Warm Audio WA76 Limiting Amplifier

Class A FET Line-level Limiting Amplifier with All Solid-state Circuitry and Cinemag Transformers
Warm Audio WA76 Limiting Amplifier image 1
Warm Audio WA76 Limiting Amplifier image 1
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Warm Audio WA76 Limiting Amplifier
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Amazing Re-creation of a Classic

Warm Audio's WA76 set its target high: the most iconic solid-state limiting amplifier in history. How does Warm do it? Through economies of scale, mostly. They don't cut corners on components (the WA76 employs genuine US-made Cinemag transformers), but they do order parts and build in quantity, which keeps costs down. Like the original classic unit, the WA76 gives you a completely discrete signal path and the same arrangement of controls. And yes, it replicates the original's explosive performance when all the ratio buttons are pressed in. Elevate your studio to the next level with the Warm Audio WA76.

What can the WA76 do for you?

Every studio needs a good limiter, and the Warm Audio WA76 is designed after the mother of all limiters. With its lightning-fast response time and pristine, all-discrete signal path, the WA76 is your go-to device for everything from subtle, transparent dynamics control to full-on brickwall limiting. It's fabulous on bass, kick drum, snare, vocals — you name it. It's a must-have for punchy parallel processing on drums, and if you have two of them, the possibilities become even greater.

Top-tier performance — and a stunning value

At Sweetwater, we're all about performance and value, and that's what the WA76 gives you. At this amazing price, you can double your value and get two. With a pair of these in your rack, you can make that stereo piano sit proud in a thick track, punch up your drums, strap a stereo pair across your stereo bus for some mastering magic, and juice your mix with serious slam factor.

Warm Audio WA76 Limiting Amplifier Features:

  • Class A line-level output amplifier
  • Inspired by the sought-after D revision of the iconic solid-state limiting amplifier
  • Completely discrete signal path
  • Utilizes US-made Cinemag input and output transformers
  • Supports the famous all-buttons-in ratio setting
  • Ultra-fast attack time; 55db of gain
  • Input impedance is 600 ohms, bridges-T control (floating)
  • 20Hz to 20kHz (+/-1dB) frequency response
  • XLR and TRS inputs and outputs
  • Less than 0.4% total harmonic distortion from 50Hz to 20kHz with limiting
  • Signal to noise ratio is greater than 74dB at +25dBm
  • Equivalent input noise (EIN) is -104.1dBm
  • Attack time is 20 microseconds to 800 microseconds
  • Release time is 50 milliseconds to 1 second
  • Meter provides dB gain reduction and dB output
  • Internal power supply and an external 24-volt AC power transformer (included)
  • 2U, 19" rackmount chassis
  • 1-year warranty

Additional Media

Signal Processing Buying Guide
Spirit of the '76
Sweetwater's Warm Audio WA76 Limiting Amplifier Overview

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 1
Controls Input, Output, Attack, Release, Ratio (Buttons)
Ratio 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Inputs 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS
Outputs 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS
Rack Spaces 2U
Height 3.5"
Width 19"
Manufacturer Part Number WA76

Customer Reviews

Based on 39 reviews
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Knocks the plugin out of the water

I thought my days of buying outboard gear was over but I was wrong. The Warm products were recommended to me by a Grammy winning couple I meet in LA at the 2016 Grammy awards. I had wanted to add an 1176 type compressor to my rack for several years. All the reviews were positive and the price was certainly right, so I ordered one. What a difference! This knocks the plugins out of the water. I can more quickly dial in the perfect about of compression and the sound is fantastic. The build quality if excellent and the price is certainly right.
Music background: Songwriter, Musician, Grammy Voting Member

Maybe the best value in outboard gear ever!

I don't use a lot of outboard gear except for my preamps, but the talk about this was so intriguing to me I had to take the plunge, and having experience with other WARM products I knew that you always get way more than your money's worth. That said, I'm beyond glad I decided to invest in this compressor, and it will be hard not to want to use it on everything! Every studio needs a good outboard compressor and this is a great choice, whether it's your first or tenth piece of rack gear.

