Warm Audio’s WA-1B all-tube, transformer-balanced optical compressor “accurately recreates one of the most legendary compression styles”

“This type of product has been one of the most requested pieces of analogue gear from our customers and fans,” says Warm Audio.

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Image shows a blue compressor. It is a long rectangle shape and is in a blue colour and features two rows of dials.

Image: Warm Audio

Warm Audio has launched a new transformer-balanced optical compressor, the WA-1B, which the brand says “accurately recreates” renowned Scandinavian compression.

The compression style the WA-1B takes inspiration from was originally found in Tube-Tech’s CL 1B from 1987, and it’s been hardwired to recreate the sound of its original circuitry.

Warm Audio says that the WA-1B delivers “forgiving” compression with added speed and control functionality. It utilises a 270v circuit with handwired, through-hole circuitry, and a “100 percent discrete analogue signal path.”

It has custom large-core transformers from Lundahl, Sweden, and high-powered vacuum tubes that deliver the compressed signal to the output of the compressor. It features all of the same classic controls, including variable threshold and infinite 2:1 – 10:1 ratios.

The WA-1B also features a three-setting metre switch with input, compression, and output levels, and an on/bypass switch to activate or bypass the compressor. Additionally, Attack/Release controls can be switched from a fixed setting, manual (variable) setting, or a combined setting.

“The WA-1B has been on our wishlist for quite some time and we are very excited to accurately deliver one of music’s most sought-after styles of compression. The sound of this compressor has been a key part in shaping so many hits over the years and we are beyond thrilled to release such an incredible design affordably,” says Bryce Young, founder and CEO of Warm Audio.

“This type of product has been one of the most requested pieces of analogue gear from our customers and fans and we knew we had to nail the tone, character, and functionality. To accomplish this, we rely on the Warm Formula to bring together elite components and sonically accurate circuitry to achieve such legendary analogue tone.”

Some original CL 1B compressors are retailing for over $3,000, but Warm Audio’s WA-1B comes in at $1,199/£1159 (inc. VAT)/1349€ (Inc. VAT). Find out more via Warm Audio.


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