I have a WA-412. It's actually is better than I thought it would be. But, as we all know, you can't leave well enough alone. So i was thinking of trying some opamp changes. I've seen a lot of praise for the CA-0252. Worth a shot as an upgrade? I have no problem building them as I used to be a tech for my day job.
Anyone else do any swaps of the opamps in the WA-412? What did you try and was it worth the effort?
Last Edit: Feb 23, 2021 12:43:54 GMT -6 by mcirish
Thanks for the input. The cost of the kits is cheap enough that I don't mind taking a chance on them. I saw such glowing reviews of the CA-0252 that I thought I would go that route first. I do want to keep the API type thing going as these are only for drums.
Just ordered them. Seems like a good weekend project and fun to test.
Put them in my Silver Bullet (suggested here, but can't remember the source), in the API 5500 and in two CAPI 553F's (suggested here as well). I do not have golden ears, but going off of feel, everything felt smoother and glued together in the chain (SB -> 5500). They replaced Red Dots in the 5500 and I still want to try those in the 553F's as well for the hell of it.
Building yourself for the cost, you can't go wrong though. That board looks like a tight one to solder, for sure.
I'm not worried about the soldering. I used to fix synths and fx units with ics that had 50+ legs in a small footprint. Then again... My eyes were a lot younger then. Ha! I will post back on it once I build them and do some comparisons against the stock DOAs. It will be a fun experiment.
I got the four boards built today. the first one took around 75 minutes as I was studying the layout to make sure I understood everything. The last one I got done in about 45 minutes. I used organic core solder. I used to use it all the time when I was manufacturing some gear for retail. Flows very well and best part is it is water soluble. So, a toothbrush and hot water is all that is needed to get excess flux off. I know there are a number of gear geeks here... so yes, I know the flux is slightly conductive unless cleaned. I did a very thorough job of cleaning the boards. Hopefully, I will get a chance to test them and compare against the original opamps this weekend. Man! Can't beat the price on these, as long as you can solder well. I'm looking forward to lots of tests.
Last Edit: Feb 26, 2021 15:26:16 GMT -6 by mcirish
Did a super quick test to compare the stock opamp to the CA-0252. They are pretty much in the same family but the stock has more low mids, around 200hz. Just a touch, but makes it the slightest bit cloudy. The CA-0252 is clearer with a detailed top that does not get harsh. I recorded just piano, kick and snare. No great test. Just used the same mic and switched channels on the WA-412 between on that was stock and the other that had the CAPI. The difference is subtle but it is there. It becomes more pronounced when adding compression. That's when the differences show more. I'm glad I built the CA-0252 opamps. I don't have to keep wondering if new opamps can make the WA-412 a better preamp. I wouldn't say "better" but "different" in a good way.
Last Edit: Feb 26, 2021 22:08:05 GMT -6 by mcirish
Which Rogues? 5 or 6? Just out of curiosity - I've only heard the 5s.
I got the Rogue 5 and it fixed the specific problem I was having: on very hot kick drum hits, the original opamp would kind of collapse and give me an ugly sound. Although I still think the original opamps were pretty good.