A $299 Neumann U47 clone? Why not – the technology is there, and $299 is (more or less) what it costs to produce a convincing replica. So give it up for Warm Audio and its WA-47jr mic – a FET transformer-less version of the WA-47. From the press release, we don’t get to learn what difference the lack of FET transformer makes to the sound of the microphone, though it does make it possible to bring the price point for a Neumann U47 replica so low.
We do get to know the WA-47jr uses a custom k47 capsule reproduction, made by an Australian manufacturer and designed to copy the vintage original’s hole pattern and frequency response. The resulting tone is described as “very similar” to Neumann’s classic, which sounds quite exciting given the price. The same capsule is used in the FET transformer version of the WA-47 U47 clone, so the sound ought to be very close to the real deal! The microphone uses parts by Toshiba, Wima, and Panasonic rather than knock-off stuff, so Warm Audio seems to know what it’s doing.
Feature-wise, the WA-47jr offers three polar patterns – cardioid, figure-of-eight, and omnidirectional. There’s a high-pass filter cutting things below 70Hz. The body is nickel-plated. The rest of the specs match those of a high-quality microphone and can be seen in detail at the product page.
Overall, Warm Audio showcases serious attention to detail and no-bull engineering. We like the transparency in regards to the specs, manufacturing process, and origin of the microphone design. These things strike us as the behavior of a reputable manufacturer who can be trusted. Besides, the company has been in the business of cloning vintage gear for the masses for years now. If they are able to bring coveted pieces of audio technology to everyday price points, then more power to them, we say. Meanwhile, anyone who can afford an original Neumann can still get an U47 and a few Warm Audios as backups. So no harm done to anyone’s business, is there?
Price and availability
Warm Audio will be selling the WA-47jr from December 1, priced at $299. The mic ships with a shockmount, hardmount, and zipper storage pouch. Pretty standard, good stuff all-around.