Q: An 1176 for half the price or a weak and poorly executed clone? A: Read on!

I'll admit: Even though I had been floored by the value of Warm Audio products already, I was skeptical of what to expect from the $599 WA76. It's inspiration, the 1176, are made now by Universal Audio, and previously by UREI . Depending on how old/what revision you're after they typically cost anywhere from $1400 (which would be a steal for a new UA model) to $4500, the latter being the vintage and more sought after revisions (Revision D,C). From what I've been told, the humbly priced WA76 is based on the UREI 1176 Revision D. I've worked with hundreds of these guys, old and new, over the years. I can't say I've ever set out to make any comparison or judements based on the individual year models or revision. I do, however know that while an 1176 might not always be the "BEST" compressor for any given task, it works pretty darn good on MOST ANY task, If you're one who appreciate ease of use and predictabililty, you need a few of these in your rack. In my work, it's as the little old lady on the Mike Red Hot Sauce commercials says: "I put that S&*# on (within reason) EVERYTHING". How does the WA76 stack against those 1176's (Both vintage and modern) that I've worked with? Call it placebo, or wishful justification of cash spent, but I feel like it's iliciting some of the very best sounds I've ever gotten out of any 1176. When I knew I could always count on any generic 1176 for an 8-9/10 in terms of satisfaction, this guy is cranking out 10/10's in my humble opinion. Do try it out yourself, Because as always, YMMV. To date I've used the WA76's on nearly everything I'd typically use an 1176 for: Vocals, Drums, Guitars, Horns, On groups and busses, everything. They all shine as much (dare I say more?) than the vintage revisions I've played around with in my past. I'm a big fan of Cinemag Transformers, and it's undisputable that they contribute heavily to the lush loveliness of the WA76's warm sheen. So again, I've been consistantly and supremely satisfied with every WARM product I've ever plugged in. So the truth is, Why didn't I buy these months ago? Why did I hesitate?! I own a lunch box of WA12's in the 500 series fomat, 4 more half rack wa12's (those 4 in my home studio) Two TB12 Tonebeasts, and now two WA76's. When it comes to Warm Audio: Sound, Features, Build Quality, Ease of Use, everything is spot on, right on down to the customer service, which is often fulfilled and checked up on by Bryce Young himself (the owner of Warm Audio.) I once had an issue with a wa12 (turned out to merely be a blown fuse) and I recieved an email from bryce only minutes after writing about the problem. Bravo to them. My Wa12's and Tone Beast's are often my 1st go to, out ranking Vintech, AMS/NEVE "Flavor/Color" pre's and even some more modern sounding pres (milennia) on Vocal chain, Kick Drum, and ESPECIALLY for electric guitar. A royer 121 and an sm57, both through WA12's, both through the wa76 and a touch of pultec high end on the summed signal, HPF, LPF and....fahghettaboutit.
Music background: Audio Engineer, Guitarist (22yrs), Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician, Media Composer

If you don't have a way make a way!

My wife and I bought 2 WA76 for our studio.Within 2 seconds of plugging one into a session, I was more than pleased. The warmth of the sound was as it should be, but the price is so low. It didn't make sense. The next 5 minutes was shocking! Within a week, we were simply BLOWN AWAY!Bryce and his crew did a great job on these units. They are not perfect, but they come dang close. I can't say enough about these compressors and a lot of people already have so................. we suggest that you RUN, don't walk, to buy them. Make a way to get a few!
Music background: Pro Musician, Recording Engineer, Studio Owner


I was a little hesitant buying this thinking that the UA version or Purple version would blow this out of the water, I was wrong. This thing rocks. I hit it pretty hard and it still works great!
Music background: Producer/Engineer
See also: Compressors, Warm Audio, Warm Audio Compressors / Limiters, Warm Audio Compressors / Limiters