural sounding midrange that has attracted vocalists for almost 30 years. Like the original, it has switchable cardioid and omni patterns, and is built around the same NOS 6AU6 tube and Lundahl output transformer. It even has the same fluid-filled heat sink at the rear of the mic housing to dissipate the heat from the tube away from the diaphragm, although it’s much smaller than the Sony’s.

Speaking of the diaphragm, the WA-8000 uses an upgraded all-brass, custom K-67 inspired capsule coupled with the original circuit design, which is a significant part of the mic’s ability to capture the subtle nuances of vocal and acoustic performances.

As you would expect, a tube with high voltage rails needs an outboard power supply and you’ll find one here, along with a 7-pin XLR power cable from Gotham Audio.

Not The Only One

While the WA-8000 is not the only C-800G clone on the market (the Golden Age GA-800 is the other), it is the least expensive, coming in at $1,199. The Golden Age is 3 times more, but does have slightly higher max SPL at 137 to the WA-8000’s 131dB (134dB in omni). That’s always something that you have to be careful with when it comes to a mic clone. They work great most of the time, but get a really loud belter (think Gospel or opera singer) in to do vocals and you might have to move it back a bit or try something else or it will overload.

The WA-8000 is due to be released any day now, and when it becomes available it will come with a shock mount, external power supply, power cable and carrying case.

You can find out more here, or watch the video below.

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