Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

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bealesh
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Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by bealesh » Mon May 04, 2020 3:20 pm

So I’ve narrowed it down to these two for my ‘classic American sounding preamps’ - I guess we can say API copies here, the reviewers online are extra careful about this. They’re basically the same idea, and price point the main difference being cinematic transformers on the BLA and Altran on the Warm. There’s next to no reviews of the BLA out there but in fairness it’s only been around for about a year. Anyone used it? I feel compelled to go BLA because it’s made by a smaller company, in Chicago, and I loved my BLA modded 002 way back when. But I’ve also heard they changed hands in the last 5 or so years and they seem like they’re more of a product company than a mod company these days. Anyways I’ve got the funds allocated, the open 4 channels on my Apollo, and just need to make the decision and pull the trigger! For context I’m a drummer and mostly just recording myself, these would likely be for kick / snare / overheads and I’d run the toms / middle kit / room through the unison neve pres on the apollo. Convince me please!

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losthighway
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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by losthighway » Mon May 04, 2020 8:35 pm

When I'm looking for super specific feedback on products, I peak around at gearslutz, but then take everything with a grain of salt cause there's a lot of alphanerds there.

I can't advise you between these two. But I can bother you with options you're not even talking about. And since this isn't gearslutz, you're well within your rights to completely ignore all of this and have an awesome time doing it. :D

Right now at Reverb I see a Sytek mpx4aii for $700. Those things rule on drums (and other things) and it's cheaper than what you're looking at. I used to have two, but I'm never selling my one.

Also, how much longer would you have to wait to do this https://reverb.com/p/api-3124-plus-4-ch ... rce=google

Because if another $1k means waiting 4-6 months and then having the real deal, hard to regret after you get there.....?

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by permanent hearing damage » Tue May 05, 2020 8:16 am

i apologize in advance for muddying the waters further, but have you thought about going 500 series and going with CAPI? a lot of people like them better than current API offerings and if you aren't handy with a soldering iron, you can usually find them for $300ish a piece used - sometimes less. Additionally, if you get something like a Lindell 506, you can add channels as you need/want or even try other things. Currently two Lindell 506s on Reverb for $300 - I have bought two previously for around $220 each, so you might be able to get one of them to come down a little. If you're patient, you could end up with Lindell 506 and 4 CAPI pres for around $1400 (less if you don't mind soldering), with 2 slots leftover for future expansion. If you buy the lunchbox and maybe a pair of CAPIs to start and decide you don't like it, it would be pretty easy to sell them and get your money back. I bought my first 500 series just about two years ago and now I have 15 modules!

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by permanent hearing damage » Tue May 05, 2020 8:26 am

currently a lindell 506 on reverb with 2 capi VP26 and two Golden Age Pres. never heard those GAPs before, but even if you hate them, you could probably sell them and get enough to add a third CAPI. not bad for $1200

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue May 05, 2020 10:41 am

the GAP 573's are Ok, but as it goes with 500 series you will find better and eventually dump them. :D

I will 2nd the CAPIs and also (as a drummer) add that the A-Designs and Hairball Audio 500 pres are also amazing on drums.
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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by joninc » Tue May 05, 2020 10:47 am

lots of reviews on the B12a - I'd assume they are similar if not identical.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/reviews ... -b12a.html
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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by bealesh » Tue May 05, 2020 12:56 pm

Basically everyone has told me to go 500 heh. Ok, I'm finally convinced - likely pulling the trigger on the Lindell with the CAPI/Golden Age Modules.

The A-Designs Pacifica is (IMO) the best overhead pre ever, so those will likely be my 5th and 6th channels!

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by kslight » Tue May 05, 2020 1:22 pm

I have the Lindell 3 space rack (on indefinite loan) and it is junk. Barely used and noisy.

I bought a “Midas” (Behringer, basically) 6 space rack and it is great and cheap.

Go figure.

For the money might as well get the 10 space rack...

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by permanent hearing damage » Tue May 05, 2020 4:47 pm

I have owned two 506s and had no issues at all - i only sold the one because i bought an 11 slot JLM (speaking of killer 500 series gear!). i don't think you'll regret it! now i'm curious about the a-designs, but i have plenty of preamps these days, admittedly!

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue May 05, 2020 6:34 pm

I know, I know, "money"...

If you want the API sound, get API.

They did invent the 500 series format after all.

And it IS the sound you are going after.

If you were going after a vintage Neve sound, well those are crazy money, so I could recommend some alternatives.

But for API? Spend the extra moolah, get what you want.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed May 06, 2020 7:04 am

Just to muddy the waters even further (sorry).....
Where ever possible it's a really, really good idea to use the same pre-amps on all drum channels. It really helps the kit sound like one instrument.

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by bealesh » Wed May 06, 2020 7:56 am

Lots of good advice here!

re: Legit API - I think I disagree, the CAPI and BAE pre's I've used in the past are amazing. I think smaller companies some times make way better versions of big name pre's. Like on the Neve end of the spectrum the Avedis and Electrodyne's blow any modern Neve away IMO

re: all the same pre's on a kit - I think that totally depends. I like the overheads to obviously be out of a pair of the same pre's / same mics, but spot mic's are used / EQ'd so specifically for me I don't think it makes a difference.

Put in an offer on the Lindell 506 with the CAPI's / GA modules - if I get it I'll likely swap the GA's for Avedis MA5's and add some A designs P1's ... now I need to expand my Apollo with more channels of conversion, this is a bottomless pit of spending money so hopefully I can get some work as a remote drummer :)

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by trodden » Wed May 06, 2020 9:45 am

losthighway wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 8:35 pm
Also, how much longer would you have to wait to do this https://reverb.com/p/api-3124-plus-4-ch ... rce=google

Because if another $1k means waiting 4-6 months and then having the real deal, hard to regret after you get there.....?
I've owned the API 3124 and the Warm WA412. In fact, i sold the API to finance a move and bought the Warm to replace it. Honestly, the WARM is great and i see no reason spending more money for the API. The warm sounds just as good for way less. Plus the warm has output attenuation which allows more flexible tone shaping. Sure the API is great, I used it on everything for ten years, but I don't miss it. And my future "API Needs" will be a pair of CAPI VP28's.

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by trodden » Wed May 06, 2020 9:54 am

I've also had one of these for the past ten years and will never get rid of it. It's not "API" but great sounding clean pres with a lot of headroom made by a really wonderful human.

https://reverb.com/item/31514120-shinyb ... nel-preamp

Between this, the Warm WA412, two BURL B1D's, and my amek pres, I feel covered. I do have two Hairball Copper's to build and as mentioned before, plan on getting CAPI VP28's as well.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-en ... reamp.html
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much ... eamps.html

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Re: Warm WA412 vs. Black Lion Audio B12A Quad

Post by gregovertone » Wed May 06, 2020 10:13 am

I recently grabbed the WA412 to replace the 7th Circle Audio rack I had.

Honestly, I think it's pretty damned great. $200-250 a chancel. Pad. DI. I/O trim.
a nice value.

I have 8ch of Sytek, and I truly prefer the wa412. Both the tone and the feature set.
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